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Thu 10 Sep - Sun 20 Sep 2015

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

ESSENTIAL INFO

All you need to know

Everything you need to know

This page provides you with a variety of information about the challenge that you might find useful.

Level of Difficulty

Money

Visa

Flights

Insurance

Group Size

Leadership

Climate

Terrain

Luggage allowance and valuables

Responsible Tourism

Typical day

Accommodation

Sleeping bags and mats

Toilets

Food & Drink

The horses

Clothing and equipment

Phone and WiFi

Safety

Waiver

Emergencies

Training

Level of Difficulty

The Mongolian Horse Ride challenge is graded as moderate. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind. No experience horseriding is necessary, but it will help you become accustomed to it more quickly. You can tell your supporters that on your Mongolian Horse Ride challenge you will be:

  • Riding on horseback for 7-8 hours a day, covering approximately 160kms over 6 days.
  • Battling the mountain weather with extreme temperature differences from the day to the night.
  • Sleeping in basic tents for 6 nights, with very basic facilities.
  • Riding across steppes, rivers and mountain slopes.

Level of Difficulty

The Mongolian Horse Ride challenge is graded as moderate. This is the perfect challenge for participants who are of an adventurous spirit and an open mind. No experience horseriding is necessary, but it will help you become accustomed to it more quickly. You can tell your supporters that on your Mongolian Horse Ride challenge you will be:

  • Riding on horseback for 7-8 hours a day, covering approximately 160kms over 6 days.
  • Battling the mountain weather with extreme temperature differences from the day to the night.
  • Sleeping in basic tents for 6 nights, with very basic facilities.
  • Riding across steppes, rivers and mountain slopes.

Money

Currency: The currency in Mongolia is the Tughrik (MNT). For up to date currency exchange, go to www.xe.com. We recommend exchanging currency before you go.

Credit Cards: Credit Cards and foreign currency are not useful out of Ulaanbatar but are accepted in the city in some major hotels, banks and stores.

ATMs: In general there are many ATM's in Ulaanbatar. Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted. However, we recommend that you have all the money you need prior to leaving the airport.

How much to bring: All accommodation and meals are included within the price of the trip, as well as water during the days of your ride. You will not need to carry a lot of money with you during the challenge, as there are not daily opportunities to buy soft drinks, alcohol or snacks on the way. For the days you will spend in the capital, we would suggest a maximum amount of about £15 a day (in local currency). Bring more if you intend to buy souvenirs and take up the opportunity of the additional things you can do during your time in Mongolia. There are plenty of great craft souvenirs, cashmere clothing, felt products, arts, national music. However, antiques older than 50 years are not permitted through customs so keep that in mind!

Tipping: Tipping is at your sole discretion and all staff are paid a fair wage. However, tourism is a tipping culture, and Mongolian guides will generally receive a tip at the end of a job well done. If you choose to tip, we would suggest an amount of £60 per participant for the duration of the challenge . For those on Charity Challenge organised extensions, we would suggest between £5 and £6 per person per day.

Money

Currency: The currency in Mongolia is the Tughrik (MNT). For up to date currency exchange, go to www.xe.com. We recommend exchanging currency before you go.

Credit Cards: Credit Cards and foreign currency are not useful out of Ulaanbatar but are accepted in the city in some major hotels, banks and stores.

ATMs: In general there are many ATM's in Ulaanbatar. Mastercard and Visa are widely accepted. However, we recommend that you have all the money you need prior to leaving the airport.

How much to bring: All accommodation and meals are included within the price of the trip, as well as water during the days of your ride. You will not need to carry a lot of money with you during the challenge, as there are not daily opportunities to buy soft drinks, alcohol or snacks on the way. For the days you will spend in the capital, we would suggest a maximum amount of about £15 a day (in local currency). Bring more if you intend to buy souvenirs and take up the opportunity of the additional things you can do during your time in Mongolia. There are plenty of great craft souvenirs, cashmere clothing, felt products, arts, national music. However, antiques older than 50 years are not permitted through customs so keep that in mind!

Tipping: Tipping is at your sole discretion and all staff are paid a fair wage. However, tourism is a tipping culture, and Mongolian guides will generally receive a tip at the end of a job well done. If you choose to tip, we would suggest an amount of £60 per participant for the duration of the challenge . For those on Charity Challenge organised extensions, we would suggest between £5 and £6 per person per day.

Visa

UK Citizens do not require a visa to enter Mongolia for a period of less than 30 days. You must hold a full  passport with at least six months to run from the end of your challenge, and at least one blank page for your visa and entry/exit stamps.

