4 - 12
Witness Mongolia's biggest national holiday, the colourful and simply spectacular Naadam Festival, on this two week adventure deep in the natural landscape away from the capital. Join the local nomadic community in cheering on their three classic sports - horse racing, archery and wrestling set against the backdrop of the stunning Lake Khovsgol.
The festival will give you a wonderful insight into the culture and traditions of Mongolian people, amid jaw-droppingly scenic landscapes, and by getting off the beaten track staying at traditional Ger camps to get to know local nomadic people each step of the way. 'Naadam' is also known as the “Three Games of Men”; originating from the time of Genghis Khan in the 13th Century - created to encourage strength, wisdom and courage in his fighting troops.
We are escaping the bustle of the capital Ulaanbaatar to experience the festival amidst the glorious setting of Lake Khovsgul, located in the northwest of Mongolia at the foot of the eastern Sayan Mountains. It is 1,645 metres above sea level, 136 kilometres long and 262 metres deep, holding almost 70% of Mongolia's fresh water. It is also a refreshing setting to experience this highlight of the Mongolian calendar away from the crowds and tourists in Ulaanbaatar.
Carbon Compensation is not the perfect solution, and it is important to first reduce our carbon emissions as much as we can, yet trees remain an excellent natural technology to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to slow global warming.
For every client and guide who attends a YellowWood Adventure, we donate £30 to our partner charity WeForest to plant 15 trees to (over) compensate for the carbon footprint of the tour.
We also invite our clients to match this with an optional additional £30 for another 15 trees to be planted to help compensate for the carbon footprint of their international flights.
WeForest run many tree planting and tree maintenance projects such as this seedling nursery in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil and many other projects in other countries including Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania & India.
Click Here to find out more about their amazing projects around the world.
We fully believe in, and practice Responsible Tourism, using accommodation run by locals. We put time and effort into building our relationship with them to ensure you have a a great trip.
We choose accommodation based on cleanliness, comfort, safety, proximity to our route (to avoid unnecessary extra travel), and a warm client welcome, as well as reliability in their service to us. Some hotels will be basic, and in modern buildings and or in towns. Wherever we can, we will choose smaller more characterful, individual options, but in areas where tourism is still developing, this may not be available.
An aspect of our adventures is to escape the ‘trappings’ of modern Western lifestyles and to experience new things which is exciting and memorable, and reflects the countries we are visiting.
This is adventure travel and on occasion the advertised services at a hotel (eg wifi, or hot showers!) may not be functional on our arrival. This tends to occur in the smaller, more remote hotels. Very rarely a hotel lets us down and we are required to find alternative suitable accommodation that might not be our first choice.
The accommodation on this adventure involves both hotel stays and camping in gers/yurts. The list below gives information on our first choice of accommodation for this adventure. Where hotels and refuges are fully booked or unavailable, we will use an alternative of a similar standard, and equally well situated. We will provide you with an accurate list of accommodation, with contact information to leave with relatives, prior to departure on your adventure.
Ulaanbaatar (2 nights): Grand Hill Hotel: Damdinbazar street-52, Bayangol district, Bayangol, 212513 Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Tel: +976 7711 5599. City centre location, with Wifi
Ger Camping (9 nights): A ‘ger’ or ‘yurt’ is a large felt tent made from sheep's wool, which results in a warm, cosy and waterproof shelter. The centre of the yurt houses a metal wood burner with a chimney for all smoke to escape through the roof.
Yurts house either 2 or 4 simple, but comfortable beds with plenty of extra blankets to pile onto your sleeping bag (please bring a winter season bag), should you feel chilly. If you are travelling with a group of friends then we are happy for friends to share a yurt (4 people), or YellowWood can arrange the rooming for solo travellers to share with others of the same gender.
Facilities vary depending on where we are staying. The ger camps tend to have running water and warm showers available, but when we are staying with families, there are only likely to be outdoor toilet facilities, and not showers or hot water. Please note that there is generally no electricity in the camps, and limited mobile signals, if any.
Supporting you on your holiday will be a minimum of 2 experienced, approachable and knowledgeable guides; one from the UK YellowWood team, and an in-country local guide who will be with us for the duration of the holiday.
This ensures you the perfect balance of information and support on your trip, with your Mongolian guides offering insight into local life and customs, as well as routes during walking/horse riding excursions, whilst your YellowWood guide ensures the smooth running of your adventure.
Your group will be any number from our minimum group size of 4, up to a maximum of 12 clients. This number works really well with the ratio of guides, and ensures an optimal level of service to you during your adventure.
