EASTERN MONGOLIA BIRDING TOUR

OVERVIEW

It is a dream trip of any birdwatcher that takes you to grassy steppes and wooded hillsides of North Eastern Mongolia. Wide open grasslands, flooded meadows and pools are home to many species such as Upland Buzzard, Amur Falcon, Great Bustard, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Oriental Plover,  Mongolian Lark, Siberian crane, Steppe eagle…  to name just a few. Experience the nomadic culture which seemingly hasn’t changed for many hundreds of years. Our expert guides will ensure your ultimate enjoyment by offering skillful guiding.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Admire stunning landscapes typical to southern Siberia
  • See and photograph rare birds, many of them endangered
  • Overnights in mobile camps and in traditional ger hotels
  • Visit museums and attractions of Ulaanbaatar
  • Learn of lifestyle and mores of Mongolian nomads
| Price range: 1,385 USD - 2,622 USD
| Dates: 2019 , 2020
| Difficulty rating: Moderate

Day 1: Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

You will be picked up by your guide upon arriving at Genghis Khan International airport in Ulaanbaatar and transferred to a comfortable modern hotel. Time permitting we visit a number of small ponds on the outskirts of the city where you can expect to see Demoiselle Cranes, Cinereous Vultures, Ruddy Shelducks and Isabelline Wheatears. We return in time for the tour briefing and introduction to Mongolian bird watching at a welcome dinner.
(Dinner / hotel)

Day 2: Travel to Baldan Bereeven monastery

Early morning departure from UB and in an hour’s driving time stop at a gigantic mounted statue of Genghis Khan, founder of the great Mongol empire. The statue was conceived as the centerpiece of a colossal complex comparable to and in some aspects resembling the Chinese “terracotta warriors”. Take a panoramic view of the surrounding steppe and mountains from an observation deck on the horses head.
We travel further east across open grassland with rolling hills in the background that are soon replaced by mountains covered with pine and cedar forests interrupted by granite outcroppings, a feature typical to the southernmost tip of Siberia. We set a tent camp upon reaching the Baldan Bereeven monastery, once-largest Buddhist center in Eastern Mongolia. Species we can expect to see during travel and at our campsite include Steppe eagle, Upland buzzard, Black Kite, Demoiselle Crane, Ruddy Shelduck, White-naped Crane, Common Crane, Black Grouse, Arctic Loon and a number of smaller forest birds. We talk about the days’ events in the comfort of the tent camp.
(Breakfast, lunch, dinner / tent)

Day 3: Drive to Khurkh valley

Travel further east to Khurkh valley monitoring site designated by Ramsar convention dedicated to preservation of global wetland eco-systems. The valley is a habitat to many rare birds included in the list of Endangered Species as well as the Mongolian Red Book. Out of 5 crane species found here White-naped Crane, Common Crane and Demoiselle Crane nest and summer in high numbers whereas Hooded Cranes can be observed only during spring and fall migration. Siberian Cranes have been reported to spend summers here over the last 3 years. The cultural agenda today includes visiting a massive wall like rock depicting chiseled images of seals of over 300 ancient Mongolian clans as well as some writing.
(Breakfast, lunch, dinner / tent)

Day 4: Bird watching in Khurkh and Khuiten valleys

We travel to Khuiten valley browsing wetlands and the steppe for various waterfowl, wetland birds, waders and raptors including Steppe eagle, Upland Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Black Kite, Pallas’s Fish Eagle. Great Bustard is a common sight in the arable fields that pass alongside.
(Breakfast, lunch, dinner / tent)

Day 5: Drive to Onon river

Without shifting the camp we cross Onon river, largest in NE Mongolia. It flows for 300km within the boundaries of Mongolia before it gives rise to Shilka, a tributary of Amur that eventually empties in to Pacific ocean. Once across Onon we watch birds at a series of small lakes, a nesting ground of Pallas’s Fish Eagle. There is a slim chance of seeing Mandarin Ducks among other more common duck species. After lunch we visit some local nomads at their homes and find out “whats, hows and whys” of the way of life that has not seemingly changed much for centuries. Return to our base camp for dinner and overnight.
(Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tent)

Day 6: Drive to Gun Galuut lake

After an early start we begin a long journey towards to Gun Galuut. The scenery is dominated by wooded hillsides and rocky outcrops. Countless flocks of grazing sheep, goats, horses and cattle herded by nomads and their traditional homes, also known as ger, is a common sight. Gun Galuut literally meaning “deep and with lots of geese” is a few small lakes where Whooper Swans and Swan Geese nest as well as a number of waders. Quite often Stejneger’s White-winged Scoters, Garganey, White-naped Cranes can be spotted here. Overnight today will be in a hotel comprised of traditional felt walled tents. Its relative comfort will be a pleasant surprise after days of camping.
(Breakfast, lunch, dinner, ger camp)

