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camels and nomads in Mongolia

Trek Mongolia 2023

Challenge level: 3 out of 5

When can I go?

5 July - 14 July 2023 On Sale
Duration 10 days

What does it cost?

Registration fee (payable today) Info £399
Remaining amount
Total commitment Info

Trek Mongolia 2023

Trek through the enthralling natural landscape of the Terelj National Park and explore a paradise of alpine scenery for the charity of your choice. 

We’ll walk on all sorts of terrains and take in this top hiking spot from angle, trekking in wild-flower meadows, rocky mountain foothills and towering valleys. By night, we’ll camp in idyllic spots, far from everyday life and look out for shooting stars in a sky void of light pollution.

Our last day of trekking leads us to the homestay of a local nomadic family. We’ll taste traditional Mongolian food, enjoy a cultural show, and even try archery, before spending the night in a cosy ger.

The excitement doesn't end there! Our final day in Mongolia will blow your mind! We’re thrown into the heart of the nomadic culture as we visit the traditional Naadam Festival. Soaking up the festival's vibe and best events, we’ll see cultural performances, wrestling matches, horse races and more. 

Then we’ll head back to the sprawling city of Ulaanbaatar and toast our epic accomplishment over a Celebration Dinner.

Why not extend your adventure in Mongolia?
You may never travel to this spectacular part of the world again, so why not jump on our awesome Gobi Steppe optional extension package for an additional price? Together with our trusted local partner, you’ll climb golden dunes, visit a Nomadic family, take a camel ride and trek in the Gobi Desert. We'll send you the full details, including the price, once you're registered for the challenge.

Your itinerary

Days 1 & 2
UK – Ulaanbaatar

We meet as a group for the first time at the airport in London, where we catch our overnight flight to the amazing Mongolia. Touching down in Ulaanbaatar (also named Ulan Bator) on the morning of Day 2, our local ground partner meets us at the airport, and we transfer to our hotel in the city. We get our first taste of the local cuisine with a spot of lunch, before heading out to explore the world’s coldest capital city!

Starting our Mongolian adventure in the best way, we immerse ourselves in the country’s past by visiting Sukhbaatar Square and the National History Museum with our local Challenge Leader. Here, we get a fantastic introduction to Mongolia’s communist past and its amazing range of architecture, from imposing statues to bright yellow buildings, juxtaposed with its modern skyscrapers towering behind them.

From here, our day only gets better as in the early evening, we venture south to a small theatre near Peace Bridge and experience an intimate performance of traditional music and dance by the Tumen Ekh Ensemble. We dust off our day with a delicious welcome dinner at one of the best local Mongolian restaurants, before retiring to our hotel.

 

Day 3
Ulaanbaatar – Terelj National Park – Ar Khurkh Valley | approx. 15km/4 hours walking

Today after breakfast, we transfer (approx. 2 hours) to the iconic Terelj National Park, a hiking hot-spot, renowned for its striking alpine scenery, from evergreen forests to snow-capped peaks to lush, green valleys, ideal for its grazing sheep and horses.

Along the way, we'll stop off at the famous 23m-tall Turtle Rock and the Aryabal Temple, a beautiful meditation site hidden in the mountains, which gives us breath-taking views over the region we're soon to hike through!

We set off alongside the beautiful Terelj River and soon find ourselves winding through towering narrow valleys, shielding us from the wind. Continuing along the river, our path opens up to a grassy plain and we turn northeast into Ar Khurkh Valley. Here, we find the autumn and winter encampments of the Terelj herdsmen and our camp for the night.

Tonight, we settle down at our comfortable camp in the park and tuck into a delicious Mongolian dinner, as we’ll come to get used to throughout our adventure.

Day 4
Terelj National Park – Khotol Pass | approx. 15km/5 hours walking

Waking amidst nature, we fuel up with a hot, homemade breakfast and set off on our trek straight away. After yesterday’s riverside hike, we encounter a change of terrain, following a rockier route up to the incredible Khotol Pass.

The hike may be challenging, but as we gain height, we’re in for extraordinary panoramas over the forests, valleys and rolling meadows that make up this alpine paradise. Up here, we’re also likely to spot more of Mongolia’s birds soaring about, from the spectacular but sadly endangered Saker Falcons to the yellow-breasted buntings to kestrels and vultures.

Towards the end of our trek, we descend into the valleys around Dund-Bayan and Baruun Bayan, before heading to our camp to spend another night sleeping in the wild.

