The Shaman tour offers all the magic of the Northern Mongolia tour plus you’ll travel north-west to the Darkhad depression and up to West Taiga by horse where you’ll meet reindeer people (also known Tsaatan and dukha people) who practice shamanism.
In Mongolia, Shamanism is known as Tengerism. Shamans practice a form of animistic religion; they worship nature, animals, and ancestors’ spirits as they believe all things and beings have a soul and spirit. All ancient spiritual practices are rooted in nature, therefore; shamanism is the method by which we as human beings can strengthen that natural connection.
Reindeer antlers, in particular, serve simultaneously as weapons and representations of power. If you want an experience that combines the spiritual, deeply cultural, and scenic gems of Mongolia, then this is the journey for you! There will be long drives and horse rides and the weather may fluctuate between hot and cold but if you can work through this you will get to witness something truly unique, such as meeting one the rarest tribes in the world. Your local Mongolian guide, Selenge, will ensure that everything on the journey runs smoothly and safely.
Here is just some of the MAGIC that awaits you:
• Practice yoga and meditation out in the open and develop a deeper understanding of your mind and body.
• Meet the nomads, Reindeer people, and attend a powerful Shaman ceremony.
• Witness everyday lives of Tsaatan people and their migrating reindeer.
• Play traditional games and party with the locals.
• Ride horses and camels on the Mongolian open steppe.
• Experience the taste of fermented mare’s milk and reindeer milk.
• Learn the history of Shamanism and Buddhism.
• Hike along the scenic Orkhon valley, Khorgo Volcano, and Great White Lake shores.
• Participate in unique culinary experiences such as Khorkhog (Mongolian BBQ), fermented mare’s milk, dried curd, and Mongolian cheese. The remaining meals on the tour will be mostly vegetarian.
• Attend Mongolia’s biggest traditional festival, Naadam, in a small village (if circumstances permit).
• Gather around the bonfire and exchange stories with your friendly fellow travellers.
• Join in our evening interactive self-development workshops.
• Immerse yourself in Mongolian art by visiting local museums and architecture.
• Enjoy traditional folk music and art performances.
Aug 1stThis is the official first day of the tour. We’ll pick you up from your hotel and take you on a tour of Ulaanbaatar city. Our first stop is a department store in Ulaanbaatar where you can have money exchanged, buy toiletries and a sim card, or relax at one of the metropolitan cafes. Next, you will visit Gandan monastery (the largest in Ulaanbaatar), The National Museum of Mongolia, The Intellectual Museum of Mongolia and Chinggis Main Square. In the evening, you can join our welcoming dinner at a traditional Mongolian cuisine restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers and the host.
Overnight in 3-star hotel (B)
****We recommend that you arrive at least one day before the tour. We offer FREE transportation between the airport and your hotel.
Aug 2ndAn exciting time has arrived! Today we will drive to Elsen Tasarhai (Mini Gobi sand dunes). It is one of the most exquisite sights in Mongolia, a combination of sand dunes and steppe land surrounded by beautiful blue Khogno haan mountains. Elsen Tasarhai means “an isolated torn-off piece of sand” it is a small section of desert in the midst of green steppes. Later in the day, we will have an opportunity to ride camels along the sand dunes and practice evening yoga. There will be an opening ceremony to kick off your once in a lifetime shaman tour.
Overnight in a traditional Mongolian ger home (B/L/D)
Aug 3rdWe’ll start with a morning yoga session amid the mini Gobi’s stunning scenery. In the afternoon, we’ll drive to Kharkhorin town where the Mongol Empire was once governed. Located at the crossroads of The Silk Road, this ancient city was founded by Chinggis (Genghis) Khaan in 1220. Also in Kharahorin, we’ll visit the impressive Erdene zuu monastery. This Monastery was built in 1586 and is surrounded by a massive 400m x 400m stupa walls. Not a single nail was used in the construction of the ornate temples and it is one of the few in the world that remains standing after the communist purges.
