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August 15, 2012

Exploring Mongolia with Nomadic Expeditions

By Ingrid Skjong | Travel

Exploring Mongolia with Nomadic Expeditions
Courtesy Nomadic Expeditions

It isn’t often that one gets the chance to travel with a roster of experts who not only know the chosen destination inside and out but also have years of experience navigating uncharted territory. In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Nomadic Expeditions is making that happen, assembling an accomplished, innovative team for an 11-day trip (October 3–14) to Mongolia—considered one of the last untouched wilderness areas of Asia.

Jalsa Urubshurow, Nomadic Expeditions CEO and founder, will lead 15 guests along with Peter Matthiessen, author of the National Book Award–winning The Snow Leopard; naturalist and birder Victor Emanuel; and Costas Christ, an editor and columnist for National Geographic Traveler and an expert on ecotourism. “I really wanted to create a once-in-a-lifetime trip that showcased Mongolia’s best-kept secrets in a genuine and distinctive way, while sharing my perspective along with those of my peers, who are some of the sharpest minds in sustainable travel and conservation,” says Urubshurow.

Guests will see the famed Gandan Monastery and meet Hamba Lama, the highest Buddhist lama. Accommodations include traditional gers at the Three Camel Lodge, a top-rated ecolodge in the Gobi Desert. Chances to see animals like the Przewalski’s horse, the world’s last wild equine species, which resides in Hustain Nuruu National Park, and lammergeiers (bearded vultures), which call the foothills of the Altai Mountains home, abound. Visits to places like Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia’s westernmost province, to see Kazak golden eagles hunt at the Golden Eagle Festival, provide an authentic perspective. And a gala reception and dinner at the Fine Arts Museum in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital, celebrates the journey.

The rare glimpse into the country’s beauty, culture and history is matched only by the opportunity to travel side-by-side with such an esteemed assemblage. It may very well be a trip of a lifetime, and the impression left on its guests may just last that long. October 3–14; $13,800 a person (double occupancy); 800-998-6634.