Horse trekking vacation in Mongolia

“Music horse trekking heaven, mingling with nomad tribes roaming Mongolia's majestic mountains, sweeping steppes and lake-dotted highlands.”


Ulaanbaatar | Darkhad Valley | Lake Tsagaan Nuur | Meadow of Ten Lakes | Riding high passes and taiga woodland | Lake Khovsgol

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09 Jun 2019
including domestic flights only
Click here to enquire about or book the 09 Jun 2019 departure
Vacation type
Small group vacations
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, traveling 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 vacation, 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 travelers’ 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.

Make the most of your vacation 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?
Travelers 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 vacation.

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

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“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 travelers 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 travelers!”
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?”
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 travelers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Horse trekking vacation in Mongolia

In Central Asia we have developed unique relationships with many of the semi-nomadic peoples of the region and as tourism is becoming one of the main economical sectors of Mongolia, we are committed to making sure that the tourist economy benefits the local people. We work with Mongolian owned hotels and tourist Ger camps directly – these camps in the countryside hire local staff, creating thousands of employment opportunities and ensuring that money goes directly into the community.

Although the tourist season is limited, this income allows country dwellers enough food and supplies to survive the harsh winters. To put this into perspective; Our drivers earns 250, 000 tugrik for one trip - these wages are equal to the cost of educating one child for a year or to feed his family for 1 month. In each part of the trip we employ local guides in addition to our Western guides, such as Bat-Erdene, Tulga and Munkhbat, which again places funds directly in the pockets of local families.

We train our staff (both local and Western) to be responsible travelers in the countryside and to respect local community and environment. Also we have trainers for Leave No Trace Ethic. For our Mongolian staff we organize training of “Leave No Trace”, a program supported by the Mongolian Tour Guides Association.

When you take one of our trips, we make a contribution to “Carbon Clear” – an organisation who work with hundreds of organisations to measure their carbon footprint and reduce their carbon emissions.

We also support several NGOs around the world such as the Hope Foundation, A-Cet and Adopt-A-Minefield, which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit.

2 Reviews of Horse trekking vacation in Mongolia

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 28 Jun 2015 by

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

Everything! It was a marvelous adventure with a good mix of environments. The views across the plains were spectacular. So was riding along the rivers and lake-side. Visiting the reindeer people and shaman was very special. And the flowers, many many flowers. And nature (like the dancing cranes we saw).

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

It's a long ride (we calculated 310 km) on sometimes challenging terrain, but despite that there is no need to be super-competent as a rider. Just believe in yourself, wear adequate butt-protection (I can recommend padded cycling shorts under good jodhpurs!) and the powerhouse horses and skilled horse wranglers will do the rest! Oh, and forget anything about UK-style rising trot techniques. These horse trot, slowly, quickly, and fast (little tendency to canter!) and all the while you sit in the saddle or a little raised. The sometimes bumpy ride
takes getting used to but it's how they ride over there! Be sure to have truly waterproof gear. We rode in one storm and I was grateful to have taken my riding coat, but wished I had taken some waterproof over-trousers too.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The reindeer people's camp was the only place we stopped to purchase artifacts. In general these were of an "OK" level of quality for groups like ours. However I felt that there was an opportunity to in certain ways improve the quality of the items. There is a balance between authenticity and "sellability". I think that there is room for giving guidance on enhancing certain aspects of product quality (e.g. by "knowing your customer") while still retaining authenticity.

In UB we visited the Winter Palace. The charge of 50,000 (over 25 dollars!) for taking photos was absurdly high and I didn't buy that option. I would recommend that the guardians should be advised to significantly reduce this charge (absolute maximum 20,000, but better 10,000) on the basis that lots of small amounts builds up to significantly more than NO high amounts!! I.e. they would get some income rather than none! More money would contribute to conservation efforts.

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

An intense and highly enjoyable experience. Yes, it was tough at times, but no tougher than I had envisaged as an adventure-style vacation (I didn't select the tour to be taken around in luxurious comfort!). It was like nothing I had done or seen before, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone with an adventurous spirit and no need for luxury!

Reviewed on 20 Jul 2012 by

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

On the day that we rode to the reindeer people, we went up, and down, a mountain covered with the most delicate pine trees, and the forest floor was carpeted with flowers. The silence was absolute, the ground muddy and boggy, with tree roots and loose stones everywhere. The horses didn't put a foot wrong, and the wonderful pack horses amazingly wound their way between the trees without once bumping their enormous packs. It was like being in Fairyland.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take your own water bottle holders.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


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

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