A 16-day birding adventure. Mongolia is one of the hottest birding sites in Asia. You can see a wide variety of birds in different natural habitats during this trip, driving with excellent company and professional guides, through splendid landscapes from Siberian taiga forest to the steppe in the country made famous by the Great Chinggis Khaan. Take this opportunity and make your dreams come true seeing raptors such as Saker Falcons, Upland Buzzards, Amur Falcons, Pallas’s Fish-Eagles, also Siberian Rubythroats, Black-billed Capercaillies, Henderson’s Ground Jays, and Altai Snowcocks.
Our crew picks you up at the Chinggis Khaan international airport upon your arrival in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia and transfer to the reserved hotel. Optional rest at the hotel for few hours. After lunch (in case you arrive before lunch), visit Tuul river valley for introduction birding at the wetland and a beautiful mix of cherry, elm, willow, and popular. Interesting birds here include uncommon Black Stork, Black-eared Kite, Demoiselle Crane, Pied Avocet, Mongolian Gull, ‘black-billed’ Common Tern longipennis, Horned Lark brandti, Barn Swallow tytleri, White-cheeked Starling, Blyth’s Pipit, Azure Tit, White-crowned Penduline-Tit, Long-tailed Rosefinch and probably world endangered Yellow-breasted Bunting. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Welcome dinner at one of the better restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. Food: Optional lunch and welcome dinner. Road: Total coverage 30 km paved road (30 minutes).
Gorkhi-Terelj NP is a southern end of the Siberian boreal forest (or taiga) where you find the picturesque mountain with mixed forest trenched by beautiful valleys. Following arrival in the national park, we will check in our tourist ger camp near birding site. The afternoon we will do light walking near the campsite and see some interesting birds including Olive-backed Pipit, Siberian Rubythroat, Willow Tit, Taiga Flycatcher, Common Rosefinch, Yellow-browed Warbler, Chinese Bush Warbler, and Pine Bunting, and probably Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Have dinner at the restaurant of the ger camp.
Next morning will drive down to riparian forest, where we will find old and big popular trees and find Oriental and Common Cuckoos, Eurasian Hoopoe, Great Spotted, Lesser Spotted, Grey-headed and Black Woodpeckers, Great and Willow Tits, Red-throated Thrush, Siberian Rubythroat, Dusky, Greenish and Yellow-browed Warblers, Taiga and Asian Brown Flycatchers, Eastern Buzzard (B. b. japonicus) and Pine Bunting. The afternoon we will do birding near campsite for Blyth’s and Richard’s Pipits, Isabelline and Northern Wheatears, Daurian Jackdaw and Red-billed Chough. Overnight in a tourist ger camp near birding site. Food: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Road: Total coverage 70 km paved road (1 hours).
Drive west to Khustai national park, the land of the reintroduced Takhi or Przewalski’s Wild Horse (Equus przewalskii). Thanks to the good conservation management, the species which was on the brink of extinction has now exceeded well over 300 individuals. Along with other interesting mammals, watch the fascinating birdlife including Daurian Partridge, Cinereous & Himalayan Vultures, Golden & Steppe Eagles, Upland Buzzard, Saker & Amur Falcons, Mongolian and Asian Short-toed Larks, Northern, Isabelline & Pied Wheatears, Brown Shrike and Meadow Bunting. Overnight in a tourist ger camp. Food: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Road: Total coverage 90 km paved road (2 hours).
En route we visit Tsagaan Lake which is a shallow salty lake with the big amount of reedbed. The lake provides the preferable habitat for many interesting bird species such as Red-crested Pochard, Eastern Marsh Harrier, White-naped, Common and Demoiselle Cranes, Asian Dowitcher, Marsh Sandpiper, Richard Pipit, Eastern Yellow and Citrine Wagtails, Oriental Reed, Paddyfield and Pallas’s Grasshopper Warblers, Bearded Reedling, and Pallas’s and Common Reed Buntings. The shoreline of the Ugii Lake and surrounding pools are a paradise of wetland birds during both migration and breeding periods. Considering its importance for wetland birds, the lake has been designated as Ramsar Site of International Importance. The lake is a home to many waterfowls including Pintail, Garganey, Common and Red-crested Pochards, Ruddy and Common Shelducks etc. Highest opportunity for White-tailed and Pallas’s Fish Eagles and Relict & Pallas’s Gulls. The passerines include Citrine, White and Yellow Wagtails, Rock Sparrow, Small Snowfinch and Pallas’s Bunting, e.g… Overnight in a tourist ger camp. Food: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Road: Total coverage 140 km paved road (2 hours).
Stay in the ancient capital of Mongolia back in 13th century. Unfortunately, it has been destroyed several times and there remained an old monastery Erdenezuu and a very informative Kharkhorin museum. Visits to the cultural attractions are optional. Birding opportunity takes the group to the sea buckthorn plantation which usually produces some birds including Mongolian Lark, Taiga Flycatcher, Blyth’s Pipit and Pallas’s Bunting. Overnight in a tourist ger camp. Food: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Road: Total coverage 90 km paved road (1 hour).
The place hosts wonderful contrasting scenery of sand dune, wetland, and rocky mountain. If you are interested, you have a chance to ride a well-trained Bactrian camel on the sand dune. A pair of White-naped Cranes breeds at the wetland every year, symbolizing the ever-lasting life of the place, which yields a long list of lifers for many birders from around the world. The top birds include Lammergeier, Bar-headed & Swan Geese, Eastern Marsh Harrier, Chinese Spot-billed Duck, Black-throated Loon, Asian Dowitcher, Pallas’s Grasshopper and Oriental Reed Warblers, Citrine and Eastern Yellow Wagtails. Overnight in a tourist ger camp. Food: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Road: Total coverage 90 km paved road (2 hours).
