Motoring Expedition across Mongolia’s Gobi Desert

Expedition Overview

Possessing a last-place-on-earth allure that is not easy to access, Mongolia shows up on the bucket list of every veteran traveler. Driving yourself a Nissan Patrol 4×4 across one of the greatest deserts in the world; discovering primordial fossils hidden within flaming-red cliffs; watching the sun setting pink and purple over a Mongolian yurt. Very few experiences bring together offbeat adventure and epic road-tripping quite like this voyage across Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. If mystery and intrigue is what you seek, then this expedition should be your pick.

Expedition Details

Price Refer Dates & Price section below
Duration 9 days
Expedition Vehicle Nissan Patrol 4×4
Terrain Predominantly Dirt Tracks
Group Size Max 12 pax
Country Mongolia
Drive 1750 kms
Weather Max 23°C and Min 9°C
Ideal for: Anyone above the age of 8 (All travelers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult)

Expedition Itinerary

Accommodation: Blue Sky Tower or similar

Upon arrival, check-in at the comfortable and centrally located Blue Sky Hotel. Ulaanbaatar is a fast-growing modern city with more than 1.3 million inhabitants. You can choose to explore the city and surrounding on your own or contact us for assistance. In the evening we will have a detailed expedition briefing to get everyone familiarized with the plan before we fly out the next day to explore the majestic Gobi Desert.

Accommodation: Ger Camp

In the morning we will take a flight out of Ulaanbaatar to Gobi from where we will be officially starting our motoring expedition. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your Ger camps where you will spend your first day like a typical Nomad. After checking-in to your respective ger camps, we will introduce you to your expedition machines. To get everyone familiarized with their respective vehicles, we have planned a short drive to Yol Valley which is an ideal start for our overland adventure. Yol valley is a protected site since 1965 that lies 62 km north-west of Dalanzadgad and spans across an area of 70 km. The valley is named after the bearded vulture, which is called Yol in Mongolian. We will spend the afternoon trekking through the deep and narrow gorge of this valley which is located within the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park and after that we get back to our camps to freshen up and get ready for a wonderful traditional Mongolian dinner.

Accommodation: Roof-Top Tents

Distance: 180 km | Time: 6 hours | Terrain: Dirt Roads

After breakfast, we will begin our motoring expedition heading west towards Mongolia’s largest and most beautiful sand dunes, Khongoryn Els. The drive is also challenging as the terrain is mostly dirt tracks. We will arrive at Buren ger camp for lunch. Post lunch, we will drive along the dunes to visit a camel herding family, where with the help of our local cultural expert, you will learn more about their nomadic lifestyle and deeper insight into their day-day routine. Then we continue our drive to the western end of Khongyryn dunes, where we will be camping in an oasis called Chono Shurguul literally means Wolf Run. After that, you can relax and walk around the ever-changing mysterious landscape and watch the sun go down behind the gorgeous dunes. We will be spending the night in roof-top tents deep in the Gobi Desert surrounded by Saxual trees and Tamarix. The temperatures at night would get very cold as we are in a desert, but we will make it really special with a wonderful bonfire and dinner.

Accommodation: Ger Camp

Distance: 180 km | Time: 4 hours | Terrain: Dirt Roads

Today, a 4-hour drive will take us to the “Flaming Cliffs”, a worldwide renowned place where palaeontologist, Roy Chapman Andrews found dinosaur bones and eggs. The surrounding landscape is a beautiful combination of rocks, red sand and scrubs. You can spend time exploring the cliffs, but no fossil souvenirs please, it’s illegal. If the sky is clear, we can catch a glimpse of our milky way galaxy and learn some tricks about night photography from our seasoned Expedition Photographer.

Accommodation: Ger Camp

Distance: 180 km | Time: 4 hours | Terrain: Dirt Roads

We continue driving northwest to Ongii Monastery. Enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the Delger Khangai Mountains. We will explore the ruins of the Hoshuu Monastery on one side of the river and the ruins of the Ongii Monastery on the other. Hiking around this massive series of rocky hills, cut by the river, is another option.

Accommodation: Ger Camp

Distance: 300 km | Time: 8 hours | Terrain: Dirt Roads

The valley is registered as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO due to its ancient findings and artefacts related to the early 6th century, also because the 12th to 13th century great Mongol empire had expanded its capital, Karakorum into this valley. Nevertheless, nomadic lifestyle still remains here, and it gives a view of both, a historic and a nomadic way of life. Adventure seekers can climb down the canyon and swim in the lake located at the foot of the waterfall.

