You will journey by bus or jeep 370 km to the west of Ulan Bator into the Ovorhangai province and visit Kharakhorum and Erdenezuu. You will overnight in a permanent ger camp at 80 km short from Kharakhorum at the Hogno Khan Mountain. It is a unique rock formation, situated on the arid steppes. Nearby is a small freshwater lake with ducks and herons, and in the mountain itself, the Erdene Khombo monastery is being restored.
Day 1 : Arrive Ulaanbaatar
Arrive the Mongolian capital by air or by train. Transfer to your hotel. If you arrive in time, some sightseeing can be done in Ulaanbaatar.
Day 2 : To Hogno Khan Mountain
Depart in the morning by bus for the Hogno Khan Mountains Ger Camp. You will travel on one of ongolia's few asphalt roads. There will be steppe landscape all the way, and upon reaching the Hogno Khan Mountain area we will see sand dunes in the middle of the steppes. They are locally known as "Little Gobi" and next to them there is a small lake where waders such as herons and ducks may be seen. Overnight in gers.
Day 3 : Hogno Khan Mountain
The Hogno Khan Mountain is a giant rock formation in the middle of the steppes, and in it is the small Erdene Khombo monastery, now being restored. The abbot is a woman, Davaa, who as a child witnessed her father, then abbot, be executed during the purges of the 1930s. It is surrounded by an interesting countryside area where many nomadic herdsmen live. You will explore the area today.
Day 4 : Erdenezuu & Kharakhorum
Full day excursion of this fascinating area. Drive 70km on a bad road to Harhorin. Erdenezuu is nowadays a functioning monastery in constant renovation to its former splendor. Once, 1000 monks used to inhabit Erdenezuu. It had some 100 temples within its 400 by 400 meters long walls. The monastery was sacked during the purges of 1937. Only the walls and 3 temples remain. Erdenezuu is still one of the most fascinating sites of Mongolia, and usually we will be able to experience and see the prayers. Return to camp and overnight in gers.
Day 5 : Return to Ulaanbaatar
Drive back to Ulaanbaatar. On the way we will possibly accommodate a visit to the conservation project where the Przewalski horses are being released back into the wild: The Hustain Nuruu Steppe Reserve. The horses are usually seen. The Przewalski horse (Equus przewalskii) is called the takhi by the Mongols. It is the only truly wild horse remaining in the world, and a sizable population have been bred in captivity in zoos around the world since its eradication in the wild. They are now being flown back to Mongolia in an attempt to reintroduce them back into the wild. The last takhi was seen in a remote area called the zungarian Gobi in 1969. The visit is subject to the approval of the project leadership, but usually feasible. If it rains, access to the reserve may also be difficult. Overnight in a hotel in Ulaanbaatar
Day 6 : Departure