You Can Now Book a Stay With a Reindeer Herding Tribe in the World’s Most Remote Airbnb
Mongolia’s valleys are home to a large nomadic population who often relocate throughout shifting seasons to feed their livestock. While the tribes are open to engaging with tourists, finding ways to track and pinpoint their location and convey this information to travelers can get difficult, which is why Airbnb has teamed up with what3words to make accessing these remote locations a possibility.
What3words, which was started in London in 2013, has created a service that removes the complexity of GPS coordinates by converting 10-foot-by-10-foot squares across the world into three-word addresses (like filled.count.soap).
By mapping each location into three words, the service (which has a free app on both iOS and Android) allows nomadic tribes without an exact address to now create one for their guests.
“Tourists discover the area and learn about life here and we also like welcoming them as it is interesting to meet new people…[but] it is very hard for tourists to find us, and for us to explain the location when we have limited mobile network access,” Otgonbayar and Zorigt, who are Dukha reindeer herders and Airbnb hosts for the location, said in a statement.
Guests staying in the world’s most remote Airbnb will spend their days with the reindeer herders in the Taiga forest in northern Mongolia.
The two-night and three-day stay is set up in a traditional Dukha teepee that sits deep in the forest and comes complete with two wooden beds, sleeping bags, and an open-fire stove.
Upon arrival, visitors will be greeted by a local family, taste freshly made reindeer milk tea, and learn how the tribes spend their days, from herding and milking reindeer to preparing traditional dishes and crafts.
At the moment, travelers can also book a stay in a yurt within the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park with a Kazakh family who lives in the area for $25 per night. Experience life with them in a yurt and explore the nearby surroundings of lush terrain and cascading waterfalls.
Activities at the stays include learning traditional Mongolian poker and learning the art of wood crafting, with dishes that include freshly baked bread made on the fires each day and hearty meat and noodle soup.
As part of the new openings, Airbnb has been working with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Mongolia to provide hospitality training to current hosts and potential future hosts in other rural areas.