Mongolia horse riding holiday, Altai Taster
Description of Mongolia horse riding holiday, Altai Taster
The rugged Altai Mountains, on the border with China, are remote even by Mongolian standards. This horse riding holiday in Mongolia, with pack horses, takes us deep in to the mountains, far from roads or human habitation. It's not an easy area to reach, but the rewards are worth it.
A few intrepid travelers do make it all the way to Mongolia's western province of Bayan-Ulgii, and some make it to the National Park. But the area we head to is a closed border zone, requiring special permission to enter. After six years of exploring this amazing area we are yet to encountered another foreigner!
The mountains we ride through are a beautiful mix of dense forest, fast-flowing rivers and alpine grasslands. Ibex, elk and wolves still roam here. Nomadic herders tend their flocks in the lower valleys, just as they have done for centuries. In fact these people are part of our local team, so you will have plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in their fascinating lives.
After 10 years trekking in Mongolia we have built up a very special relationship with the local people. A trek with us is like traveling with friends and family!
This trek is suitable for both experienced riders, and those with less experience. However it is a challenging wilderness area so you do need to be fit and active. There is no tourism infrastructure - no guest houses, hot showers (or souvenir-sellers), just wilderness camping. If you are not sure whether this trip is right for you, we are happy to discuss it with you.
We specialise in taking adventurous travelers to the more remote and spectacular regions of Mongolia that the average tourist doesn't venture to.
NOTE: Our September departures include the spectacular Eagle Festival in Ulgii or Sagsai, a celebration of traditional eagle hunting culture and horsemanship. Do chat with us about more details on this special event.
1 Reviews of Mongolia horse riding holiday, Altai Taster
Reviewed on 10 Oct 2018 by Valerie Hayes
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
So many highlights - cantering across valley floors, playing traditional games on horseback, visiting local people, seeing petroglyphs from the Stone and
Bronze ages and of course, visiting the Eagle festival.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
If booking the September trips, bring a lot of warm clothes. Double what you think you might need. Bring some small gifts for visiting local families.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
No word of a lie, one of the best trips I've ever been on - the organisation was top notch, our crew were so warm and welcoming , the scenery is spectacular and the horses were great to ride.
Read the operator's response here:
I'm so glad you had a great time in Mongolia. By late September/October it certainly does start to get cold, but it's worth it! If you survived these temperatures,
you will be fine for our new Siberia trek...We will keep in touch and hopefully see you on a another trek one day. John, company owner.
PlanetIt'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!
PeopleVisiting 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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