Khan Khentii & East Gobi

Jalman Meadows and Khentii Wilderness Experience

A very unique wilderness experience. Traveling on foot or horseback supported by a yak cart caravan into the forested wilds, with meandering rivers, on the edge of the Siberian taiga. Choose the pace of the nomad. Continue in the opposite direction at the East Gobi biome, and its wildlife-rich maze of rock formations. Enjoy your own private camp, sleeping in cozy Mongolian gers, in a wild amazing 360° landscape.

PRICE              On request

SEASON          June to September

TRIP TYPE      Place-based Experience

ACCOMMODATION     Private 360° Camp

ACTIVITIES                    Day hikes, meet nomads.  Panoramic views. Addtl horse and camel rides

DURATION                    10days ex-Ulan Bator

This experience takes us into the Khan Khentii. Partly the remote parts of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park and a strictly protected area of taiga forest and mountains, that extends up to the Russian border – Siberia. The southern edge of the Khentii is the transition from steppe to forests, creating a beautiful landscape of wildflower meadows, larch and birch woodlands. Ikh Nart Nature Reserve in East Gobi is an area of many migrating nomads and one of the most wildlife-rich parts of the Gobi.

The Khentii is habitat for Wolves, Lynx, Brown Bear, Wapiti Deer, Moose, and Wild Boar, although admittedly these are hard to see during the summer, there will be tracks and signs. Birdlife is plentiful, from Azure Tits, Steppe Eagles, and Ural Owls. Ikh Nart Nature Reserve is the habitat of thousands of Argali Sheep and a few hundred Siberian Ibex. It has the densest population of the biggest raptor of all Eurasia, the Cinereous Vulture, with its giant nests at low elevation.

We would love to tailor a custom trip for you

The Details

Suggested Itinerary

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1-2


On the arrival day, to orient yourself we suggest a stroll on to central Sukhbaatar Square. The square is flanked by state buildings from the mid Soviet Era, and contains statues of Genghis Khan (seated) and Damdin Sukhbaatar (on horseback). A full day of explorations of Ulan Bator. The National Museum of Mongolia to admire its ethnographic collections of nomadic culture and examine the history which led to the imperial era of Genghis Khan. The Gandan Monastery, the busiest Buddhist site in Mongolia. Mongols share a strong religious affinity with Tibet, and the Dalai Lama as its supreme leader. The Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan.

Day 3


Setting out early, we will depart the city eastwards, making a brief stop at the Genghis Khan Monument, the world’s largest equestrian statue, just under an hour into our journey. Eventually, all power lines, houses and fences disappear as we enter a vast steppe valley serving as the summer pastures for local nomads. Crossing a forested ridge at the Zamt Pass, on the first of the Khentii hills, you might spot rare birds such as the black-billed capercaillie. Eventually, we will wind our way down through the mountains to your secluded 360° Wilderness Ger Camp, set remotely in pristine landscape. Here you will enjoy a hearty dinner and recharge for the adventure to come.

Day 4-5


One of the days, we will load all luggage and provisions onto yak carts, your gers (yurts) included, and prepare to trek to our next location. In so doing, you will witness how these nomadic homesteads, unchanged for millennia, are efficiently dismantled and rebuilt. With the yaks loaded we will strike out for our next secluded camp location, in a steppe valley surrounded by Khentii hills carpeted in larch and birch forests. Here in the fertile southern reaches of Khan Khentii, herdsmen tend their livestock and adhere to a way of life essentially unchanged since the time of Genghis Khan. On the other day, we will enjoy stunning panoramic views of the forested hills and the grassland valleys from up on the ridges at Zaraa Tolgoi. Relaxing with a picnic lunch. Meandering rivers cut through the meadows and steppe valleys. The return hike back to camp will complete the loop.

Day 6


After breakfast, your luggage will be once again loaded on to yak carts caravan for the journey to a remote airstrip upstream from Bosgo Bridge. You may choose to walk beside the caravan or ride a horse. Your Cessna Caravan aircraft, arriving from Ulan Bator, will whisk you up and over the emerald green Upper Tuul River Valley, flying for roughly an hour into the East Gobi Desert biome, before landing in treeless Gobi steppe amid the rocky landscape of the Ikh Nart uplands. On arrival, your luggage will be transferred from plane to waiting camel caravan, for the final short transfer to Ikh Nart Rocks Ger Camp, 1½ kilometres distant.