If you wish to remain in Mongolia over 30 days you must register your stay with the Mongolian Inmigration Agency: http://immigration.gov.mn/

Visa

UK Citizens do not require a visa to enter Mongolia for a period of less than 30 days. You must hold a full  passport with at least six months to run from the end of your challenge, and at least one blank page for your visa and entry/exit stamps.

If you wish to remain in Mongolia over 30 days you must register your stay with the Mongolian Inmigration Agency: http://immigration.gov.mn/

Flights

You will be flying from London Heathrow to Ulaanbatar. The flying time is  between 19-24 hours indirect. Your flight tickets will be issued to you upon departure at the airport.  If you choose to book your own flights please confirm with the Charity Challenge office first, otherwise you may be liable for your included group flights (please contact flights@charitychallenge.com for further assistance). For more general flights questions, please refer to our main FAQs page.

Flights

You will be flying from London Heathrow to Ulaanbatar. The flying time is  between 19-24 hours indirect. Your flight tickets will be issued to you upon departure at the airport.  If you choose to book your own flights please confirm with the Charity Challenge office first, otherwise you may be liable for your included group flights (please contact flights@charitychallenge.com for further assistance). For more general flights questions, please refer to our main FAQs page.

Insurance

It is a condition of booking that you have a suitable travel insurance policy whilst participating on the challenge. We have a special policy which covers among other things, medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, cancellation and curtailment of the challenge, and more specifically for the adventurous activities undertaken on this challenge. If you have your own travel insurance policy, you must ensure that it provides at least the same level of cover as our recommended policy, including protecting the charity in the event of your cancellation 56 days or less prior to departure. If you choose not to purchase our recommended policy when you book we will send you a disclaimer which you should complete and return.

For more general travel insurance questions, please refer to our main FAQs page.

Insurance

It is a condition of booking that you have a suitable travel insurance policy whilst participating on the challenge. We have a special policy which covers among other things, medical (emergency, evacuation and repatriation) arrangements, cancellation and curtailment of the challenge, and more specifically for the adventurous activities undertaken on this challenge. If you have your own travel insurance policy, you must ensure that it provides at least the same level of cover as our recommended policy, including protecting the charity in the event of your cancellation 56 days or less prior to departure. If you choose not to purchase our recommended policy when you book we will send you a disclaimer which you should complete and return.

For more general travel insurance questions, please refer to our main FAQs page.

Group Size

Each group is intended to be 16 people minimum in order to run and maximum of approx. 30 people. We will be able to run this challenge for 10 to 19 people by charging a small group supplement specified in each departure date, which will be added to your final balance invoice (self funders) or charged to your charity (minimum sponsorship or flexi).

Group Size

Each group is intended to be 16 people minimum in order to run and maximum of approx. 30 people. We will be able to run this challenge for 10 to 19 people by charging a small group supplement specified in each departure date, which will be added to your final balance invoice (self funders) or charged to your charity (minimum sponsorship or flexi).

Leadership

There will be an English-speaking challenge leader who will be responsible for the logistics and co-ordination of your challenge. There will also be numerous local support staff to assist them. The challenge leader will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group.

Leadership

There will be an English-speaking challenge leader who will be responsible for the logistics and co-ordination of your challenge. There will also be numerous local support staff to assist them. The challenge leader will be ultimately responsible for the running of the itinerary and the safety of your group.

Climate

Mongolia has an extreme continental climate, meaning that it is so far inland that no sea moderates its climate. Humidity is minimal and sunshine is intense. There is a short rainy season from the end of June to September, but the showers tend to be brief and gentle. Evenings are cool even in summer due to the relatively high altitude. Mongolia is a windy place especially in spring. When the wind blows from north, temperatures drop sharply, but when the wind drops, the weather warms up just as rapidly.  

Climate

Mongolia has an extreme continental climate, meaning that it is so far inland that no sea moderates its climate. Humidity is minimal and sunshine is intense. There is a short rainy season from the end of June to September, but the showers tend to be brief and gentle. Evenings are cool even in summer due to the relatively high altitude. Mongolia is a windy place especially in spring. When the wind blows from north, temperatures drop sharply, but when the wind drops, the weather warms up just as rapidly.  

Terrain

Mongolia is a large land-locked country about three times the size of France. It is situated in the north of central Asia.  It is a country with steppes (arid plains), desert and high mountains. It is one of the highest countries in the world with an average elevation of 1,580 meters above sea level. In the north of Mongolia there are three main mountain ranges - the  Khangai Mountain Range, Khentii Mountain Range and the Khuvsgul Sayany Mountain Range. Much of the country is covered by grass and less than 10% of the land is forested. The southern third of the country is dominated by the Gobi Desert. The greatest river in this land is the Selenge which flows northwards into the Lake Baikal.

