Reindeer Herders Tour - 13 Days

This extraordinary 12-night 13-day trip to Tsaatan Dukha or Reindeer herders has been one of the Nomadic Trails’ signature tours since 2007.

To spend time with these remarkable people is truly brimming with cultural practices that provide a deep insight into this fascinating nomadic way of life. Escape to this remote destination and enrich your memories with wonderful memories.

Spend the night under the starry sky peeking through the tee-pee roof of reindeer people, taste extraordinary milk of reindeer and be a part of the Tsaatan people at the Taiga.

Our journey starts in the Ulaanbaatar city tour at the capital and continues on by a local flight to the far-northern province of Mongolia called Khuvsgul Province. An engaging drive towards the Taiga through the Darkhad Depression will leave you itching to grab your camera and phone to snap some photos of beautiful untouched landscapes. Go horse riding on small-stature Mongolian horses towards the reindeer herders camp and spend two magical days with the tribe’s people.

Create your own trails to one of the most attractive places in Mongolia with Nomadic Trails!

Tour details

Trip Highlights

  • Epic scenery of southern edge of Siberia
  • Ride small Mongolian horses to the Taiga forest
  • Witness the everyday 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

Itinerary

Day 1
Ulaanbaatar City

We meet you upon arrival and transfer to the hotel. Depending on your arrival time we will visit the National History Museum with priceless treasures. A traditional folk concert with talented throat singers, dancers, and a beautiful contortionist is also available in the evening.
Welcome dinner.

📍 Overnight hotel

Day 2
UB - Murun town - Ujig River valley

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. We collect border permission, as we will be very close to the Mongolian and Russian border.

📍 Overnight tented camping

Day 3
Murun town - Ulaan Uul

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. Then we drive out of town to head to our mountain camping site.

📍 Overnight tented camping

Day 4
Ulaan Uul - Khogorog River Valley

Continuing through the beautiful Darkhad depression this day we will visit a nomadic family with livestock in Hogorog River Valley. Be a part of the locals’ culture. For the night, we will be staying in Ger – Mongolian traditional dwelling, built by the local family.

📍 Overnight Ger stay

Day 5
Khogorog River Valley - Taiga / Reindeer Tribe Camp

After having a brief instruction on riding Mongolian horses, you will get acquainted with your own horse before it is time to set off. Start riding towards Taiga, the region where part of the Tsaachin communities lives. You will be introduced to the amazing world of the reindeer-herding people (Tsaachin).
Due to the marshy road conditions, we will not use vehicles to reach the area. We will gather all luggage and supplies including food and transfer it to the Taiga by horses. Horse riding is approx. 2-9 hours. depending on the tribe camp.

/Horse riding time varies depending on the reindeer tribe camp. For specific camp details, check out our blogs tagged under “reindeer tribe information”/

📍 Overnight tee-pee

Day 6
Taiga- Reindeer Tribe Camp

Spend this day staying amongst the Tsaachin people and experience their everyday life. Learn of their unique traditions such as milking reindeer and processing milk products like cheese.

Enjoy the tribe 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 larch forest and wildflower patches. Be inspired and gain power while meditating in untouched wilderness.

📍 Overnight tee-pee

Day 7
Taiga-Reindeer Tribe Camp/Khooloi Lake side

After breakfast, we ride through the mountain and arrive back at the big river Khogorog. Your mind will be swirling with the incredibly rare experience you have just had over the past few days. Stay in ger near the local family and their farm animals.

📍 Overnight Ger stay

Day 8
Khooloi Lake side/ Ujig River valley

We will drive through Tsagaan Nuur town, the most northern town of Mongolia. Then we continue driving to the Ujig river valley for our camping site for some rest. In short, it is a driving day through the beautiful scenery of mountains and flower valleys.

📍 Overnight tented camping

Day 9
Ujig River Valley- Khuvsgul Lake

After early breakfast, we drive to Khuvsgul Lake, the deepest lake in Mongolia. It is a freshwater lake known as the Blue Pearl of Mongolia. We set up our camp on the shore of the lake. Free relaxed evening at the lakeshore.

📍 Overnight tented camping

Day 10
Khuvsgul Lake

Full day at the lake. We can do some yoga and meditation at the lakeshore for our relaxation. Overall peaceful day to enjoy the beautiful view.

📍 Overnight tented camping

Day 11
Khuvsgul Lake/ Murun- Uushgiin over (Deer stone Monuments)

We head north to most north getaway town – Murun. We visit an ancient site of a burial ground and Deer stone with deer scripts. There is one interesting deer stone with a human face out of the 22 that are here.

