Mongolia offers a unique opportunity to discover the way of life of its nomadic populations. To appreciate its richness, you must have slept in the cosy cocoon of a ger, tasted the barely fermented airag at the beginning of summer, savoured the buuz with your family, gathered the herds perched on a horse and listened to the diphonic songs at sunset... Finally, you must have participated in the local festivals by sharing the joie de vivre and the generosity of the populations very attached to the traditions of hospitality and welcome. In July, Naadam, literally a "game" in Mongolian, a national holiday, is an opportunity to admire the skills of archers from all over the country who come to compete against the capital's referees. In the Ulaanbaatar stadium, or on the more modest lawns of the Aimag capitals (or province), wrestlers in camisoles and pointed hats rush, between two fights, for a dance around the beige banners. Further on, the steppes tremble under the hooves of horses thrown at full speed by riders as tall as three apples. Naadam is a popular festival, a game of strength, skill and speed, which immediately plunges into the country's oldest traditions. In winter, Tsagaan Sar marks the Mongolian New Year. Plan a week of banquets punctuated by horse or camel races, polo competitions and competitions organised in the bitter cold of February. So many moments not to be missed, so that a stay in this harsh country is filled with all the joie de vivre of its inhabitants.
A very natural nature :
The first image that this country evokes is that of an almost virgin nature and whose immensity seems to deprive us of landmarks. From the vast steppes of eastern Mongolia to the endless plains of the Gobi Desert, from the snow-covered peaks of the Altai to the depression of the lakes in the north of the country, Mongolia offers an incomparable wealth of landscapes. This largely wild nature is a real paradise for wildlife observers, or simply for those who can be seduced by the sight of a gazelle leaping in the desert or the prospect of miraculous fishing in clear rivers. With 45 species of birds, 12,500 species of insects, more than 2,000 of which have only been observed in Mongolia, 138 species of mammals, about 30 of which are extremely rare (the wild camel, the Gobi bear, the Przewalski wild horse, etc.) and more than 2,800 plants, the country is a true concentrate of nature that just needs to be explored. Mongolia is therefore the ideal place for trekking and horseback riding, which gives you time to contemplate the richness of plants and animals and also has the advantage of not harming an environment in need of protection.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette