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Golden Eagle Festival

Introduction

The Kazakhs is an ethnic minority in Mongolia, but the majority in Bayan-Ölgii province. Most of the ancient Kazakh traditions survives here, outside the actually territory of Kazakhstan. These hardy Turkic speaking people are Sunni Muslim nomads and they hunt foxes and other small mammals with domestic Golden Eagles.  Only the females, as they are heavier than male eagles. The eagle festivals marks the start of the eagle hunting season, which is throughout the winter in the surrounding Altai Mountains. Hunting with eagles seems to be ancient, dating back some 6000 years. The traditions have been revived over the past two decades following the democratization in Mongolia. Now there are such festivals in March, September and October in various communities.

Trip Details
Golden Eagle Festival
8 Days / 7 Nights

Trip Details

Itinerary

Wednesday 27th September—Arrival in Ulaanbaatar

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. Transfer to Bayangol Hotel. Free in the city. Tour briefing before dinner.

Thursday 28th September—Arrival in Bayan-Ölgii

Transfer Likely, in the early morning we will transfer to the airport and fly 3½ hours to Ölgii or Khovd. Both towns are small towns, being capitals in their respective provinces. Both towns have a local interesting museum on its natural history. Hovd was a town already during Manchurian times, prior to 1910 and it has several ethnic minorities with a majority of Mongols. Khovd has both mosques and Buddhist temples. Ölgii is younger and with a majority of Kazakh people. Tuvans and Uriankhai peoples also live here. If we land in Khovd, there will be a nice drive of four hours with the Altai Mountains on both sides of the road, being the Hökh Serkhiin Nuruu and Tsambagarav Uul National Parks. We will use the time for sightseeing.

Friday 29th September—Excursion

Exploration of the surrounding countryside and Ölgii village. There is a mosque, a bazaar, a local museum. Visit go to the  local museum which is worth of seeing.

Saturday 30th September—Opening ceremony

The Golden Eagle festival starts this day, which is organized in first weekend of October. It is a spectacle with eagles released from the hills, hunting for model artificial foxes.  Horse games such as the Central Asian game bouzkhasi, which is on horseback tug-of-war with a goat carcass. Quite wild at times. You will explore the eagle hunters’ traditional custom and culture. Most certainly Aisholpan will be there, the now famous young “Eagle Huntress”. A friend of Nomadic Journeys.

Sunday 01st October—Eagle festival 

Explore another full day at the festival. Some shows of eagles are played. Eagles fly to the own trainers’ hand and catch the moving objects or prey while flying. In the evening, traditional concert of Kazakh ethnic group is performed and have farewell dinner.

Monday 02nd October—To Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, transfer to the Ölgii airport and fly back to Ulaanbaatar.

Tuesday 03rd October—Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, visit to Gandan Lamasery, Sukhbaatar Square and National Museum of Mongolia.

Wednesday 04th October—Departure

Transfer to the airport for international flight out

Itinerary Map

golden-eagle-festival-map
Prices

PRICE 2018 ex Ulaanbaatar:

Price:

USD 3750 per person (min 2members)

Single supplement: USD 1320

Includes:

Guide. All meals outside the Ulaanbaatar city. Breakfast every day. Accommodation and breakfast in double occupancy gers and hotel rooms. Transfers to / from Eagle Festival grounds.

Excludes:

Imported drinks. Dinners in Ulaanbaatar city.

Practicalities

Practicalities:

Accommodation:

In Ölgii we will lodge at a comfortable temporary ger camp and in Ulaanbaatar a three star hotel. If the flight schedules are inconvenient one or two of the overnights might be in a two-star hotel in Hovd.

Operations:

Imported Please note that the domestic flight schedule will be approved by the Mongolian Civil Aviation Authority only latest in April. Why the flight days and times are as yet not known. It means you may fly to any of Ölgii, Hovd or Ulaangom airports either of the ways. We will firstly reserve for you to fly to Ölgii itself, if there is a flight availability at the time of your booking. Nomadic Journeys are already holding reservations with Hunnu Air, although the flight schedule not approved yet. In the worst case you will fly out to west on the Friday and back to Ulaanbaatar on the Tuesday. The trip design can enable this for your smooth journey.  This might mean overnights provided in Hovd, at the hotels Minj or Örgöö.

What our guests say

We appreciate your feedback about our tours and services.

  • Living the mongolian way

    Great place to stay and experience mongolian way of living, no tv, wifi, phone. Just nature and great company of the staff and livestocks of mongolia. The toilet is a hole in the ground covered by a shed. It is clean, but can be smelly to those used to city life. Not hot water supply, inform the staff that you like to hot water half an hour earlier so that they can boil it over camel dung 🙂

    5 star rating

    joycel
  • Living the mongolian way

    Great place to stay and experience mongolian way of living, no tv, wifi, phone. Just nature and great company of the staff and livestocks of mongolia. The toilet is a hole in the ground covered by a shed. It is clean, but can be smelly to those used to city life. Not hot water supply, inform the staff that you like to hot water half an hour earlier so that they can boil it over camel dung 🙂

    5 star rating

    joycel

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