Nomadic Reindeer Herders – Dukha Winter Adventure

Whenever the cold weather swings around, our travel daydreams tend to fluctuate between two very different types of vacations, a winter adventure, and a cozy comfortable journey. On this winter adventure, you will visit the Nomadic Reindeer Herders of Mongolia, also known as the Tsaatan people, and Dukha. The tour offers both comfortable traveling conditions as well as an adventure of a lifetime. For a summer tour to visit the Tsaatan, check out our Dukha Mongolia Adventure.

As one of our best-selling tours since 2007, this Winter adventure tour offers you several famous destinations in Mongolia. For instance, Khuvsgul Lake – the blue pearl of Mongolia, and Ulaan Taiga National Park where the Tsaatan tribe of Mongolia are but truly, every single acre of the park is worth seeing in person. Visit during the winter to avoid the crowds and see the landscapes filled with steam from the thermal features.

Unravel the history, culture, and way of life of the Dukha while spending 2 unforgettable days at a Dukha winter settlement. Immerse yourself in the ancient culture and wisdom of the Dukha that still remains largely an enigma.

Create your adventure of a lifetime with Nomadic Trails!

View the Dukha winter adventure to the Nomadic Reindeer Herders’ video footage here.

Nomadic Reindeer Herders Dukha Winter Tour map

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Epic scenery of snowy southern edge of Siberia

Witness the winter life of a nomad Reindeer herder Tribe

Enjoy the hospitality of a local family

Be a part of “ Everyday life activities of Nomads”, such as making dairy products

Meet face to face with the reindeer tribe shaman

Relax with the stunning view of Khuvsgul Lake, the Blue Pearl of Mongolia

Go Horse Sledding with us on the translucent ice of Khuvsgul Lake

BRIEF TOUR ITINERARY

Day-1 Ulaanbaatar City

Day-2 Ulaanbaatar – Murun Town

Day-3 Murun Town – Ulaan Uul Town

Day-4 Ulaan Uul Town – Khogorog

Day-5 Khogorog – Taiga / Reindeer Tribe Camp

Day-6 Taiga / Reindeer Tribe Camp

Day-7 Taiga / Reindeer Tribe Camp – Khogorog

Day-8 Khogorog- Khatgal Town / Khuvsgul Lake

Day-9 Murun Town

Day-10 Murun/ Ulaanbaatar

Day-11 Departure

DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY

Day-1 ULAANBAATAR CITY

We meet you upon arrival and transfer you to the hotel. Depending on your arrival time we will visit the National History Museum with priceless treasures. Welcome dinner. Hotel /L,D/

Day-2 ULAANBAATAR – MURUN TOWN

This morning we transfer to the airport and take a flight to Murun town, the center of Khuvsgul province in the northern parts of Mongolia. It takes 1 hour. Here, we visit the town and supermarket for some snacks and refreshments and return to our local hotels. Local hotel /B,L,D/

Day-3 MURUN TOWN – ULAAN UUL TOWN

On this day we are driving through Mountainous areas to Ulaan Uul town. This day visit to main Ovoo, where we can make an offering. Then we will be in the Darkhad Depression, where there are more than 300 lakes and big rivers. We arrive at Ulaan Uul town and transfer to the log cabin in the National Park Rangers station. Log cabin /B,L,D/

Day-4 ULAAN UUL TOWN – KHOGOROG

Continuing through the beautiful Darkhad depression yet again the landscape unfolds dramatically right before your eyes as we transition from steppe to mountains and forest. We pass Tsagaan Nuur town on the way to reach the Khogorog river, where a local family resides.

Get to know more about the local family while enjoying their hospitality. Stay in a traditional Mongolian yurt – Ger for an authentic local experience. Guest ger /B,L,D/

Day-5 KHOGOROG – TAIGA / REINDEER TRIBE CAMP

After a hearty breakfast from Nomadic Trails’ private cook, enjoy a short early morning walk around the area. Returning to the cars, we drive through snow-covered roads to the Winter and Spring camping site for the Mongolian Reindeer Herders. After arrival, transfer to local huts or Tee-pee which will be the accommodation for the night.

We meet with the local reindeer herders and spend the rest of the day among the tribe, getting to know the culture, even participating in some. For example, riding a reindeer, etc Hut /B,L,D/

Day-6 TAIGA / REINDEER TRIBE CAMP

Spend this day staying amongst the Tsaachin people and experience their everyday life.
Enjoy the tribe’s hospitality by 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. Take in the beauty of the snow-covered forest. Hut /B,L,D/

Day-7 TAIGA / REINDEER TRIBE CAMP – KHOGOROG

In the morning, you spend more time with the Reindeer tribe today and witness what their mornings usually look like. After saying farewells to the Dukha Tribe families, we return to Khogorog and relax for the day with the local family. Ger /B,L,D/

Day-8 KHOGOROG- KHATGAL TOWN / KHUVSGUL LAKE

We say goodbye to the local family and have the longest drive of the trip, an 8-9hour drive across Darhad Depression, and head to Khuvsgul Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Mongolia.