Overnight in a guest ger (B/L/D)
Aug 4thToday will begin with yoga in the historical Orkhon valley. After lunch, we’ll drive to the Tsenkher hot springs area (about 162km) to soak into healing qualities of the Tsenkher hot springs. The view on our drive will be a picturesque landscape decorated with beautiful green valleys and populated by nomadic gers and their herds. The Tsenkher Valley area has some of the lushest green forested mountains and meandering rivers. The Tsenkher hot spring reaches +86.5"C and is claimed to have curative properties for arthritic joints and other ailments. Many local Mongolians stay around the area over week or two to gain healing from the hot springs. We will spend a nice evening in the hot spring baths under the blue Mongolian skies surrounded by forest, steppe, and livestock. The hot springs also offer a great opportunity to hike into the forest, take photos or just relax and enjoy nature.
Overnight in a ger (B/L/D)
Aug 5thAfter our morning routine, we will continue our journey to the picturesque Chuluut river. Once again, we’ll be embarking on one of the most beautiful drives through gorgeous endless steppe, mountains, and rivers where you will witness peaceful grazing livestock and stunning nature. We’ll enjoy our freshly made lunch outdoors among friendly livestock.
Overnight camping in a tent (B/L/D)
Aug 6th - 7thAfter nurturing yoga in Mongolian steppe we set off Khorgo Terkh National park. Terkhiin Tsagaan nuur is known as Great white lake. The Lake is 16 kilometers wide, 20 kilometers in length, and 20 meters in depth. Lunch will be followed by an 8km hike up a nearby dormant volcano where you will see wild berries, rare herbs, and a variety of flowers. Arkhangai province is famous for its amazing dairy products. Maybe today is great chance to hang out with the yaks.
Day two is time to chill out, jump in the lake, and have a long yoga session to keep you relaxed and refreshed in preparation for more adventures.
Overnight in a ger (B/L/D)
Aug 8thAfter morning yoga and breakfast we’ll set off on a challenging drive. Our Russian van will blitz the bumpy road and deliver us to a nomadic haven where the Jargalant community lives. This area is surrounded by mountains, rivers, horses, and friendly locals. At this magical destination, you will meet and interact with the locals.
Overnight in a guest ger (B/L/D)
Aug 9thAfter morning yoga in the Northern Mongolian outdoors, we’ll commence a full day drive to the Shine-Ider village of Khuvsgul province. Further north of our route are the wooded slopes of the Khangai mountain ranges where you will witness jaw-dropping landscapes. Lunch will be served in the beautiful outdoors. This is one of Selenge’s favorite camping spots. Tonight is a perfect night to gather around the bonfire and exchange stories with your friendly fellow travellers.
Overnight in a tent (B/L/D)
Aug 10thAfter our refreshing yoga session, we’ll head to Murun city, the capital of the Khuvsgul province, to stock up our trip to Tsaaatan (reindeer people) and then head north to the Darkhad depression. The road conditions will be challenging however, nature will get wilder and more pristine. We will drive along steppe, forest, and mountains forest.
Overnight in camping. (B/L/D)
Aug 11thAfter our morning routine, we will set off to Tsagaannuur the town gateway to the Reindeer people. This area has the highest levels of rainfall in Mongolia which supports the alpine wetlands. In the afternoon, we’ll arrive in TsagaanNuur a town located beside a large alpine lake. We’ll visit the Tsaatan Community Visitor Center (TCVC), a one-of-a-kind facility owned and operated by the Tsaatan community. The services here are modestly priced and income from tourism is fairly distributed and dedicated to the sustainability of this small community as a whole. For the next 3 days, we utilize TCVC services: their guides and horses for both riding and transporting our luggage.
