“Live like a nomad in a traditional ger camp where the flora, fauna and customs of Mongolia are yours to behold and the structures of the Soviet era lie in stark contrast.”

Highlights

Ulaanbaatar | Sleep in an authentic ger camp | Hot springs | Gobi Desert | Yolyn Am and Khustai National parks | Mongolian barbecues | Ongiin Khiid monastery | optional activities include: horse and camel riding, cultural shows and numerous hiking trails.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Our top tip:
Spend time with nomadic families as they often offer a fascinating insight into life in Mongolia as well as knowing the best spots to observe the local wildlife.
Trip type:
Small group. Max. 15 people. Minimum age 12.
Activity level:
Leisurely-moderate.
Accomm:
3 nights in hotels, 9 in ger camps and 1 family homestay or tent.
Included:
Transport, listed activities, tour leader, local guides.
Meals:
Breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners.
Solos:
Welcome to share multi or twin rooms with same sex traveller.
Vouchers
Not Accepted
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Holiday in Mongolia

Group size: In order to keep the environmental and negative social impact of travel to a minimum, we operate this tour with a maximum of 15 passengers.

Accommodation: The majority of our hotels are small, locally owned and family operated establishments. This tour includes two homestay nights, which will give our travellers an opportunity to experience the Mongolian way of life firsthand. This tour also includes eight nights in a traditional Mongolian ger.

Local guides and operators: By working with local guides and operators, we provide economic benefits directly to the local people and businesses. Our local guides are experts in flora, fauna, history, culture, and provide our travellers with insight into local knowledge.

Tour leaders: Our tour leaders receive special training in low-impact travel and regional conservation issues and projects. They are also provided with a Sustainable Travel Manual. Tour leaders are selected based on their knowledge of, and commitment to sustainable travel. All our tour leaders speak English and have first aid and CPR certification.

Our foundation: Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed our own foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours.

Through this, we support Seva Canada Society, an international non-governmental organization dedicated to the elimination of preventable and treatable blindness. Seva has worked in Nepal and India for 25 years and more recently in Tibet and Tanzania.

Today, nearly 40 million people are blind with ninety percent of the world’s blind living in developing countries. Another 135 million have debilitating low vision. The good news is that most of this blindness can be prevented or cured. Half of the world’s blindness is caused by cataract that is reversible with a 15-minute operation costing $20 - $50 in most developing countries.

Reviews of Holiday in Mongolia

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 15 Aug 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The solar eclipse. Also visiting a nomadic family one night.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Not really applicable as a one-off trip to see solar eclipse and Mongolia along the way. General tips would be Mongolia is a big country with poor infrastructure. Make sure your trip doesn't involve too much driving or you will spend your whole time on a bus and not out seeing things. Covering 400km in one day, while possible, is not pleasant.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes and no. It was run by a Mongolian company on the tour operator’s behalf. Food shopping was done as we went along so the local shops were supported. However there was inadequate supply of drinking water (ie boiled water) so we had to buy a lot of bottled water which has many bad environmental points. Secondly, there was a lot of driving involved in our trip. Most days our drivers would start work at 6.30 and finish well after 9pm (sometimes later if they had to fix the buses).

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I made sure I enjoyed it because I was there. And seeing the solar eclipse was an amazing experience. However I am very disappointed in the tour operator. I don't know whether the fault lies directly with them or the local operator, but of course ultimately it is their responsibility. The itinerary was changed shortly before full payment was due (a flight to the west of Mongolia was removed). Initially this didn't bother me too much - it was replaced with "one long day of driving" and I thought it would be better for the environment. In reality what happened was that we spent 4 extremely long days doing nothing but sitting in the buses to get to the eclipse site, and not stopping at all. And of course, we had similar long days driving back. Other itinerary changes occurred - like the trip was turned into all camping rather than some nights in ger camps and homestays with nomadic families. These latter are things people want to see in Mongolia. In the end these did get put on the itinerary - due to the efforts of our excellent tour leader who went out of his way to rescue the tour.

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for your comments here. The changes to the itinerary were necessary and were applied for logistical reasons. We understand the impact this had on the tour (i.e. long travel days), but with the distances involved we feel there was no choice. We appreciate your comments in relation to the tenting aspect, and we are working to improve the options and variety for any future tours of this kind.

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