Khuvsgul often called “The Blue Pearl of Mongolia” lies in the Siberian plain south of the Russian border. This gorgeous lake is frozen for almost half of the year. It is surrounded by forests of pine trees and meadows. Depending on ice density, we may drive on the frozen lake along the shoreline. Local hotel /B,L,D/

Day-9 MURUN TOWN

We stay all day at the frozen lake. Taking a walk on the ice is fantastic and we will be doing Horse Sledding on the ice for 1 hour.

In the late afternoon, after a scenic lunch at the lakeshore, we head back to Murun town. After our arrival, we transfer to a local hotel for an overnight stay with a hot shower available. Local hotel /B,L,D/

Day-10 MURUN/ ULAANBAATAR

Early start with breakfast and drive to Murun town to take an internal flight to Ulaanbaatar. We transfer to the hotel and free afternoon with some souvenir shopping in the National Department store and more. Farewell dinner. Hotel /B,L,D/

Day-11 DEPARTURE

We will transfer you to your international departure.

NOMADIC REINDEER HERDERS TOUR GALLERY

what's included

inclusions

Tented camping tour expedition chef lunch

exclusions

Tented camping tour expedition chef lunch

Tour reviews and testimonials

Angie N
5/5
Custom Reindeer Tsaatan and Eagle Festival Tour
Tulga is such a hard worker and is committed to bringing the best possible experience to his guests and no request is too big. His knowledge of his country is as vast as the country itself

and he was able to provide a varied, personal, unique experience. I wanted to create my own personal itinerary and Tulga had the knowledge, contacts, experience and sense of adventure to make that happen.
I’ll be returning in 2020 to travel with Nomadic Trails again. Can’t wait!

Elaine
5/5
Private Reindeer Herders Tour
Tulga led our week-long trip with friends to visit the Tsaatan people. It was a fantastically well organised trip, with Tulga and his team looking after us perfectly throughout. We stayed in some beautiful spots

on our way to and from the reindeer people and Tulga ensured that our time with the Tsaatan was respectful and he clearly had an excellent relationship with them built over a number of years. We were always consulted over decisions about activities and where to stay.

The chef who accompanied us throughout the trip was really good (meals included freshly baked bread, pancakes, pizza…). And we were lucky with the weather too.

Eszter Tandel
5/5
Custom Reindeer Herders Photography Tour
Looking for a travel agency in Mongolia? Nomadic Trails is definitely the best choice! I just arrived home from a photography tour organised by Nomadic Trails.

It was a very memorable trip ful of actions, and funny happenings.
Our guide, Tulga was very professional and never the less very patient. Tsetsgee, our cook made an excellent job as well, she was able to cook perfect dishes even in the middle of nowhere.
See you soon guys! … because every great journey needs to be continued!

John
5/5
Group Reindeer Herders tour
Tulga designed our itinerary to cover as much quality experiences as we can in 7 days. We had a wonderful time boating at Khovsgol, tent camping in 5* spots – all with superb sunset view, before

hopping on our horses to go to the Tsaatan reindeer tribe, then finally staying at one of the best camps in Murun.
Everything was so well-organized. Noteworthy is Tulga’s relationship with the tribe, which is an important consideration when we were planning this trip as we want to be as respectful as possible to the tribe for them not to feel uneasy during our stay.
Our group was delighted to have raw and authentic Mongolian experience without having to sacrifice comfort – we had delicious food, great accommodation and comfortable transportation all throughout our trip – thanks to the incredible team of Nomadic Trails!

Kimberley H
5/5
Private Reindeer Herders Tour
I was very pleased with my trip with Nomadic Trails. Our guide Tulga was knowledgeable and experienced. The staff was friendly and accommodating and we were served great food.

The experience staying with the reindeer tribe was incredible and something not to miss in northern Mongolia.
Overall the whole tour was well organized and I would have another tour in the future.

Matthew K
5/5
Custom Reindeer & Golden Eagle Festival Tour
We travelled with a large group and everything from the second we landed was perfectly organized. We had the opportunity to see the beauty of Mongolia and interact with incredible locals

thanks to Nomadic Trails. Tulga and everyone on his team were so accommodating to any of our requests and even helped us navigate our way through the local market and barter for souvenirs. Truly delicious food as well at every stop. Phenomenal all around. Thank y’all for everything! Unbelievable experience in Mongolia!

Meridith
5/5
Private Reindeer Herders & Horse riding Tour
Excellent! Nomadic Trails is a top rate outfit. We thoroughly enjoyed our horse trip with Tulga and Naraa. They met our highest

expectations and we went back for another trip the next year. The culture, food, horses and especially the country were wonderful. We highly recommend Nomadic Trails if you want to see real Mongolia.

Sandra Henri
5/5
Private Group Dukha Reindeer Herders Tour
Ulaanbaatar
Why is it the experiences that move us most deeply are the hardest to put into words? Perhaps it’s because experiences of the soul don’t need to be broadcast, filtered and hash-tagged, they just are.

