It's hard to avoid the fact that you are likely to arrive in Mongolia by plane. However once you are here we minimise further carbon emissions by traveling in the most sustainable way possible - by horse. Mind you, once the horses get a taste of the lush mountain pastures where we ride, their carbon emissions do tend to increase significantly!
By a happy coincidence riding is also the best way to experience Mongolia, traveling the way the locals do.
Clean water is thankfully not a scarce resource where we ride, and we want to keep it that way. This is about maintaining the purity of rivers and streams that we camp near. We ensure that our toilet is dug a suitable distance from the water course each evening. Dishes and clothes are washed away from the waters edge. We do encourage guests to swim and wash in rivers, but soap-free is the way to go.
Our drivers are banned from washing their vehicles in the rivers, an unfortunately common site near towns.
Nomadic herders have great respect for the rivers, and have their own prohibitions such as not letting blood or milk enter the water. We follow their lead when it comes to living sustainably on the steppe!
Visiting Mongolia is as much about experiencing the local culture as it is about the beautiful scenery and fantastic riding. Over many years we have built up close relationships with our local staff and their families. We recognise that the best way to really get to know Mongolia is by drawing in close to the camp fire in the evening and getting to know the local people you are riding with.
All our staff come from the area where we ride. They are not tourism professionals from the city, rather they are 'real' Mongolians, a bit rough around the edges sometimes but with a strong desire to give you a wonderful and lasting impression of their country.
Zavkhan province is known as one of the least developed regions of Mongolia, due to its remoteness and the difficulty getting here. This is one of the reasons we decided to start running trips in the area, to provide local employment and help develop sustainable livelihoods.
Most tourism is concentrated around areas such as Lake Khovsgol and Terelj. By coming to Zavkhan you avoid the 'beaten track', experience the real Mongolia, and help families who do not otherwise benefit from the tourism industry.
Reviews of Mongolia horse riding vacation, Zavkhan Classic
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.
I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 04 Oct 2016 by Anne Connors
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
All of my vacation was exciting to first boarding the flight to Ullaanbaatar and arriving via Moscow into the land of Ghenkis Khann - that's what brought me here, so much history
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
This trip is for the ultimate adventurer - camping in the wild with great people looking after you. Research carefully if it's what you really want - I'm two months off my 70th birthday and i loved it but I'm a tom boy and it's what I always wanted. Zavkhaan will look after you well.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Definitely all 3
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
Awesome trip - first class, great food and well looked after - no faults - GREAT.