Day 7: Return to UB

Enthusiast may wish to get up at dawn and attempt to see Argali Sheep, the largest sheep in the world. We will have checked on their location with local rangers but it surely will require some luck and patient tracking to spot them. We return to our ger camp in time for breakfast. We then use our last chance to see White-naped Cranes and Demoiselle cranes before driving to Ulaanbaatar. This 2-3 hour journey on tarmac is rather uneventful. Upon arrival settle in your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
(Breakfast, lunch / hotel)

Day 8: Khustai National Park

It is here that in 1993 a small number of last remaining wild horses known as “Przewalski horses" was brought from several European zoos and re-introduced to their historic homeland after they had been extinct for 5 decades. Today is the most successful wild life preservation project ever seen in Mongolia with over 300 wild horses living in wilderness withstanding predators and harsh climate. Impressively, the park is also home to 220 species of birds, 1200 Red deer and 20,000 marmots. On arrival we get a short introduction to the park’s activities before setting out on a wild life watching hike. We can expect to see Przewalski horses, Red deer, marmots and birds including Golden Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Cinereous Vulture, Upland Buzzard, Saker Falcon and various smaller Falconidae. At dinner in the park’s restaurant we talk about our adventures with other likeminded people.
(Breakfast, lunch, dinner /ger camp)

Day 9: Return to UB, optional city visits

2 hour driving brings us back to UB and to our lunch venue located next the country’s largest Cashmere shop. Mongolia produces quarter of the world’s raw cashmere, one of the mainstays of rural economy. Optionally, continue to the Palace-museum of Bogd Khan, showcasing personal relics and luxury items of the last theocratic ruler of Mongolia. Free evening.
(Breakfast, lunch / hotel)

Day 10: Guided city sightseeing tour

Today you will be introduced to highlights of Ulaanbaatar city: the Gandan Temple - city's main Buddhist center, featuring a 26 meter tall gold-plated statue of Lord Buddha, the central city square with a grand memorial complex dedicated to Genghis Khan and the Zaisan Memorial, an elevated hill on the city's edge providing a panoramic view of UB. A show of traditional song and dance, as well as contortion and throat singing will be followed by a splendid good-bye dinner to celebrate our adventure.
(Breakfast, lunch, dinner / hotel)

Day 11: Departure transfer

You will be transferred to airport to start your return journey home.
(Breakfast)

PRICES & DATES

2018 dates Status Available spaces Price
26 Aug - 05 Sep, 2018 2 to guarantee
10% off for 2 first sign ups
11 spaces USD 1,385 - USD 2,622
Pp twin occ. + USD 168 for sgl. occ.
06 Sep - 16 Sep, 2018 2 to guarantee
10% off for 2 first sign ups
11 spaces USD 1,385 - USD 2,622
Pp twin occ. + USD 168 for sgl. occ.
16 Sep - 26 Sep, 2018 2 to guarantee
10% off for 2 first sign ups
11 spaces USD 1,385 - USD 2,622
Pp twin occ. + USD 168 for sgl. occ.
2019 dates Status Available spaces Price
25 May - 04 June, 2019 2 to guarantee
10% off for 2 first sign ups
11 spaces USD 1,385 - USD 2,622
Pp twin occ. + USD 168 for sgl. occ.
04 June - 14 June, 2019 2 to guarantee
10% off for 2 first sign ups
11 spaces USD 1,385 - USD 2,622
Pp twin occ. + USD 168 for sgl. occ.
25 Aug - 04 Sep, 2019 2 to guarantee
10% off for 2 first sign ups
11 spaces USD 1,385 - USD 2,622
Pp twin occ. + USD 168 for sgl. occ.
05 Sep - 15 Sep, 2019 2 to guarantee
10% off for 2 first sign ups
11 spaces USD 1,385 - USD 2,622
Pp twin occ. + USD 168 for sgl. occ.
15 Sep - 25 Sep, 2019 2 to guarantee
10% off for 2 first sign ups
11 spaces USD 1,385 - USD 2,622
Pp twin occ. + USD 168 for sgl. occ.
Price Includes:
  • All accommodation: hotel (4 nights), ger (2 nights), tent (4)
  • Indicated meals & drinking water
  • All visits, sightseeing, national park and permit fees
  • Overland transport (Japanese 4WD vans)
  • Airport transfers
  • English speaking birding guide
Price Excludes:
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional activity fees (camel and horse riding)
  • Meals not indicated
  • Sleeping bags
  • Drinks & Alcohol
  • Gratuities

REVIEWS

Ronald Perlstein, USA

This was a fantastic adventure trip to Eastern Mongolia. We traveled in comfortable 4-wheel drive vans to rural area to see unique wildlife, domestic herds of animals, and the life style of local families. We stayed in a combination of gers and tents. The big surprise was the ability of our tour chef to prepare us outstanding meals that proved to be better that the food at most restaurants. Our guides were very knowledgable about Mongolian history, politics, geography, wild animal species, and nomadic life styles. I would love to do the same trip again.


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