Overnight in a small wooden house or tent. (B/L/D)
Aug 12thAfter breakfast and a short yoga session, we’ll meet our guides and their horses and begin our journey towards West Taiga (boreal forest), one of only two regions where the Reindeer people inhabit. We’ll drive 25 kilometers to Uhert and continue the rest of the trip on horseback. Mongolian horses are sturdy, strong, and smart. Selenge will give safety instructions to ensure a safe ride. Our journey will feature open and forest terrain with lots of mud puddles and uphill and downhill areas. We’ll ride almost entirely at a walking pace. Your horse riding guides are residents of Taiga and know the routes, history, and people of that region very well. We’ll arrive at our destination before sunset and camp overnight in the Menge Bulag pass.
Overnight in the tent. (B/L/D) Depending on availability we may able to hire a tepee for you.
*** Some of your luggage and camping equipment will be carried by pack horses and the remaining items you will need to carry yourself. However, we advise that you leave most your belongings in the car in Tsagaannuur town to minimize your baggage.
Aug 13thToday is a full day to allow you to meet families, explore the stunning taiga ecosystem, and learn about the Reindeer people’s life and traditions. You will have plenty of opportunities to play with children, photograph reindeer, go for walk, and cleanse your hands and face in the chilly Taiga river or simply observe the Dukha tribe.
We encourage that you help the Dukha people with basic tasks around camp to experience a slice of their daily life. The Dukha people domesticate reindeer by riding them, breeding them, and using them for milk, cheese, and fur. Normally reindeer people making a living through selling handcrafted goods, make sure you support these people by purchasing some of these items. There will be plenty of time to walk around Taiga to take photos, however, make sure to tip them as it is their main source of income. These people the most financially challenged population in Mongolia. There will be an evening shaman ceremony.
Overnight in camping. (B/L/D)
Aug 14thIt’s time to say goodbye to reindeer, pristine nature, and shaman and ride our horses back to Tsagaannuur town which should take a few hours. We’ll meet our drivers in Tsagaannuur town and continue our journey of around 165km to Khuvshgul lake national park.
Overnight in camping under the star and evening bonfire. (B/L/D)
Aug 15th & 16thThese two days are often regarded as the highlight of the tour. Khuvsgul lake is known as the “dark blue pearl of Mongolia” and offers some of the best scenery in the country. It is the second-most voluminous freshwater lake in Asia and holds almost 70% of Mongolia's fresh water and 0.4% of all the fresh water in the world. During our time here we’ll go horseback riding and do some optional activities like hiking, boat hire and kayaking in the spectacular Khuvsgul freshwater lake. While you’re there, you can support local business by purchasing dried fish from the locals and buying handmade souvenirs. There will also be the option to visit shamans and local nomads. Our tour chef will treat you to some delicious Mongolian cuisine for dinner.
Overnight in a ger (B/L/D)
Aug 18thAfter our early morning yoga session, we’ll travel back to Murun town to catch a flight to Ulaanbaatar city. On arrival, you will be transferred from Ulaanbaatar airport to your hotel where you can catch up on some rest before we attend a Mongolian traditional song and dance ensemble performance followed by farewell dinner.
Note: Pre and post tour accommodation and tour arrangements are available.
Aug 19thEnjoy a day at your own pace. We can take you to museums, temples, or souvenir shopping if you’re not leaving early in the morning.
I hope that you enjoyed Mongolia!
Tour Prices Include:
Arrival transportation to your hotel
Ulaanbaatar City Tour
Daily Yoga & Meditation
1 way Domestic flight Murun city to UB
2 nights in a 3-star Hotel in Ulaanbaatar (twin share)
Permission to enter Tsaatan land
All accommodation in the countryside (twin or four person share ger)
Camping in a tent (single person tent provided)
3 day horseback riding excursion in Darkhad region
1-hour camel riding excursion
National Parks/Museum/Temples Entrance Fees
Driver and all ground transportation for the tour
All meals as specified – Meal codes = (B, L, and D): breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Traditional song and dance ensemble performance entry
Visa support documentation (if needed)
Tour Price Does Not Include:
International train & flights
Alcoholic beverages, snack, additional water meals in Ulaanbaatar City