Gobi Camel Trek

Trek on camels in the Gobi desert

If you don't really fancy horse riding, but would like an active adventure involving camels, hiking, and wildlife spotting, amongst the splendour of the Gobi Desert, then this is the trip for you.

Trip Length:
Trip Length:
7 days

Daily plan

$1,450 NZD

What's included?

Days on Camels:
Days on Camels:
3-4 Days

Scheduled Departures

Including current availability

24 June - 30 June 2021
25 July - 31 July 2021
When would YOU like to travel?
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Experience the less-visited Gobi

Join us as we develop our latest trip, where we head south to the Gobi and jump on Mongolia’s magnificent two-humped bactrian camels for a desert trek. This is our ‘anti-tour’ as an alternative to the over-touristed standard Gobi route.

For most of us, picturing the Gobi does not include a 50-seater tour bus spoiling the view. Our mission has always been to show people the Mongolia that most people never get to see, and we realised that our previous Gobi trip had become rather too ‘beaten-track’.

It’s time to return to our roots and offer an immersive, ‘slow travel’ style of trip, with minimum driving, and steering clear of the tourist hot-spots. Camels are not exactly the fastest thing on four legs, so they give you the chance to look around and really enjoy the beauty of the desert.

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Who is this trip aimed at?

This trip is aimed at active people, not those who want to see Mongolia out of a car window. You might not get to see big sand dunes, but you also won't be seeing lots of tourists where we go. The local people we meet will be surprised to see you.

We will be visiting Ikh Nart Nature reserve, for a full day of hiking, where you will be able to see ibex and argali mountain sheep. There are also gazelle, wolves and other rare wildlife if you keep your eyes open. If you are really lucky you may even catch a glimpse of the long-tailed dwarf hamster.

Ikh Nart is 66,000ha in size, so there is plenty of exploring to be done. During the camel trekking there will also be the opportunity to hike after making camp, and even during the day as a break from the camels (it helps avoid a sore butt).


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The Mongolian Camel

These graceful ‘ships of the desert’ have been part of the nomadic herding culture for centuries. Their immense strength makes them perfect for moving heavy loads between camps (they are also good for milk and fibre). They are tough enough to survive the harsh Gobi desert, with its extreme summer heat up to 45C and winter cold down to -40C.

Some people will point out their famously bad temper, and habit of spitting on anyone who annoys them. And they do smell bad. But apart from that, they are a great way to travel in the desert! It's way better than being stuck in a 4WD all day.

Despite their versatility, their use in Mongolia is declining. It’s just a lot easier to throw your ger on the back of a truck these days, than to load up a camel train. This trip will give you the chance to experience camel culture as it is still practiced today.

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Take the slow-train south

In the spirit of our slow-travel ethos, we will take the overnight sleeper train from Ulaanbaatar heading south, in the evening of Day 1 (better than 6 hours in a 4WD vehicle). At the end of the trip, we have a relatively short distance to drive back to UB.

During the trip we will visit Khamriin Khiid, a monastery founded in the desert in 1820. Like most monasteries in Mongolia it was destroyed in the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, and many of the monks were executed. The current incarnation was re-built in the 90s. A small museum remembers the monastery in its heyday when many thousands of monks were in residence.

We will also be visiting local families along the way - experiencing Mongolia's unique nomadic culture is always part of our trips.

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I’d like to see more of Mongolia...

Hopefully you have more than just seven days in Mongolia, so this is the perfect trip to add on after our six-day Mongolian Taster Horse Trek, to make a 13-day multi-adventure. Don't worry if you are not a horse rider, as the Taster Trek is aimed at people with little or no riding experience. 

The Kharkhorin area where the horse ride takes place is lush and forested, so the arid desert-steppe  makes a nice contrast while travelling with the camels.

Between trips you will have a night in UB to get cleaned up and have a cold beer, before heading off once again. 

Receive 15% off both trips when booked together.

Trip Plan

This is an exploratory trek, and 2021 will be the first time we have run it with a group. If you need to know what time lunch will be and where we will be stopping at the end of the day, this is not the trip for you. Think of our treks as non-itinerised.

Day Activities
Day 1 Meet in Ulaanbaatar in the evening to catch the overnight train south to Sainshand (450km, 9hrs).
Day 2 A short drive in to the desert (50km) takes us to Khamriin Khiid (monastery). Continue on to meet our camel herder family. Learn about camel culture. Pack for 3 nights away with camels, then set out on your 'ship of the desert'.
Days 3 to 4 Camel trek, supported by pack-camels.
Day 5 Final day with camels then drive to Ikh Nart Nature Reserve (150km).
Day 6 Hiking and wildlife-spotting at Ikh Nart, and return to base camp.
Day 7 Drive back to Ulaanbaatar (350km).

The area where we travel

This map shows the general area where we travel with the camels.

What you need to know about our Gobi Camel Trek

If you don't see an answer to your question here, please see our general FAQs, or we are happy to have a chat

What's included in the price for the Gobi Camel Trek?
When do I need to arrive in Ulaanbaatar?
How do I know if this is the right trip for me?
How much hiking is involved?

Do you like to be the first one to try a new route?

Then ask us about joining our new exploratory Camel Trek.