GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL TOUR
GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL 2023
Every late September and early October, Eagle-Hunters from all over Bayan-Ulgii province gather together to compete and test their superbly trained Golden-Eagles for their speed, agility and hunting prowess. Why not join us for the Annual Golden Eagle Festival? Hunting with eagles an ancient and noble sport, practiced solely by the Kazakh people, is indeed, a dramatic and primal relationship between man and beast and is a tradition still carried out today in Western Mongolia. This annual competition provides a rare opportunity to get close up to this amazing spectacle.
DAY 1. Altay Region
Arrive in Ulgii where you will be met by your English speaking guide, cook and driver and start driving towards Altay Region as soon as possible through the magnificent wilderness scenery as expansive rocky plains give way to green valleys and then the rugged peaks of Altai, and the stunning wilderness terrain of the Tavan Bogd National park.
After 4 hours of drive with the stops, we will get to Altai Region where you meet our hosts, the EagleHunter’s family where they are living in their winter pasture. You will have time to introduce yourselves, sit to chat around the table having some Kazakh milk tea with the EagleHunter’s family. We will stay few days with them in their winter wooden winter house. Enjoy the Kazakh hospitality.
Accommodation: Nomad Family. Meals: Lunch, Dinner. Total distance: 130km, ~3hrs.
DAY 2. Learning more techniques!
The falconry apprenticeship will begin today. After breakfast, we will mount up with our eagle hunter friend and head to the local Altai mountains. Today’s mission will be to get comfortable with the eagle, hooding and unhooding and then graduating to the call where you will take turns unhooding your eagle and your Eaglehunter will call her to his hand. We’ll be working on “the call” from a distance and height this time as well. We will break for lunch, then after lunch we will ride again to do next stage of the learning about the techniques of training the Eagle. Eaglehunter drags the fox skin for the Eagle to catch. It is one of their techniques to train their Eagles before they do the actual hunt! You will be releasing/ draggin the fox skin for your eagle to catch and then make sure Eagle does not ruin the fox skin! You will learn creating an bond between you and your Eagle!
On the mountain good opportunity you will hold the Eagle , ask to borrow the eaglehunter’s outfits and get some nice photos of you on the mountain. Ride back to our home after successful training! We’ll do a ride around the valley and help herd the yaks back home just before the dinner and even learn an experience of milking the yaks as well!
Accommodation: Nomad family. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Total distance: 6km ride, ~3hrs.
DAY 3-4. Hunt day!
Next 2 days, we will experience the actual hunting with Golden Eagles. You will ride (on a Mongolian horse) with our eaglehunter and his assistant friends on a hunting trip into the magnificent steppe and mountain country of Western Mongolia. Here is home to many rare animal species like: the Snow Leopard, Lynx, Ibex and Wolverine. But you will be hunting for common foxes, marmots, rabbit and other abundant mall animals.
We will travel through the mountain one to two days in search of the prey. They hood the eagles with a special hood and keep the eagles on their arm readily to remove the hood and release when they see the hunting prey. On the contrary, the eagles are carried without hoods to let them scan the areas and release when the hunter feels any body movement or their tightening grip on his gloved hand, signaling the eagle has spotted a prey. Joining the eagle hunters for hunting will be challenging, but an authentic experience.
Meanwhile, they will teach you some techniques of hunting! You will be hunting yourself with the help of your Eaglehunter sitting on the top of the mountain spotting the animals like foxes and rabbits! It will be an truly unforgettable experience not just follow the Eaglehunters to see but do the hunt yourself as well!
Accommodation: Nomad family. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Total distance: 10km ride, ~ 4-5hrs.
Day 5. Bayanzurkh Mount hike – back to Ulgii by evening
Today we say farewell to our new friends and start driving after breakfast about 75km to Bayanzurkh Mountain to spot a wildlife. This time of the year the Argali ( Siberian wild sheep ) gather together and they can be spotted in the mountains. If you are lucky they can be seen really close up. We can do some hiking to the mountains as it is really beautiful scenery. Head back to Ulgii anytime when you want ! Stay at the hotela dn get ready for next 2 days of the entertaining days!
Accommodation: Hotel. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Total distance: 130km ride, ~ 3hrs.
Day 6-7. The Eagle Festival
Over the next two day you will experience a unique and amazing event. You will see the parade of the fifty to sixty Eagle Hunters as they ride past, with their Golden Eagles and dressed in their traditional hunting outfits. See, as the competition unfolds, how the hunters compete with each other for victory. This is an extraordinarily colourful and exciting event, which is supported by other traditional activities and games, as well as an opportunity to buy many traditional handicrafts. In the evening following the end of the games you will enjoy a Kazakh concert.
We will have a private Ger at the Festival is taking place, which you will have lunch and rest yourself if in need!
Accommodation: Hotel. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Total distance: 5km drive, ~ 15min.
DAY 8. Fly back to UB
After breakfast we will take you to the airport to catch your flight back to Ulaanbaatar.
DETAILES ABOUT EAGLE FESTIVAL:
1st DAY :
YOU CAN COMBINE GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL TOUR WITH ANY OTHER TOURS
RECOMMENDED TOUR STAY:
Recommended duration is from 4-7 days. Activities during tour included 2 days of Eagle festival, staying with local Eagle hunter and follow to experience actual eagle hunting on a horseback , learn more nomadic life and different culture. For clear understanding about the tour , please contact us for more detailed full version of the itinerary and receive booking instruction.