Terrain

Mongolia is a large land-locked country about three times the size of France. It is situated in the north of central Asia.  It is a country with steppes (arid plains), desert and high mountains. It is one of the highest countries in the world with an average elevation of 1,580 meters above sea level. In the north of Mongolia there are three main mountain ranges - the  Khangai Mountain Range, Khentii Mountain Range and the Khuvsgul Sayany Mountain Range. Much of the country is covered by grass and less than 10% of the land is forested. The southern third of the country is dominated by the Gobi Desert. The greatest river in this land is the Selenge which flows northwards into the Lake Baikal.

Luggage allowance and valuables

The luggage allowance will depend on the airline we are using for your challenge, but in general it will be one piece of checked baggage at around 23 kg. However, we suggest that for our Mongolian horse ride challenge you should only need around 15 kg-17 kg. If you don’t need it, don’t bring it, is a good rule. For any valuables, safe deposit boxes will be only available to use in the hotels. Use a padlock on your luggage when in transit to reduce any risks. Carry your passport with you and make sure you have a photocopy of your documents (travel insurance etc.) in case they get lost or damaged.

Luggage allowance and valuables

The luggage allowance will depend on the airline we are using for your challenge, but in general it will be one piece of checked baggage at around 23 kg. However, we suggest that for our Mongolian horse ride challenge you should only need around 15 kg-17 kg. If you don’t need it, don’t bring it, is a good rule. For any valuables, safe deposit boxes will be only available to use in the hotels. Use a padlock on your luggage when in transit to reduce any risks. Carry your passport with you and make sure you have a photocopy of your documents (travel insurance etc.) in case they get lost or damaged.

Responsible Tourism

At Charity Challenge we are committed to sustainable and responsible tourism, and work closely with bodies such as the International Porter Protection Group and Climate Care to ensure that our challenges benefit the local environments and communities in which they take place. We ensure that all rubbish is disposed of responsibly, and following local guidelines on cultural and environmental protection and respect, we aim to limit our impact on the natural environment. In addition to taking these practical steps to ensure that our challenges are sustainable, we also make a contribution each year to a number of local community projects, so as to give something back directly to the communities that we visit. Since 2000 we have donated almost £200,000 to such projects, supporting a range of initiatives, including schooling for children in Africa, shelter for street children in Brazil, and Orang-utan conservation in Indonesia. We recommend that any gifts brought over for children are given to the UK challenge leader and distributed where needed by them and our local Ground Agent. If you wish to do more, you should consider buying drinks, postcards and souvenirs from the local vendors. For many, it is their sole source of income. For more information, please visit our Responsible Tourism pages, where you will be able to view a list of the projects that we currently support.

Responsible Tourism

At Charity Challenge we are committed to sustainable and responsible tourism, and work closely with bodies such as the International Porter Protection Group and Climate Care to ensure that our challenges benefit the local environments and communities in which they take place. We ensure that all rubbish is disposed of responsibly, and following local guidelines on cultural and environmental protection and respect, we aim to limit our impact on the natural environment. In addition to taking these practical steps to ensure that our challenges are sustainable, we also make a contribution each year to a number of local community projects, so as to give something back directly to the communities that we visit. Since 2000 we have donated almost £200,000 to such projects, supporting a range of initiatives, including schooling for children in Africa, shelter for street children in Brazil, and Orang-utan conservation in Indonesia. We recommend that any gifts brought over for children are given to the UK challenge leader and distributed where needed by them and our local Ground Agent. If you wish to do more, you should consider buying drinks, postcards and souvenirs from the local vendors. For many, it is their sole source of income. For more information, please visit our Responsible Tourism pages, where you will be able to view a list of the projects that we currently support.

Typical day

During the riding days you will rise early and pack up camp after breakfast, then ride carrying only day packs for 6 to 8 hours. There will be a picnic lunch en route and plenty of time to stop and view the remarkable scenery. The trip zone is remote and rare flora and fauna will be seen. The evenings are spent in beautifully located camps, where the food and facilities are fairly simple.

Typical day

During the riding days you will rise early and pack up camp after breakfast, then ride carrying only day packs for 6 to 8 hours. There will be a picnic lunch en route and plenty of time to stop and view the remarkable scenery. The trip zone is remote and rare flora and fauna will be seen. The evenings are spent in beautifully located camps, where the food and facilities are fairly simple.

Accommodation

At the beginning of the expedition you will stay in Ulaanbaatar, in a three star hotel located at the centre of town. Rooms are usually en-suite. During the challenge itself you will camp in two person tents, sharing with another member of the group. Please let Charity Challenge know if you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with.

