Wild Mongolia: May 24—Jun 08, 2015
Gobi Desert, Steppe Grasslands & The Land Of The Khans
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Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.
A unique journey across the breadth of this rarely visited country will offer excellent opportunities to see several charismatic and colorful birds either on migration or at their breeding grounds. We will also encounter some interesting mammals and some very showy flowering plants. Lighting conditions should be ideal and photographic opportunities excellent.
The fabled lands of Mongolia conjure images of vast, seemingly limitless horizons, sparsely populated by nomadic horsemen and graced with rolling grasslands. The range of habitats surprises everyone and includes high jagged mountains—the Altai Mountains are surely some of our planet’s most spectacular; endless taiga forests; huge freshwater wetlands; semi-desert steppe; and a myriad of grassland types. And all this is caressed by a night sky encountered nowhere else on earth. Above all Mongolia is a wonderfully exciting mix of great traveling experiences, absorbing history and prehistory, and some magnificent wildlife.
The name “Mongolia” has always evoked visions of the untamed and exotic—the warlord Genghis Khan, camels wandering in the Gobi Desert, and wild horses galloping across the steppes. Even today Mongolia seems like the end of the earth; outside Ulaanbaatar you begin to wonder if you haven’t stepped into another century, rather than another country. It remains one of the last great adventure destinations in Asia. Mongolia is a boundless upland country in northern Central Asia. Landlocked between two giant nations, Russia and China, it encompasses some 605,000 square miles—roughly the combined size of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. With its tiny population of only three million scattered across such a huge area, it is one of the most sparsely populated countries on earth, a true wilderness where there is a very real sense that most of the land is still the domain of wild creatures rather than man.
Spring in Mongolia resounds with bird song; everything is vibrant, and birds are resplendent in breeding plumage while migrants are still passing through on their way north to Siberia. If you revel in distinctive, elegant, exciting, charismatic birds such as flocks of gorgeous Demoiselle Cranes, fabled Relict Gulls (rare), dapper Oriental Plovers, the strange Mongolian Ground-Jay, Altai Snowcock (rare), Mongolian Accentor, and possibly Snow Leopard, Ibex, and Argali, then this is the birding adventure for you. Much of the time we will camp in ery comfortable gers (yurts), and thus we will be able to embrace this fabulous country and its wildlife from the moment we awake to the moment our heads hit our pillows.
Join us on this rare opportunity to experience an unusual and fascinating tour combining fabulous birding and wildlife, exceptional photographic opportunities, and stunning landscapes.
This unique journey takes us off-road in comfortable four-wheel-drive vehicles. We will be camping for up to five nights, but otherwise staying in comfortable ger lodges (with private rooms, but shared bathroom facilities) except for our nights in Ulaanbaatar, allowing us exceptional flexibility in that we will be able to spend extra time at one site and move on quickly from another. Most walking will be easy, although there may be a couple of optional more strenuous hikes. This is a trip for those who love wild places and an adventure.