Reindeer Tribes of Mongolia

10 Days
from AUD$ 5,482

Highlights

  • Camp in the wilderness amongst wildflowers
  • Travel by horse into the remote location where the Tsaachin tribe live
  • Live with the Tsaachin Tribe in their teepees and slip into their daily life
  • Meet a Tsaachin Shaman
  • Enjoy a boat ride on the beautiful Lake Khuvsgal

Mongolia – one of Asia’s last frontiers and one of the world’s last unspoilt destinations. Travel by horse to the nomadic Tsaachin tribe who have a spiritual connection the reindeer herds that they live with.

Once a thriving community, the Tsaachin tribe has dwindled in recent years leaving only 200-400 members left in northern Mongolia. This is the perfect way to explore and mingle with this shrinking tribe in the spectacular landscapes of Mongolia. Return from your journey with spectacular images, memories and new found knowledge. Mingle with friendly nomads as you learn their way of life. Ride through lush meadows, wooded hills and ruins from the ancient Mongolian Empire before reaching the magnificent turquoise Lake Khuvsgul, known in Mongolia as ‘Blue Pearl’.

The Tsaachin or Tsaatan’s entire existence is based on their reindeer herds which provide them with milk for producing cheese, antlers for carving and medicinal purposes, transportation and on the odd occasion, meat. Part of the Tuvan ethnic group, this small tribe is truly nomadic, regularly moving in search for a rare type of lichen and grass for their reindeer. The Tsaachin people do not stay in the traditional Mongolian gers we commonly recognise as a symbol on the country, but live in urts, similar to the Native American teepees which were traditionally made from birch bark.

A culture rich in Shamanism, these spiritual healers play an important role to the community providing traditional remedies for injury and illness. Previously a self sufficient tribe with only their reindeers, the Tsaachin now have to forage for berries, wild potato and pine nuts in the Autumn as well as occasionally fish or hunt to simply survive. The reindeer are said to have been domesticated several thousands of years ago and play a key role in the spiritual, socio economic and linguistic traditional of the local community.

Your visit to the reindeer herding people plays an important role to help them and their culture survive. Although very few travellers venture into this realm, our tourism initiative provides them with a supplemental income and cultural exchange education for both our travellers and local Tsaachin people. To spend time with these tribes people is truly remarkable and brimming with cultural practices that provide a deep insight into this fascinating way of life.

Travelling on horseback is the best way to reach the remote settlement with a full support crew of guides, cooks and horse tenders there to assist. Sleep in teepees like the locals and after visiting this isolated land, continue on through the spectacular scenery of rolling mountains, lush forests before venturing the turquoise waters of Lake Khuvsgul.

Journey map

Fitness level

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Moderate
Challenging
Tough

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Ulaanbaatar

Welcome to Mongolia! Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar the capital city of Mongolia, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure.

Overnight Best Western Premier Tuushin or similar

Day 2 - Fly to Murun Town – Ujig River Valley

Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Khuvsgul province (1.5hrs). On arrival at local airport of Murun, the centre of the Khuvsgul, you will meet your driver and for an hour before stopping for a picnic lunch. You will cross rivers and passes and take in the scenic view over the mountain ranges. Breathe the fresh mountain air as you explore this spectacular scenery. Here you will be surrounded by stunning towering rocky mountains. The view from our camp ground is spectacular. This evening we will be camping in tents. A shower tent, toilet and kitchen tent are also provided. (B,L,D)

Overnight Camping

Day 3 - Ulaan Uul town - Tsagaan nuur town - Horse Ride to Orten Khyarkh

Today is long driving day. You will officially enter the shamanic region and visit the 13 ovoo shrine where you will stop to participate in offerings. Continue driving through Ulaan Uul town and arrive our tented camping site. (B,L,D)

Overnight Camping

Day 4 - Ulaan Uul town - Tsagaan nuur town - Horse Ride to Orten Khyarkh

This morning, you will drive to Tsagaan nuur town (approx. 2-3hrs) before continuing beyond the town another 40 mins to meet with your local horse specialist guides and trail finders and of course, your horses. After having a brief instruction on riding Mongolian horses, you will get acquainted with your own horse before it is time to set off. Start riding towards Taiga, the region where part of the Tsaachin communities live. You will be introduced to the amazing but sadly dwindling world of the reindeer-herding people (Tsaachin). Due to the marshy road conditions, we will not use vehicles to reach the area, entire our luggage and food supply will be transported by horses. Horse riding today is approx. 8-9 hours. We may break this up over two days depending on the groups ability and weather. (B,L,D)

