On arrival to Ulaanbaatar you’ll be transferred to your hotel to relax and refresh before the evenings entertainment of traditional folk dancers, throat singers and contortionists.
We begin your first full day in Mongolia by heading North to Murun Town. Here we will stop and see ancient deer stone monuments and visit a local bazaar.
Today we begin our journey through the mountains driving off road through mountain valleys and rivers. We will also stop at the 13 Ovoo (shamanic cairns) to make a blessing and a small glacier before setting up camp in the pine trees in the mountain valley.
After a breakfast, we will drive to Tsagaan Nuur village, the smallest village in Mongolia, just 30km from the Russian border.
Today we collect our horses and ride out onto the East Taiga in search of our nomadic reindeer hosts, the Tsataan. The journey is likely to be a gentle 5-7 hours with plenty of rest. As we get closer to the reindeer herders you will smell the smoke from their tipi fires, hear the children playing and dogs barking, before seeing the small collection of tipis and large groups of reindeer.
After spending our first night in our tipi, and experiencing our reindeer milk tea, we will walk with our Tsataan reindeer herder hosts up the mountain with the reindeer to find the best grazing spots. Here we hope you can begin to really relax in this tranquil place amongst the beautiful and calm reindeer. Today we will learn how to milk the reindeer and how to make the products that are staple to the Tsataan diet; bread, milk curd, milk tea, cheese, donuts, and fresh mountain blueberry jam. We will also learn about their traditional crafts.
We will spend another night on the Taiga where you may hear the calls of the wild wolves. Today the Tsataan will introduce us to some of their medicinal plants that surround them on the Taiga, along with sharing their knowledge on the wildlife around them. We will also have the opportunity to share time with their shamans, who still guide the Tsataan.
Today we will ride back through pine and larch forests and through rivers to get ready for the Tsataans first festival. We will stay overnight in a traditional ger.
Reindeer Festival – this is the first time this festival has ever taken place and we are truly privileged to be able to be there for it. The festival aims to celebrate the culture and traditions of the Tsataan reindeer herders. The Tsataan do not use the reindeer for meat but they use them for milk and for riding and for enabling them to move their tipis and live the nomadic life so closely related to nature. Overnight stay in ger.
Second day of Reindeer Festival. By now, hopefully you will have gotten to know our hosts really well so you can cheer them on as they participate with the other herders who have travelled far through the mountains to meet up with the few remaining Tsataan left in the world.
Today we begin the drive back towards Murin town, crossing rivers and passing herds of yak and horses.
Today we arrive at the great meadow and Murin town before heading back to Ulan Bator to relax in a 4 star hotel.
This is your last full day in Mongolia and an opportunity to see some of the cities highlights and visit museums and monasteries.
After a restful night in a 4 star hotel you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.