Mongolian pastoral herders make up one of the world’s last remaining nomadic cultures. Despite the draw of modern life and the city, hundreds of thousands of Mongolians continue to live a nomadic way of life that goes back at least a millennium.
In 2004, Australian adventurer and author, Tim Cope set off on an epic 10,000 km journey from Mongolia to Hungry by horse. This journey took him three years and led him on a deep journey through the heart of nomad society on the Eurasian Steppe. Since returning to Australia, he has written a film series and book titled On The Trail of Genghis Khan. Tim has also led several guided trips with World Expeditions through remote western Mongolia. He has been named Australian Adventurer of the Year and is the recipient of the Mongolian Tourism Excellency Medal as well as the Nairamdal ‘Peace’ Medal, the highest honour bestowed upon a foreign citizen by the Mongolian government.
Tim reflects that the sense of harmony and sustainability with which the nomads live with the land holds a valuable lesson for us all.
They live within the limitations and the confines of the environment that they were born into,” says Tim Cope. “It’s an extremely different way of life to what most of us live, where we’ve basically molded the land for our own convenience.
But what does the future hold for the next generation of nomads? Tim believes the future of the nomads of Mongolia are in the hands of the younger generations. As Tim told Tessa Chan, South China Morning post, Mongolia is at a crossroads.
“For the first time in thousands of years, the young generation of Mongolians have a choice, to be a herder or to pursue studies in the cities and towns and perhaps have a very different way of life.” (Tim Cope, SCMP magazine, 2016)
We invite you to get a taste of the life of a Mongolian nomad on this very special photographic journey by Tessa Chan on one of Tim’s recent trips to Mongolia – In the Footsteps of the Nomad with Tim Cope .
Chief herdsman Myagaa (C) and his friends live much the same lifestyle as their ancestors did 5,000 years ago.
During a nomad family migration, camels can carry loads of up to 300kg. These camels dutifully wait to be loaded up with trekking gear as support for the tour.
Most children here will master horse riding from the age of four or five.
The spectacular landscape of western Mongolia.
A well earned rest after a challenging day’s trek in western Mongolia.
Young nomad girl, western Mongolia.
Trekkers visit a glacial lake on the high pass between the Turgen and Kharkhiraa ranges.
A view to wake up to: horses graze by the frozen Shivreen River, Western Mongolia.
Three young nomads (L-R) Otga, Nana and Choinum sit by the Shivreen River.
Young child in western Mongolia.
Racing for glory at Naadam: young jockeys stand by their horses before the race starts.
Join Tim Cope on a Trekking Adventure in Mongolia in 2017
Follow in the footsteps of a nomad with Tim Cope in July 2017 and for a unique trek among remote Khoton and Kazakh nomads in the Kharkhiraa and Tsaast Uul mountains of western Mongolia. Voted by National Geographic traveller as a “Tour of a Lifetime” in 2011, you will be travelling with Tim and Tseren Enebish for a culturally enriching experience of western Mongolia.
The focus of this trip is spending less time crossing the vast landscape of Mongolia by jeep, and more time trekking off the beaten track, immersed in the landscape and culture of the legendary horsemen and women of the steppe. Find out more >>>
Join Tim Cope in August 2017 on a 23-day exploratory-style journey for a culturally enriching experience of Western Mongolia. You will trek over high passes on nomad trails supported by herdsmen with their camels and horses before canoeing down the Khovd River, offering you an unparalleled insight into both the diverse landscapes of Western Mongolia and its nomadic heritage. The region is not only home to Mongolia’s highest peak, Tavan Bogd (meaning ‘Five Gods’ it reaches 4,374m), but it is also home to a diverse range of nomad cultures including Tuvans, Kazakhs, Uriankhai, and Oirat Mongolian tribes. Ancient burial mounds, Turkic stones, and petroglyphs found dotted throughout the valleys and slopes of the Khovd River basin remind visitors of the remarkable continuity of nomadic life that has been unbroken here for at least 5,000 years. Find out more >>>