Sprawled across the mountain system where Russia, Kazakhstan, China and Mongolia come together is a vast and pristine wild land, the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion, a distinct territory defined by natural processes rather than political ones. Its borders are ecological, and its provinces are interconnected habitats.
Tusker is one of a handful of companies that trek the entire length of the Altai Tavn Bogd National Park, which occupies the Mongolian part of the Altai-Sayan Ecoregion.
The Altai-Sayan Ecoregion is one of the planet's most important strongholds of biodiversity - big enough and sufficiently intact to support most of its natural species. It covers over 386,000 square miles (an area the size of Texas and New Mexico combined) in four countries. It includes three mountain ranges - the Altai, the Sayan, and the Mongolian Altai - as well as large tracts of the country surrounding them. Two of the ten largest river basins in the world - the Ob and the Yenesei - have their headwaters here. But not all the water flows to the sea.
During our trek, which you can do on foot or on horseback, we traverse many of the rivers, and camp every night on either the banks of these rivers or the shores of the lakes fed by them.
The Khovd River, which has its genesis in the glaciers of Mongolia's Altai Tavn Bogd Mountains, flows into the Great Lakes Basin, a depression with no outlet whose lush wetlands comprise the last great reed beds of central Asia.
On this unique trek, you experience the wilderness of Mongolia, and wilderness at it's finest, in all of its raw, pristine beauty.
Excerpts courtesy of Conservationink.org, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA. Its mission is to support conservation efforts and environmental awareness in natural areas through the production and sale of published educational materials. Tusker Trail uses their excellent maps for our treks in Mongolia. Photograph © Ted Wood