And so Mongolia goes about being magnificent, in the quietest and humblest of ways, surprising vistors with it’s immense beauty, and it’s magical ability to slow you down and re-centre you from within. Let’s call it a retreat for the adventurous.
The capital and a great place to do an international culinary tour. You’ll be spoilt for choice of restaurants here. When I first arrived in Ulaanbaatar, I noticed how sweet is was to see friends affectingly arm in arm, strolling down the street together, whilst I raced past making a mission of my evening walk. ‘C’mon guys, can’t you see I’ve got places to be?’ was ticking through my mind, still in work mode, crossing off the to-do list. It was then music to my ears that Mongolian time very simply consists of before noon or afternoon. Ah bliss, I thought, I’d never be late again!

Mongolian countryside

As we headed into the vastness of the Mongolian countryside, it was the calm that struck me the most. 360 degrees of breathtaking wilderness, and although I tried, I don’t think the camera can do it justice. An energy so old and powerful, pure and untouched, this place is simply magical. Collectively our group began to relax and laugh our way into truly soaking up this experience. (as well as working out all our remarkable 6 degrees of separation!) Even the breakdowns and delays were greeted with laughter, knowing the worst that could happen was that we set up camp in a different piece of paradise.
Over 3 days of journeying by plane, 4WD and horseback, we arrived at our destination, the Reindeer Tribes living on the Siberian steppe. We collectively gasped as we emerged from the forest to see the smoke coming from the first of the teepees. Like stepping through the Narnia door, we entered a different world, so surreal, and such an honour to be one of the few travellers allowed to visit each year. Yet thanks to the many years of rapport established by our guides, it felt like we were welcomed home, with freshly brewed tea and happy kids eager to play.
Living nomadically means that packing up all your earthly possessions (including satellite dish), riding 6 hours, and setting up camp at the next season’s residence, is all in a days work. Foraging and hunting for food, whilst surviving -40 degrees in the winter, these people are next level resilient (as well as the original minimalists). The Tsaachin are innately connected to the rhythms of nature as well as interconnected to each other. With a gentleness, humility and warmth that we seem to have lost. I hope the Tsaachin can sustain their lifestyle for generations to come, as we have so much to re-learn from their wisdom. Ah if only I could have paused time, stayed a while longer and asked another 1000 questions.
And so my memories of Mongolia linger fondly, with my wind horse (soul) happy, hoping that one day I’ll return to fill my cup with Mongolia’s calm once more. Thank-you Lisa, Tulga and your phenomenal team for creating an atmosphere as magical as your country. (and Puujee, how you created 3 course meals for the 10 of us each day on a camp stove, was flippin’ amazing!) .
Because positive impact travel grows our shared humanity, which grows compassion, which ultimately grows a more peaceful world.
And when in Mongolia, a polar plunge is a must isn’t it?

Viktoria Varga
5/5
Reindeer Tsaatan Custom Photography Tour
We had a wonderful trip in Mongolia organized by Nomadic Trails. I highly recommend them to anyone considering coming to this wonderful country.

Tulga, our tour guide is very knowledgeable and helpful, his driving skills also worth a praise and believe me, on these roads, it is a big advantage for someone like me with a motion sickness.
They provided a cook for us, who exceeded all of our expectations.
If you want a truly amazing experience just go with them!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THIS TOUR?

Ulaanbaatar
Ulaan Uul Town
Dukha Tribe Winter Camp
Murun town
Darkhad Depression
Mongolian Taiga

Reindeer related information:

Reindeer produce very little milk, so you cannot purchase it. But not to worry, you can still drink reindeer milk tea made by a local reindeer family. Some families with many reindeer sell cheese, so when you meet such families you can ask them to buy some.

After we ask the owner first, we can also ride a reindeer for a short amount of time.

Domestic local flight:

The baggage allowance for a domestic flight in Mongolia is 15kgs in total: 10kg for check-in luggage and 5kg for hand luggage. For extra luggage, you pay 3000-5000 Tugriks (local currency) per extra kilogram.

Accommodation:

We will be staying two nights in the Taiga where we will be sleeping in a tee-pee but stove-heated Huts are available, for local hotels, in Murun town for 2 nights, and in Ulaan Uul town for 1 night in a log cabin.

Food and drinks:

Our professional expedition chef will be preparing both Mongolian and European cuisine for you. Depending on the itinerary of the day for example with lengthy driving, we will also be eating a packed lunch. Please don’t forget to write in our passenger list about your dietary requirements and allergies.
We will be providing you with mineral water, tea, and brewed coffee, but soda and juice will not be provided.

Tour guide and Leader:

Certified English-speaking experienced Tour Leaders and Tour guides will be your friend and close partner for the duration of the trip and even after your departure. All Nomadic Trails team members have been trained personally by Nomadic Trails experts and the Mongolian Professional Tour Guide Association.

Extra tips for this Nomadic Reindeer Herders Tour:

In the mornings, if you get up early, you can go on a walk, meditate or even read books.
During our drives, you will see stunning landscapes. You will witness the stunning view of mountains of unique formation, serene lakes, and frozen rivers. Sipping wine near a bonfire in the evenings, sharing memorable moments from our trip, and observing the starry sky is indeed a moment one can simply enjoy.

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