Drive to Ulaanbaatar. En route we will stop to get good views of Steppe Eagle, Saker Falcon, and Upland Buzzard and probably gatherings of the Cinereous Vultures on a carcass, Mongolian and Asian Short-toed Larks and Small Snowfinch. If time allows, visit Tuul River for missing species. City tour and shopping available. Have a good night sleep and get yourself ready for busy birding in Gobi Desert. Food: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Road: Total coverage 340 km paved road (4-5 hours).
We will fly over 1 hour to the Gobi and land at the Gurvan Saikhan Airport near Dalanzadgad, capital of Umnugobi Province. Our crew meets you at the airport and then drive straight to the reserved tourist ger camp near the beautiful mountain gorge Yolyn Am. Following lunch at the ger camp, we will drive to the mountain gorge and do another exciting bird walk along the path. The interesting birds in the valley are Chukar, Bearded Vulture and Himalayan Vulture, Saker Falcon, Mongolian Accentor, Beautiful and Common Rosefinches, Twite, White-winged Snowfinch, Mongolian Finch, Wallcreeper, Black Redstart, Northern Wheatear, Isabelline Shrike, Northern House Martin, Eurasian Crag Martin, Sulphur-bellied Warbler, and probably Barred Warbler, Godlewski’s and Grey-necked Buntings and many others. Altai Snowcock is one of the challenging species in this area but we will give it a try. In the evening we will be back to the ger camp at the dinner time. Next morning, we will visit the same spot as the last evening and look for the missing species along with some mammals including Siberian Ibex, Mongolian Pika, Red Fox, and possibly Argali Wild Sheep. The afternoon we will visit Mukhart shiver valley to see some missing species. And we will drive north of the ger camp to find Oriental Plover on the wide desert steppe. Overnight in a tourist ger camp. Food: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Road: Total coverage 50 km paved road (Fly 1 hour & drive 30 minutes).
After breakfast, we start driving to the famous Khongoryn Els, which is a beautiful singing sand dune located on the rear side of a high mountain and borders with endless desert steppe. The views of camels grazing in the miracle of the desert steppe, in front of the High Mountain, and picturesque sand dune in the sunrise, will be one of the best moments of the trip. We have a long drive to reach the place but will make stops for any interesting birds or sceneries along the way. We take lunchbox from the ger camp and have picnic lunch in the beautiful mountain valley. While driving on the endless steppe, we will see Long-legged Buzzard, Desert Wheatear, and possible mammal will be the magnificent Goitered Gazelle. On the boiling ground of the Gobi, we will find Tuva toad-head agama and Mongolian racerunner. At the dinner time, we will arrive at our tourist ger camp. The remainder of the day is free to relax following the drive. Next morning will visit saxaul forest to see breeding Saxaul Sparrow, Long-legged Buzzard, Great Grey Shrike, Isabelline Shrike, Crested Lark, and Desert Wheatear, and also visit a small pond to see Pallas’s Sandgrouses drinking water. Afternoon relaxes at the ger camp due to boiling hotness. In the evening, we will observe night mammals of the Gobi desert including Gobi Jerboa and Long-eared Hedgehog. Star gazing is beautiful during the nights. Overnight in a tourist ger camp. Food: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Road: Total coverage 50 km paved and 100 km dust road (5-6 hours)
After breakfast, we start driving back to the Dalanzadgad town. En route we can see Upland Buzzard, Pallas’s Sandgrouse, Isabelline Shrike and Great Grey Shrike, Desert Wheatear and possibly the magnificent mammal Goitered Gazelle. Overnight in a tourist ger camp. Food: Breakfast, Packed Lunch, Dinner. Road: Total coverage 200 km dust road (5-6 hours’ drive).
Today we fly back to the Ulaanbaatar city. Shopping and city tour available in late afternoon. If time allows, we visit Tuul river valley for some missing species. Overnight in a hotel. Food: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Road: 1-hour flight
Transfer to Chinggis Khaan International Airport will be the end of our services in Mongolia.
In Mongolian steppe Demoiselle Crane, Saker Falcon, Amur Falcon, Mongolian Lark, Oriental Plover and Upland Buzzard | In Taiga Forest Siberian Rubythroat, Orange-flanked Bluetail, Pine Bunting, Black-billed or Spotted Capercaillie and Chinese Bush Warbler | In the wetlands White-naped Crane, Asian Dowitcher, Swan Goose, and migratory stints | In Gobi Desert Altai Snowcock, Kozlov’s Accentor, Mongolian Ground-jay and Desert Warbler | In addition, nomadic lifestyle inspiration | Mongolia mammal watching and photography tours and trips.
What is included?
- Accommodation (2 nights’ hotel in Ulaanbaatar city; 1-night hotel in Dalanzadgad town; 13 nights’ tourist ger lodges)
- Transport (Ground transportations by 4WD vehicles, including petrol; Two-way domestic flight between Ulaanbaatar city and Dalanzadgad town)
- Meals -16 breakfast, 16 lunch; 15 dinner
- Entrance fees to all National Parks and road tolls
- English speaking bird guide
- Drinking water will be provided. It will be appreciated if you could bring your refillable bottle.
What is not included?
- Last dinner on 25 June (It will be your free choice)
- International transportation
- All types of insurance
- Departure tax
- Alcoholic drinks and items of personal nature
- Binoculars, telescopes, and tripods
- Extra luggage
- Optional tours