2008 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE IN MONGOLIA (archive)
Mongolia Expeditions invites you to join us for the Total Solar Eclipse on 1st August, 2008. This is one of nature's most beautiful and dramatic phenomena, when the Sun, Moon and Earth are perfectly aligned and darkness sweeps over the Earth in the daylight hours.
Our eclipse camp in the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia falls on the immediate path of the Moon's shadow. Here the eclipse totality will last for over 2 minutes not to mention the clear blue sky which dominates the area for more than 300 days a year.
An avid astronomer Andreas Gada, a Past President of the North York Astronomical Association, an astronomy club based in Toronto, Canada will share his vast knowledge of eclipses and astronomy during this 12th Total Solar Eclipse of his lifetime.
The eclipse area is inhabited by proud Muslim Kazaks, whose unique traditions of hunting with Golden eagles, knitting of richly decorated wall hangings will be demonstrated specially for the eclipse guests.
To give you an opportunity to make the most out of your travel to Mongolia we created 3 special journeys offering extraordinary experiences of the landscapes and cultures of Mongolia. These can be organized as pre and post extensions to the 8 days main eclipse program.
TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE MONGOLIA 2008 MAIN PROGRAM
Dates: 29 July – 5 August, 2008.
All inclusive price: From 2486 US$ per person.
Day 1: July 29, 2008 ARRIVAL TO ULAANBAATAR OR END OF PRE-EXTENSIONS
On arrival, transfer to your hotel in central Ulaanbaatar. After a short briefing we explore the main Buddhist Temple of Ulaanbaatar, the Gandan with its 90 foot statue of Lord Buddha. The Palace of the last Mongolian King with its religious artwork and the King’s daily use items and the National History Museum displaying a spectacular collection of national costumes will follow after. Before dinner, a show of unique throat (overtone) singing and contortion will be presented to you. (L,D)
Day 2: July 30, 2008
This morning we take a 3 hour flight to our eclipse camp in Western Mongolia. The area is inhabited by the proud Muslim eagle hunters – the Kazaks. On arrival you will be guided through the museum of Kazak traditions. Continue to the visitor camp where you will have a chance to sleep in a traditional felt house. (B,L,D)
Day 3: July 31
After breakfast we head west to our eclipse camp by the Twin lakes. We will be traveling across a wealth of human history with Neolithic and the Bronze Age rock carvings depicting numerous hunting scenes, and representations of wild and domestic animals.
In the afternoon arrive to the eclipse camp with full facilities and great food by our expedition chefs. You may go swimming in the lake or hike the surroundings accompanied by your guide.
After supper we begin our pre-eclipse preparation by taking a short walk to the eclipse viewing site to explore the area and pick out your observing spot for the "big event".
Pre Eclipse Presentation
After experiencing sunset over the mountains Andreas will give a twilight presentation describing what will occur the next day, what people should look for during the various stages of the eclipse, and how to photograph the eclipse. Following this presentation a short tour of the night sky will be conducted. Optionally, you will be able to set up and polar align your telescope, observe and do astro-photography, from what should be a truly dark sky site. (B,L,D)
Day 4: August 1, 2008
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Eclipse Photography Workshop
Andreas will conduct a solar eclipse photography workshop at the viewing site. This will give participants an opportunity to get one-on-one hands-on help before the big event.
9:00 PM: Post Eclipse Presentation and Celebration
After experiencing one of nature's most awe-inspiring and emotionally draining events, it is time to unwind and celebrate. This evening, we return to the eclipse-viewing site to relive the excitement of the day. (B,L,D)
Solar Eclipse Site
Our solar eclipse camp is situated near a lake on a high plateau (2800 m) in the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia near the centerline of the eclipse. The coordinates of the site are N 48º 38' 49.7" and E 88º 18' 41.6".
Day 5: August 2, 2008
Kazakh people have ancient traditions of falconry. They employ Golden Eagles to catch foxes, hares and other small animals. The eagles are a matter of top pride for them. Today is your chance to learn of this ancient tradition. Although hunting is done in winter, the proud falconers will demonstrate their eagles' speed and agility for you. The following event is a game called "kokbar" where horsemen fight for a goatskin. The Kazaks are also known for their exceptional handicrafts. Ladies will introduce you to the art of knitting of richly ornamented wall hangings and offer delicacies of their cuisine, arguably the best and healthiest in Mongolia.
The following event is a game called “kokbar” where horsemen fight for a goatskin.
The Kazaks are also known for their exceptional handicrafts. Ladies will introduce you to the process of weaving of richly ornamented wall hangings and offer delicacies of their cuisine, arguably the best and healthiest in Mongolia. (B,L,D)
Day 6: August 3, 2008
Return travel to the airstrip. We will overnight in the local visitor camp. (B,L,D)
Day 7: August 4, 2008
Take the return flight to Ulaanbaatar. In the afternoon you may explore around the city and shop for souvenirs and gifts. Our guides will accompany to help you make the most out of this day. (B,L,D)
Day 8: August 5, 2008 DEPARTURE OR START OF
Transfer to airport for your return journey home. (B)
GOBI DESERT EXTENSION 7 DAYS
Gobi Pre-extension 23-29 JULY, 2008 ( pdf format - 37kb)
Gobi Post-extension 5-11 AUG, 2008 ( pdf format - 35kb)
All inclusive price for a group of 6: 705 US$ per person.
Explore the legendary Gobi desert and its contrasting landscapes of vast arid plains, rugged mountains, hidden glaciers and towering sand dunes. Follow the trails of the American by the name of Roy Chapman Andrews who uncovered the richest deposits of dinosaur fossils in 1920'S.
Learn about the life and customs of the Gobi nomads. They tend huge flocks of sheep and goats and change their camp several times a year. There will be your chance to ride ‘desert ships’, the two humped Bactrian camels.
After Gobi we visit the site the Genghis Khans’ capital in Central Mongolia from where he launched his victorious cavalry in the 13th century.
KHUVSGUL LAKE – THE NORTHERN MONGOLIA EXTENSION
Khuvsgul Pre-extension 22-29 JULY, 2008 ( pdf format - 34kb)
Khuvsgul Post-extension 5-12 AUG, 2008 ( pdf format - 35kb)
All inclusive price for a group of 6: 784 US$ per person.
An exploration of Mongolia’s northern mountains covered with dense taiga forest and home to Tsaatan, an ancient tribe of reindeer herding shamanists.
The Khuvsgul lake in the North part of country holds 2 percent of world’s fresh water. With 99 auspicious rivers flowing in the lake has only one that flows out linking it with its bigger sister – the Baikal lake in Russia.
Here you will engage in swimming, fishing, kayaking and horseback riding along the lake shore. As well make a visit to the Tsaatan shaman and taste a reindeer milk.
THE NOMADIC PEOPLE OF GENGHIS KHAN EXTENSION 7 DAYS
Central Mongolia Pre-extension 23-29 JULY, 2008 ( pdf format - 35kb)
Central Mongolia Post-extension 5-11 AUG, 2008 ( pdf format - 35kb)
All inclusive price for a group of 6: 559 US$ per person.
Explore the capital of Genghis Khan, Karakorum. Nomadic Mongolians will be happy to host you in their home and offer you a days’ horse riding journey in the granite mountains and rolling hills of Central Mongolia. Living door to door to nomadic horsemen is a chance to immerse yourself in their ancient traditions and survival secrets.
Visit the freshwater steppe lake of Ugi with abundant fish and birdlife. The Khustai National park is where the wild horses of Przewalsky have made their return home since they had been extinct for 4 decades.