Kazakh eagle hunters

Mongolia Eagle Festival: Steppes, Deserts & Nomads Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Mongolia
Programmes:
Culture
Trip Code:
ACME
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

20 Days Flight Inclusive
18 Days Land only
Ages: 18+

Trip Overview

Rolling steppe make way to stark desert; small nomadic ger camps pepper this vast land where camels and goats are herded on horseback, fermented mare’s milk is the tipple of choice, sand dunes are known to ‘sing’ and the first intact dinosaur eggs were found. Genghis Khan went forth from here on horseback to conquer the biggest land empire in history and, to this day, Buddhist and Animist traditions mix. We travel through steppe, mountains and the Gobi desert exploring the nature and culture of this fascinating, yet little known country before making our way to the far western reaches to visit the eagle festival, celebrating the fascinating past time of hunting with eagles and the strong connection the Mongolian people have with their animals and land.

This departure of the Eagle Festival tour visits Khustain Nuruu N. P. at the start of the trip.

At a Glance

  • 5 nights hotels, all en suite and 12 nights ger camp with shared facilities
  • Normally 4 to 16, plus local leader, Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by 4WD, bus and internal flights
  • This deparure visits Khustain Nuruu N. P. at the start of the trip

Trip Highlights

  • Attend the Eagle Festival in the remote Altai Mountains
  • Explore Mongolia's vast wilderness stepp and Gobi Desert
  • Experience traditional nomadic culture

Is This Trip for You?

Mongolia is 6.5 times larger than the UK but with a population 21 times smaller. Understandably this means that large tracts of the country do not have much infrastructure. Much of our time is spent in areas where roads are barely tracks through the landscape. On this trip we go further into the wilderness than the average visitor to Mongolia and whilst this allows us to travel through stunning parts of the country, encountering few people other than the odd nomad, it does mean that some days involve long and bumpy drives. These drives are balanced out with some downtime to relax and just take in the incredible surroundings or offer, with the option of going for a walk or even, at times a horse or camel ride. There are some scheduled hikes, looking for wild Takhi horses, visiting the Singing sand dunes, Vulture canyon or the Flaming cliffs, for instance. These are relatively short, no more than one or two hours on mostly flat or undulating terrain. The Flaming Cliffs hike may not be recommended if you have an acute fear of heights and can involve some scrambling, however, it’s possible to still enjoy great views of the cliffs and opt out of the walk. The climate in central Mongolia is generally pleasant in summer when the trip runs. In the Gobi Desert, however, temperatures can get well above 30’C, even approaching 40’C. This is a trip that goes off the ‘tourist trail’ and comes to the encounter of local nomads. It takes us through spectacular and diverse wilderness and gives us an insight into a fascinating country unlike any other.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
18
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Ulaanbaatar.

    The group flight is scheduled to arrive in Ulaanbaatar this morning. The tour starts at our hotel in the city centre. This afternoon/evening there will be a welcome briefing in the hotel, followed by a group welcome dinner. 

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Ulaanbaatar sightseeing.

    We have the whole day to discover Ulaanbaatar. Our sightseeing tour will include a visit to Zaisan Hill where we'll see the memorial painting which honours allied Mongolia and Soviet soldiers who fought in World War II. We'll also visit the Bogd Khaan Winter Palace Museum, which houses one of the largest collections in the country and we'll go on a cashmere factory tour.

    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Transfer to Khustain Nuruu N.P trek to see wild horses.

    In the morning we head west out of Ulaanbaatar towards Karakorum, making a detour to the KhustainNuruu National Park, 2 hours west of UlaanBaatar. KhustainNuruu is famous for the re-introduction of Mongolia's wild horse. The Takhi Horse or Przewalski's horse was once native to Mongolia and almost became extinct earlier this century, though thanks to the efforts of several Mongolian and international organizations, these magnificent wild horses now roam once again on the steppes of KhustainNuruu National Park. We will visit the Project Information Centre and take a guided hike to see the wild horses before spending our first night in a traditional Mongolian Ger.
    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Drive to Little Gobi Desert; visit Khogno Khan Mountain; opportunity for bird and wildlife watching.

