Every year during the first weekend of October, “The Golden Eagle Festival” is celebrated in Bayan-Ulgii Province, in the far west of Mongolia. Bayan-Ulgii Province is situated in the breathtaking scenery of the Altai Mountain Range, where Mongolian, Chinese and Russian territories meet.The inhabitants of this area are mostly ethnic Kazakh people who inherited their rich culture from their ancestors. They wear fancy embroidered clothes and hunt with their wonderfully trained “Hunter Eagles”. Several tournaments and cultural shows are the most interesting parts of the festival. Although it is a long way from Ulaanbaatar, the trip is well worth it. There is no other place on the earth where you can see so many trained Golden Eagles up close.
Day 1. Oct 6. Flight to Bayan-Ulgii Province.
Today we will take an early morning flight (4 hours) to Ulgii, center of Mongolia’s western most province, Bayan-Ulgii. The province is famous for its untouched snow-capped mountains and the Kazakh nation that makes up nearly 5% of the population with their rich, unique culture. Visit the museum of Bayan-Ulgii Province and learn about the area and its rich culture. Visit a local Kazakh eagle hunter’s family and learn about the Kazakh people’s unique lifestyle, traditions and how they train the eagles for hunting. (Ger camp/ B, L, D)
Day 2-3. Oct 7-8. Hunting Eagle Festival in Ulgii.
For two days we will enjoy the Golden Eagle Festival near the town of Ulgii. Attend the opening ceremony and enjoy watching the three tasks of the tournament: hunters calling their eagles from the top of a hill to land on their arms, the eagles hunting for hides drawn by a running horse and the eagles catching a live animal, a fox. The participants are judged not only by the skills of their eagles but also by the finery of their attire, the traditional hunting dress, gloves, harnesses and the birds’ hoods. We will then see the riders’ games like plucking a flower while riding a running horse, traditionally called “Buzkoshi”, and fighting for possession of a dead goat on horseback as well as a Kazakh nomads’ cultural performance. (Ger camp/ B, L, D)
Day 4. Oct 9. Ulaanbaatar.
Today you will fly back to Ulaanbaatar and we will pick up from the airport. When you arrive in Ulaanbaatar city you can visit shopping at a cashmere factory outlet store if you want. (B)
Itinerary: Golden Eagle Festival Tour
Duration: 4 days/ 3nights
Group Size: min 1-2, max 6 (big groups are available)
Included in the price:
• Experienced driver and 4WD minivan with fuel
• English speaking tour guide /cook
• Accommodation during the trip
• Cook for during the trip
• Entrance fees for museums & protected areas
• Eagle Festival ticket
• All meals (B.L.D)
• We provide 1.5 liter of mineral water per person, daily
• Horse and camel riding /optional/
Excluded in the price:
• Alcoholic drinks
• Personal items
• Extra and optional activities’ cost
• Travel insurance
• International airfare
• Domestic flights