"I could never resist the call of the trail" - Buffalo Bill

GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL

This annual festival, which celebrates the Golden Eagle as well as the hunters' traditional culture, is arranged by the local Kazakh community and members of the Berkut Association, a community-based conservation organization. Historically, nomadic Kazakhs have depended on the Golden Eagles for hunting. This expedition into the rugged Altai Mountains also includes opportunities to ride on horseback alongside the hunters, as well as visits to a local mosque, town market, provincial museum, and archaeological site.

In western Mongolia, deep within the Altai mountain range, an ancient tradition of hunting with Golden Eagles is still alive. The Kazakhs of Mongolia train their eagles to hunt for rabbits and fox. Once a year, hunters from all over Bayan-Ulgii province gather to celebrate this traditional skill and compete against one another in challenges that show off the abilities of both the birds and their trainers. Prizes are awarded for the fastest eagle, the best traditional Kazakh dress and more. You will also experience various folklore performances that are given during the festival. We take you to participate in this regional festival and also to visit with Kazakh families, join the hunters on hunting trips and see different sights in Bayan-Ulgii province which is home of the Kazakh minority in Mongolia.

Living in the shadow of the majestic Altai Mountains, the nomadic Kazakhs of western Mongolia live and prosper much as they have for centuries. They move seasonally in search of good pasture for their animals, maintaining one of the last enduring horse-based nomadic cultures in the world.

Sandwiched between China and Russia, the far west of Mongolia is also an area of stunning natural beauty. With forested valleys, clear alpine lakes, expansive meadows carpeted with wildflowers and spectacular snowcapped peaks (including Khuiten Uul, the highest mountain in Mongolia), this area is a treasure of unspoiled wilderness. Until quite recently it was virtually untouched by the outside world.

The Kazakhs in this region still practice an ancient tradition passed down from their Turkic forebears: the art of hunting with trained golden eagles. Eagle hunting has been practiced in Central Asia for thousands of years (Marco Polo, in fact, mentions trained eagles killing a wolf in his book Travels). Although the practice is rapidly disappearing in other centers of Kazakh culture, in Mongolia the tradition is alive and well. Every year, just as the winter hunting season is getting underway, eagle hunters gather from all corners of Bayan-Ulgii province to celebrate the enduring tradition and to pit their birds against all comers. The competition tests not just the bird’s mettle and the hunter’s skill, but also the bond between hunter and bird.
In addition to our visit with the Kazakh eagle hunters, we enjoy stopping in Khovd province exploring another unique aspect of western Mongolian culture: the ancient art of throat singing, or khoomei, as it’s known in Mongolia and Tuva.
 



 

GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL

Book this trip or customize to fit your needs

BOOKING FORM

GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL

Duration: 7 days /6 nights
Date: October
Transport: 4WD Jeep/Van
Individual: 1-3 pax
Small group: 4-6 pax


Day-by-day Itinerary

Day 1
  Ulaanbaatar - Ulgii
Fly to Ulgii, capital of Bayan-Ulgii Province. Drive to Kazakh family and visit Eagle breeding neighbor. Learn how to sew by kazakh woman, taste dairy products, ride horses and experience the life of nomads. Overnight stay with local family (B/L/D)

Day 2  Festival
Golden Eagle Festival in Ulgii. Drive to Ulgii and attend Golden Eagle Festival with Eagle Hunting, Cultural Show, Songs and Dances and funny nomad games. Overnight stay in ger camp (B/L/D)

Day 3  Festival (continue)
Second day of Golden Eagle Festival in Ulgii. Overnight stay in local family (B/L/D)

Day 4  Tsambagarav Mountain
Drive to Hovd, legendary capital of Hovd Province via Tsambagarav Mountain, the highest snow-capped peak of Hovd Province (4195m) and hike in the mountains. Overnight stay in tent. (B/L/D).

Day 5  Hovd
Continue driving to Hovd and visit local museum, have small tour to Sangiin Kherem Fortress Wall. Overnight stay at local hotel (B/L/D)

Day 6  Hovd - Ulaanbaatar
Flight to Ulaanbaatar, transfer to hotel. In the afternoon half day city tour, shopping and Cultural performance by Tumen Ekh National Song and Dance Ensemble. Afterwards farewell dinner. Overnight stay in hotel (B/L/D)

Day 7  Departure
Check-out from hotel. Transfer to Chinggis Khan International Airport/Departure (B)

SERVICE INCLUDES
All meals as per indication on Itinerary, all accommodations on site, private 4WD transport with experienced driver, local tour guide, local cook, local flights to/from Ulaanbataar, performance ticket.

SERVICE EXCLUDES
International flights, visa, travel insurance, charges for excess baggage, individual equipment, drinks and extra charges in hotels, all alcoholic beverages, all costs not specified in “Included”.

Total Cost:
Individual: US$

Small Group: US$

GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL

Book this trip or customize to fit your needs

BOOKING FORM

GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL

GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL

Book this trip or customize to fit your needs

BOOKING FORM