Golden Eagle festival tour
/10 days/

Short description

During the communist period in Kazakhstan, many Kazakhs fled for Mongolia,settling down in Bayan Ulgii, an area that has been designated for the Kazakhs of Mongolia today. Kazakhs (Altaic Kazakhs or Altai-Kazakhs) living in Bayan-Ölgii Province of Mongolia continue to hunt with eagles today. There are an estimated 250 eagle hunters in the Western Mongolian province. Their falconry custom, so-called ‘horse-riding eagle falconry’, is unique in practice only with trained Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos daphanea) on horseback. Their hunting target is almost limited to Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) or Corsac Fox (Vulpes corsac). In the first week of October, 70 eagle hunters gather for the annual Golden Eagle Festival of Mongolia  They use eagles to hunt foxes and hare during the cold winter months when it is easier to see the gold colored foxes against the snow. Many Kazakh traditions have been preserved by the Kazakhs in Mongolia, eagle hunting being amongst them. Although the Kazakh government has made efforts to lure the practitioners of these Kazakh traditions back to Kazakhstan, most Kazakhs have remained in Mongolia.

The Golden Eagle Festival has been the largest gathering of eagle hunters and their eagles in the world since it started in 1999 with 70 eagle hunters participating in this event. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Event. The festival starts with display of eagles and hunters, and then goes into the events of eagles displaying their talents. The first event is the eagle catching fox skin dragged behind a horse, returning to their owner from a distance on command, as well as a camel race and Kazakh games of Tiyn Teru (a race to pick up a coin on the ground while on horseback), Kyz Kuar (“girl chase,” a man and woman race on horseback while the woman whips the man), and Kokpar (tug of war over a goat carcass while on horseback). On the evening of the first night is a concert of traditional Kazakh music at the theatre included in the price of a ticket.

Tour itinerary
  • Day 1/28th of September, 2021/ - Ulaanbaatar city capital of Mongolia
    Arrive Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, welcomed by Travel to Mongolia’s staff at UB airport. Drive to Hotel. After the lunch at restaurant, we will see Natural museum. In the evening we will visit Mongolian last king Bogdkhaans palace . Drive back to Hotel after the dinner.
  • Day 2/29th of September, 2021/ - Ulgii city, Bayan-Ulgii province
    Fly from UB to Ulgii. Arrive in Ulgii. That day you will see local museum, visit souvenir shops. Same day start driving to Sagsai village where a famous eagle hunter lives, you will be welcomed in his family. Have a welcome party, prepare sheep for you and nomadic neighbors. Everyone will have a Bes Barmak (five fingers) big dinner. Overnight in his family.
  • Day 3/30th of September, 2021/ Eagle hunter family, Sagsai village
    Performers session on this day in the morning, how to ride a horse with a golden eagle on Eagle hunters arm to be ready to hunt wild animals (such as fox, rabbit, pallas cat etc) on the Altay mountains. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Altay mountains with golden eagle.You will have a lot of information and experience exchanges with them. Have a enjoy photography with Eagle hunters.
  • Day 4/1st of October, 2021/ - Ulgii city, Bayan-Ulgii province
    Drive to Ulgii, on the way back, you will stop by a Uriankhai (Uriankhai is a small Mongolian ethnic minority) throat singer to listen to his throat singing. Arrive in Ulgii.
  • Day 5/2nd of October, 2021/ - Golden Eagle festival
    Start attending the Eagle Festival:
    Registration and credential of Eagle Hunters
    Opening ceremony of Annual Golden Eagle Festival
    Competition of best Kazakh costume eagle and horse harness
    Horse race
    Competition of how eagles adapted to hanters
    “Tenge Ily” competition(Traditional coin grabbing game while ride a horse)
    Urainkhai archery competition
    Competition of the best Kazakh costume of couples
    Folk concert in local theatre at
  • Day 6/3rd of October, 2021/ - Golden Eagle festival
    Attend the eagle festival:
    Competition of how eagles adapted to hunters “Shyrga tartu”(eagles will be qualified how fast and smoothly catch a lure that made of rabbit or fox skin)
    Camel race, “Khyz khuar” game show(Traditional horse back riding fan game for youth, boys whipped by girls if they reached by them)
    Continuation game “Kukhbar” competition (Traditional horse back riding game fight over for goat skin)
    Award ceremony for winners of festival Closing ceremony
  • Day 7/4th of October, 2021/ - Ranger station, Altai Tavan Bogd mountain
    Early morning we will start driving towards Tavan bogd mountain, Ranger station area. Where many Kazakh nomads spend their summer. On your way you will stop to see Balbal Stones and ancient Tomb.
  • Day 8/5th of October, 2021/ - Potanin glacier, Altai Tavan Bogd mountain
    Today we will do half day of driving and reach 20KM long Potaniin glacier which is biggest glacier in Mongolia. After lunch drive back to Ranger station.
  • Day 9/6th of October, 2021/ - Ulgii city, Bayan-Ulgii province
    Drive back to Ulgii. Stay at your Guest house in Ulgii.
  • Day 10/7th of October, 2021/ - Ulaanbaatar city
    Fly to Ulanbator. Morning our driver drop off you to Ulgii cities airport.
  • Day 11/8th of October, 2021/ - Home sweet home
    Leave Ulaanbaatar. Our driver drop off to Chinggis Khan international airport. Thank you for visiting our country

Essentials

Tour route
  • Day 1 - Ulaanbaatar
    Distance: n/a
    Time: n/a
  • Day 2 - Ulaanbaatar > Ulgii
    Distance: 1200km
    Time: 3 hours
  • Day 2 - Ulgii > Sagsai
    Distance: 30km
    Time: 1 hours
  • Day 3 - Eagle hunter family
    Distance: n/a
    Time: n/a
  • Day 4 - Sagsai > Ulgii
    Distance: 30km
    Time: 1 hours
  • Day 5 - Golden Eagle festival
    Distance: n/a
    Time: n/a
  • Day 6 - Golden Eagle festival
    Distance: n/a
    Time: n/a
  • Day 7 - Ulgii > Ranger station
    Distance: 200km
    Time: 5 hours
  • Day 8 - Ranger station > Potanin > Ranger station
    Distance: 40km
    Time: 5 hours
  • Day 9 - Ranger station > Ulgii city
    Distance: 200km
    Time: 5 hours
  • Day 10 - Ulgii > Ulaanbaatar
    Distance: 1200km
    Time: 3 hours
  • Day 11 - Home sweet home
    Distance: n/a
    Time: n/a
Photos
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