Golden Eagle Festival

Code: GRAND4
10 DAYS 9 NIGHTS (MARCH 18-27, 2018)
  • Wild-Mongolia-Golden-Eagle-Festival-Jacques-Lagarde-paxok-P9010238-small
  • WDJ_Ulgii_17_0671
  • two-hunters-2
  • Terelj National Park
  • 5712968_orig

Golden Eagle Festival is completely something different from the way you live and must-see attraction in the world. In western Mongolia, deep within the Altai mountain range, an ancient tradition of hunting with Golden Eagles is still alive. The Kazakhs of Mongolia train their eagles to hunt for rabbits and foxes. Once a year, hunters from all over Bayan-Olgii province gather to celebrate this traditional skill and compete against each other challenges that show off the abilities of both birds and their trainers. Prizes are awarded for the fastest eagle, the best traditional Kazakh dress, and more. Various folklore performances are given during the festival. This festival will take place between March 21-22, 2018. We take you to participate in this regional festival and also to visit with Kazakh families, join the hunters on hunting trips, and see different sights in Bayan Olgii province, home of the Kazakh minority in Mongolia.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Chinggis Khaan International Airport
PRICE 2 pax $1420
3 or more pax $1340
INCLUDED
Domestic Flights Hotels
All meals Driver
Guide Tickets
Water Camps
NOT INCLUDED
Alcoholic drinks
Guide and driver gratuity
Travel insurance

 

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Day 1: ARRIVAL IN ULAANBAATAR

Arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital city. At 14:00 we meet our guide at the airport, and head to the city center. The short drive passes through the shanty town inhabited by those who were once nomads, but have neglected their traditional lifestyle in the hope of finding a little fortune in the city, which not too long ago has seen some rapid development. The urban landscape quickly changes into expansive shopping malls and brand new residential complexes, shifting again to the scenes of the city center, where modern high-rises are quickly built amidst soviet-era buildings. After checking into our hotel, and if time permits, we will have an orientation tour of the city center through the central square, which was recently renamed after Ghengis Khan, the nation’s forefather. Right at the heart of the square we see the figure of D. Sukhbaatar, one of the heroes of the communist revolution of 1920’s, boldly raising his arm towards the statue of the Great Khan, whose name wasn’t allowed to be mentioned during the 70 year communist reign. We then visit the National History Museum, which holds a permanent exhibition on the different civilizations that have inhabited the territory of Mongolia from prehistoric times to the present. This exhibition includes a significant display of objects from the era of the Great Mongol Empire. From here we take a short walk to the drama theater where we attend an impressive folk concert, featuring some traditional Mongolian art forms. After a welcome dinner, we drive back to our hotel for a good night’s sleep.

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Day 2: CITY TOUR

We begin the day with a few hours of exploring the Black Market. This huge market contains every single item a Mongolian might need, whether they are nomads or urban apartment dwellers. Goods brought from all corners of Mongolia are here for sale. A visit to the market is a colorful experience which gives the visitor an insight to the everyday life of the people of Ulaanbaatar. After lunch we visit the Bogd Khan Palace museum, the palace of the last Mongolian king, who was considered a living god. if time permit, we pay a late afternoon visit to the Museum of the Victims of Political Oppression. Though rather small in size, this museum, located at the home of Mongolia’s first prime minister, which later vanished in the Siberian steppes without leaving any trails, gives a dark testimony over Mongolia’s rather recent history, when thousands of people have lost their freedom and lives during the communist revolution. After dinner in the city center we revert to our hotel for a second night in Ulaanbaatar

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Day 3: ULAANBAATAR ✈ ULGII 

 

After breakfast we drive to the airport, for our flight to Mongolia’s western-most province of Bayan Ulgii, which is mostly inhabited by Kazakh people. Other ethnic groups also reside in the region, among them Tuvans and Buriats. The Kazakh have brought with them their rich cultural heritage, music, handicrafts and the ancient tradition of hunting with Golden Eagles. As we arrive in Ulgii, we take the two hour’s drive to the place where we participate in the Golden Eagle Festival.  For the next 2 days we will observe an exciting and authentic event which consists not only on eagle hunter’s competitions, but also other Kazakh traditional games. In the evening we again take the one hour’s drive to the place where we will stay overnight.