Accommodation

At the beginning of the expedition you will stay in Ulaanbaatar, in a three star hotel located at the centre of town. Rooms are usually en-suite. During the challenge itself you will camp in two person tents, sharing with another member of the group. Please let Charity Challenge know if you are travelling with a friend or partner who you wish to share with.

Sleeping bags and mats

Felt mattresses are provided, but a ground mattress such as a Thermarest will aid your chances of a comfy night’s sleep. You should take a good four-season sleeping bag, or a three-season with a fleece liner. 

Sleeping bags and mats

Felt mattresses are provided, but a ground mattress such as a Thermarest will aid your chances of a comfy night’s sleep. You should take a good four-season sleeping bag, or a three-season with a fleece liner. 

Toilets

A toilet tent will be provided & bowls of water for washing. Please note that due to the wilderness environment, the facilities will be basic. Toilet paper is provided but it is advisable to bring your own just in case, as well as anti-bacterial hand gel.

Toilets

A toilet tent will be provided & bowls of water for washing. Please note that due to the wilderness environment, the facilities will be basic. Toilet paper is provided but it is advisable to bring your own just in case, as well as anti-bacterial hand gel.

Food & Drink

In Ulaanbaatar the food is quite varied. During the trip the food will be cooked on Kerosene stoves by our kitchen unit and will be fairly simple. Most of the food will be carried from Ulaanbaatar. Only seasonal vegetables and fresh meats are bought along the way where available. Please let Charity Challenge know prior to departure if you have any dietary requirements or allergies.  As meat is a staple part of the Nomadic Mongolian diet, if you are vegetarian it is advisable to bring supplementary protein bars etc.

Food & Drink

In Ulaanbaatar the food is quite varied. During the trip the food will be cooked on Kerosene stoves by our kitchen unit and will be fairly simple. Most of the food will be carried from Ulaanbaatar. Only seasonal vegetables and fresh meats are bought along the way where available. Please let Charity Challenge know prior to departure if you have any dietary requirements or allergies.  As meat is a staple part of the Nomadic Mongolian diet, if you are vegetarian it is advisable to bring supplementary protein bars etc.

The horses

One of the most immediate differences between Mongolian and Western horses is the size. Mongolian horses are much smaller than western horses; in fact they look more like ponies. They are only about 124-128cm tall. The most important characteristic of the Mongolian horse is its ability to cover long distances and deal with the harsh climate. Travelling 50-60kms a day is common for a Mongolian horse. Since they are smaller than European horses, the weight of the people who ride these horses should not be more than 85kgs; please let Charity Challenge know if you weigh more than this and we will make adequate provisions to ensure you can go on the trip.

The horses

One of the most immediate differences between Mongolian and Western horses is the size. Mongolian horses are much smaller than western horses; in fact they look more like ponies. They are only about 124-128cm tall. The most important characteristic of the Mongolian horse is its ability to cover long distances and deal with the harsh climate. Travelling 50-60kms a day is common for a Mongolian horse. Since they are smaller than European horses, the weight of the people who ride these horses should not be more than 85kgs; please let Charity Challenge know if you weigh more than this and we will make adequate provisions to ensure you can go on the trip.

Clothing and equipment

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, a helmet will be compulsory. Comfortable foot wear for your ride, a fleece, warm clothes and a sun hat will be indispensable, particularly coupled with some good quality padded trousers. Other essentials are a high quality gore-tex waterproof jacket and wicking t-shirts. Half chaps for riding, thermal lined gloves are also highly recommended. A full kit list for this challenge can be found here, and once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoorhire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Clothing and equipment

Good quality, durable kit could mean the difference between a fantastic challenge experience and an uncomfortable one. For this challenge, a helmet will be compulsory. Comfortable foot wear for your ride, a fleece, warm clothes and a sun hat will be indispensable, particularly coupled with some good quality padded trousers. Other essentials are a high quality gore-tex waterproof jacket and wicking t-shirts. Half chaps for riding, thermal lined gloves are also highly recommended. A full kit list for this challenge can be found here, and once you book you will have access to kit discounts with our partners The Outdoor Shop, Outdoorhire and Cotswold Outdoor.

Phone and WiFi

You will have limited WiFi which you will be able to use only in Ulaanbaatar on your first and last day, but please do not rely upon this. Due to the remoteness of the challenge, phone signal will also be very unreliable and not available outside of the main towns, especially during your riding days. Our challenge leaders will have radios in case of emergency, and there is a support vehicle with the group throughout the challenge.

