Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia - 23 days
Altai Explorer
Prices from £3,399

Join us on a truly groundbreaking tour, travelling through the forgotten lands of Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia to the heart of the Altai Mountains and a land steeped in shamanism and ancient traditions. We start in Kazakhstan, flying from Almaty to the eastern capital of Ust-Kamenogorsk, the gateway to the Altai. Driving through pristine landscapes we cross the mighty Bukhtarma Reservoir and climb high passes, exploring waterfalls, canyons and lakes on the way. This area is home to the ‘Old Believers’, a breakaway sect of the Russian church who maintain traditional lives, and we stop to meet them and others along the way. Crossing into Russia we drive through the taiga to discover old traditions mixing with the modern, visiting a hidden monastery and meeting local shamans. We head into the mountains to discover the ancient graves and archaeological sites of a forgotten culture, and drive through stunning and utterly remote landscapes, looking out for wildlife and meeting people along the way. Our final country is Mongolia where we meet the Kazakh people of the west, famed for their practice of hunting with golden eagles, and spend the night as guests of an eagle hunter, or berkutchi, to learn more about this fascinating practice.  We explore the untamed lands of Tavan Bogd and Tsambagarav, with mountains that are home to isolated populations of Tuvan and Uriankkhai people, as well as the iconic snow leopard, before flying leaving the wilderness behind and flying to Ulaan Baatar. This is an enchanting tour to a region that lies at the very edge of the countries it overlaps, with a unique culture that is steeped in the practices of days gone by – off the map in more senses than one. Adventure travel at its finest.