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Day 4:  FIRST DAY OF THE GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL

After breakfast we take the short drive to the spot where we participate in the first day of the Golden Eagle Festival. About 30 Eagle trainers will gather to show their skills and their eagle’s abilities. The festival will begin with the hunters displaying their traditional Kazakh dress and their eagle’s equipment and ornaments. This is a fantastic opportunity for photographers and adventurers who like to see these magnificent birds up close.  The eagle hunters from around regions gather to test their finely trained birds in singular contests of speed and agility in these days. During the festival we also see some Kazakh Traditional Horse Games like “BushKushi” (Try to take out from each other the goat skin on horseback),”Kiss woman on horseback”,”Pick up coins from the land on horseback” and others. In the evening we enjoy to have the Kazakh Concert with some traditional songs and music. In the evening we again take the one hour’s drive to Ulgii. Overnight in ger.

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Day 5: SECOND DAY OF THE GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL

The second day of the festival includes competitions and presentations of the special relationship between the trainer and his bird of prey, which is often considered a family member. We will be able to experience a number of Kazakh traditions on first-hand. Mingle with the hunters, watch them pampering their birds and cheer for the competitors against the backdrop of the high Altai mountains. Overnight ger.

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Day 6: WITH AN EAGLE TRAINER’S FAMILY

Today we will drive to one of the most prominent eagle trainer’s family. By early afternoon we arrive at the home of the province’s most renowned eagle trainers with whom we shall spend the coming day. The trainer will share with us some of the secrets of the hundred’s of years old tradition of training and hunting with golden eagles. In the evening we join the trainer’s family in their ger (which is known in this part of the country as yurt- the turkic name of the felt-made dwelling of central Asia’s nomads), and enjoy the traditional music Kazakhs are famous by. We spend the coming nights with our host family, either in their yurt, in a guests yurt they might have built for us, or in our own camping tents. (Note: these days’ program might slightly change depending on the actual location of the family with which we stay)

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Day 7: BACK TO ULGII

Today we will ride with the trainer to the nearby mountains, to watch him in a training session with one of his eagles. After enjoying a traditional lunch together, it is time to say farewell to our generous hosts, and head back to Ulgii town, arriving there Rarher late in the evening. At day’s end we can enjoy a hot shower at the local baths, which are very comfortable and well supplied with hot water. Overnight in a local hotel in Ulgii.

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Day 8: ULGII ✈ ULAANBAATAR – GENGHIS KHAN’S STATUE-TERELJ NATIONAL PARK

Taking the first available flight, we return to Ulaanbaatar. Upon arrival, we will meet our driver and guide, and embark on the two hours’ drive to Genghis Khans statue, the biggest horseman statue in the world. After visiting this magnificent statue of Genghis khant we will drive to Gorki-Terelj National Park. The park features unique rock formations, scenic valleys, a winding river, and restful groves of trees. Many nomads live in the park itself, where they find good grazing for their animals. We will stay the night in a ger camp in the park.

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Day 9: TERELJ NATIONAL PARK – ULAANBAATAR

This morning we take an easy hike to the famous Turtle Rock, a symbol of wisdom and longevity to the Mongolian people. We then continue hiking to Ariabal Temple. The temple has been recently reconstructed, after the original temple had been destroyed during the communist purges of the 1930’s. A great site of tranquility, it functions today as a meditation center to Buddhist monks. After lunch, we leave the park and drive back to the Mongolian capital. As we arrive in town in the late afternoon, we visit the Bogd Khan Palace museum, the palace of the last Mongolian king, who was considered a living god. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner, followed by a visit to the Zaisan Hill, for a view over the city at night. Overnight in a 4-star hotel.

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Day 10: DEPARTURE FROM ULAANBAATAR

After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to Chinggis Khan International Airport for our departure flight.

2 reviews for Golden Eagle Festival

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    John

    It was such a nice travel.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Mattew

    Last year, I attended this festival. This festival is just amazing. Your guided tour for me exceeded my expectation. Thank you so much

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