A major part of the philosophy that drives EL is promoting ‘low-season’ travel for the benefit of our Mongolian team and the rural families and Mongolian businesses we work with – to make tourism less concentrated around peak season (July) and to help the income of the people we work with be more evenly distributed.
Most importantly, it’s a more sustainable approach.
Along with mining and agriculture, tourism is one of the main sources of income for the country, and with a peak tourist season of barely three months, many Mongolians struggle to make ends meet. Many others involved in tourism – particularly the drivers – have little other work. Huge numbers of drivers are required in July and August, and there is simply not enough work for the rest of the year to keep them all employed.
Also, as the temperature drops, local Mongolians need to buy serious clothing, as well as food and coal, which is expensive. Herders do battle with the weather – including the unique cyclical weather phenomenon called a dzud. Hosting visitors can really ease the stresses of winter, and takes the pressure off earning a year’s worth of money in the short summer season.
Travelling off-peak in Mongolia may seem like a brave prospect but come in the low season and you’ll be doing a good thing. Not only will you be rewarded with cheaper international airfares, but you’ll be helping to sustain the local economy and as the sun dips ever lower, the landscapes seem to stretch further than ever. And for those of you that do it, we offer a 15% discount as a thank you.
We’ll look after you. For all of our winter trips, we provide traditional felt boots, hand-made goat skin blankets and can provide winter deels as well. You’ll spend most nights in a ger – warming yourself by the stove. The night skies more than make up for the challenge of the temperatures. Winter in Mongolia is a remarkable experience – it will show you how good Mongolians are at adaptation and how they work in relation to their changing (and challenging) environment. And of course, you’ll receive the warmest of hospitality as the local Mongolians you meet will be very proud to welcome foreign visitors that deal with the challenges of their wintertime.
‘Sledding on the frozen river, galloping across the Gobi, and playing games with the nomadic families who were all so welcoming and had a great sense of humour. Your ethics, the people, and the experience. All fantastic.’