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An update from Evaneos
Mongolia

Horse trekking around Lake Khoton Nuur

Organise your horse trek around the magnificent lakes of Altai!

Where to go?

In the depths of Altaï, in the far west of Mongolia, between the mountains there is a region called Syrgaal. It is like a garden of Eden, where pure unspoilt nature provides some of the most beautiful views seen from horseback. It is untouched and there is a protected national park called Tavan Bogd.

The Mongols, or more precisely the Kazakhs, live in this region. You will probably come across them near the lakes, especially in the summer. If you are lucky, they will invite you into their home to take "tchai" (milky tea). Here you can relax, disconnect and be at one with yourself.  

Personally I prefer horse trekking to hiking. It is the primary form of transport for nomads so it is a traditional way to enjoy this place! Those who like hiking can follow the paths of the Mongolian horses, without fear of getting lost.

Horse trekking in Altai@flickr cc Obakeneko

Organisation

To organise your trip, as with most trips in Mongolia you have several options: 

- Either from Ulan Bator (or Ulaanbaatar)
- Or using a local agency via the internet- Or by coming and finding a guide on the spot. In this case, the "easiest" place to start is Ölgii. Not far from there is a village called Tsagaan Salaa, where horse breeders live... Just find one and off you go! 

Take the essentials with you: sunscreen, sunglasses, gloves, scarf, hat, boots and thick socks to tuck your trousers in… And a cream for aching muscles! After 9 solid hours on horseback I bitterly regretted forgetting this!

Landscapes and people

The mountains of Altaï are inhospitable places. If you want to scale the heights, you will find snow, even in summer. 

If you choose to go in summer, you will cross green fields with flocks of sheep and herds of goats. You will see yurt camps and wild horses … And then suddenly, nothing. An immense green desert of grass, where you will only hear the sound of your own breath, the steps of your horse and the wind. A moment in time to remind you how beautiful nature can be and how life in the UK and here can be so different. 

Mongolia - landscape of Altai


Life here is different and so good! You will probably get a chance to sample the hospitality of the nomads and Kazakhs. You can ask their advice about your horses, where you can camp, what path to follow… If you are very lucky, you may come across an eagle hunter: an ancestral tradition. 

Allow the time for this expedition. At least 3 to 5 days just for the ride, plus the time to get from Ulan Bator and back.

In short, this trip will thrill you to the core and immerse you in the heart of nature. You will not regret it!

Marion Darde
27 contributions
Updated 20 April 2016
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