Day 5
Terelj National Park – Dund Bayan – Baruun Bayan Adag | approx. 15km/5 hours walking

Up until now, we’ve been heading northeast, but today our challenge takes a turn. After breakfast at camp, we head southeast through the graceful slopes of the Dund Bayan and Bayan Adag valleys. Thanks to the streams that keep the soil fertile and the flora ideal for grazing, we could have a chance of spotting a Siberian Musk Deer, but we’re more likely to encounter the cattle, sheep, and horses of local herders.

Leaving the Bayan Adag behind, we reach the foothills of the Altan Ulgii Mountains, part of the magnificent Mongol Altai range, which expands across a whopping sixty hectares and provides a home for a range of resilient species, including snow leopards, mountain goats and wolves. However, these animals tend to shy away from humans, so we are unlikely to see them as we trek.
We cover tough and diverse terrain as we walk through mountainous stretches, but we won’t venture to the peaks.

Tonight, we enjoy another night camping in the wilderness, satisfied from a big day of walking.

Day 6
Terelj National Park – Baruun Bayan Adag | approx. 15km/5 hours walking

Breakfast at camp sets us up for another beautiful day trekking through the sprawling valleys of the Terelj National Park. We follow the lower, wider open valleys around Dund-Bayan and Baruun Bayan, with miles of lush grassland and mountains surrounding us. Stopping for a picnic lunch along the way, we’re back on our feet in the afternoon, hiking back down towards the Tuul River.

Day 7
Terelj National Park – Nomadic Homestay | approx. 10-12km/2-3 hours

Our last morning of hiking gives us the amazing opportunity to end at a traditional Mongolian homestay in the National Park! With our finish line in our mind’s eye, we wake to a hot breakfast at the camp and set off back to the main part of the Terelj National Park.

We make the most of our final miles trekking in this protected landscape, famous for its natural splendour. With every step, we take in the expanse of grassy plains, wild-flower meadows, rolling green hills and mountains. Walking a shorter route today, we reach our finish point, a homestay of a friendly local nomadic family, just in time for lunch.

Mongols are renowned for their hospitality, and we’ll see this the moment we reach the homestay. The family may well greet us with steaming cups of salted milk tea and snuff, an everyday ceremony steeped in history and tradition. To follow the ritual politely, we accept the bowls offered with both hands and avoid screwing the top of the snuff bottle firmly shut.

Chatting with the family, we learn loads about their way of life in this remote corner of the world and even try our hand at archery! We also have a chance to enjoy a ger-building competition this afternoon or if time runs away with us, we’ll leave it until tomorrow morning.

Our day ends with a fantastic cultural show performed by local musicians and a Khorkhog, 'Mongolian Barbecue' of lamb with the family. If you’re veggie, that’s no problem; just let us know in advance of the challenge and we can cater for any dietary requirement you may have.

Tonight, we have the privilege to settle down in a cosy guest ger (nomadic felt-covered dwelling) and immerse ourselves in the nomadic lifestyle.

Day 8
Terelj National Park – Chinggis Statue – Ulaanbaatar

Waking in our traditional guest ger, our amazing Homestay hosts cook us breakfast, then bid us goodbye for our final day in Terelj National Park.

We meet our minibuses and drive the short journey to the Chinggis statue near Erdene. Built in 2008, this 40m-tall statue depicts a legendary scene of the famous Mongolian leader, Chinggis Khan, sitting atop his handsome horse and holding a golden whip.

Parking up at the base of the statue, we start climbing and soon find a staircase, which leads us up the mane of the horse! It’s a steep ascent, but our eyes reap the rewards as we reach the top for views of the Tuul River and the Terelj National Park, the hills of Khan Khentii, Chinggis' homeland, standing proud in the distance.

Now that we’ve taken in this incredible National Park from every angle, we bid the area a fond farewell and transfer to a comfortable hotel in Ulaanbaatar for dinner.

Day 9
Ulaanbaatar – Horse Trainer’s Naadam Festival

Prepare for a magnificent final day in Mongolia! Waking for breakfast at the hotel, we’ll transfer (approx. 1 hour) to the traditional Horse Trainer's Naadam at Khui Doloon Khudag.

Up until now, we’ve only tasted the Mongolian culture. Today, we’re thrown into the heart of it. The Naadam Festival has been celebrated every summer for centuries in honour of the mountain gods – a true manifestation of the traditional nomadic and Mongolian lifestyle.

We’ll spend the day exploring the festival, guided by our trusted local partner, who knows the best events to look out for. We’ll see the spectacular opening ceremony, a cultural performance with traditional music, exciting wrestling matches, archery, and a crossbreed horse race. There’ll also be a prize-giving ceremony to see before we head back to Ulaanbaatar.

