frequently asked questions


Booking Your Trip

Who can come, and what happens if you can't make it after booking.

How much is the deposit, and when will I need to pay the balance?

In order to secure your place on a trip you need to pay a deposit of 20% of the trip price. The remainder will then be due 10 weeks before the start of the trip. We will send you a reminder prior to this. If booking on a trip within 10 weeks of departure, payment in full is required.

What happens if I can't make it and need to cancel?

Horses running freeIf you cannot come on the trip, let us know at least 8 weeks before the start, and we will refund the cost of the trip, less your deposit*. If you can only give us between 4 weeks and 8 weeks notice you will lose 50% of the cost of the trip, and with less than 4 weeks notice we will unfortunately be unable to give a refund. If you have a good reason why you can't make it, your own insurance should cover any loss.

*Just because we're such nice folk at Zavkhan Trekking, we can hold your deposit and you can put it toward a re-booked trip for the following year (but only if your trip is not yet fully booked and therefore we have not been turning people away.

How about if Zavkhan Trekking cancels the trip?

If we do not get 5 people booked on a trip, we may not be able to run it. In this case we will notify you as soon as possible, or at least 1 month before the start date. We will either suggest an alternative trip if available, or give you a full refund including deposit. We will not be obliged to offer more than this.

Don't be too concerned about this happening, it is extremely rare for us not to run a trip as scheduled. Feel free to ask us how our bookings for a trip are progressing.

What if the 'itinerary' changes?

Monument in UB

We endeavour to follow the trip plan, especially the number of days spent in the saddle. However Mongolia is not the sort of place where you can always stick to strict schedules and plans. There is a large element of the unexpected, which is probably part of the reason why you want to go there. Consequently we may need to make small changes to the plan prior to departure, in which case you will be notified. If the change is substantial you will have seven days in which to cancel your booking and receive a full refund.

Mongolia is a relatively safe country to travel in. It's highly unlikely, but these days you never know when a war, epidemic, terrorist attack, or hurricane might strike. This is known as 'force majeure' and we can't be held responsible for any changes due to these sorts of reasons, which are beyond our control.

More likely is that we will need to make small changes in response to conditions while on the trip, such as taking a different route to avoid a collapsed bridge, in which case we will not be able to offer any compensation.

If a necessary change in the trip plan through no fault of ours results in you being delayed getting back to Ulaan Baatar, and missing your international connection, we will assist you with any insurance claim you may need to make.

Can Zavkhan Trekking be held responsible if I get injured?

John on a reindeerIt is important to remember that we are offering a serious wilderness trekking experience, which carries an inherent level of risk. While we endeavour to minimise this risk, we cannot be held responsible for injuries sustained through no fault of ours. In the unlikely event of an injury we will do all that is required to help you. Our trip leaders are medically trained,  so can deal with most things through to emergency child birth...

What are my responsibilities as a client?

'Ugly', John's horse from 2000Firstly and most importantly, you should have fun. You are also responsible for your own visa (which we can help with), travel insurance, and any necessary vaccinations (none are legally required). While riding, we like to operate as a team, making group decisions on where to go and when to stop, rather than being told what to do. However when necessary the group leaders authority will need to be respected.

Who can come on our trips?

If you have read the information on our website and decided that you are capable of meeting the challenges involved, then you are welcome to join us. If in doubt, please ask us. The main thing is to have the right attitude. A reasonable level of fitness is also required in order to get the most out of it, especially if you are not an experienced rider. You are expected to be able to mount and dismount unaided. Anyone who is fit and active enough to enjoy the trip (even if inexperienced) will have no problem - remember the horses are small!

We do not have an upper age limit. HOWEVER if you are 70 and a non-rider with a hip replacement and bad knees, we would suggest there may be a better way to see Mongolia. We hope to still be travelling off the beaten track at that age too, but the reality is that people do fall off, and the older we get, the less we bounce.

If you have a known medical condition which could be a problem you will need to let us know before the trip. If you weigh over 100kg (220 pounds), please talk to us. It is not necessarily a problem if you are fit and active. See the following question regarding children.

Is it OK to bring my kids along?

Young Mongolian girlChildren can come as long as they are well supervised by a parent or guardian. If a child can ride confidently, keep up with the group, and is happy camping in remote places, they are old enough to come. The support vehicle is available if necessary. Only our Altai Expedition is unsuitable for children. We have never actually had any children along on a trip yet, but they would undoubtedly have the time of their life.

Can you arrange extra nights accommodation for me in UB?

Yes, we can book extra nights at our group hotel. There's no extra costs from us. The easiest option is to stay at our hotel where we will all be staying for the first night of the trip, and at the end, but we can suggest a more basic (ie less expensive) guest house.

If you would like to splash out after all the roughing it in the countryside, we can point you to other (ie more expensive) options. During Nadaam (11-13 July), accommodation is scarce so let us know well in advance.

Do you have a question that we haven't answered above?
If so, please don't hesitate to contact us.