Thousand Camel Festival in Gobi Desert
(7 days)

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day 1
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day 2
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day 3
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day 4
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day 5
Winter Yolyn Am
day 6
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day 7

Detailed description


Drive to Dalanzadgad 

After breakfast, we’ll travel to Dalanzadgad, the capital of the southern Gobi province. The Gobi Desert extends through Mongolia and China, measuring 1,610 kilometers from southwest to northeast and 800 kilometers from north to south. It covers an area of 1,295,000 km2, making it the world’s fifth largest and Asia’s largest arc of land. Most of the Gobi is coated in bare rock rather than sand.

During the winter months, the Gobi is a cold desert with frost snow on its dunes. In addition to being far north, it is situated on a plateau between 910 and 1,520 meters above sea level, which leads to the cold temperatures. The Gobi receives around 194 millimetres of rain per year on average. In the winter, snow blown from the Siberian Steppes enters parts of the Gobi, providing additional moisture. The Gobi experiences temperature extremes ranging from –40°C in the winter to +50°C in the summer due to these winds. We will arrive late in the evening in Dalanzadgad and check into a local hotel.

(Family stay L, D)

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Bayanzag or Flaming cliffs 

Today’s drive will take us to Bayanzag, also known as the “Flaming Cliffs,” the world-famous site where palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews discovered dinosaur bones and eggs. The local scenery is a lovely blend of rocks, red sand, and scrubs. Spend some time exploring the cliffs while you’re here.

We will be welcomed by our host family in Bulgan village. You will see and experience the excitement as the entire village prepares for two days of celebrations, with nomads arriving majestically on camels with their families dressed in winter clothing. Fur clothing made of wolf, fox, marmot, and hare can be found in abundance. Enjoy an evening by the fire with hot drinks and a few shots of vodka, as the locals do, and watch the hot topic of who will win the camel race, etc…

(Family stay B, L, D)

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Camel Festival 

After breakfast, we’ll head to the opening ceremony in front of the village administration building, where camel herders will assemble and the festival will be kicked off by the village mayor. Camels appear from all directions, carrying riders bundled up between their two humps.  The festival is dedicated to the camel, which has played a vital role in desert herders’ traditional lifestyle for centuries. Herders sell handcrafts and camel wool items in village schools, which are mainly run by nomad women. Local foods and beverages (fermented camel milk) are also must-tries. The ideal location for purchasing souvenirs to take home memories of the camel festival and Mongolia. 

(Family stay B, L, D) 

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Camel Festiva

Today’s activities and competitions include a 15-kilometer camel race, camel polo, and various tasks that put herders and camels to the test, such as loading and unloading the entire Ger on camels. Camel riders with prior experience will compete in lassoing young male camels. Once the camels are lassoed, the contestant will ride and train them. The interesting and thrilling part is watching men try to stay on while angry, wild camels try to throw the rider off. Awards will be given to the most beautiful decorated couple with utensils and jewels, as well as the most beautiful lavishly bedecked camel. The village schoolchildren will perform a concert for guests in the evening. 

(Family stay B, L, D)

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Khongoryn Els 

After a hearty breakfast, we’ll travel 150 kilometers west to the Khongoryn Els. Mongolia’s biggest sand dunes can be found here. The imposing sand dunes, which reach a height of 275 meters in some areas, extend for more than 100 kilometers from East to West. Behind the sand dunes, we can see the Sevrey Mountain’s impressive black rocky mass. We’ll meet two humped camel breeding families and learn about their sweet, modest, hard-working, but amazing way of life. The Gobi Desert is the world’s coldest desert, with cold winds blowing almost the whole autumn, winter, and spring without any shelter uncovered in the plains, necessitating extreme survival methods of living. Gobi nomads are well-known in Mongolia for their dedication to hard work. Now is the time to try camel milk products. Spend the evening with our guests, sampling fermented camel milk and locally brewed camel milk vodka while learning about their amazing lives. 

(Family stay B, L, D)

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Drive to Yolyn Am

We’ll spend some time riding camels along the dunes after breakfast, once the morning chill has passed.

After that, we’ll go on to Gobi Gurvan Saikhan National Park, passing through the breath-taking gorges of the imposing Altai Mountain Chain. The Yolyn  Am in the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, will be visited. Those valleys and gorges were carved by ancient rivers.

Wild Argali sheep, Ibex, desert gazelles, and Golden Eagles are also possible sightings.

We will arrive in Dalanzadgad in the evening.

(Hotel B, L, D) 

Winter Yolyn Am

Drive to Ulaanbaatar

We will return to Ulaanbaatar today. In the evening, we’ll have a final farewell dinner at one of the city’s best restaurants, where we’ll share memories from our tour.

(B, L, D)

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