The excitement doesn’t end there. Tonight, we head out for a fantastic celebration dinner at one of our local challenge leader’s favourite restaurants. Here, we tuck into more of Mongolia’s delicious cuisine and toast our accomplishment for charity.

Day 10
Ulaanbaatar – UK

Today sees us travelling back to the UK. Transferring after breakfast to the airport, we fly to London. From there, you make your way home, no doubt already raring for your next adventure.

Alternatively, if you want to spend longer in this fascinating part of the world, why not jump on our awesome optional extension package for an additional price?

Instead of flying back with our main group on Day 9, you'll venture to the famous Gobi Steppe! Together with our trusted local partner, you’ll climb golden dunes, visit a Nomadic family, take a camel ride and trek in the desert. You can then catch the optional later flight from Ulaanbaatar back to the UK.

We'll send you the full details, including the price, once you're registered for the challenge.

Book my place

Funding options

Self Funded

Pay the registration fee (£399) and challenge costs (£2,450) + airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £350).

£2,450

Pay the balance

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £399, which is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Pay the challenge costs of £2,450 yourself 12 weeks before your challenge starts.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (excluding airport taxes and fuel surcharge, approx. £350), food, accommodation, transfers and luggage transportation, entry fees, tour of Ulaanbaatar, guides, and medical support, including a UK-registered doctor with expedition medicine training.
  • Choose to fundraise as much as you can for the charity, hospice or animal sanctuary of your choice or make a personal donation.
  • Please also remember to budget for airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £350).
Book my place

Sponsorship

Pay your registration fee (£399) and airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £350), and fundraise £4,900 or more for your chosen charity.

£4,900

Minimum sponsorship target

  • Pay a non-refundable registration fee of £399 when you book, which is used to administrate the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
  • Fundraise the minimum sponsorship target of £4,900 for a charity or animal sanctuary of your choice at least 12 weeks before your challenge.
  • Providing you have raised the funds, the charity you are supporting will pay the challenge costs of £2,450 on your behalf.
  • The challenge costs cover flights (excluding airport taxes and fuel surcharge, approx. £350), food, accommodation, transfers and luggage transportation, entry fees, tour of Ulaanbaatar, guides, and medical support, including a UK-registered doctor with expedition medicine training.
  • Please also remember to budget for your airport taxes and fuel surcharge (approx. £350).
  • Please note that not all charities are happy to commit to the minimum sponsorship option. If you choose this option, we contact the charity you want to support on your behalf. If they are not happy with the minimum sponsorship option, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
Book my place

FAQs
Trek Mongolia 2023

Our non-competitive overseas charity challenges aren't about living in the gym. Many people who sign up for the trekking challenge in Mongolia are likely to have a low level of fitness level when they sign up. The point is to train, do your best, and reach your fitness goal.

Our supportive challenge guides and community spirit will help you conquer the challenge of a lifetime no matter how fit you are. You're also likely to improve your mental health and well-being, not to mention you can make a huge difference for the charity closest to your heart.

That said, we strongly recommend you train for the trek. We'll tackle uneven and steep terrain in Mongolia, and the fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy it.

Once you register for the challenge, we'll send you a realistic training plan. This builds up gradually over time so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we depart for Mongolia. We also recommend checking out our top trekking tips here and our indoor training ideas for the days you don't feel like facing the weather!

Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own. Our challenges around the world are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and lifelong friendships made, as our groups take on these incredible feats together.

Once you've signed up, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for Trek Mongolia 2023. Please use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising.

You may also want to reach out to the other participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.

Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the departure date is more than welcome to join this challenge. We'll have adults of all ages taking part to achieve something awesome for charity - one of the many things that make our challenges so special!

If you would like someone under the age of 18 to join you on our Mongolia trek, please contact us to discuss (01590 646410 or bookings@dream-challenges.com, Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).

 

You will need a pair of quality walking boots with ankle support — these are essential for trekking on uneven terrain. Please also bring a three-season sleeping bag and a 2-litre water bottle.

We'll supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on your trekking challenge well before we leave for Mongolia.

 

Your luggage, food and water will be carried by a combination of packhorses or vehicles, so we advise you to pack lightly. You will only need to carry a small day pack, containing essential accessories and equipment, including your 2-litre water bottle.

 

This amazing overseas challenge includes a mix of accommodation on a twin-sharing basis*, from camping in the wild to comfortable hotels to a traditional ger homestay in felt-covered nomadic dwellings (gers).

On our camping days, we will provide high-quality sleeping tents as well as a dining/kitchen tent, where our challenge leader or a cook will prepare hearty breakfasts and dinners. (Lunches will be picnics.) We'll also enjoy the use of pump shower tents and toilet tents.