Accommodation: Ger Camp

Distance: 180 km | Time: 4 hours | Terrain: Dirt Roads

After breakfast, we will head out of the valley towards a hot spring. No-one expects a hot-spring in middle of Mongolian Desert. But there it is. The water pules out of the ground at a remarkable 86 degrees C and contains hydrogen sulphide. The springs have been managed to give a slightly less scorching temperature making this place an ideal stop to relax after days of driving through barren desert. Soak in the hot-springs and relax for the day. If the spa is operational, we will assist you with the reservation prior to our arrival.

Accommodation: Safari Style Tents

Distance: 340 km | Time: 6 hours | Terrain: Mostly Tarmac

An early start as today will be the last day of our overland adventure. First we will head to to the 13th century capital of the Mongolian Empire built by Chinggis Khan – Kharhorin. We will visit the famous Erdene-Zuu Monastery that consists of three temple complexes covering a large area. Art historians consider this, 16th-17th century masterpiece, to be the prime example of classic Mongolian and Tibetan art. And then we will visit Kharkhorin’s museum. It is small, but highly impressive – and the country’s best museum outside Ulaanbaatar.

Later in the afternoon, we will head towards Hustain Nuruu National Park which is 100 kms away from UB. Instead of staying in the capital we will stay in the national park in safari style tents and to commemorate our expedition we will have a special evening with traditional folk music and performance with bonfire and dinner. And to cherish all the great experiences we had during this epic expedition.

Accommodation: NA

Depending on your flight timings, we will organize your airport transfers from Hustain Nuruu National Park. Incase if someone wishes to visit UB for last minute shopping before heading home, then we recommend you take a late evening flight so that you have sufficient time in the city before heading to the airport.

Expedition Vehicle

Nissan Patrol 4x4

What to Expect

What our Clients say

A regular agency would have taken you in a chauffeur driven car, put you up in plush hotels and would not have allowed a real insight into the real micro part of Mongolia.

– Bibhu, Mongolia Expedition 2017.

Featured in

We had the privilege to travel with Rosemary Behan, an eminent Travel Journalist who does special features in The Times, The National and other renowned travel publications. Having travelled to over 100 countries, Mongolia was always on her bucket list. And as soon as she heard about our expedition across Gobi desert, she didn’t wait any further and jumped at the opportunity right-away. Read her complete story.

Dates and Prices

Dates Price per Person Interested?

The quoted price is per person on double occupancy basis unless otherwise noted, and are subject to change without notice. Families travelling with kids are requested to contact us for exclusive family prices. Solo travellers and groups with more than 2 members and those who need single supplement are requested to contact us for the differential pricing. Optional activities are at an additional cost. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars.

Inclusions & Exclusions

  • Exclusive Expedition Vehicle for a team of 2 people with fuel
  • Nomadic Road Expedition team along with local cultural expert throughout the trip
  • 4x4 support vehicle that will carry essential tools and equipment for the trip
  • Domestic flight between Ulaanbaatar and Dalanzadgad
  • Expedition Chef to take care of our meals throughout the trip
  • Accommodation for all nights on twin share basis
  • Meals on all days except for few days to let you try the local cuisine. Refer exclusions for more details.
  • Airport transfers
  • Third party vehicle liability insurance for expedition vehicles
  • All excursions, entrance fees, and visits as described in the itinerary
  • International Flights
  • Visa
  • International Driving Permit
  • Meals on Day 1 and Dinner on Day 8.
  • Comprehensive Personal Insurance(s)
  • Personal medication
  • Extras like room service, drinks, optional excursions and items of personal nature like laundry, tips, phone calls etc.

Why join us?

If you’re satisfied with booking your trip online and hoping for the best, you don’t need us. Unusual travel experiences and motoring across far ends of our planet are not simple to plan, let alone find. And that is what makes Nomadic Road distinct. We know our destinations thoroughly, collaborate with exceptional in-country colleagues, and have many years of experience orchestrating eye-opening journeys. With us, you’ll see a destination in a different light – through the Nomadic Road lens – and discover things you won’t find out about any other way.

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