    After breakfast we continue our journey westwards towards Karakorum along an asphalt road. Today's destination, the Mongol Els or 'Little Gobi Desert' as it is known, is a unique belt of sand dunes in the steppe. Arriving at lunchtime, we check into a nearby ger camp and after lunch head out to explore the surrounding region. It is an incredible sight to witness the Bactrian camels wandering the desert dunes whilst horses graze on the green steppe nearby. We will also visit Mt Khogno Khan, the small temple at its base. This region is also renowned for its birdlife, including steppe eagles. Mt Khogno Khan offers a great spot for bird watching where we will stay for a while before we return to camp in the late afternoon.
    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 5

    Karakorum; visit Erdene Zuu Monastery.

    We start the day with a (90km) transfer to the 13th century capital of the Mongol Empire - Karakorum. Karakorum was established by Ogedei Khan and remained the Mongols power base until Khublai Khan established Beijing as the capital. Here we will visit the Erdene Zuu Monastery (meaning Hundred Treasures), this is the largest Monastery in Mongolia, built in 1586 under the direction of Abtai Khan on the ruins of the ancient capital. Much of the monastery was destroyed during Stalin's purges of the 1930's but an impressive wall with 108 stupas and a number of temples still remain.
    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    Transfer to Arvaikheer via Shankh Monastery and explore the museum.

    We drive on a paved road to Arvaikheer, the capital of Ovorkhangai Aimag and on the northern edge of the Gobi. On the way to Arvaikheer we visit Shankh Monastery, once the home of the great Mongolian theorist Zanabazar. We should arrive at Arvaikheer during the middle of the afternoon and check into our hotel. In the afternoon there will be time to visit the local museum, which contains nature collections, stone figures and Turkic scripts.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 7

    Bayan Gobi via Mt Ikh Bogd.

    After an early breakfast we start towards Orog Lake via Bayanteegsoum, a coal-mining centre. Passing over Taats River, the majestic Ikh Bogd Mountain should be visible in the distance, the highest mountain in the Gobi Altai Mountain Range. We stop for a picnic lunch and then skirt the eastern edge of Mt Ikh Bogd, travelling a further 80km southwest to the Gobi Camels Ger Camp where we spend the night.
    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    Explore the region of Bayan Gobi.

    We start our journey southwards with a short drive (2-3 hours) to the Bayan Mountain Range to view petroglyphs (Rock Art), called Bichigt Khad. The rock inscriptions and pictures here date back to 3000 BC; we will see paintings including depictions of ibex, argali and men riding horses. It is possible to see some of these from the vehicles (better so with binoculars) but for those who wish, it is also possible to hike up to the cliffs for closer inspection of these Bronze Age works of art (the main cliff is a steep climb for 50-60m and walking poles are required so we usually visit the smaller cliff, which is more accessible). Our journey then continues through classic Gobi desert scenery of flat stony plains mixed with small rocky outcrops and patches of sand across the Khatan Suudal Steppe. We stop for a picnic lunch on the way, with views of the Bogd Mountain to the north. After lunch we head off to our ger camp in the Kongoriin Els sand dunes and should arrive there in the late afternoon.

    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 9

    Visit the singing sand dunes, the largest dunes in Mongolia.

    Today we have a full day to explore the sand dunes and surrounding area. The Khongoriin Els stretch for 200km and reach heights of 300 meters in places. They are known as the 'Singing Dunes' because of the beautiful sound that resonates through the dunes on a windy day. The South Gobi has 100,000 camels, typically used by herders to transport their gers. We will take the opportunity today to visit a camel breeding family and get a glimpse of the way of life of the nomadic herders of these parts.
    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 10

    Travel through rocky plains of Gobi Gurvansaikhan N.P.

