Mongolia is one of the last unspoilt destinations in Asia. It is a country of mountains, stunning lakes, vast deserts, rolling grasslands, dense forests and unique wildlife.
Northern Mongolia contains Khovsgul Nuur, the deepest lake in Central Asia. The lake is surrounded by dozens of mountains, thick pine forests and lush meadows and presents endless opportunities for trekking, horse riding and fishing. Also visited is the Arkhangai area, an ideal region for trekking on both foot and horse, through mountains, across rolling steppe, past waterfalls and volcanic lakes. To the north east is where the famous Ghengis Khaan was born and within the Khentii Region there are several historical sites as well as a chance to explore one of the world’s last undisturbed grasslands.
This is an ideal destination for a team who wants to be challenged by a vastly different culture. Due to the huge scale of the country, teams should be prepared to travel for long periods of time, although this gives one an appreciation of the remoteness and scale of the country. Teams may well experience on their travels the incredible hospitality of the locals and nomadic farmers and be invited into the traditional Ger’s.
MONGOLIA EXPEDITION HIGHLIGHTS
Here are just some of the incredible experiences you can choose from for your Mongolia expedition:
Making a difference
The extreme changes in climate contribute to the damage of structures and buildings throughout Mongolia. This means there is always lots of work to be done at the kindergartens, orphanages and summer-camp schools where our projects are located.
You get to immerse yourself in the children’s culture and learn about their day-to-day lives while leaving a real mark at the project site, whether it’s through helping with construction, painting, refurbishing or using soft skills.
Mongolia Project Case Study –
Working with Children
Stay in a traditional Ger, or yurt, at the Verbist Care Centre’s summer camp at Gachuurt. The centre provides a refuge for former street children, orphans and abandoned children while the camp allows them to enjoy the countryside and share tasks such as growing vegetables. Eat and play with the children while learning about their day-to-day lives. Since 2009, teams have overhauled the toilet block, constructed outside benches, fixed water connections and carried out painting and maintenance work.
Last year, we sent 15 teams to 9 project sites, where teams were able to camp on-site or in traditional Gers – yurt tents. They helped construct Gers for needy families, varnish wooden huts, build a playground and created and painted educational murals.
Mongolia treks are a mixture of horse riding on small local Mongol horses and walking through the Mongolian steppe. Ranging from 5 to 11 days, and a great blend of culture and breathtaking scenery, you’re bound to find a trek that suits your team’s timeline and ability.
You’ll be riding for up to five hours and trekking for up to eight hours each day, following the lead of your local horse wranglers along the steppe, through shallow rivers, thick pine forests and mountains. Each night, you’ll camp in the beautiful wilderness next to rivers and cook on open fires.
Rest & Relaxation
Teams may choose to spend time visiting monasteries or other places of cultural significance, all of which give an insight into the history of the people. This is also a great time to stock up on presents and souvenirs from Ulaan Baatar’s famous black market.
A fantastic way to end your Mongolian expedition is with a two-day sightseeing tour of Beijing in China for your rest and relaxation phase. Here, you can see The Great Wall of China – one of the Seven Wonders of the World – visit the Palace Museum in The Forbidden City and enjoy some retail therapy.
- Mongolia, Asia.
- Languages spoken: Khalkha Mongol 90% (official), Turkic, Russian.
- Population: 3 million.
- Time zone: GMT +8.
- Terrain: Mountains, rolling steppe, deserts.
- When can I travel there?: Expeditions can take place from May-September.
- Climate: Situated at an average altitude of 1500 m above the sea level and surrounded by high mountains, Mongolia has an extreme continental climate. The winter (from Nov- Apr) continues long with cold temperatures often below zero whilst summer (Jul-Sep) is more pleasant with average temperatures above 20°C, and possibly rise as high as 38°C in the southern Gobi region and 33°C in Ulaanbaatar. In Mongolia there are 250 sunny days a year, often with clear cloudless skies.
- Expedition Physical Rating: Medium to High.
- Expedition Duration: 21-28 days.
- Culture Shock: High.
- Typical accommodation: Hostels and tents.
- Ideal for: An adventurous team looking to explore one of the last truly unspoilt destinations in Asia.
- Mongolia is the least populated independent country in the world! This gives a true ‘expedition’ feel to being in its countryside, where you can walk for hours and not see anyone.
- Mongolia is commonly known as ‘the land of the blue sky’.
- Take a Polaroid camera to your project site; the developed pictures would make a great present to give the kids!
- They are still extremely nomadic to the extent that kindergartens in rural communities pack up and move with the families in the summer months!
- Mongolians are so incredibly polite that haggling is not really done and they shake your hand if they bump into you!
Peter Weinig, Sylvia Hay and their son, Jack at Blue Bandana in Ulaan Baatar have been living part time in Mongolia and working for World Challenge since 1998, so have a wealth of local and team specific knowledge. They are the co-owners of an expedition tour company in Ulaan Baatar and an outdoor clothing and equipment shop, The Seven Summits.
NEW TO WORLD CHALLENGE?
Every World Challenge starts long before your students step on a plane. With our support, develop life skills and take ownership of:
- Destination and itinerary planning
- Fundraising ideas and events
- Budgeting and money management
- Preparation, fitness and nutrition
Get in touch with one of our consultants to start planning your overseas school expedition today!