Location: Central Asia
Capital: Ulaanbaatar

Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 7-8 hours
Daylight savings time: during northern hemisphere summer

Current time: 07:39 (Ulaanbaatar, Choibalsan) 06:39 (Hovd)
Population: 3,043,977
Currency: togrog
Dialling code: +976
Internet suffix: .mn

Mongolia is a large Asian country known for its history, culture and expansive landscapes.


Overall security situation: mostly secure
Social tensions and grievances: elements of society have notable grievances, leading to sporadic incidents of disquiet
State resilience capabilities: institutions are somewhat resilient but there is definite room for improvement
Conflict situation: no conflict in recent decades
Civil unrest: very low level of risk; the public is largely content while demonstrations are usually infrequent, peaceful, orderly and professionally managed
Terrorism: extremely low level of risk (albeit not non-existent)
Crime: moderate crime rate with petty and violent crimes
Murder rate: moderately high
Gun ownership levels: moderately low in comparison to the rest of the world
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: no


Aviation safety levels: potential concerns
Annual road fatality rates: high
Vehicles drive on the: right
Infrastructure quality: very poor
Urban ATM availability: good
Electricity supply: 230V 50Hz
Electricity supply reliability: relatively consistent
Plug types: C and E

Plug type C (2 round pins, not grounded/earthed)

Plug type E (2 round pins with 1 round hole to accommodate a round pin from the socket, grounded/earthed, socket compatible with plug types C and F)



Is tap water drinkable: no
Healthcare quality: poor
Infectious disease prevalence: some infectious diseases are prevalent

Vaccinations

Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all):

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B (not always needed)
  • Rabies (usually only for long-term stays, or for those spending time in isolated areas or coming into contact with animals)
  • Tick-borne encephalitis (usually only for those spending time in at-risk forested areas)
  • Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus)

Disease presence

Malaria risk: none
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: rare/non-existent
Rabies prevalence: high risk
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: high
Hepatitis B prevalence: high
Hepatitis E prevalence: not highly endemic
Cholera status: low risk
Chikungunya virus presence: not present

Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: no
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: none
Tick-borne encephalitis status: high risk in some areas
Chagas disease presence: none

Typhoid fever presence: sporadic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: no
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no


Climate: desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)
Terrain: vast semidesert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Desert in south-central
Natural disaster risk: low
Natural hazards: storms; flooding; dust storms; wildfires; drought; extreme temperatures; drought
Tropical storms: few/none
Volcanic activity: low/none
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: no


Government type: parliamentary democracy
Socio-economic development score: 7/10 (high levels of socio-economic development)
Adult literacy rate: 98.4%
Unemployment rate: moderately low
Civil liberties: some restrictions, usually mild
Investment rating: sub-investment grade / speculative grade / junk status
Corruption levels: fairly high
Same-sex sexual activity: legal
Death penalty: abolished
Languages: Khalkha Mongol 90% (official), Turkic, Russian
Ethnic groups: Khalkh 81.9%, Kazak 3.8%, Dorvod 2.7%, Bayad 2.1%, Buryat-Bouriates 1.7%, Zakhchin 1.2%, Dariganga 1%, Uriankhai 1%, other 4.6%
Beliefs: Buddhist 53%, Muslim 3%, Christian 2.2%, Shamanist 2.9%, other 0.4%, none 38.6%

General guidelines

  • The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
  • However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
  • Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
  • Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
  • Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.
  • Consider conducting or obtaining a risk assessment specific to you, your profile and your trip, task or operation.
  • This should take into account the likelihood of potential risks affecting you, as well as the likely impact they will have, and will help you decide, depending on your risk appetite and implementable risk mitigation measures, whether or not you should proceed.

Infrastructure

  • Be prepared for potentially poor-quality roads and other forms of transportation.
  • This can make it difficult to get around.
  • Consider obtaining a high-quality vehicle that can handle difficult terrain if you intend to travel anywhere with particularly bad-quality roads.
  • Bear in mind that traffic safety conditions may be poor.
  • Try to ensure that any accommodation or workplace is located in a good quality building.
  • Bear in mind that in the event of an accident or emergency, the emergency response services may have very limited resources available.

