The vast and virtually uninhabited lands of Mongolia have captivated the minds of explorers for as long as people have known of it. The landscapes and wildlife have had a draw on naturalists looking for something different. Long recognised for its scenic beauty, wonderful birdlife and plentiful mammalian fauna, it is now set to become the premier place to encounter the enigmatic Snow Leopard.
During this tour, we venture into the Altai Mountains. A stay of nearly a week will allow us to properly explore this remote area. Based in a relatively comfortable ger camp, we stand a very reasonable chance of encountering the once near-mythical Snow Leopard. Compared with the other places in the Himalayas where one might seek out the ‘Grey Ghost’, this site is at low elevation, and you only need to walk minimal distances to access the very best areas for seeing the big cat! Other mammals abound in this region, including Siberian Ibex, the fast-declining Saiga and Goitered Gazelle; special birds include Altai Snowcock, Pallas’s Sandgrouse and Mongolian Ground Jay.
We will also visit Gun Galuut to search for the elusive Pallas’s Cat, and we will hope to see small groups of Argali, and perhaps a Corsac Fox or two, as well as many wetland birds. Finally, we will visit Hustai National Park for Wild (Przewalski’s) Horse and herds of Mongolian Gazelles.
Many other smaller mammals and some excellent birds are all on offer in this truly wild and remote setting!
Mongolian Ground Jay; Saker Falcon; Azure Tit; Siberian Rubythroat; Chukar & Daurian Partridges; Eurasian Eagle-Owl; Black-throated & Red-throated Thrushes; Bluethroat; Red-flanked Bluetail; Guldenstadt’s Redstart; Desert & Pied Wheatears; White-winged Snowfinch; Brown Accentor; Mongolian Finch; Pine & Meadow Buntings; Bearded & Cinereous Vultures; Steppe, White-tailed & Golden Eagles; White-headed Duck; Dalmatian Pelican; Pallas’s Sandgrouse; Mongolian Lark; Upland Buzzard; Amur Falcon; Demoiselle Crane; Daurian Jackdaw; Isabelline Shrike; Long-tailed Rosefinch; White-naped Crane; Stejneger’s Scoter;Pere David’s Snowfinch.
Snow Leopard; Pallas's Cat; Siberian Ibex; Argali; Saiga; Goitered Gazelle; Przewalski’s Horse; Grey Wolf; Pallas’s & Daurian Pikas; Northern Three-toed Jerboa; Mongolian Gazelle; Siberian Wapiti (Red Deer); Tarbagan Marmot; Long-tailed & Daurian Sousliks; Corsac Fox; Brandt’s Vole; Mongolian Jird; Siberian Jerboa.
mountains, lakes, desert plains, steppe
cool to chilly in the mountains (mostly at night), warmer temperatures at lower altitudes. Typically temperatures are mild, with evenings on the chilly side. Day time temperatures can reach 28°C.
12 with 1 Rockjumper leader & 1 local leader
moderate to relaxed pace but not too challenging considering the environment
mammal focused, but birding generally easy
incredible scenery, rarely travelled sites
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