Mongolia Birding, Adventure and Culture Tour
Siberian Taiga Forest, Rolling Steppes & Rocky Mountains
This fascinating birding trip in the land of the Genghis Khan offers the best way to experience Mongolia with great birding and wildlife viewing. We will visit genuinely fantastic wildlife habitats throughout this trip, from Siberian taiga forest to the freshwater/salty lakes and rolling steppes in Mongolia. Lodging is in traditional ger camps where you will meet nomadic herders and learn from the age-old nomadic lifestyle. Mongolia is about the same size as Alaska and with only 3.2 million people, most of the country is uninhabited pristine wilderness. Our local Mongolian team leaders provide excellent guide service, transport and lodging for this adventure.
Printable Bird List
(Checklist of birds that we have seen on this trip)
- Travel Dates: September 3 - 12, 2020
- Group Size: 4 - 6 Travelers plus guides, spaces left for 2020 = 5
- Trip Length: 10 days
- Rates: Rate per person = $3,850 (based on double occupancy) Rate for single occupancy is $4,650
- Rates are: Inclusive: Domestic transfers, lodging, breakfast, lunch, dinner, scheduled group tours, entrance fees & Allianz travel health insurance.
- Not Included: International airfare, customs & immigration fees and visas, alcohol, trip cancellation insurance
Map of the travel route here: Mongolia Map (opens a new page)
If you would like to see recent photos click here: Newsletter Archives (opens a new page)
More photos can be found here: Photo Gallery (opens new page)
Day 1: Arrival Ulaanbaatar
Depending on your departure city, it will be 2- 3 flights to get to the Ulaanbaatar (Ulan Bator) Chinggis Khaan International Airport (ULN) and with arrival the next day. Your flight should be scheduled to arrive on “Day One” of the tour. You will be greeted at the airport and shuttled to the hotel. Activities for the day will depend on your arrival time.
Day 2: Ulaanbaatar
Ulaanbaatar is the capitol of Mongolia and has a very long history dating back more than 3 million years ago to the Stone Age and early Hominids. Today the city has a population of 1.5 million (nearly half of the entire Mongolian population) and the city is located at about 4,300 feet. September is the end of the rainy season and we should expect to experience a little rain or snow on the trip; average temperatures range from 35 – 65 degrees (low-high). Ulaanbaatar has numerous temples and historic sights to see. We will also do some urban birding.
Day 3: Hustai National Park
From Ulaanbaatar it is a 2-hour drive to Hustai National Park; land of the reintroduced Takhi/Przewalski’s Wild Horse. 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 such as Red Deer, Mongolian Marmot, and Long-tailed Ground Squirrel, watch the fascinating bird life 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.
Day 4: Hustai National Park
A second day at Hustai National Park, which extends through the Khentii Mountains and includes the western edge of the Mongolian steppe covering 125,000 acres. Over 44 species of mammals have been recorded, including Altai Wapiti, Mongolian Gazelle, Roe Deer, wild boar, wild sheep, ibex, Mongolian Marmots, Grey Wolves, Eurasian Lynx, Pallas's Cat, Red Fox, Corsac Fox and Eurasian badger. The Tuul River runs through the park and adds riparian habitats to this small, but diverse area. Overnight in a tourist ger camp.
Day 5: Ugii Lake
From Khustai National Park it is a 3-hour drive to Ugii Lake. Along the way we visit Tsagaan Lake which is a shallow salty lake with large amounts of reed-bed. 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. Overnight in a tourist ger camp.
Day 6: Ugii Lake
A second day exploring the area of Ugii Lake. 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 home to waterfowl including Pintail, Garganey, Common and Red-crested Pochards, Ruddy and Common Shelducks. The area has the best opportunity for seeing both 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. Overnight in a tourist ger camp.
Day 7: Khugnu-Tarna National Park
It is a 3-hour drive to Khugnu-Tarna National Park, with its wonderful contrasting scenery of sand dunes, wetlands, and rocky mountains. 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.
Day 8: Gorkhi - Terelj National Park (Siberian boreal forest)
It is a 5-hour drive to Gorkhi-Terelj NP is a southern end of the Siberian boreal forest where you find picturesque mountains with mixed forests and beautiful valleys. In 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 Sparrow-hawk. Have dinner at the restaurant of the ger camp.
Day 9: Ulaanbaatar
In the morning we will drive down to the riparian forest of Gorkhi - Terelj National Park, where we will find old growth trees and find birds like 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 and Pine Bunting. Afternoon we will do birding near campsite for Blyth’s and Richard’s Pipits, Isabelline and Northern Wheatears, Daurian Jackdaw and Red-billed Chough. In the afternoon we will travel back to Ulaanbaatar with time to get organize for the next day’s departure back home.
Day 10: Fly Home
There will be a shuttle to the airport for flights back to the States
Please note: The lodging described in this itinerary is always our first choice based on availability. Details of this trip are a little vague as it is VERY flexible. Destinations throughout the trip are based on the desires, ability and goals of the group.