    This morning we drive through the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park. Gobi Gurvansaikhan means 'Three Beauties of the Gobi' and this range marks the eastern end of the Gobi Altai mountain range. The park's landscape is extremely varied, with rocky and sandy desert plains, precipitous cliffs, ravines, salt pans and oases. We visit a spectacular natural sight of this region - Yolyn Am. Yolyn Am means Vulture's Mouth and is a canyon so deep and narrow that even in the height of summer winter ice can remain on the valley floor. This region is also renowned for the diversity of its wildlife and many endangered species can be found here, including Khulan, Ibex, Argali and Snow Leopard. We explore the canyon before transferring to a nearby ger camp for dinner and overnight.
    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 11

    Hiking around the Flaming Cliffs of Bayanzag.

    Today we make a short drive to Bayanzag (70 km) known as the Flaming cliffs and hike amongst colourful sands of red, yellow and orange. Bayanzag is a world-renowned dinosaur fossil exploration site, discovered in the 1920s by Mongolian and American Palaeontologists. We are free to explore the region and may even be lucky enough to spot dinosaur fossils. After a picnic lunch we head to our camp for the afternoon.
    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 12

    Morning flight to Ulaabaatar; afternoon in Terelj National park.

    After breakfast we transfer to the airport for the mid-morning flight to Ulaanbaatar (please note that we may be flying at a different time, possibly even the evening before depending on the airline's changeable schedules). Once back in UB we transfer to the Terelj National Park, here there are lots of things to see and we will spend the day exploring the fascinating rock formations, visiting the meditation temple and strolling through the green meadows carpeted with wild flowers. After lunch at our camp we will make a short trip to visit a local nomadic family to see how they live and hear about the nomadic way of life, here we will also enjoy a tasting experience of homemade dairy products, such as yoghurt, cheese, curds and traditional salty milk tea.
    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 13

    Ulaanbaatar via Genghis Khaan Statue.

    After breakfast we drive to the giant Chinggis Khan Statue, standing at 40 meters tall and made of stainless steel it is quite a sight! Here we have some time to fully explore the statue and surrounding area before making our way back to Ulaanbaatar where we have the option to go and see a live performance of traditional Mongolian song and dance. Performed by the world famous Tumen Ekh dance troupe, we will see throat singers, contortionists and Tsam dancers.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 14

    Fly to Olgii; visit a nomadic Kazakh village.

    In the morning we fly to Olgii in western Mongolia, from where we drive off-road for about an hour to Sagsai village. Here we visit the home of the Kazakh people; there will be plenty to see and do. We spend the day seeing how they go about daily life, taking care of and milking the cows, goats and sheep and we may even get to help process the dairy products. We will also be able to sample their traditional food and taste home-made yak cheese and yogurt. This is a great opportunity to explore the real way of living like a nomadic family and to personally experience their friendliness and hospitality. In the afternoon we return to Olgii and stay overnight at Ger Camp.
    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 15

    Eagle festival.

    Today we attend the Eagle festival. For the first day of the festival, we will see the competition for the best Kazakh costume, horse racing and archery. In the evening we will see a cultural performance in the local theatre.
    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 16

    Another day at the Eagle Festival

    Today we have another chance to witness the competitions and events of the Eagle festival. We will be able to see a demonstration from the eagles and their hunters, a camel race and the lively competition of Kukhbar. Kukhbar is essentially a fighting match on horseback where two riders have to fight over a goat skin each trying to claim possession of it. After enjoying the festivities we return to camp for dinner.
    Ger Camp

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 17

    Fly to Ulaanbaatar; free time in the city.

    After breakfast we transfer to the airport for the mid-morning flight to UlaanBaatar, arriving in the nation's capital at midday. We transfer to the hotel and freshen up before a light lunch. This afternoon is free for last minute sightseeing or souvenir shopping around UB - cashmere, leather goods and traditional handicrafts are all good options and the guide will recommend the best places to go for these. Night owls may want to sample the nightlife of UlaanBaatar!
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 18

    End Ulaanbaataar.

