Discovering the Gobi Desert

Quick excursion to the Gobi Desert

Discovering the Gobi Desert

Southern Mongolia

  • Overland Discovery
  • Family holiday
4 Days
2 Flights
Not Child Friendly

The great Gobi desert covers one third of Mongolia’s territory. Hundreds of years ago the desert was part of the main trade route between East and West, with camel caravans crossing the vast steppe loaded with perfumes, silks, spices and other goods. This short excursion is an introduction to the Gobi’s rare wildlife, intriguing landscapes, and resourceful nomads in constant search of grazing land for their herds.


Day 1. Ulaanbaatar ✈ Dalanzadgad – Yolin Am

  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Our local guide would meet us at the hotel lobby, as we head to the airport for the short domestic flight down to the Gobi Desert. We land in Dalanzadgad, the capital city of South Gobi Province. Once a remote desert town, it today serves as the center of logistics for the developing mining industry. Over the last decade, massive exploration operations have revealed in the Gobi Desert an abundance of precious metals and minerals. And thus, the once peaceful desert is being trampled by excavators, monster trucks, and massive drills- all in the hope of making a quick fortune. Luckily, most of these mines are far from the eye, but their environmental impact can be seen and felt throughout this massive desert. Upon landing in Dalanzadgad we meet our driver, and embark on a one and a half hours’ drive to the ‘Gobi’s Beauties’ Nature Reserve. Once at the reserve, we head to the ‘Vulture’s Valley’- a beautiful oasis at the foot of the ‘Three Beauties’ Mountain range. As the rays of sun does not reach the small river at the creek’s basin, it is kept frozen throughout the beginning of the summer, and hence, the place is commonly known as the ‘Gobi Glacier’. We take an easy hike along the beautiful stream, and if lucky, we get to see some of the wildlife inhabiting the reserve. Overnight in a ger camp- the cozy yet simple, Mongolian version of a lodge, consisting of traditional felt-made dwellings the nomads of Central Asia often refer to as yurt.

Day 2. Yolin Am - Khavtsgait Petroglyphs – Khongoriin Els

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

We leave our camp, and head towards Khavtsgait Petroglyphs, located on a cliff overlooking the vast Gobi Plains. Here, in what was once an ancient place of worship, or place of congregation, beautiful petroglyphs has been inscribed on the rocks. The rock paintings depict scenes drawn from the daily lives of those inhabited the region hundreds, and even thousands of years ago. Another four hours of driving through the Gobi’s typical cold desert landscape, so called because the Gobi receives its moisture in the form of snow, brings us to the Khongorin Els sand dunes. After a late lunch at the ger camp where we will spend the night, we will go to explore the towering dunes on foot. If the breeze is blowing just right, we may hear the dunes singing to us. The rugged desert plants of the Gobi at the edges of the sands are beautiful in their own sculptural way. Overnight in a ger camp.

Day 3. Khongoriin Els - Bayan Zag

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Khongoriin Els – Bayan Zag (B,L,D) Our first stop of the day would be at the place known to westerners as The Flaming Cliffs. Bayan Zag (Rich with Saxaul) is famed for its red sandstone cliffs which take on beautiful red and orange hues during sunset. The area is also recognized as one of the world’s largest dinosaur graveyards. In 1921, the American Roy Chapman Andrews discovered here some of the most important Paleontological findings of the last century. We arrive at Bayan Zag around lunch time and spend the afternoon exploring the cliffs on foot, as we wait for the sunset to set the cliffs “aflame”, if weather permitting of course. We then take the about one-hour’s drive back to the ger camp in which we stayed in our first day in the Gobi.

Day 4. Fly back to Ulaanbaatar

  • Breakfast

This morning we drive back to Dalanzadgad airport, for the flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Landing back in the Mongolian capital, we meet the local driver who would take us back to the city center.

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Dates & Pricing

Discounted rates: 
4 travelers – 10% discount
6 or more travelers – 25% discount

  • Prices are based on twin share occupancy.
  • Applicable only for travel groups of 4 people or more booking their trip together.
  • The discounted price is the price for 2 people (below) less the discount.
  • Mongolian Ways Ltd. reserves the right to change tour prices and programs due to changes in flight schedule, changes in airfares, and other local circumstances.

  • $1,257 Per Person (From 2 people)
  • $61 Single Room Supplement

Additional Information

  • Domestic flights
  • Accommodation as per program
  • All meals as per program (full board basis)
  • Drinking water
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Private 4WD vehicle
  • All transfers
  • All entrance fees as per program

  • International airfare
  • Travel insurance
  • Expenses of personal nature (laundry, communications, food and beverages beyond those provided)
  • Gratuties
  • Anything not clearly mentioned as included in the program

  • 3 nights in a ger camp

Note: The listed hotels are tentative. Final hotel list shall be confirmed upon placing a booking and paying a deposit.


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True to their reputation, Mongolian Ways has lived up to and exceeded the standards of tour excellent team, personable, helpful, and extremely well humored. A thoroughly well-planned tour, and the best few night's sleep I have had in a long time.

Sebastian Strassburg , Germany

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