Mongolia hiking expedition, mountains and deserts

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01273 823 700

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Mongolia hiking expedition, mountains and deserts

Environment

It's hard to avoid the fact that you are likely to arrive in Mongolia by plane. However once you are here we minimise further carbon emissions by travelling in the most sustainable way possible - by horse. Mind you, once the horses get a taste of the lush mountain pastures where we ride, their carbon emissions do tend to increase significantly!

By a happy coincidence riding is also the best way to experience Mongolia, travelling the way the locals do.

Clean water is thankfully not a scarce resource where we ride, and we want to keep it that way. This is about maintaining the purity of rivers and streams that we camp near. We ensure that our toilet is dug a suitable distance from the water course each evening. Dishes and clothes are washed away from the waters edge. We do encourage guests to swim and wash in rivers, but soap-free is the way to go.

Our drivers are banned from washing their vehicles in the rivers, an unfortunately common site near towns.

Nomadic herders have great respect for the rivers, and have their own prohibitions such as not letting blood or milk enter the water. We follow their lead when it comes to living sustainably on the steppe!

Community

Visiting Mongolia is as much about experiencing the local culture as it is about the beautiful scenery and fantastic riding. Over many years we have built up close relationships with our local staff and their families. We recognise that the best way to really get to know Mongolia is by drawing in close to the camp fire in the evening and getting to know the local people you are riding with.

All our staff come from the area where we ride. They are not tourism professionals from the city, rather they are 'real' Mongolians, a bit rough around the edges sometimes but with a strong desire to give you a wonderful and lasting impression of their country.

Bayan-Ulgii province is one of the least developed regions of Mongolia, due to its remoteness and the difficulty getting here. This is one of the reasons we decided to start running trips in the area, to provide local employment and help develop sustainable livelihoods.

Most tourism is concentrated around areas such as Lake Khovsgol and Terelj. By coming to the Altai Mountains you avoid the 'beaten track', experience the real Mongolia, and help families who do not otherwise benefit from the tourism industry.

We are developing a Community Garden Project in Altai Village, to help provide a source of fresh vegetables for the local people. When we asked what we could do to say thanks for hosting our trips, the people said 'teach us to grow vegetables'. A 5% contribution from your trip fee is used to fund the project. The short season makes vegetable growing a major challenge, but we are determined to see it succeed!

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