We get clients booking alone, as couples and in small groups of friends. If you have a larger group of friends or family who are interested in having their own customised trip, then please let us know and we can cost it out for you. Our links with in-country travel experts often mean that we can assist you in developing a personalised itinerary. The accommodation on this adventure involves both hotel stays and camping in gers/yurts. The list below gives information on our first choice of accommodation for this adventure. Where hotels and refuges are fully booked or unavailable, we will use an alternative of a similar standard, and equally well situated. We will provide you with an accurate list of accommodation, with contact information to leave with relatives, prior to departure on your adventure.
You are visiting remote and mountainous areas of Mongolia and your itinerary involves some walking over rough terrain and some optional horse riding. All walking and riding is undertaken at the natural pace of the group, with regular stops. You will be carrying just a day pack and bottle of water.
To get the most of out of this adventure, you therefore need to be a regular walker and in good physical condition. You do not need to be experienced in trekking, however. Any horse riding will be suitable for beginner riders, and will be supported with guides and horse handlers.
As with all active holidays, the fitter you are, the more you can relax and enjoy the stunning route, and the better you can cope with challenges such as the outside elements. Clients are advised to get into a regular walking pattern before the trip as convenient.
NB: If you have bought new hiking boots for this adventure, this is the right time to wear them in, not on the trip! itself.
Your YellowWood adventure starts at the airport in Ulaanbaatar. We understand that arriving into an unfamiliar airport can be very daunting, so we aim to give you as much information here as possible, to help you prepare.
Flights are not included in the cost of your holiday, and whilst we are happy to help advise you, responsibility for booking the correct flights rests with you. We recommend that you use a comparison tool such as www.momondo.co.uk or www.skyscanner.net when searching for flights. We will send you a Flight Information Sheet with further pointers on which flights to book for your adventure.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. We also receive notifications direct from the FCDO so we are always aware of the ‘status’ in our destination countries.
Chinggis Khaan International Airport is the main international airport in Mongolia, located 18km SW of the capital, Ulaanbaatar. It is a small, though fully functioning, airport with 2 ‘terminals’ that you may arrive into, at different ends of the same building.
You will be met at the airport by your YellowWood guide and a local driver for transport to central Ulaanbaatar (approx 30 mins)
On arrival you:
Toilets can be found in the arrivals lounge.
On arrival at your city centre hotel, you will be welcomed and have time to settle into your room.
Once the group have all arrived (they may be on a variety of different flights), you will be heading to a local restaurant for lunch and a trip briefing. This will be followed by a very interesting City Tour of Ulaanbaatar to kickstart your holiday!
Holiday insurance is essential for all Yellow Wood Adventures. Unfortunately anyone without insurance is not able to take part in the holiday, so please make sure you arrange cover. We recommend sorting your insurance when you book so that if you have problems during the run up to your holiday, and need to cancel, you are covered, particularly in the light of effects that the pandemic has had on travel.
YellowWood partners with battleface as a travel insurance provider. Click here for a quote.
battleface insurance is provided in the UK by battleface Insurance Services Limited, a UK insurance intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details provided on this webpage are for information only. Terms, conditions, exclusions, and limitations apply. Always read the description of cover contained within your policy to ensure it is suitable for your needs.
Prior to the holiday, we will ask you to send us details of your insurer, policy number, 24 hr emergency assistance contact details and the name, address, and telephone numbers of your NOK or persons to be notified in the event of an emergency.
Your insurance needs to cover you for hiking /trekking and horse riding (if you are likely to do this) with the following fairly standard inclusions:
We would also recommend that you have cover for the following optional items:
For information on Mongolia, such as climate, weather, language, social norms, food & drink etc, please have a read of our Country specific information.
Please take into consideration the time of year when you are travelling before making your final packing decisions.
Unless your itinerary includes camping or stays in Gers, towels and other basic amenities are provided.
Please bring a full first aid kit and any prescription medication with you. Consult your doctor regarding advice around inoculations and the prevention of disease contraction.
Receive a 15% discount off Water-to-Go filtration water-bottles to help reduce plastic waste.
All adventures can be tailored as private bespoke trips.
Please contact us for more information:
+44 207 846 0197
Select dates & add any extras or 'Add on' adventures. Complete our Booking Form
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'Make Booking': You will be redirected to secure WorldPay to make your deposit if booking >56 days before your adventure, or full payment if 56 or <56 days before your adventure. Your monies are held securely by the Travel Trust Association.
Your booking will show as 'pending' in your YellowWood online account.
Enter booking information for all guests in your party.
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to confirm your booking or discuss any availability limitations. Do not book transport/flights until we have emailed you to confirm your booking (receipt of your booking form is not confirmation). We will change the status of your final invoice from 'Pending Approval' to 'Outstanding', when it becomes payable online.
This payment is due 56 days before departure date (we send reminders).
Contact us with any questions about your adventure or booking.
To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.
All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.
Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to answer your questions and help you plan your adventure from the information you submit here.
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