    After breakfast the trip ends in Ulaanbaatar.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

5 nights hotels, all en suite and 12 nights ger camp with shared facilities

We use hotels in Ulaanbaatar and Arvaikheer and ger camps elsewhere. Gers are similar to yurts, generally airy and comfortable with beds and, normally, a central wood-burning stove (though in the summer the stoves are not normally needed). The bathrooms are shared and all have hot water (however due to the remoteness of the camps this can, at times be erratic). Many of the ger camps now have 24hr electricity in the ger itself for charging batteries. If there is no charging facility inside the ger itself then there are charging facilities in the common area (though this may during limited periods of the day only when the generator is turned on). Accommodation at the eagle festival will be four people per ger, for the rest of the camps it will be two people per ger and hotels will be on a twin share basis too. Due to the remoteness of Ulgii, there is a limited choice of accommodation and the ger camps here are more basic than elsewhere. There may also be rare occasions when a single cannot be guaranteed in a particular ger camp.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £520.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 15 lunches and 16 dinners included.

Traditional Mongolian diets are very meat and dairy heavy. Whilst there will be opportunities to try some of these products such as dry-curd and fermented mare’s milk, the meals provided in the ger camps are generally western meals, at times with an Asian influence. There will normally be some form of soup and salad as well as a main course and desert. Vegetarians are generally well catered for, if you are vegetarian or have other dietary requirements please make sure to inform us in advance. Breakfasts can vary from place to place, some are buffet style whilst others are set, normally cereal, bread and possibly a hot dish will be provided. On some days a pack lunch will be provided, this is often still a proper meal (though without the soup). Water is provided and will generally be from 5L water-containers so make sure to bring a water bottle to decant into. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer, vodka and (most of the time) wine are available to buy at the ger camps. There is opportunity to buy snacks in Ulaanbaatar and on a couple other occasions along the way when we drive through towns or villages.

Transportation

We travel around in a convoy of 4WD vehicles as we make our way around central Mongolia and the Gobi Desert. These are generally 6 seater (including the driver) vehicle but we normally will use them for 4 passengers (plus the driver). For journeys around Ulgii we use Russian vans, which although less comfortable than the vehicles used elsewhere on the trip, are more durable on the off-road sections. Driving in the wilderness can be hard going on the vehicles and they sometimes may get a puncture or may need to be cooled down from overheating so pelase come with an open mind. We may also use a coach for getting around Ulaabaatar and Terelj National Park. We also use internal flight.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

September/October is very much shoulder season in Mongolia. Temperatures can vary quite widely from very hot to freezing and you should pack for both hot and cold weather as you’ll be in a t-shirt one minute and a down jacket the next. This is possibly the best time to visit the Gobi Desert as the temperatures cool down and the crowds have mostly gone. In Olgii, where the Eagle Festival takes place, the weather is likely to be cold with temperatures averaging 7’C.

Weather Charts

Ulaanbaator

Ulaanbaator

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 20 days

The group flight from London departs two days before Day 1 of the itinerary. There is no same day connection from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar at this time of year. The group flights, therefore, involve an overnight flight from London to Beijing, followed by a hotel night in Beijing (the hotel is provided by the airline and you will be issued with a transit visa, at the discretion of the airport immigration), and an onward flight to Ulaanbaatar the next day.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Air China (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 18 days starting and ending in Ulaanbaatar 

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Ulaanbaatar in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

In the unlikely event of any of your luggage being misplaced or damaged, a Property Irregularity Report (PIR) must be filed with the appropriate airline if you subsequently wish to make a claim against the airline or on your travel insurance. This must be done at the airport where your baggage arrived, or should have arrived.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it.

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight - please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

The cost of a taxi is likely to be about £16 (approx. US$25) should you decide to make your way independently.

 

Location start:
Ulaanbaatar
Location end:
Ulaanbaatar

What to Take

Essential Equipment

In addition to your 'normal' daily clothes, you will need the following essential items:

Sunhat
Sunglasses
Strong sunblock cream

Fleece and down jacket

gloves and hat

Good mosquito repellent
Rain jacket
Walking shoes or boots are essential
A water bottle

torch / headtorch
warm sleepwear (the nights in the camps gets cold)

Small gifts from home for local herders are a nice touch; ideal gifts include pictures from home, pictures of family, children's presents (colouring‐in books and pencils etc), as well as anything practical for home, sewing kits etc (not knives)

Binoculars are recommended for Eagle festival departures

Bedding, including blankets and clean sheets, are provided at the ger camps.

