If you want to get an idea of what traditional life in Mongolia is like while also staying off the beaten track, this is the place to book a tour. I did a three day tour in the Middle Gobi region and a 6-day tour in Bulgan Province. I stayed in Mongolia near the end of april, which is a good time temperature-wise. Both tours greatly exceeded my expectations, as did the service provided by GerToGer.
GerToGer's humanitarian eco-tourism is very different from most other tour agencies, which are often aimed at profits at the expense of the people you'd visit. GerToGer does the opposite: the money you pay goes directly to the families you visit, allowing them to maintain their traditional lifestyle in modern Mongolia. Additionally, a tour includes an introductory lesson on what it means to be a humanitarian, including tips and tricks of great use when entering Mongolian nomads' lives (although I failed to apply the 'how to stay on your bolting horse'-tip).
Then the tour itself. Both times I visited several families, travelling from one to the other roughly once ever day and a half. During the day I would try to help out around the ger the best I could, rarely feeling useless: these people can use your help even though they are not used to having european giants around. I was well taken care of, despite a huge language barrier (most families I visited didn't speak any English) that made it difficult express what I wanted or didn't want.
There was also time for a daily trip to beautiful view points, monasteries, sand dunes and lakes, to which we would travel either on horse- or camelback, on foot or by motorbike.
I thoroughly enjoyed staying with these people and want to thank GerToGer. These tours were the best combination of feeling safe (knowing you can always call them in case of emergency) and experiencing something real and unique. Definitely a highlight of my travels, you can't miss this if youre visiting Mongolia!
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