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Ikh Nart Self-Guided


Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve is a community reserve where local people have partnered with the Denver Zoo Foundation, the Mongolian Academy of Sciences and our tour operator for research and the conservation of the Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Plateau. It is an upland with many rocky outcrops, often hot and dry. It is an arid Gobi Desert kind of area. The unique wildlife feature of Ikh Nart Nature Reserve is, it has approximately 600 Argali sheep (Ovis Ammon), the largest wild mountain sheep in the world. Although there is no guarantee to see them but they are not that shy here. Also, Mongolian Gazelle (Procapra Gutturosa) are frequent visitors and are relatively easy to come across and view. Ikh Nartiin Chuluu, the full name, means in Mongolian “Rocks with plenty of sunshine”. The reserve also has a sizeable population of the world’s biggest vulture, the Black or Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius Monacha), as well as some 200 Siberian Ibex (Capra Sibirica).

Trip Details

Tour Dates


We operate a small seasonal ger (yurt) camp at Ikh Nart Nature Reserve. You can travel there southeasterly on the Trans-Mongolian railway line towards Beijing by a slow train from Ulaanbaatar. Disembark at Shivee Gobi or Tsomog, a small stations following after Choir town. Then drive 40 km to the Ikh Nart Wilderness Ger Camp. Ikh Nart Wilderness Ger Camp is located on its own at the nature reserve.

Ikh Nart Nature Reserve was established in 1996 as a wildlife reserve as it has intact populations of Gobi Desert fauna. There are plenty of opportunities for wildlife, walks and drives. There may be camels for rent as local East Gobi Desert nomadic communities still roam the reserve. The return journey to Ulaanbaatar would be by a night train but you may order a private day time transfer to Ulaanbaatar.


Arrive at Tsomog or Shiveegobi railway stations, 40 or 60 km away from the Ikh Nart plateau. If you arrive from Ulaanbaatar arrival time to Shivee Gobi is 16h20, a train platform seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but actually near the small town of Shivee Gobi, which serves a nearby open pit coal mine. Met by local driver or our camp vehicle and drive to Ikh Nart.


For two days you may explore the Ikh Nart upland on foot, trekking through interesting rocky areas and hoping to view different kinds of wildlife. There are Argali Sheep (Ovis Ammon), which are the most likely to be seen, but there is also Siberian Ibex (Capra Sibirica) and a variety of bird life. Three parallel research projects are being carried out on an on-going basis by Mongolian and foreign scientists. One study is concerned with Argali Sheep and Siberian Ibex. A second is gathering data on small carnivores such as Corsac Fox (Vulpes Corsac), Red Fox (Vulpes Vulpes), Badger (Meles Meles) and Pallas’s Cat (Otocolobus Manul), along with Lynx (Lynx Lynx) and Wolves (Canis Lupus) when possible. Learning about prey species such as Gerbils, Jerboas and Hedgehogs is also part of this project. For avifauna there is a third on – going research study of Cinereous Vultures and Lesser Kestrels (Falco Naumanni). Botanists are also regular visitors to the reserve. Herders come and go in the Ikh Nart area, as they rely on pastures and sufficient precipitation. Being Gobi herders, they migrate often to find food for their animals and are interesting, hospitable and hardy people.


A.m. Our camp vehicle or local driver will transfer you 40 km to Dalanjargalan village after an evening early dinner. In time for the night train departure to Ulaanbaatar. We may also suit transfers to the international trains to China departing Choir, 86 km away.


Operates daily as shared transfer on fixed times. Departs 22:00 by night train from UB (depart night before and arrive to camp 4:00 morning) and returns 20:00 from camp to Dalanjargalan connecting to local night train to UB. (arrive next morning 9:00 to UB) Please note that there will be total of 2nights in domestic night train.

You may arrive or depart also by international trains to/from Beijing.


3d/4n: USD 290 per person

4d/5n: USD 415 per person

5d/6n: USD 540 per person

Single supplement: USD 40 per night

Additional night: USD 125 per night

Private transfer: USD 200 per vehicle

Children: 0-2 years free. 3-12 years 25-50%

Camp has an English speaker camp manager to assist you for activities around camp.

The meals will be provided 3 times a day in the Restaurant ger, or as picnics on request.

The gers have 2 beds in each and family gers with 1 double and 2 single beds.

All meals at camp. All overnights in double occupancy ger. Transfer to and out of camp on scheduled times.

Beverages. Transfers and accommodation in Ulaanbaatar. Air or train tickets in and out Mongolia. Activities at camp.

Please note that there will be total of 2nights in domestic night train.