Thousand Camel Festival in Gobi Desert - 7 days

DAY 1: Drive to Dalanzadgad (4 March)
DAY 2: Bayanzag or Flaming cliffs (5 March)
DAY 3: Camel Festival (6 March)
DAY 4: Camel Festival (7 March)
DAY 5: Khongoryn Els (8 March)
DAY 6: Drive to Yolyn Am & Dungenee Canyon (9 March)
DAY 7: Drive to Ulaanbaatar (10 March)
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Couple at Camel Festival

Detailed description

Altai Mountain Range

Drive to Dalanzadgad 

After breakfast we will drive to Dalanzadgad, southern Gobi province capital. The Gobi Desert measures over 1,610 km from southwest to northeast and 800 km from north to south and stretches over Mongolia and China. It occupies an arc of land 1,295,000 km2 in area, making it fifth largest in the world and Asia’s largest. Much of the Gobi is not sandy but is covered with bare rock.

The Gobi is a cold desert, with frost snow on its dunes during the winter months. Besides being quite far north, it is also located on a plateau roughly 910–1,520 meters above sea level, which further contributes to its low temperatures. An average of approximately 194 millimetres of rain falls per year in the Gobi. Additional moisture reaches parts of the Gobi in winter as snow is blown by the wind from the Siberian Steppes. These winds cause the Gobi to reach extremes of temperature ranging from –40°C in winter to +50°C in summer. We will arrive in Dalanzadgad late evening and check in to local hotel. (Family stay L, D)

Bayanzag or Flaming cliffs 

Today our drive will take us to Bayanzag also known as the “Flaming Cliffs” is the worldwide renowned place where palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews found dinosaur bones and eggs. The surrounding landscape is a beautiful combination of rocks, red sand and scrubs. Here we will spend some time exploring the cliffs. We will arrive in Bulgan village at our host family. You will see & feel the excitement of whole village getting prepared for 2 days’ festivals: nomads arriving majestically on camels with their families in their winter clothes to village. Wolf, fox, marmot and hare fur clothes are everywhere to be seen. Enjoy evening next to fire over hot drinks and few shots of vodka as locals do and witness the hot topic such as whose camels will win race etc…

(Family stay B, L, D)

Flaming Cliffs
Camel Festival

Camel Festival 

After breakfast we will go to the opening ceremony in front of village administration house where herders with their camels gather and the mayor of village will launch the festival. Camels arrive in all directions, bearing bundled-up riders wedged between their two humps. Attend opening ceremony. Camel parade. The festival is about honouring the camel which occupies a central role in traditional lifestyle of desert herders for centuries. In village school herders sell handcrafts and camel wool products mostly operated by nomad ladies. As well local food and drinks (fermented camel milk) are must to taste. Perfect place to shop souvenirs to bring back home memories of camel festival and Mongolia. 

(Family stay B, L, D)

Camel Festiva

Activities and competition will unfold today with 15 km long camel race, camel polo and different tasks where herders and camels get challenged: loading whole Ger on camels and unload. Experienced camel riders will compete lassoing young male camels. Once camels lassoed, contestant will ride and train it. The interesting and thrilling part is to watch how men will try to stay on, while angry, wild camel run wild trying to throw the rider off. Awards will be given to the most beautiful dressed couple with decorations, utensils and jewels and to most beautiful lavishly bedecked camel. In the evening village school children will held a concert for guests. Not to miss they are cute.

(Family stay B, L, D)

Thousand Camel Festival

Khongoryn Els 

After a good morning breakfast, we will drive 150 km westwards to the Khongoryn Els. These are Mongolia’s largest sand dunes. Those impressive dunes of 275 meters high in some places, stretch from East to West over more than 100 km. behind the sand dunes we will see the impressive black rocky mass of the Sevrey Mountain. Here we will arrive at two humped camel breeding family and get introduced to their simple, humble, hard yet amazing way of life. Gobi Desert being the coldest desert of the world with cold wind blowing pretty much throughout whole autumn, winter and spring without any shelter exposed in plains demands extreme survival method of living. Gobi nomads are well-known for their hard working quality in whole Mongolia. Time to taste camel milk products. Spend evening with our hosts tasting fermented camel milk & local brewed vodka from camel milk and share their incredible life story.

(Family stay B, L, D)

Khongoryn Els in Winter

Drive to Yolyn Am & Dungenee Canyon

After breakfast once morning cold and chill over, we will spend some time riding camels along the dunes. Afterwards we will drive further to the direction of Gobi Gurvan Saikhan national park we will drive through the beautiful gorges of the imposing Altai Mountain Chain. We will pass through the Yolyn Am and the Dungenee Canyon both located in the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park. Ancient rivers carved those valleys and gorges. We may catch a glimpse of the wild Argali sheep, the Ibex, the desert gazelles or the Golden Eagles. In the evening we will arrive in Dalanzadgad and stay overnight in local hotel.

(Hotel B, L, D)

Yolyn Am in Winter

Drive to Ulaanbaatar

Today we will drive back to Ulaanbaatar. In the evening we will share memories of our trip over final farewell dinner at one of the city’s best restaurant

(B, L, D)

Camel Herder



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