📍 Overnight ger camp

Day 12
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.

📍 Overnight hotel

Day 13
Departure

We will transfer you to your international departure.

Inclusions

  • • All meals mentioned
  • • All Transports mentioned
  • • All accommodation mentioned
  • • Trip Leader/Guides: Professional English speaking tour guide
  • • Airport transfers
  • • Staff meals, accommodation, and other expenses where applicable.
  • • Entrance fees: Entry fees to museums, concerts, monasteries, national parks, and road charges for tourists, staff, and vehicles are also included.
  • • Others: Company support letter to apply for Mongolian visas.

Exlusions

  • • Airport taxes and excess baggage charges
  • • Alcoholic beverages and special diets
  • • Inoculations and personal insurances
  • • International flights and cost of visas
  • • Optional tours and extensions
  • • Personal expenses i.e. telephone calls, laundry, email, fax, room services.
  • • Personal items and sleeping bags if camping
  • • Single room supplement and sleeping bags
  • • Tips and gratuities
  • • Video recording or photography fees at sights

Our most asked questions and answers

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I have two daughters, the youngest one is 4 and the oldest one is 8. I would like to take both of my daughters with me. Is it possible?

Yes, it is possible. If you are confident that you can ride a horse well, you can ride with your youngest daughter. But if you are not, we will hire an extra horse guide to lead your daughters safely to our destination at the Taiga reindeer people.

Could you describe our trip accommodation?

We will be staying two nights in the Taiga where we will be sleeping in tee-pees. For days at Khogorog river valley, we will stay near the local family in gers, which is a traditional Mongolian dwelling. For the rest of our trip, we will be camping in 2 person tents which are designed for 3 seasons. Even during summer, mornings and evenings are quite chilly in the Taiga and mountainous regions, therefore, we will be providing you with warm blankets made of camel wool and waterproof mattress. We highly recommend you bring a warm sleeping bag with you.
For all our days except at the Taiga where we will share the Reindeer Herder’s toilets, we will be setting up our shower tent and toilet tents. In Kharganat, you will be staying in a ger camp.

How many of us will be sleeping in one tent?

Two people will be sharing a tent. We will sort out the rooming to men/women, we will not mix two genders unless the tent mates are partners. If you would like to room alone in a tent, please note that you will be charged a tent-single supplement.

What will I be eating during the trip?

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.

Can I buy reindeer milk and cheese?

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 reindeers sell cheese, so when you meet such families you can ask them to buy some.

What more can I do throughout the tour?

In the mornings, if you get up early, you can go on a walk, meditate, do some yoga or even read books.
During our drives, you will see stunning landscapes and visit hospitable nomadic families who are happy to share their dairy products such as fermented milk with guests. You will get to taste extraordinary cheese made from reindeer milk at the Taiga as well as getting to know reindeer families. You will witness the stunning view of mountains of unique formation, serene lakes, and lively rivers. Sipping wine near a bonfire in the evenings, sharing memorable moments from our trip, observing the starry sky is indeed a moment one can simply enjoy.

Do we have a tour guide?

Our certified Tour Leaders and Tour guides who have been trained by the Mongolian Professional Tour Guide Association will be with you for the duration of the trip.

I have never ridden a horse before and I am very nervous. What if I fall from my horse?

We have successfully organized our horse riding to the Taiga with travelers who have never ridden a horse before. Don’t worry, you will have full detailed instructions from your Tour Leader on how to ride a horse, how to sit on the saddle, hold the reins, and more.
All of our team members are trained in First aid, so we are capable of giving you first aid and taking you to the nearest hospital as quickly as possible. But as the ground is mossy and soft and you follow the instructions from your horse guide, there is a very small chance of you getting injured.

Is there an opportunity to ride a reindeer?

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

Are there mosquitoes? How should I prevent mosquito bites?

Yes, there are mosquitoes near rivers or lakes in the evenings, so mosquito spray, which is very effective, is highly advised.

What is the baggage allowance for the local flight?

The baggage allowance for the local flight is 15kgs in total:
10kg for check-in luggage and 5kg for hand luggage.

How much do I have to pay for excess luggage weight?

For extra luggage, you pay 3000-5000 Tugriks (local currency) per extra kilogram.

REINDEER HERDERS TOUR MAP

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Reindeer Herders Tour
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USD 2,450 Per Person
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USD 2,450 Per Adult
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Trip Facts

  • 4x4 Jeep
  • 2
  • Hotels, Tents and Ger camps
  • Moderate to High
  • All 4-seasons
  • 2-9 hours depending on the Reindeer tribe camp
  • One flight from Murun town to UB city