Phone and WiFi

You will have limited WiFi which you will be able to use only in Ulaanbaatar on your first and last day, but please do not rely upon this. Due to the remoteness of the challenge, phone signal will also be very unreliable and not available outside of the main towns, especially during your riding days. Our challenge leaders will have radios in case of emergency, and there is a support vehicle with the group throughout the challenge.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!

In terms of your Mongolia horse ride challenge, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • The horse ride route is very exposed, and on sunny days the temperatures can be high. You should ideally be wearing a sun hat, sun cream on the exposed parts of your body. Remember drinking constantly!
  • A helmet is compulsory during your horse ride. Remember to take it off when you go indoors, especially if you enter into a temple.
  • Remember not to approach marmots or other wildlife.
  • Smoke alarms are not a legal requirement in Mongolia, and as such the hotels we use might not have them in place. Your leader will explain the emergency fire procedures to you.

Safety

Charity Challenge considers the safety of all of our participants and staff to be a top priority, and as such we have set up Challenge Safe, one of the most advanced and thorough safety management systems in the industry. Challenge Safe formalises our ethos when it comes to safety, and brings together the procedures and risk management strategies that we use to audit all aspects of our challenges, from vehicles to accommodation to the challenge activity itself. Your welfare is absolutely paramount!

In terms of your Mongolia horse ride challenge, there are a couple of important points that you should be aware of:

  • The horse ride route is very exposed, and on sunny days the temperatures can be high. You should ideally be wearing a sun hat, sun cream on the exposed parts of your body. Remember drinking constantly!
  • A helmet is compulsory during your horse ride. Remember to take it off when you go indoors, especially if you enter into a temple.
  • Remember not to approach marmots or other wildlife.
  • Smoke alarms are not a legal requirement in Mongolia, and as such the hotels we use might not have them in place. Your leader will explain the emergency fire procedures to you.

Waiver

All accommodation and service providers in Mongolia use waivers as a regular part of the business. You will therefore be asked to sign a waiver during this challenge. Please note that this does not affect your contract with Charity Challenge or our liability as detailed in the “our liability” clause of our bookings terms. Any additional services you book independently whilst in Mongolia are likely to come with a waiver of liability.

Waiver

All accommodation and service providers in Mongolia use waivers as a regular part of the business. You will therefore be asked to sign a waiver during this challenge. Please note that this does not affect your contract with Charity Challenge or our liability as detailed in the “our liability” clause of our bookings terms. Any additional services you book independently whilst in Mongolia are likely to come with a waiver of liability.

Emergencies

It is policy that participants must wear a helmet - please take your own for comfort reasons. Be aware that horse riding can be dangerous and accidents do happen – you must take responsibility for your own safety whilst riding. Back up support vehicles (people carriers) will never be far away and can be brought in, in the event of an emergency. Contact by satellite phone will be maintained between guides and the support team and with contact for emergency evacuation if necessary. There will always be a staff member at the back of the group to ensure you are not left behind and can take things at your own pace. If we find somebody is unable to ride at all, then we can transport him or her from one location to the next with the help of our staff, however it is best to train sufficiently prior to the expedition.

Emergencies

It is policy that participants must wear a helmet - please take your own for comfort reasons. Be aware that horse riding can be dangerous and accidents do happen – you must take responsibility for your own safety whilst riding. Back up support vehicles (people carriers) will never be far away and can be brought in, in the event of an emergency. Contact by satellite phone will be maintained between guides and the support team and with contact for emergency evacuation if necessary. There will always be a staff member at the back of the group to ensure you are not left behind and can take things at your own pace. If we find somebody is unable to ride at all, then we can transport him or her from one location to the next with the help of our staff, however it is best to train sufficiently prior to the expedition.

Training

Training and a good level of fitness is definitely required! Anyone who leads a fairly active and moderately healthy lifestyle should be OK. Don’t forget that the temperature and the altitudes are different from the UK and that you will be exercising constantly for a number of days. 

Some horse riding experience will help you manage this challenge.  Beginners would be advised to have lessons before as you will be part of a larger group where some may have a fair amount of riding experience.  Please ensure you feel confident before joining the expedition.

For training programs please click here 

Training

Training and a good level of fitness is definitely required! Anyone who leads a fairly active and moderately healthy lifestyle should be OK. Don’t forget that the temperature and the altitudes are different from the UK and that you will be exercising constantly for a number of days. 

Some horse riding experience will help you manage this challenge.  Beginners would be advised to have lessons before as you will be part of a larger group where some may have a fair amount of riding experience.  Please ensure you feel confident before joining the expedition.

For training programs please click here 

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We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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