Georgia semi desert & Tusheti Mountains

La Géorgie La Touchétie Semi Désert


October and May

Horse riding expedition

Individual booking


Special conditions

Transhumance on horseback or driving the herd of horses

In Tusheti, about 10% of the population is pastoral and lives to the rhythm of transhumance. The semi-nomads come and go each year from the wintering places located in the semi-desert part of southern Georgia and more precisely in Kakheti near the Azerbaijani border to the summer pastures in Tusheti, the most secluded mountainous region of the Greater Caucasus. The shepherds and their flock of sheep, horses and dogs walk up to the mountains in May and come down in October. Less common, there is also a cattle transhumance taking place a bit later in June once the track is cleared from snow.

Spring equestrian transhumance from winter to summer pastures

During the winter, the horses are located an hour drive of Tbilisi at the gateway of the semi desert. In May, it’s time to bring the herd back to the summer pastures. This first part of the transhumance on horseback takes us through three ecosystems, from the semi-desert to the foot of the Greater Caucasus, passing over the Gombori Mountain range at 2000m high and the wine-growing plains of Kakheti region. This route offers extraordinary sceneries overlooking both semi desert Udabno and the Greater Caucasus. At the foot of the Caucasus Mountains we wait for the right moment to cross the most delicate part of this great equestrian expedition, the Abano pass which lies at almost 3000m high. We ride on the track cut into the cliffs along the magnificent canyon. Then, depending on the year, we still meet huge quantity of snow and drive the herd of horses on snowfields or snowy slopes together with the shepherds and their sheep. We enter the Tusheti région just waking up from its hibernation: the nature is exploding, the colours are bright, the torrents are fiery, the fauna is hyperactive, everything is gushing out. We ride on horseback through the beautiful mountain enclave and discover an authentic Tusheti that is still isolated from the rest of Georgia.

Winter transhumance and horseback riding from the mountain pastures to the semi-desert Udabno

As winter approaches we wait for the last moments to gather the horses scattered in the National Park and drive them to the plains. The Tusheti region is covered by yellow reddish beeches and birches forest. We ride with some parades of sheep and cattle escorted by shepherds and their dogs surrounded by snow-caped summits within a nature which is slowly falling asleep. The atmosphere is quiet and the warm colours make you
Once the horses are gathered we ride during two days to the lowlands. On daily program unforeseen events, incredible meetings, a life that would be impossible for you to live within two weeks of travelling. This transhumance is exhausting for the horses as well who deserve a good rest. We drive them afterwards to the winter pastures at the entrance of the fabulous Udabno desert with its multicoloured rock formations and monasteries dating back the 6th century.


Transhumance à cheval équestre horse riding
Transhumance equestre horse riding
Transhumance à cheval équestre horse riding


Géorgie Georgia Kazbegi horseback rando hikes combiné voyage

The transhumances take from 12 to 25 days.

=> UDABNO : The winter pastures are located at the entrance of a incredible and unique ecosystem not far away from the main city Tbilisi from where we organise some expedition on horseback through the national park and natural reserve similar to the American badlands and monasteries dating back the 6th century
=> TUSHETI : the sommer pastures are located in the great Caucasus Mountains. We are living between 2000 and 3300m high. The Tusheti National Park and natural reserve offer not only stunning sceneries but a rich culture heritage and alive tradition.

Transhumance on horseback
You take part in the transhumance driving the herd down to the lowlands in October and up in May.
This unique experience brings you through three ecosystems the hugh mountains area, the vineyards and plains of Kakheti and finally the semi desert area with its specific fauna. You meet some shepherds, ride in the middle of herd of horses and flock of sheep, discover a rich culture and incredible landscapes very different from one side to another. Impediment will probably on our way too, just what you need to feel alive 😉 (sometimes more)

May and October

Good to very good

Min : 1 rider
Max : 8 riders
Self sufficient horseback expedition
Packhorses are carrying only the strict needed staff during the transhumance
Fresh and local cuisine

=> During the horseback expedition : Typical house (without any comfort, no electricity, no water in the house, loo at the back), tent. No big tent.
=> Before / after the Transhumance: guesthouse and hotel 3* located in the very center of Tbilisi

Privatisation possible from 5 riders

The Tush mountain horses are middle size, very well balanced, calm, rustic and very smart. They know how to spare their energy to climb the mountains. The horses you will ride are belonging to Audrey. She breaks and trains them. The foals are following their mother on our itineraries from 2,5 months. They learn how to put their feet and find their balance on the rocks, small pathways and deep rivers. They are all living in herd and free all the year without any fences. During the winter (from November to May) they are resting as they have to resist to the climate and be strong and ready for the summer. During each horseback expedition they have 1 week off. Usually mares give birth from March to May.

The Tush are born on a horse. Before being able to walk they ride. They are horsemen, breed their horses which play an important role in the Tushs’ way of life as well as in the pagan traditions. It is not only a mean of transportation -as packhorse- when the semi nomad are driving their flock of sheep down to the winter pastures and up to the summer pastures or -like a mop- when galloping from one village to another but also it is part of a very old pagan ritual called Doghi. The Doghi is a horse race to commemorate one year’s death of a Tush. It helps the dead person to gain a social rank in the « second world, the world of the deceased ». They are also used for skidding.

Entry Formalities:
No visa requested for European country citizens. Passport with a validity over 6 months when leaving the country is normally enough. For more and accurate information, check at the Georgian embassy in your country of residence.

Main City : Tbilisi

Language : Georgian, caucasian language, kartvelian group.

Money : Lari GEL. 1 euro=2,9 GEL

More info :éorgie_(pays)

ATTENTION : all products derived from Codeine molecules are strictly forbidden in Georgia. Please consult as well as documents/Psychotropics/guidelines/travel-regulations/2013-travellers-update/ GEO_26_August_2014_Original_travellers_II_-_LTR_-_table.pdf
MY TIPS : Do not even try to bring such drugs into Georgia. (codein/ tremadol)

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Schedule of departures / availabilities

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