1. What are the passport and visa requirements for Mongolia?
All travelers require a valid passport in order to visit Mongolia. Your passport must remain valid for at least 6 months after the last day of your visit. Please be sure your passport has been signed and has adequate space remaining for entry and exit stamps.
U.S citizens do not require a visa to enter Mongolia. However if your transit time in China exceeds 24 hours, it is imperative that you obtain a double- entry Chinese visa in advance. For most other nationalities including Canadian and European, DO require a visa to enter Mongolia.
Please contact us for more information or you may also check with U.S Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) or the closest consulate before departure to see if any special requirements apply to your case.
2. Do I require any vaccinations prior to traveling?
Nomadic Expeditions is not qualified to provide any medical advice and we highly recommend that you consult your personal physician to determine your particular needs.
According to the Center for Disease Control, no immunizations are required for entry in to Mongolia from the United States or for reentry into United States for Mongolia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends Tetanus/ Diphtheria and polio inoculations be up to date for all international travel and that you consider an immunization against Hepatitis A and rabies.
If you are arriving in Mongolia via China, please note that China requires that you have a yellow fever vaccination if you are entering the country from, or have recently been in certain countries in Africa and South America. An International Certificate of Vaccination must be validated b the center that administers the vaccine and carried with you on your trip.
Please plan ahead as some inoculations must be given in sequence and the entire immunization process could take as long as eight weeks.
3. What is the best time to visit Mongolia?
Mongolia has a relatively cool climate with short, mild summers and long severe winters lasting from November through April. Average temperatures are as follows:
Early May to Mid May: 35-65 degrees Fahrenheit
Late May to Early August: 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit
Mid August to Early September: 45-75 degrees Fahrenheit
Mid-September to Early October: 30-70 degrees Fahrenheit
4. What kind of clothing and shoes do you recommend for packing?
Since temperatures in Mongolia can vary widely during the day, it is best to carry casual clothing that can be layered. Dress is informal and jeans or similar attire is appropriate. For those traveling to the mountain regions, particularly in spring and autumn, warm hats and gloves are recommended as well as a jacket appropriate for cold and windy conditions. You should bring a waterproof jacket or other rain gear such as a poncho or an umbrella. A broad brimmed hat is useful for sun protection.
Proper footwear is essential; be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots. Rubber Beach sandals will prove useful when using the bath and toilets at the ger camps. You may also wish to bring something that can be used as a cover-up while using centralized facilities.
Due to International airlines imposing baggage weight restrictions, we suggest you plan your wardrobe around items that can serve several purposes.
5. Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?
We can accommodate those with special dietary needs, such as vegetarian or low-fat diets. However food choices may not be as plentiful or flavorful as you are used to. Please let us know in advance if you have any special dietary needs.
6. What kind of food is served during the tours?
Staying true to Mongolian traditional cuisine – meals are typically meat based and include noodles, rice and/or breads. Most meals are likely to include potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers or tomatoes. Fruit may be available but is typically canned. Breakfast usually includes eggs, sausages, toast, tea and instant tea/coffee. Lunch is the main meal of the day and includes salad, a bowl of soup and meat with rice and potatoes. Dinner usually consists of a salad and meat with rice or noodles and vegetables.
7. Is bottled water available during the tour?
Yes, bottled and boiled water is available in all places you will visit as part of our tour.
8. I suffer from motion sickness. Are these tours suitable for me?
Mongolia being a vast country, certain itineraries might necessitate drives on unpaved and bumpy roads. The roads can also be dusty and you may find a scarf or handkerchief helpful. If you think you may be prone to motion sickness, please bring your own medication to alleviate possible discomfort.
9. What should I do in case of a medical emergency?
Pack ample supply of basic health and first-aid needs, including any prescription drugs and vitamins. Medical facilities are available in Mongolia, however since standards and methods of treatments are not the same as ours, the prospect of illness or hospitalization should not be taken lightly. If you have a serious medical problem or a medical condition that might be adversely affected by strenuous travel, please contact us so we may provide more precise information. The Nomadic Expedition strongly recommends the purchase of a comprehensive travel and medical insurance including medical evacuation coverage.
10. Are your tours suitable for all age groups?
Mongolia has something to offer to everyone. We have trips that cater to families with kids as young as 3 years old and there is no upper age limit for most of our tours. More important than age, our tours are designed for those who share our enthusiasm for discovering out-of –the-ordinary destinations.
11. I cannot ride a horse? Can I still join your tours?
For most of our tours, the horse riding adventure is completely optional and if you choose to ride it is suitable for beginners. The treks normally last for an average of about 1-3 hours and are supported by wranglers and our vehicles that follow the group. However, certain tours such as the Northern Mongolia on Horseback and Horse trek to Hagiin Har Lake require some prior experience in horse riding.
12. What are Gers?
Gers are traditional dome-like felt tents made by latticed wood walls covered by felt and canvas and supported by poles. This is the traditional home of the herdsmen who must move with their animals and therefore need an easily transportable dwelling that will withstand harsh winters. Ger camps offer an authentic experience of Mongolian culture and provide the unique opportunity to visit areas which otherwise lack visitor accommodations.
13. How is the accommodation in a traditional Ger camp?
Cozy, quaint and homelike, the gers consist of single/ twin comfortable mattresses on elevated wooden frames. Clean sheets, pillows and blankets are provided. The gers are heated by wood stoves with a chimney through a hole in the center of the roof.
14. Are there attached bathrooms?
There are Deluxe Ger accommodations available at our award winning Three Camels Lodge, which have attached bathrooms. All other Ger camps offer western style shower and toilet facilities in their central building.
15. Is hot water available throughout the day?
Hot water is available only at certain times during the day; your Mongolian guide will let you know when to expect hot water so you can plan when to shower.
16. Are toiletries provided?
No, toiletries are not provided at traditional Ger camps. You will need to bring your own soap and washcloth for your stay. Towels provided in each ger are small; you may therefore prefer to bring a larger towel of your own.
17. Are there electrical outlets in Gers? Is electricity available throughout the day?
Although there is electricity available at ger camps, it is often turned off during the daylight hours and during the middle of the night in order to conserve energy. Please be sure to bring a flashlight for those occasions when electricity is turned off and you need a light source.
18. Are there ATM’s available throughout the country?
ATM machines are not widely available in remote areas. Your best option would be to withdraw cash in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar prior to commencement of your tour. There are ATM machines available at the main branch of the Trade & Developmen Bank and State Department Store. If you plan on using an ATM facility, please contact your bank prior to arrival to ensure there are no international restrictions.
19. How can I exchange currency?
US Dollars are accepted in most places along with Mongolian currency, the togrog. Mongolian currency can be readily obtained from hotels as well as major banks. It is advisable to carry the majority of your money in cash, preferably large and smaller denominations (tens, twenties and fifties). You should also bring a selection of ones and fives ($20 in ones and $50 in fives) for purchasing small souvenirs. Please ensure that all bills are relatively new and in good condition. Old, faded or ripped bills will not be accepted, nor will fifties and hundreds that are not the new issue.
20. Are there restrooms/ bathroom facilities available during our daily excursions?
During many of your daily excursions in the countryside there will not be any bathroom facilities available. Bring small packs of tissue or towelettes for any “wilderness rest stops”. We ask that you carry your used tissues in a personal ziplock bag that can be disposed of at the ger camp or the capital city.
21. Is there a luggage limit?
Domestic airlines in Mongolia have strict luggage limitations of 33-44 lb check in bags and 11 lb for carry on. So, plan to carry on small duffel bag for the excursions in the countryside and a backpack. You can leave your luggage at the hotel.