At time of writing the standard weight limit for hold baggage on the recommended international carrier for this trip is 20kg. We recommend packing only one piece of checked baggage.

Internal flights are subject to a weight limit of 10kg for checked-in luggage and 5kg for hand luggage, it's possible to pay for extra weight (US$2/kg).

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure.

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

Internal Flights Weight Limit

10kg (checked in luggage) + 5kg (hand luggage)

Eagle Festival, Altai Mountains

Practical Information

Passport

Mongolia

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Mongolia

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects. Almost all nationalities, including British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand, require a single entry visa for Mongolia. If you think you may be exempt you must check requirements with your local authorities or your agent. The current cost of a visa for British Citizens is £50 and further information can be found here. American passport holders are offered 30 days visa-free entry to Mongolia on presentation of a valid passport at the time of entry. Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

For assistance with obtaining visas please call Travcour on 020 8543 1846 or visit their website: http://www.travcour.com/page/tour-packs/exodus.php

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Mongolia

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Mongolia's Timezone:
Asia/Ulaanbaatar +08 (GMT +08:00)

Electricity

Mongolia's Electricity:

220 Volts. Plug types C & E; establishments often take two round pin plugs.

Mongolia uses 2-pin plugs similar to continental Europe. There is electricity available for chargine most nights, often in the room or ger itself but sometimes in the dining ger only.

Money

Mongolia's Currency

The national currency of Mongolia is the Mongolian Tughrik (MNT), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 3,370 to the GBP and 2,560 to the USD.

ATM Availability

There are a number of ATMs, including in the hotel we normally use in Ulaanbaatar. Credit and Debit cards can also be used in various shops, hotels and restaurants in Ulaanbaatar, though not in small shops in smaller towns and villages or at some souvenir stands.

Optional Excursions 


Theatre show in UB: US$10

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

An extra US$150 should be budgeted for incidental expenses such as laundry, telephone and excursions into the nightlife of Ulaanbaatar. Cashmere, leather products, carpets, woodcarvings, watercolour paintings and traditional Mongolian dolls all make great souvenirs - US$100 is a modest souvenir budget. Baggage allowance on domestic flights (including both checked and carry-on) is small - 10kg (checked in) +5kg (hand luggage) - and excess baggage charges are US$2 per kg, so light packing would be advantageous.

Tipping

Tipping is at your discretion, but is customary in Mongolia and has become standard for tourism. We have found that a tip kitty is the easiest way to ensure that the correct levels are given out. This will include tips for local staff at the camps, hotels and airports as well as your driver. Your leader will advise the amount, which will depend on the size of the group. You should budget around US$75-100 for this.


This tip kitty will not include the tip for your leader, which is discretionary, though USD30-50 is common.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

Important Notes

In line with our ‘book and travel with confidence’ promise which allows you to cancel free of charge up to 42 days prior to departure, or transfer to another trip free of charge up to 21 days prior to your trip starting in country, please be aware that this excludes ‘irrecoverable costs’. Details can be found here: https://www.exodus.co.uk/about-exodus/exodus-booking-conditions.

For this trip, the irrecoverable costs related to in-country operations are outlined below, if booking flight inclusive your sales agent will confirm the terms related to your international flights at the time of booking.

Domestic Flights x 3: GBP430 / USD530 / EUR461 / CAD695 / AUD742 per person.
Accommodation: GBP81 / USD100 / EUR87 / CAD131 / AUD140 per person.

Costs are accurate at the time of writing in September 2020.

If you need to cancel your trip because you or a member of your party is diagnosed with COVID-19 or has received a request from the Government to self-isolate, you will receive a full refund less these irrecoverable costs.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.