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Eagle Hunting is one of the most noble and awe inspiring unions of beast and man. Get an inside look at this truly ancient and wonderful art.
The Kazakh minority in the west of Mongolia still practice the ancient tradition of hunting with Golden Eagles. Each winter, Western Mongolia hosts the Eagle Festival in a spectacular two-day festival. Watch as Eagles land on their master’s arm while he is riding a horse at full speed, and other incredible competitions. This trip involves hiking through the Tsambagarav Mountain National Park (110.960 hectares) which contains numerous glaciers and snow-capped mountains, with a number of nice valleys and gorges. The park is host to spectacular scenery, diverse wildlife and numerous Turkic stone-men and petroglyphs. Enjoy mountain climbing, horse and camel trekking in the popular snow covered Tsambagarav mountain (4195 meters above sea level). Stay with a Kazakh Eagle Huntress throughout the trip. Following the hunt there is entertainment in Kazakh gers, which differ from the usual Mongol gers in that they are highly decorated with woven carpets and textiles wall hangings.
Join us and come on this adventure of a lifetime to one of the most unique festivals in the entire world.
Basic (As Per this itinerary – Western Style amenities will be available on most days)
● Mongolian Domestic Flights – this tour requires domestic flights to Western Mongolia. Two important pieces of information regarding this
1. You must carry your passport with you on Domestic flights in Mongolia
2. Domestic flights in Mongolia have a luggage restriction of 10kg. It will cost you USD$2/kg for excess baggage. You will be able to leave any excess baggage in Ulaanbaatar before departing on your domestic flights
Date : October 3, 2020
Time : 5:00 AM
Flight to Bayan-UlgiiWe will organise a driver to meet you at the guesthouse and drive you to the airport at 5am. Your flight to Ulgii town will depart at 6:50am, arriving at Ulgii airport at 9:10am. There is a one hour time difference between Ulaanbaatar and Bayan-Ulgii. You will meet the local driver and a guide at the airport and enjoy breakfast in a local café. Bayan Ulgii province was established in 1940. Bayan-Ulgii is Mongolia 's ‘Roof of the World’, a remote land of high mountains, glaciers, steep slopes and rushing torrents. Visit the museum and stay at a local Kasakh community camp.
Date : October 4, 2020
Time : 9:00 AM
Eagle Festival-Opening CeremonyAfter hearty breakfast at 8am, head south to attend Eagle Festival. Expect to see some spectacular feats of control and cooperation between bird and man. This two day event is host to so many visual spectacles it is hard to comprehend them all! Races, flying competitions, tug of war, archery and much more will be available for viewing. Eagle Hunting Festival, a colourful and picturesque event attracting the best hunters and birds, and an important celebration for the local community. The festival begins with each hunter displaying the hunting outfits and elaborate, beautifully adorned accessories. Later, the hunting eagles are evaluated for their skills. The eagles are released from a rock cliff, while their owners stand below and signal for them to land upon their arms, as they do during hunting. Those with the fastest times and best technique are awarded the highest scores. There are food tents for lunch here as well as souvenirs and even opportunities to take a photo holding and eagle!! After the festival return to Olgii to see a Kasakh and Tuvan music and dance concert. Dinner at a local Kasakh cuisine. Accommodation at a family ger camp including shower.
Date : October 5, 2020
Eagle Festival-Competition beginsAfter breakfast 8am. In addition to the eagle hunting contests, the participants play such traditional Kazakh games known as Kokbar, where teams compete to pass a goat skin over to their side of the field and the winner throws the skin onto the ger of his choice and this family is expected to host a party for everyone. The events ends in grand Dastarkhan, or a party at which the winners are toasted and great hunting tales are shared. This event represents the very essence of the culture of nomadic Kazakhs and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the Festival drive south to a Eagle Huntress’ Family. Have local dish stay with the family.
Date : October 6, 2020
Eagle Hunter Family StayToday is all about meeting the Kazakh ethnic people. More than 100 herding families possess their own Golden Eagles, used for traditional hunting. Stay with an eagle hunter family with the opportunity to observe traditional Kazakh customs and activities such as the training of hunting eagles and the making of handcrafts.
Date : October 7, 2020
Tsambagarav Mountain HikingToday we will hike and explore the Tsambagarav Mountain. Tsambagarav Mountain has two peaks, its highest peak “Tsast Uul” (in English “Snow Mountain”) has an elevation of 4,193 meters (13,767 ft), while the other peak is called “Tsambarav”. Of course climbing to top of Tsambagrav needs special climbing equipment, so we will hike and climb to around 2,000 meters to the mountain for 5-6 hours. In evening at the same day we will organize a small nomadic ceremony by inviting all neighbours and slaughtering a sheep and enjoying a “Five fingers” feast. Sing songs and enjoy your time with nomads. Our team will make a camp fire in the evening. Overnight in Gers with the family.
Date : October 7, 2020
Eagle Hunting on horsebackAfter breakfast we will meet the horses. A local guide will choose the best horses for everyone by asking their horse riding experiences and give some tips on how to best ride Mongolian horses. Ride horses to the snow-capped mountains for hunting with Golden Eagles. Mongolian horses are small sized but very powerful and resistant. You will be riding horses and hunting with eagles on your arm Also, you will be able to wear Kazakh eagle hunter’s traditional clothes and take photos with an eagle on your arm. Picnic lunch. (In the evening we may attend a Kazakh traditional wedding ceremony or have a karaoke night, or go to “Kimizkhana Mare Milk Lounge” which has hookah) Stay in the hotel.
