The East Gobi
Ikh Nart Nature Reserve in the East Gobi.
A rocky plateau that is habitat to Argali Sheep and Siberian Ibex. Rich in history and archaeology.
Ride or walk supported by camel carts caravan to our private camp in the heart of the reserve. An intimate and very unique Gobi experience.
PRICE On request
SEASON June to September
TRIP TYPE Place-based Experience
ACCOMMODATION Ikh Nart Ger Camp and Private 360° Camp
ACTIVITIES Wildlife, birding, hiking, horse and camel riding
DURATION 3-4 days ex-Ulaanbaatar
Our East Gobi experiences begin with a drive southeast out from Ulan Bator. Along the Trans-Siberian Railway line. You will arrive at the Ikh Nart upland and spend the first night at Ikh Nart Wilderness Camp. The following morning we set out with camel carts to our private 360° camp in the heart of the reserve. It is a 13 km as the crow flies. I.e. a full day walk. You can also mountain bike, ride camel or horse. You can sit on a cart as well.
The nature reserve is home to an estimated 500-700 Argali Sheep (Ovis ammon) and 100-200 Siberian Ibex (Capra sibirica). While not guaranteed there is a very good chance of seeing both species. We spend the days looking for wildlife (by Landcruiser support, on foot or in the saddle) as well as exploring the history and archaeology of the reserve: recently whistling arrows were found here embedded in the rocks. There are ancient graves and petroglyphs. Its a rich and unique landscape with an incredible story to tell.
We would love to tailor a custom trip to the East Gobi for you
Ulaanbaatar to East Gobi, by train
Board the train for the 6 hour journey into the Gobi (Dornogobi Province) on the Trans-Mongolian Railway. The gradual transformation between treeless steppes grasslands (prairies) and the drier Gobi is apparent as we approach Choir. Disembark at a tiny railway station in the middle of the Gobi steppes and transferred by vehicle the last 40km to Ikh Nart. Nomadic Journeys ‘Red Rock’ Ger Camp.
Private 360° camp in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve
Set out with camel-carts to our private camp. Its about an 8 km or 2 hour walk, you can sit on the cart, walk, or horse ride. We spend the days looking for wildlife (on foot or in the saddle) accompanied by a local guide, and exploring the history and archaeology of the reserve: recently whistling arrows were found here embedded in the rocks. There are ancient graves and petroglyphs. You are welcome to try camel riding. Evenings can be spent in a cozy ger or around the campfire: the stars on a clear Gobi night are incredible.
Return to Ulaanbaatar, or onward travel
Returning to Ulaanbaatar via the tarmac road, we can detour first to the site of a major dinosaur fossil find [Ap need to remember name of place]. If we are lucky we might also see Mongolian gazelles on our way. From Ikh Nart you can also choose to continue on to our Eastern Steppes journey or deeper into the Gobi.
This is a moderately paced trip, making good use of non-vehicle transport for much of the trip. The train journey is just over 6 hours, while the driving time back to Ulaanbaatar is around 5 hours.
Optional activities can include day hikes, horse riding, camel riding, length can be tailored to your fitness..
- All overnight accommodation outside of Ulaanbaatar.
- All transport and activities as per itinerary.
- All meals outside Ulaanbaatar.
- Camp entourage including cook and guide.
- National Park entry fee.
- Air or train tickets to/from Mongolia.
- Hotels in Ulaanbaatar.
This East Gobi experience is an ideal stand-alone get-away from Ulaanbaatar or short excursion from the Trans-Mongolian train en route between China and Mongolia. It can also be combined with our other destinations and journeys to provide contrasting experiences of Mongolia’s diverse landscapes.
Our trips can be customized and combined in a modular fashion. Your stay in Ulaanbaatar will be quoted separately, allowing you the choice of hotels and experiences matching your entries and exits in our capital.
All Ulaanbaatar packages 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 Ulaanbaatar guest relations team;
Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve is a community reserve where locals have partnered with the Denver Zoo Foundation, the Mongolian Academy of Sciences and Nomadic Journeys for research and the conservation of the Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Plateau.
Nomadic Journeys have been an active partner and supporter since the inception of the reserve in 1996 and are the only camp and tour operator within the reserve.
On this trip, we spend one or two nights at IkhNart Wilderness Camp on the way to or returning from your private 360° camp. 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.