*We organise our accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, which is included in the challenge cost. However, if you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a room/tent to yourself, please get in touch at bookings@dream-challenges.com or on 01590 646410 (Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm) at least 17 weeks before your challenge and we can arrange this for you at an additional price. Please note, it is not possible to arrange a single supplement for the night we spend in gers.

Absolutely! We organise our accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, which is included in the challenge cost. However, if you would rather pay for a single supplement (not included in your challenge cost) and have a room/tent to yourself, please get in touch at bookings@dream-challenges.com or on 01590 646410 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) at least 17 weeks before your challenge and we can arrange this for you at an additional cost. Please note, it is not possible to arrange a single supplement for the night we spend in gers.

We'll tackle a mix of terrains, following trails through valleys, meadows and mountains. We'll encounter mostly flat stretches and a few steep climbs, so please incorporate hills in your training.

Please make sure to use high ankle walking boots during your training and on the challenge in Mongolia itself, as these are essential to protect your ankles on uneven terrain.

Certainly! If you want to spend longer in this fascinating part of the world, why not jump on our awesome optional extension for an additional price?

Instead of flying back with our main group on Day 10, you'll venture to the famous Gobi Steppe! Together with our trusted local partner, you’ll climb golden dunes, visit a nomadic family, take a camel ride, and trek in the desert. We'll send you the full details, including the price, once you're registered for the challenge.

If you'd like to book a place on the optional extension for an additional price, please give us a call on 01590 646410 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) or email us at bookings@dream-challenges.com at least 17 weeks before the challenge and we'll be happy to help.

Alternatively, if you would simply like to extend your stay in Mongolia, but would not like to partake in the optional extension, we can arrange this for you. Please just get in touch on the email or phone number above to discuss your options at least 17 weeks before the challenge.

Your registration fee of £399 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.

Your challenge costs of £2,450 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the sponsorship option) cover:

  • Your flights (not including airport taxes and the fuel surcharge, approx. £350).
  • Meals throughout the challenge.
  • Accommodation*
  • Guided tour of Ulaanbaatar on Day 1, including entry to the sites where applicable.
  • All transfers in Mongolia.
  • Porters and packhorses to carry your luggage on trekking days.
  • A team of awesome outdoor remote first-aid trained local challenge guides and Dream Challenges staff.
  • Full support from the Dream Challenges office in the lead-up to and during your overseas challenge.
  • Medical support, including a UK doctor with expedition medicine training, who will accompany us throughout the challenge.
  • Your Trek Mongolia 2023 medal.

*Accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. If you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a room/tent to yourself, we can arrange this for you for an additional cost of £189. Just give us a call on 01590 646410 (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) or email us at bookings@dream-challenges.com at least 17 weeks before your overseas challenge. Please note, it is not possible to arrange a single supplement for the night we spend in gers.

In addition to paying your registration fee (£399) and either self funding your challenge costs (£2,450) or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target, you will need to budget for your:

  • Airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (currently £350 but subject to change – up or down)
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Gratuities.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Tourist visa for Mongolia.
  • You may also choose to pay £189 for a single supplement at our accommodation.
  • You may also choose to pay for a place on our brilliant extension package at the end of our trekking challenge in Mongolia.

There will be around 20 participants in our group for this special charity challenge. You'll no doubt make a bunch of awesome new friends!

Travel Insurance
Please take out your own travel insurance upon registering for our trek in Mongolia, covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. We advise you to arrange your insurance as soon as you can after you register to ensure you have coverage for your booking as well as the challenge itself.

In your Welcome Pack, you will receive information about an insurance provider that specialises in our type of overseas challenges and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19.

You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity trek in Mongolia. Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.

Visa
All participants will need a tourist visa for Mongolia, which you will need to arrange yourself. Please don't apply for your visa until we advise you to do so. We will send you all the relevant information about how to do this well ahead of our challenge.

The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your charity trekking challenge in Mongolia, and we will support you all the way. We're always on hand to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.

Once you've signed up, we will send you a Welcome Pack with everything you need to know about your overseas challenge, including the itinerary, an example insurance policy, details about our challenge destination and the weather we can expect while we're trekking in Mongolia, the structure of an average trekking day, a full kit list and a realistic training plan to help you get fit for the challenge. The training programme builds up gradually as the event gets closer.

We'll also send you regular updates in the lead-up to the adventure, with more important details, motivational resources, and seasonal fundraising ideas.

During the trek, we'll have a UK doctor with expedition medicine training accompanying the group at all times, along with a team of outdoor remote first-aid trained challenge guides.

As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.

We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.

NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home

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