Date : October 9, 2020
Flight back to UlaanbaatarDepending on the flight time, after breakfast in the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport. If the flight is in the afternoon, you can wander around Ulgii town, visit the museum, market and shops for local handmade goods and souvenirs. In Ulaanbaatar, we will organise a driver to meet you the airport and drive you back to your accommodation.
✔️Transport (Tour Distance covered – 500 km)
✔️Domestic flight (round trip)
✔️Tour Guide (English speaking)
✔️Accommodation at family run guest house, nomadic family Gers and hotel (6 nights)
✔️3 Meals a day (Breakfast-7, Lunch-7, Dinner-6) Mineral water/Tea/coffee
✔️Entrance fees/Local Taxes
✔️Eagle hunting on horseback
❌Alcoholic & soft drinks
❌Any other personal expenses or additional services
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We will be cooking our meals on portable stoves. We will have to stock up on food provisions in the cities, so even that will limit some of your options.
All included meals will be prepared from fresh local produce. The majority of the shopping for food will be done before the trip departs, and fresh goods, such as meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, will be bought en-route during the trip from supermarkets, local shops and markets. Breakfasts will generally consist of breads and cereals, if time allows a warm breakfast may be prepared. Many lunches will be provided en-route and will be light meals such as sandwiches and/or salads or local restaurants. All evening meals will be freshly-prepared hot meals, and will consist of a variety of continental and local dishes. Our GUIDE will organize the meal preparation and lead the way here.
Please note that snacks, soft drinks and alcohol are not included in the tour, so please bring your own. You’ll be able to stock up on supplies at the several small towns where we stop for breaks along the way.
Mongolia is a country of extreme weather conditions. Depending on the time of year you go you should pack accordingly. The summers are very warm, but packing a warm layer or two would be very useful at any time of year, as in both the city and the countryside the evenings can get a little chilly.
Pack your favourite books for the long drive and a notebook to record your thoughts as you look out over the endless, sun-drenched Mongolian wilderness.
It is a good idea to include small gifts in your packing list, as you will inevitably be visiting local nomadic families in the county. It is polite to offer them some small gifts to show your gratitude in return for their hospitality.
Educational gifts for the nomadic children would be a good idea. Colouring books, crayons, colouring pencils, any children books and school stationery. You can buy all these from the department store in Ulaanbaatar after you arrive.
Other suggested gifts for the families are
Tea towel or fridge magnet from your home country and a head torch are very useful.
Sunscreen, long and short underwear, comfortable footwear, lip balm, sanitary hand wipes, sunglasses, prescription medications (if needed), rain gear & a hat
If you forgot something essential, don't worry. You can buy everything you need in Mongolia’s Department Stores and travel shops.
Vegetarian meals and other dietary requirements can be catered for but need to be specified prior to arrival.
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, it is still possible for you to enjoy Mongolia. There are more vegetables being grown in Mongolia today than there were 10 years ago, but Mongolians eat meat, so that is what is mostly available. We will go out of our way to find veggies, but the selection will be limited.
In the countryside it's going to be as rustic as it gets. There are very few paved roads in Mongolia, and most of those are not in great shape, so much of the driving will be done on tracks, which are really nothing more than paths through the steppe that people have driven over many times to pack the dirt down. Tracks are NOT for fast travel, they constantly change because of being washed out by the heavy rains or because they get too beat-up, so the going is slow and far from being smooth. Please consider that travelling in the countryside of Mongolia can be quite remote. There are often no paved roads so driving can be bumpy and can take a little longer than you might be used to. Also, given the remoteness, western style comforts may not be available.
Most of the vehicles we will use are very basic 4-wheel drive vans and jeeps because of the harsh terrain. These vehicles may not look like much, but they are rugged and when they do break down it's fairly easy to repair them which out on the steppe is important!
Russian Van: Steel Russian vans with seats facing each other, ideal for adventure seeking travelers (max 6 people) No seat belts & air conditioner in the van. (Most affordable option)
Japanese Van: Family type van with comfortable seats and air conditioning (max 3 people)
Land Cruiser: Comfortable speedy ride with air conditioning (max 2 people)
Accommodation is very basic in the countryside; you will be sleeping in tents or in the gers of local families. As nomads do not have their own running water supply we may not be able to have a daily shower and going to the bathroom means using some place just outside of camp (nomadic families rarely dig a pit toilet since they move so often).
Western style and luxury options are available in some parts of Mongolia in the form of Tourist ger camps. Ger camps have comfortable beds, hot showers and western style amenities. These are not included in the price quoted in this itinerary. However, if you think that you would prefer to have access to these western style comforts then please let us know and we can adjust the quote for your itinerary.
Once you are in the countryside exploring Mongolia it is our preference to stay with local nomadic families if they have an extra Ger. Gers will be shared by 5 people when we stay with a local family. As a Mongolian company we prefer to support these families financially, and help support their livelihood. We are sure this resonates with our travelers who enjoy engaging with their culture and way of life on the steppe. As well as directly supporting local herders, you can experience this rich traditional way of life first hand. On some nights we will be camping under millions of stars at our favourite camping spots, though if you’d prefer to camp more often you’re more than welcome to pitch a tent every night. All necessary camping equipment will be included in the tours.
For the invitation letter we will need the following information:
- Full Name
- Passport #
- Clear scanned copy of your passport
- Name of the City & Country where you are applying for your visa.
- Date of arrival & departure from Mongolia
In some cases, if there is not a Mongolian embassy in your country, it is possible to apply for permission to obtain a visa on arrival at Chinggis Khan International Airport. We can also help you to arrange this if you provide us with similar information as above.
Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions regarding your visit Mongolia via email at email@example.com