Saker Falcon © Phil Gregory

Mongolia – Steppe Birding at its best

Visit Mongolia, famous as the home of Ghengis (Chinggis) Khan and the epicentre of migrations of people that changed the course of history in Asia and Europe. Mongolia currently has the world’s lowest population density, with much of the country still being dominated by nomadic herders.

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  • Tour Duration
    15 Days
  • Difficulty Level Moderate
  • Group Size Small Group
All about the Mongolia – Steppe Birding at its best.

Visit Mongolia, famous as the home of Ghengis (Chinggis) Khan and the epicentre of migrations of people that changed the course of history in Asia and Europe. Mongolia currently has the world’s lowest population density, with much of the country still being dominated by nomadic herders.

This nomadic lifestyle leaves much of Mongolia still a place of vast wilderness and habitat diversity with treeless plains and high mountains interspaced with rivers, lakes and marshes as well as taiga forest and sandy deserts. With over 480 species of birds, many of them migratory, Mongolia’s vast wilderness makes it a birders dream.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Accommodation as per itinerary
  • Checklist
  • Guide services of tour leader
  • Group tips & gratuities
  • Transfers once tour has started
Whats not included in this tour.Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Travel insurance and other emergencies
  • Visa fees and entry clearing fees
  • Flights (Domestic & International)
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Laundry
  1. Day 1 Arrie in Ulaanbaatar

    Arrive in Ulaanbaatar. Birding on the outskirts of the city for White-crowned Penduline Tit, Red-billed ChoughIsabelline Wheatear and more. Return in time for a “Welcoming Dinner” and overnight in a city hotel.

  2. Day 2 Transfer to Tereij & taiga birding

    Drive to Tereij area for taiga forest birding. Taiga Flycatcher, Common Rosefinch and Red-throated Thrush are amongst the target species.

  3. Day 3 Taiga forest birding

    Continue to bird the taiga forest for Chinese Bush Warbler, Siberian Rubythroat, Orange-flanked Bluetail, Black Woodpecker, Great Spotted  Woodpecker and Three toed Woodpecker, Asian Brown Flycatcher and Long-tailed Rosefinch.

  4. Day 4 Exploring steppe region (1)

    Driving east into the steppe we will look for White-naped and Demoiselle Cranes, Steppe Eagle, Cinereous Vulture, Mongolian Lark, Pied Wheatear and Whooper Swan. We will be paying special attention to lakes and rivers which often have migrating stints, plovers, ducks and wagtails at this time of year.

  5. Day 5 Exploring steppe region (2)

    Second day exploring the steppe region. There will be a chance to find out more about the lives of the local herders.

  6. Day 6 Travel to Ulaanbaatar

    Travel back to Ulaanbaatar where we will have a opportunity to attend a cultural performance in the city before a dinner at a Mongolian Barbecue Restaurant.

  7. Day 7 Birding to Hustai National Park

    Today we set off for Hustai National Park birding along the way. Hustai is an area where Prezewalski’s Wild Horse can be seen. It is also a good site for raptors with the possibility of seeing Golden Eagle, Saker and Amur Falcon, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Booted Eagle, Black Kite, Upland Buzzard, Cinereous and Himilayan Vulture all at the nest in this protected area. Daurian Partridge, Meadow Bunting and Mongolian Lark are also amongst the birds in in this vicinity.

  8. Day 8 Explore semidesert region (1)

    Today we drive south west towards a semidesert region stopping at a number of lakes and marshes along the way. We will be looking for Black-throated Diver, Tufted Duck, Bar-headed Goose, Slavonian Grebe, White-winged Black Tern, Oriental Reed-Warbler and Eastern Marsh Harrier. Later in the day we will visit an area of sand dunes at Eisentasarkhai.

  9. Day 9 Explore semidesert region (2)

    Today is spent birding in this semi-desert area and the adjoining high rocky mountains. This is another good area for raptors with a second chance for many of the species from Hustai and Bearded Vulture as a new possibility. Typical steppe species including Asian Short-toed Lark can be found in this area. Overnight tourist ger camp.

  10. Day 10 Explore local steppe area

    Early morning exploring the local steppe area before driving north-west into the Karakorum where we will visit a historical site – the ancient capital of Chinggis Khan.

  11. Day 11 Travel to Ugii Lake

    Continue north to Ugii lake. This is home to a wide variety of waterfowl including Swan Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Pintail, Northern Shoverler, Common Goldeneye and Pochard.  Black-tailed Godwit can also be seen as can Mongolian GullCommon Tern (longipennis) and passerines such as Small Snowfinch and Rock Sparrow.

  12. Day 12 Ugii Lake birding

    Bird the Ugii lake area. Pallas’s Fish Eagle and White-tailed Eagle and sometimes Long-legged Buzzard can be seen here.

  13. Day 13 Travel to Dashinchilen Tsagaan marshes

    An early departure east to the Dashinchilen Tsagaan marshes where we have another chance for White-naped and Demoiselle Cranes which breed here. Common Crane can also be often seen along with Greylag Goose, Pallas’s Reed Bunting, Asian Dowitcher, Citrine, White and Yellow Wagtails, Bearded Parrotbill and Paddyfield Warbler. A variety of different ducks and many shorebirds are also to be found in this area.

  14. Day 14 Dashinchilen area & Ulaanbaatar

    Start the day birding the Dashinchilen area before heading back to Ulaanbaatar where you will arrive around mid afternoon. The tour ends with a farewell dinner and a night at a city hotel.

  15. Day 15 Onward journey

    Transfer to airport and begin homeward journey. Exploratory tours and shopping expeditions around Ulaanbaatar can be arranged if required.

Tour Accommodation

This is largely in tradition style gers in remote but comfortable tourist camps. Bathroom and shower facilities can be very basic. Mutton is the predominate meat used and is served in a variety of ways including some tasty but not over spiced strews. The availably of vegetables and fruits can be limited especially away from the capital.

Photos from the tour
Khustai Ger Camp © Phil Gregory
Khustai Ger Camp © Phil Gregory
Inside a Ger © Phil Gregory

This is not a difficult tour and is suitable for anyone with a moderate standard of fitness. Most of the birding is conducted from close to the tour vehicle. However there are only limited medical facilities away from the capital city and phone coverage is poor. Not all roads are sealed.