Day 7-8


In the morning we will move camps, traveling 13km westwards to a pristine pitch in an isolated section of the reserve. To do so, you can travel by jeep, camel or on foot. Jeep permits wider exploration of the reserve on the route, whereas by camel or on foot will require the better part of a day to navigate through the other-worldly landscape of granite rock formations, many looming as high as multistory buildings. Rich in wildlife, Ikh Nart’s 66,000 hectares of grassland and semi-desert steppe support more than six hundred Argali sheep, a Gobi subspecies of the world’s largest wild sheep. You might encounter Siberian Ibex and many bird species including enormous cinereous vultures and graceful lesser kestrels, the subjects of ongoing scientific study here. Your guide can also lead you to a fascinating range of archaeological and historical sites from various eras, including rock petroglyphs, ancient burial sites and temple ruins. You’ll probably encounter local herding families, hardy and hospitable Gobi herders who frequently migrate in and out of the area with their livestock.

Day 9-10


After breakfast we will drive 80km north to the small town of Choir and prepare to catch the overnight train into China, which rumbles out of the small station at 11:37am twice per week. By morning, you will have crossed the border and already be in China. Two hours before arriving in Beijing, the train skirts its way through the Great Wall, the world’s largest monument to the perpetual incompatibilities between pastoral and sedentary peoples. The train will arrive at Beijing Railway Station, in the heart of the Chinese capital, at 2:27pm. Alternatively, you may wish to drive to Ulan Bator and stay the night at a hotel before departing the capital the next day by plane or train.

Adventure Level

Khan Khentii and East Gobi is our most flexible trip option, concerning both cost and adding trip destinations. You may arrive from China by overnight train directly to Choir, i.e. without the need having to first o to Ulan Bator. Although this trip is off the beaten track, it is a complete Mongolia trip. It is moreover the most flexible of our trip options for price options.


What’s Included


  • All overnight accommodations while in Mongolia.
  • All transport and activities as per itinerary.
  • A one hour private Cessna Caravan charter flight.
  • All meals outside Ulaanbaatar.
  • Camp entourage including cook, camp master, and guide.
  • National Park entry fee.

Not Included

  • Air or train tickets to/from Mongolia.
  • Lunches and dinners in Ulan Bator.
  • Laundry.
  • Visas.
Optional Extras

Customization Options

With sufficiently early bookings we can offer charter flights by Cessna Caravan bush plane (max 8 people) between all locations on the itinerary, taking off and landing at private remote airstrips. You may request a quote for any or all of the trip segments. It’s also possible to drive between Khan Khentii and Ikh Nart (a full day) instead of fly.
For a longer stay in Mongolia, you may wish to consider adding 3 to 4 days. If you wish to visit the more famous ‘postcard Gobi’ with its iconic sites (that attract more travelers) you may add South Gobi to this trip, or switch the East Gobi section of this itinerary to South Gobi, and stay at Three Camel Lodge near Bayanzag (Flaming Cliffs).

Ulan Bator Arrangements

Our trips can be customized and combined in a modular fashion. Your stay in Ulaanbaatar can be quoted separately, allowing you the choice of hotels and experiences matching your entries and exits in our capital.
All Ulan Bator services include:

  • private chauffeur service to and from the airport at the start and end of your trip;
  • city guide and private driver available as required;
  • the services of our Ulan Bator guest relations team;

This journey requires a better than average level of fitness, although nothing compared to a Himalayan trek! it is fine to opt-out of the more strenuous hikes or rides and simply stroll along beside the yak carts caravan. Where more challenging hikes are involved, it’s also possible to split the small groups into two in order to cater to different fitness levels.

In the vicinity of Jalman Meadows on the Upper Tuul River, we have a good number of obedient and very ridable horses, a safer prospect than trying to ride elsewhere in Mongolia. If you are able to sit comfortably in the saddle you may add horse-riding to your itinerary; we will provide an experienced horse wrangler. If your group includes riders and non-riders, we can split the group accordingly for daytime activities. Check that your personal travel insurance can cover horse riding activity.

Charter Flights

With sufficiently early bookings we can offer charter flights by Cessna Caravan bush plane (max 8 people) between all locations on the itinerary, taking off and landing at private remote airstrips. You may request a quote for any or all of the trip segments. It’s also possible to drive between Khan Khentii and Ikh Nart (a full day) instead of fly.

Featured Accommodation

On this trip, we spend one night at Ikh Nart Wilderness Camp at Ikh Nart on the way to or returning from your private 360° camps. This is a well-appointed low impact ger camp with no permanent structures.

Bedrooms, dining room, and even hot shower are all housed in traditional Mongolian gers. At the end of the season, the camp is fully dismantled for the winter and re-erected the following spring.

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