Khövsgöl Sea Kayak Expedition
2019 one place vacant

July 2021

Trip description

Although not really a salty "sea", the "Khövsgöl Dalai" ("Khövsgöl Ocean"), which is the northernmost lake of Mongolia, is so huge that it forms the second-largest freshwater reserve of Asia, only topped in volume by gigantic Lake Baikal. The 136 km long and 262 m deep, sacred and protected Lake Khövsgöl is located in the wilderness of the remote Mountain-Taiga-region just South of the Mongolian-Russian border, at an elevation of more than 1,600 m above sea level. On its Western and Northern shores, the up to 3,500 m high, snow-capped peaks of the Eastern Sayan Mountain Range tower into the sky. These mountains are home to one of the world's last populations of snow leopards but also bears, wolves, eagles, moose and wild reindeer live here. Winter holds a firm grip on the area for more than eight months a year – with temperatures regularly dropping as low as -50°C. No wonder, the thick ice on the lake usually doesn't break up before early June.

This majestic scenery will be our home for almost three weeks. After our arrival in Mörön (domestic flight from Ulaanbaatar) we'll spend a night in the very comfortable and lovingly-made yurt-hotel of our friends Esee and Möögii. The next day, we'll go shopping and drive on to Khatgal, a small but busy town on the southern tip of the lake. Here we'll spend another night before we start our paddling the next day.

Kayaking
For the next 14 days, we'll be paddling and camping – and that's it. We are planning to do a full circle around the lake, starting and ending in Khatgal. This will be around 300 km in total. Sticking to Mongolian custom, we'll probably do our circle clockwise, which means we'll paddle up North on the West coast where we will first pass a couple of luxury ger camps (yurt hotels) that have been set up here in recent years. However, the further away we'll get from Khatgal, the less such infrastructure we'll encounter. Soon enough there will be only a few solitary yurts and yaks grazing on remote and peaceful pastures. And much of the time just mountain meadows and Taiga forest. Peace and tranquility. We'll be camping and cooking on lonely gravel beaches or under old, phenomenal larch trees. And on the next day, we'll set off to do just the same thing again.

After a week of paddling we should reach Khankh, the little bordertown near the northern tip of the lake. Here we can stock up some supplies. From here we'll turn south again, along the Eastern shore of the lake.

On our way south, there may be the option (weather permitting) to paddle out to the islands of Modyn Khüü or Khadan Khüi. The first one is a rather big island far out in the lake – the second a steep rock occupied by a huge flock of seabirds in summer.
Back to Ulaanbaatar
After spending the night in Khatgal, we'll drive back towards Ulaanbaatar. This 1000-km-drive will take us through the Selene-valley and the beautiful forest-steppes of Bulgan aimag. On the way, we'll sleep in a small guesthouse at Amarbayarsgalant, one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries of Mongolia.

In Ulaanbaatar remains enough time to enjoy the city, go shopping for souvenirs and of course our obligatory farewell-dinner party.
We'll be camping without luxury such as a shower, cooking on open fire and drinking straight out of the lake. We will eat well but simple, because we want to travel as light as possible, nevertheless totally self-sufficient. Hence we are looking for responsible people and good team-players to join on this trip. You should be in a good health condition and willing to put up with all aspects of travel in remote regions of a developing country with rudimentary infrastructure.

Personal equipment

For this trip, we highly recommend bringing a drysuit. If you don't have one, it's possible to rent from us.

Because at least the nights will be cold (often around 0°C but sometimes even colder), a good sleeping bag, a robust, warm camping mattress and a good tent are essential – just as waterproof, warm, adequate clothing and firm footwear (suitable for mountain-terrain) as well as neoprene boots.

All further details as well as the packlist will be discussed commonly.

Our services

We provide full board incl. breakfast, cold lunch and warm dinner, coffee, tea, water; cooking and all paddling equipment (paddles, PFDs, dry-bags, throw-bags) except personal apparel and other gear; translation as well as all overland-transports and the guesthouse-stays in Ulaanbaatar, Mörön and Khatgal.

On all our trips we carry a satellite phone and a large expedition-grade first aid kit.

Not included are: Alcoholic beverages and all flights (international flight to and from Ulaanbaatar as well as national flights between Ulaanbaatar and Uliastai). The start and end of our tour and services is Mörön.

We are happy to help our clients by coordinating the bookings of flights or additional hotel stays in Ulaanbaatar. However, this is NOT a part of our official services and we do not take up any responsibility for potential mishaps, accidents or inadequate services of any third parties involved during this part of your travel. Please also understand that we cannot process any payments for flight-tickets or hotel bills on behalf of you.

Minimum number of participants: 3 persons. Two-person-trips may be possible against surcharge. Please ask us about details. Max group size: 8

Price

CHF 3450

A true adventure…

For this trip, we are looking for people with a sense for adventure who do not expect this to be a smooth holiday in the sun. Conditions out are unpredictable. Wind, rain, violent thunderstorms, even snow in July is possible. But on the other hand, we can guarantee you that the experience will outweigh all potential hardships. Together, we'll venture out and achieve something. In our eyes, this is as exciting and rewarding as it can get and pretty much what expedition-paddling is about: A true adventure.

Prerequisites for attending

This is a trip for those who really love the wild. Although not a technically difficult trip, we'll be totally self-sufficient and very exposed and far away from infrastructure and hospitals most of the time. We'll paddle an average of 25 km per day for a two-week period, which means that a fair amount of fitness and endurance will be required from you in order to enjoy this expedition-style trip. A 300 km paddle is not a walk in the park. You should be prepared for this.

Weather permitting, we might also undertake some crossings to islands that may be as far as 11 km out from the shore. The waves on Lake Khövsgöl can become considerably high, comparable to conditions on the Baltic or the Mediterranean sea on windy days – just with much colder water. For this reason, we expect you to have at least a bit of experience in kayaking and especially sea kayak camping – with fully laden boats over long distances.
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This trip is offered to you by Kanushop Siesta Oppi GmbH, Switzerland. All rights reserved. Please contact us for more information.

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Company information
Copyright © Siesta Oppi Kanu Shop GmbH, Switzerland. All rights reserved.

Siesta Oppi Kanu Shop GmbH
Sensebrücke 13a
CH-3176 Neuenegg
Switzerland

Commercial register number: CH-217.0.640.961-3
VAT number: CHE 108.627.887
contact us
IN SWITZERLAND:
Telephone: +41 (0)31 741 91 92
Fax: +41 (0)31 741 91 09
Email: info@kanuladen.ch

IN MONGOLIA:
Telephone: (+976) 99086004
Email: info@fatyaktravel.com
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