Mongolia In the Footsteps of the Nomad with Tim Cope

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  • No booking fees
5.0 Based on 5 Reviews
  • COVID-19protected
  • Trekking
See Itinerary
  • duration 18 days
  • tour type Group
  • age requirement 18+ years old
  • max group size 16
  • guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
  • Starts Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • Ends Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • +4
HIGHLIGHTS Download trip notes
  • Travel with Tim Cope for a culturally enriching experience of western Mongolia
  • Trek through the Kharkhiraa and Tsaast Uul mountains
  • Explore the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar
  • Follow the migratory routes of the Khotont nomadic families
Starting and ending in Ulaanbaatar, the tour "Mongolia In The Footsteps Of The Nomad With Tim Cope" is a guided trekking trip that takes 18 days. You will travel through Olgiy, Kharkhiraa, Khovd and 3 other destinations in Mongolia. "Mongolia In The Footsteps Of The Nomad With Tim Cope" is a small group tour which includes accommodation, transport, meals and others.

Join Tim Cope for an unforgettable trek through western Mongolia. Join Australian adventurer and writer Tim Cope for a unique moderate-challenging trek among remote Khoton and Kazakh nomads in the Kharkhiraa and Tsaast Uul mountains of Western Mongolia. The focus of this trip is spending less time crossing the vast landscape of Mongolia by jeep, and more time trekking off the beaten track immersed in the landscape and culture of the legendary horsemen and women of the steppes. Tim, who rode a horse for three and a half years from Mongolia to Hungary across the steppes of Eurasia is passionate about the nomadic way of life and the history of the Mongolian people whose ancestors were among the first in history to tame the horse. The itinerary takes us from Ulaanbaatar by plane to Ulaangom in the west where we begin the trek in the Kharkhiraa mountains - part of the greater Altai range. In this region lives a small and intriguing ethnic group of Mongolians called the ‘Khoton.’ Unlike many nomads of Mongolia who have adopted the motorbike and truck as part of their nomadic existence, the Khoton still make their annual journey up into the high passes of the Kharkhiraa with just camels, yaks, and horses. Our trek follows the migratory routes of these Khoton families along the Kharkhiraa river gorge and eventually up to the spectacular high pass at 3000m between Kharkhiraa and Turgen peaks. Along the way we will pass evidence of ancient nomadic people in the form of Turkic gravestone markers, and hear from Tim about the many legends and stories that tell much about the Mongolian connection to their animals and the land. Travelling with us will be a small caravan of local horsemen and their horses and camels that will be taking our luggage and equipment. There will be an opportunity to encounter the nomadic people most days, and from the high pass, weather permitting, there will be an optional return walk up to a high ridge at about 3600 metres. The second half of the Kharkhiraa trek takes us on a descent towards the Khovd river where we will be met by vehicle support. The landscape of the Kharkhiraa is dominated by open slopes dotted with nomad tents, deep river gorges, alpine lakes, and the inspiring, glacier capped peaks of Kharkhiraa and Turgen. Although it is very rare and unlikely to spot one, it is worth noting that these mountains are renowned as one of the refuges for the endangered snow leopard. Trekking days involve 6-8 hours of walking, and although there are no technical parts to the trek, a medium to high level of fitness is required. The second, less demanding part of the journey takes us to Olgiy, capital of the Kazakh province of Western Mongolia, and the spectacular mountain of ‘Tsaast Uul.’ Here we will experience Kazakh people, another of Mongolia’s ethnic peoples. Two more days of trekking will give us a rich insight into the diversity of the people who living on the vast and fenceless land of Mongolia. After an afternoon reflecting on the shores of Tolboo Nuur lake, we return to Olgiy and fly to Ulaanbaatar. Integral to this tour, is also supporting a local Mongolian charity, Autism Mongolia. $100 of your tour price will be donated to this charity in Ulaanbaatar at a special presentation when we arrive. There will be the opportunity to meet with representatives from the charity and make additional donations if desired.
5 - Excellent
Based on 5 reviews
  • Anonymous
  • On Aug 24 2018
5 - Excellent
“The trek through Mongolia in the steps of the Nomad was spectacular enough but to have Tim Cope as our Tour leader was an absolute bonus. His insights and knowledge of the Mongolian nomads made the trip so much better.”
  • Anonymous
  • On Sep 18 2017
5 - Excellent
“The whole trek was very well organised and run and Tim's knowledge and experience was just amazing.”
  • Anonymous
  • On Sep 03 2017
5 - Excellent
“l can not speak more highly of Tim cope and his Mongolian team. The knowledge and passion that they have for the people and history made this trip something special, the trip I will never forget. Thankyou Tim and Mongolia.”
  • Anonymous
  • On Aug 23 2017
5 - Excellent
“A fantastic trek in the remote wilderness with the local people.”
  • Day 1 : Arrive in Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 2 : Fly to Western Mongolia
  • Day 3 : Rest / Contingency day
  • Day 4 : Trek the Kharkhiraa Valley
  • Day 5 : Trek the Kharkhiraa Valley
  • Day 6 : Trek to the base of the Kharkhiraa Pass
  • Day 7 : Full day trek with optional climb
  • Day 8 : Full day trek via alpine lake on the Kharkhiraa mountain
  • Day 9 : Full day descent from pass
  • Day 10 : Full day trek down to the river gorge
  • Day 11 : Full day trek to Khovd Brigad via waterfall
  • Day 12 : Drive to Olgiy, sightseeing in afternoon
  • Day 13 : Drive to Tsaast Uul, stay with Kazakh Nomads
  • Day 14 : Full day trek in Tsaast Uul. Stay with Uriankhai minority (4 hrs)
  • Day 15 : Trek in Tsaast Uul, to Tolboo Nuur (lake) camp with Kazakh nomads (4 hrs)
  • Day 16 : Drive to Olgiy, visit Olgiy market
  • Day 17 : Fly to Ulaanbaatar
  • Day 18 : Trip concludes in Ulaanbaatar
  • 2 nights in comfortable hotel accommodation on a twinshare basis
  • 1 night in ger accommodation on a multi share basis and 14 nights fully supported camping on a twinshare basis
  • 17 breakfasts, 15 lunches and 17 dinners
  • Internal flights within Mongolia
  • Airport transfers on day 1 & day 18
  • Private vehicles
  • Accompanied by Tim Cope and an expert local guide
  • Pack animal support during trek with 20kg allowance
  • Medical kit and satellite phone for emergency use
  • Sightseeing and entry fees as listed in itinerary
  • AUD100 donation to Autism Mongolia
  • Aerated and alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Tips and gratuities
  • International airfares & departure taxes
  • Visa costs
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
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GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes

No additional cancellation fees apply for this Mongolia In the Footsteps of the Nomad with Tim Cope tour. You can cancel the tour up to 70 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 69 days of departure.


For any tour departures within 24 December 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 24 December 2021, a deposit of 1500 USD is required to confirm the tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 69 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Mongolia In the Footsteps of the Nomad with Tim Cope tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.


For this Mongolia In the Footsteps of the Nomad with Tim Cope tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • Smaller group sizes have been implemented on this tour to protect against COVID-19 and to ensure that the tour complies with local authorities’ guidelines.
  • Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing has been implemented on this trip. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected. Hygiene safety measures and distancing will furthermore be followed in transportation, accommodation and meal venues.
  • A multitude of COVID-19 distancing measures have been implemented on this package tour to keep travellers safe.
  • This tour has obtained a COVID-19 CLEAN accreditation from Quality Tourism Australia.
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