Road traffic accident

  • Be aware of local driving conditions and hazards.
  • Drive defensively and adhere to speed limits to minimise the risk of being caught up in an accident, or request that your driver(s) do the same.
  • If using a taxi or local driver, ensure that they are qualified and competent and that their vehicle appears well maintained.
  • Ensure that vehicles are in good working order before travel.
  • Perform regular checks on your vehicles for oil, fuel, tyres and seatbelts.
  • Consider taking additional equipment such as a jack, spare tyres, water, blankets, torches and a first aid kit, especially if travelling to more rural or isolated areas.
  • Consider using four-wheel drive vehicles for particularly poor road conditions.
  • Car users should know how to perform emergency repairs.

Healthcare

  • Bear in mind that healthcare facilities and services may be significantly less extensive than more developed countries.
  • There may be very limited facilities, staff, techniques and medications available, especially in more isolated or underdeveloped areas.
  • There may not be adequate reliable blood supplies in local hospitals.
  • Pharmacists and other sources of even basic medical products may be difficult to find.
  • Aim to be as medically self-sufficient as possible, taking basic medical supplies.
  • Research whether or not certain medications are legal in your destination(s).
  • Take extra supplies of any routinely-taken medicines.
  • It may also be advisable to have them accompanied by a note from your doctor.
  • Avoid carrying medication for other travellers.
  • In the event of serious illness or injury it may be necessary for a patient to be evacuated out of the country.
  • Ensure that there is sufficient medical insurance in place to cover such an event.

Aviation safety

  • Try to use reputable airlines.
  • Check the safety records of any companies you use to charter flights.
  • Check the weather forecast in advance of travel – particularly for domestic flights.
  • Consider delaying your trip or using an alternative means of transport rather than taking a risky flight.

Terrain

  • If travelling to areas with more challenging terrain types, bear in mind that you might need to take specific and specialised equipment and clothing.
  • Some terrain types might be more hazardous at different times of year so research any seasonal variations and work out the best time for you to visit.
  • You may have to alter your behaviour and consider certain types of medication, such as if you have to travel to high altitudes.
  • Areas with challenging terrain are often sparsely populated and/or with underdeveloped infrastructure.
  • Not only can this make it difficult for you to travel there, it may also make it difficult to get out if you need to, or for any assistance to arrive in the event that you encounter difficulties and need help or evacuation.
  • As such, have backup plans in place, methods of calling for help even if local communication networks are poor and aim to be as medically self-sufficient as possible.

Weather

  • If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
  • Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
  • Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
  • Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
  • Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
  • Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
  • As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.

Crime

  • Research and familiarise yourself with your destination in advance of travel.
  • Find out what the local criminal trends are and identify any potential hotspots, such as certain neighbourhoods.
  • You may wish to avoid the higher risk areas, but this is not always practical.
  • As such, in higher risk areas exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Note that jewellery, watches, mobile phones, laptops or other items may mark you out as a potential target for petty thieves.
  • Be careful with your wallet and cash.
  • Note that crime trends can change, and the level of risk can become higher, after dark.
  • In general, use your gut instincts and be prepared avoid situations, places or people that seem suspicious, odd or wrong in some way.

Civil unrest

  • Civil unrest can lead to road closures and even curfews, which can affect your travel plans.
  • Be prepared for delays and route alterations.
  • Avoid demonstrations as they can turn violent.
  • If demonstrations take place on a frequent basis, research the trends which tend to accompany them.
  • Where do they tend to take place? Do they tend to turn violent? Do attendees target specific types of building or representative interests associated with a specific nationality, industry, political group (such as party political offices, state buildings or foreign-owned businesses)?
  • Once you have identified the sorts of risks, trends and areas of higher risk to be avoided you can start planning to minimise your exposure.