17 days/16 nights ● from/to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia ● 14 nights in tent ● min 6 pax/max 12 pax ● Level of difficulty: 2**
The Tsaatan are the last reindeer herders, who continue to live in extreme natural isolation in primeval community associations. Their home are the pathless high mountain forests of the Siberian taiga northwest of Lake Khövsgöl. Shamanism, the original religion of the Mongols, is still intact and alive here and determines the lives of the people. Shaman priests can be recognized by their conspicuous, colourful clothing, their magic wand and their spiritual “absence”. They have extreme worldly power and their influence on all everyday life is great.
The existence of the “reindeer people” (Tsa = reindeer, Ten = man) is actually unimaginable without reindeer. They breed and hunt the reindeer. They dress with their skins; the mighty antlers provide medicine and grave decoration. Their Indian-like pointed tents are covered with reindeer skins, even the simple night camp consists of several layers of reindeer skin. They drink the hot-smelling reindeer milk, fresh or fermented, eat the meat and burn the dried dung of the animals.
Only in autumn, an extremely short time of change between summer and arctic winter, you can reach the wild and beautiful home of these Siberian Taiganomads relatively “without any problems”. The long, icy winter is too cold and too snowy, in summer one sinks into the thawed, soft forest soil and countless moorland landscapes. The short autumn is dry and sunny with an ever-blue sky. Daytime temperatures up to 25 degrees Celsius, at night up to zero degrees cooling. It is the optimal time for this unique tour.
After the pioneer tour in 2000, this expedition was successfully completed in 2001, 2002, 2008 and 2012. In the meantime, we have developed a close friendship with some Tsaatan families, and it is planned that we will move from summer to winter camp together with a Tsaatan clan. More than a hundred reindeer will accompany this big move, with all the belongings of the Tsaatan being transported by reindeer. Each Tsaate, from the oldest to the youngest clan member, rides his favourite reindeer – a picturesque, unforgettable experience in an indescribably beautiful natural environment awaits us.
Regarding riding: Of course, riding knowledge and experience is an advantage for this tour, but not a prerequisite. The experience of the last tours has shown that the majority of the participants did not have any riding experience and nevertheless took part in the tour without any problems. The Mongolian horses are small and frugal, their character is well known to the accompanying owner. So the calm and well-behaved horses are reserved especially for those tour members who are riding a horse for the first time. Provided a certain physical mobility and fitness, which one should already have for this wilderness tour, riding is then no longer a problem. During the expedition, there will be no fast riding, which is not allowed by the surroundings! Also because of the heavily loaded packhorses the whole group moves rather leisurely, but steadily through the beautiful Taiga wilderness.