MONGOLIA: KHÖVSGÖL ADVENTURE


FACTS

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++ The adventure of adventures ++
++ Three weeks far from civilisation in the northernmost corner of Mongolia – two of them paddling on one of the biggest lakes of Asia ++
++ 300 km (170 NM) of kayak camping and adventure ++

CHF 2790 *
* Our service is limited to the two-week kayak tour. In addition, 1200 USD are due for hotels, transport and meals, which must be paid separately to our Mongolian partner.

Surcharge if fewer than 4 people take part: CHF 500

Like all our programs, this tour is NOT a package tour.


LEVEL: GREEN
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CANCELLED 2022, PLEASE CONTACT US FOR DATES

DETAILS

    • Overview
      The adventure of adventures in the remote far north of Mongolia. Three weeks of travel – 14 days of paddling, wild camping and that expedition feeling in one of the wildest and most beautiful areas in northern Asia.

      The crystal clear, 2-million-year-old Lake Khövsgöl (or “Khövsgöl Sea”, as many Mongolians respectfully refer to this very special, particularly venerated body of water), is strictly protected and is far and away the largest drinking water reservoir in Mongolia. It contains around 0.1% of the world's fresh water. The lake is some 1,600 m above sea level, and over its northern and western shores tower the snow-covered peaks of the eastern Sayan mountains, home to bears, wolves, and one of the last populations of snow leopards in Asia. On the somewhat flatter eastern side of the lake, the landscape alternates between high steppe valleys and thick forest. A few scattered nomads use this area for their summer pasture, where they mainly graze their yaks. On the western side, only abandoned winter camps are to be found, for the most part. In the summer, this area is almost entirely deserted.

      On our 300 km (170 NM) circuit of the lake which, out of respect for Mongolian custom, we will travel clockwise, we will only pass one permanent settlement: the remote and peaceful border settlement of Khankh. Here, we will have to present our passports and border permits, although we won't actually be crossing the Russian border. Apart from that, this is a tour which consists entirely of remoteness, silence, and peace. The paddling here normally involves nothing of a technical nature. What is needed, however, is a certain degree of fitness and determination, as we will be paddling for a whole fortnight, doing about 25 km (14 NM) every day.
    • Day 1–3
      Day 1 to day 3
      On Saturday, we'll fly to Ulaanbaatar (self-organised). We'll discuss the details of the outward journey as a group beforehand. At the latest, we usually meet up in Moscow when transferring between flights.

      Once we've arrived in Ulaanbaatar there will be a brief break, and then we'll hop on the next flight to Mörön. This flight only takes about an hour and a half. We usually get to the capital of Khövsgöl province by midday. Here, we will be picked up from the airport and taken to our beautiful, secluded and peaceful yurt hotel on the River Delger. First of all, we'll stay here for a night, give ourselves some time to adjust, settle down, savour the sensational landscape, and enjoy the excellent food served by the owners, Essee und Möögii.

      The next day, we'll get hold of supplies for our tour, based on the shopping list which we will already have prepared. If you wish, you'll have the opportunity to explore the colourful, dusty and very exciting market in Mörön and have a closer look at the little town.

      In the afternoon, we'll then set off for Khatgal, which is about two hour's drive away. On arriving, we'll pitch our tents and take our time getting our gear and kayaks ready for the next two weeks.
    • Day 4–17
      Day 4 to day 17 (or 18)
      Now it's time for the lake. On the first day, we'll pass various yurt hotels and other tourist-related infrastructure. At this point, there won't yet be much in terms of that seclusion we're looking for. But with every stroke of the paddle, the stillness will grow. And eventually, we'll have left the last of the huts and tourist yurts behind us. From now on, it'll just be us, the vast crystal-clear lake, the taiga, the mountains, and the occasional abandoned winter camp.

      After about eight days, we'll have reached Khankh. This is where we will present our border documents and buy some more supplies.

      After this, we'll paddle southward again. This time, the mountainous western shore will be far in the distance, on the other side of the lake. Now, we'll be passing steppe valleys, forests, sandy shores and rocky cliffs – quite distinct from the mountainous taiga side in the west, but no less beautiful – and more varied too. One way or the other, we can promise you this: there will be no opportunities for boredom on this expedition!

      Also, we always include at least one extra day in our schedule, just in case. Here, in the extreme harshness of northern Mongolia, where warm dry air masses from the central Asian steppes meet the cooler air of Siberia, thunderstorms are not uncommon. This is something we'll have to allow for. Even on an adventure such as this, we leave nothing to chance.
    • Day 18–21
      Day 18 to day 21
      As soon as we have arrived in Khatgal and know how many days we still have, we'll work out the details of the time we have left. We'll definitely include a day to recover in Khatgal, before setting off for a jeep tour of the mountainous steppes south of the lake. Assuming that things go according to schedule, we'll make sure we pay a visit to some old friends: a family of nomads on the banks of the River Eg. We'll pitch our tents there for the night.

      The evening before our flight to the capital, we'll spend another night in Essee und Möögii's yurt encampment and there we'll celebrate our successful circumnavigation of the lake.

      On Thursday, we'll fly back to Ulaanbaatar, giving us a whole day to spend in this exciting and very lively capital. Because there's loads to discover here too: museums, cashmere and yak wool boutiques, restaurants and bars… it's the capital, after all!

      Early on Saturday morning, it'll be time to fly back to Europe.
    • More info
      Group size: Min. three participants, max. eight.

      The price includes boats, paddles, life jackets, spray decks and, if required, neoprene long johns, shoes, and paddling jackets. Also, make sure you bring your own functional underwear (wool or snug-fitting fleece, NOT cotton!), good camping gear and outdoor clothing.

      We will discuss the packing list with you as part of our trip preparations.

      If you like, you can also rent a drysuit from us. Cost: CHF 220

      Weather: As you might expect, we can't make any guarantees in terms of weather or sea state. In order to ensure everyone's safety, our guide will decide how to carry out the planned programme locally on a daily basis, and whether to do so. As experienced sea kayakers, we know that Neptune always has the last word.

      Accident insurance is the responsibility of the participants. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a rescue insurance (covering at least 20.000 USD) and travel cancellation insurance. Please read our
      GTC on the topic of cancellation fees, cancellation deadlines etc.
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    PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS:

    ++ Must be able to swim ++
    ++ You are confident out on a lake in a kayak and you can do the basics ++
    ++ You can independently deal with your spray deck, getting in and out of your kayak etc. ++
    ++ You are confident paddling in Beaufort force 3 and small waves ++
    ++ You are fit enough to spend 14 days paddling around 25 km (16 miles) per day ++
    ++ You are an experienced and enthusiastic camper ++
    ++ You love being in remote places and enjoy simple living outdoors ++

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    CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT


    How to get to Ulaanbaatar:

    • Rail & Public Transport

      ++ Take the train to Moscow ++
      ++ From there, take the famous Trans-Siberian railway to Ulaanbaatar ++

    • Road

      ++ Only do this if you really have LOTS of time and feel like a bit of an adventure ++

    • Aeroplane

      ++ With Aeroflot, fly to Ulaanbaatar via Moskow ++
      ++ With Turkish Airlines, fly via Istanbul and Bishkek ++

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