Stay overnight in a local Tsaachin teepee

Day 5 - Tsaachin community & Shaman Experience

Spend the next day staying amongst the Tsaachin people and experience their everyday life. Learn of their unique traditions such as milking reindeer and processing milk products like cheese. Spend time talking with the local people and understanding their local culture and how they have managed to maintain such a traditional way of life for so long. You will have the opportunity to ride into the Taiga forest where the area is so energetic and mysterious. Explore Bor Khuyag river valley, which is rich in crystals and other minerals. Take in the beauty of the larch forest and wildflower patches. Be inspired and gain power while meditating in untouched wilderness.

You will witness a traditional shaman ritual and meet a shaman custodian of a hidden realm. Shamanism is a traditional spiritual belief system based on worshipping nature. Shamanism plays an important part in Tsaachin; the shaman also acts as a healer, providing traditional remedies for ailments to the local people. They also perform many mystical holy rituals and use many different magic charms in their daily life, for hunting, calling, and preventing the rain. (B,L,D)

Day 6 - Taiga to Khogiin Gol River

This morning is a free morning at the reindeer herder’s camp before you ride to Khogiin Gol River. You will need a rest after today and what a stunning location to relax or explore on foot for the afternoon. (B,L,D)

Overnight Camping

Day 7 - Beltes Gol River

Today you will drive through beautiful mountains before arriving at your final night of wilderness camping. (B,L,D)

Overnight Camping

Day 8 - Khuvsgul Lake

This morning, farewell your cook and crew before you drive to the shore of the blue pearl, Lake Khuvsgul. The Lake is sacred and is known as the ‘Mother Lake’ to Mongolians and holds 2% of the worlds fresh water. Khuvsgul Lake is surrounded by beautiful high mountains of the Khoridol Saridag and Bayan Mountain Ranges, along the west shore. Even though it is summer, some parts of the lake will be icy. This area is often referred to as Mongolia’s most scenic region and you will certainly see why. Enjoy walking along the lake shore or hike through the surrounding mountains to take in the panoramic view over the lake. There is an optional boat trip on the lake this afternoon for those who are interested in getting a different perspective from the water of the spectacular surrounds. There is also the option to go for a short horse ride (payable locally). This evening, build up your appetite for an authentic Mongolian barbeque! This will be prepared in the traditional way with the meat grilled with hot stones which gives it a unique taste.   (B,L,D)

Overnight at Ger Camp

Day 9 - Fly to Ulaanbaatar

This morning, drive back to Murun town. Transfer to the domestic airport for your flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. This evening, enjoy a local folk concert as your farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Overnight Best Western Premier Tuushin or similar

Day 10 - Departure

This morning is at leisure until it is time to transfer to airport for your onwards departure. (B)

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What’s included

  • Return airport transfers
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • 9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • English speaking Guide
  • Local Mountain Guide and pack horses
  • Domestic flights Ulaanbaatar/Murun/Ulaanbaatar in economy class
  • Entrance fees and National Park fees and permits to protected areas
  • Bottled water
  • Private transportation
  • Horses
Exclusions
  • International and domestic flights not mentioned above
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc

**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.

* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.

* A minimum of 4 adults is required to guarantee this departure.

A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.

Gallery

Availability

Start Date
End Date
Duration
Availability
Price
Start Date
09th Jun 2024
End Date
18th Jun 2024
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Enquiry Only
Price
$5,482 AUD
Start Date
09th Jun 2025
End Date
18th Jun 2025
Duration
10 Days
Availability
Available
Price
$6,282 AUD

What our adventurers are saying

The trip was above and beyond my expectations. I was impressed with not only the professionalism in the organisation of the tour but also when things didn’t quite go to plan how they were handled. The personal relationships of the guide with the local people made a huge difference to our amazing experience and I doubt very much that we would have had this with any other travel group. Thanks to Lisa and her team in Mongolia for taking us down a “Different Path”.

Kerrie Pain

A complete immersion into another world and another way of life… a once in a life time experience.

Naomi Simson – Mongolia