Golden Eagle Festival

Golden Eagle Festival

9 days

Time to go:
September 29th to October 7th

Starting at $4000 per person

Full Itinerary Download

Tour Summary

The Kazakh people in Mongolia have been training these majestic golden eagles for hunting foxes, rabbits, marmots, and, if you believe the stories, even wolves. Experiencing the Golden Eagle Festival is a once in a lifetime experience that will have you in awe watching these massive birds show off their skills. This ancient tradition, which takes place in the far west Province of Bayan Ulgii,  is celebrated in October where the hunters will participate in games with their eagles to determine which one is the best trained. You will have the awesome experience of meeting these Eagle hunters and participating in the 2-day festival.

We will start our expedition by taking an early flight out to western Mongolia, and meet with a local Kazakh family that hunts with Golden Eagles. We will have our own private gers (yurts) set up right next to their home. In the next two days we will spend time with the family and learn their ways of life while participating in their Eagle training. We will accompany the family to the eagle festival where we will stay in local ger camp while we participate in the festivities over the next 2 days. Once the festival is over, we will fly back to the capital and visit Khustai national park, to see the wild Przewalski horses (takhi in Mongolian). These stocky wild horses are said to be the ancestors of all modern horses and roam free in the national park.

*Early October doesn’t work for you? Ask us about the smaller September Golden Eagle festival*

**This expedition goes well with extensions to the Gobi Desert or Terelj National Park**

Tour Highlights

Stay with a nomadic eagle hunter family and learn from them

Attend the Golden Eagle Festival and see the competition

See the wild Przewalski horses (Takhi)

Private 4x4 vehicle with a driver and guide.

Experience the Mongolian Gers (yurts) in comfortable lodges and with a homestay.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Welcome to Mongolia! When you arrive at the airport, your guide and driver will be there waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel where you can freshen up. If you are not too tired, you can then visit the Mongolia Museum of Natural History, The Gandan Buddhist Monastery, and in the evening, you can enjoy a traditional Mongolian folk concert with dance and throat singing followed by a welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Hotel

Travel: None

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 Flight to Bayan-Ulgii

In the morning, we will take our domestic flight to the most western province in Mongolia, Bayan Ulgii. Our drivers will meet us at the airport and take us to one of the Eagle hunter’s homes where we will set up camp as their neighbor.

Accommodation: Private Gers next to Eagle hunting family

Travel: 2 hour and 30 min flight; 1600 KM (994 Miles): Drive to Ger camp 100 KM (62 Miles); 2 hours

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 3-4 Meeting the family and Golden Eagle hunting

From the start of these two days, you will delve into the life of a Kazakh Eagle Hunter! We will follow the Eagle Hunter on horseback for 3-4 hour treks through the Altai Mountains as he hunts his prey. When we aren’t in the mountains, we will be spending our days with the rest of the families, learning the Kazakh way of life. Kazakh people tend to have large families so there will be plenty of interaction. They are also known for their exceptional hospitality so prepare yourself for being warmly accepted into their home.

Accommodation: Private Gers next to Eagle hunting family

Travel: None

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 5-6 Golden Eagle Festival

On the first day of the festival, we will have the privilege of entering the festival with our Eagle Hunter host. The festival opens with a parade of the locals wearing their traditional Kazakh clothing followed by the hunters on horseback bearing their majestic Golden Eagles. After some opening speeches, the competitions will begin. The competitions will not only compete with their eagles, but also tests of horsemanship. When we are not watching the competitions, we can see other amusing games and contests as well as spend our time in the large market perusing through the excellent, local Kazakh handicrafts.

Accommodation: Ger Camp

Travel: Small Drives

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Back to Ulaanbaatar and Khustai National Park

In the morning, we will depart from the ger camp early to make it on a local flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Our drivers will pick us up from the airport and we will head out of the city to Khustai national park, an area that was specifically set aside to reintroduce the stocky, wild horses called the Przewalsky’s Horse in the West, and Takhi in Mongolia. In the past, the Takhi had been completely wiped out of Mongolia. Luckily, about 50 had been preserved in Europen zoos. These Takhi were reintroduced to Mongolia and now there is a herd of about 200 Takhi roaming around in their natural habitat! We will take a guided tour through the visitor’s center and the park to see these rare horses along with, hopefully, some other wild mammals and birds. Fortunately, hunting is strictly prohibited in this area, so we can enjoy nature untouched by man. We will then head to a Ger camp to spend the night.

Accommodation: Ger Camp

Travel: 2 Hour 30 Min Flight; 1600 KM (994 Miles): Drive 110 KM (68 Miles); 2 Hours

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 Ulaanbaatar day

In the morning we will leave Khustai national park and head towards Ulaanbaatar. We will have several options today. You will have time to see more of the sites and museums around the city that you may have missed! Undoubtedly, you will want to do some shopping for Mongolian souvenirs and some of the famous and inexpensive Mongolian cashmere.

Accommodation: Hotel

Travel: 2 Hour Drive

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 Departure Day

Today, our driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the airport several hours before your flight, then you are on your way back home.

Accommodation: None

Travel: None

Meals Included: Breakfast

Pricing

2 Travelers: $5,800 per person

3-4 Travelers: $4,600 per person

5-8 Travelers: $4,000 per person

Our tours are all-inclusive. From the moment you land till the moment you take off.

All pricing is based on twin share rooms. Please be aware that changes in the trip can lower or raise the cost per person. If your group has more than 8 people, please contact us and we will send you updated pricing for your specific needs.

Included

All accommodations based on twin share

Private cook

All transportation and domestic flights

All meals on the expedition

All local staff and field guides

Entertainments as shown in the itinerary

National Park and Protected Area fees

Not Included

International flights

Overweight baggage fees

Gratuities

Travel Insurance