The Sagsai soum of the Bayan-Ulgii province is considered to have the majority of Eagle hunters.
Ninety percent majority Kazakhs live Bayan-Ulgii in western Mongolia. They have lived in this area for more than 160 years. Mongolian Kazakhs have preserved their native language and culture in the modern world very well. The tradition of eagle hunting, is believed to have been developed in central Asia more than 1800 years ago. Kazakhs trap the eagles when they are eaglets and train them to be hunters, by building an emotional bond between the hunter and the eagles. Nowadays in Mongolia there are about 200 Eagle hunters in total with their eagles. Sagsai, a small town of the Bayan-Ulgii province is considered to have the majority of these Eagle hunters. Eagle usually hunts most of the wild animals in Mongolia, including the native red foxes.
As an initiative of the local population the Sagsai region began to celebrate the Eagle hunting culture with a festival a decade ago. During the Eagle Festival, hunters and the their eagles compete with each other in varius hunting skills competitions, but also, they are judged by their traditional attire and the equipment of the eagles and the horses they use to hunt. The festival also includes horse and camel races, in which mostly young boys compete.
In addition to this, during the festival local residents sell handmade crafts to the tourists who attend the event. This holiday is very important for supporting the family economy of people in this region, especially for the local nomadic shepherd families who have the opportunity to increase their income. The Altai Eagle Festival is organized every year on the second weekend of September.
Day 1 Arrival in Ulaanbaatar
Our representative wait for you at the UlaanBaatar airport and, after checking in at the hotel, we will take you on a city sightseeing tour and for a welcome dinner. (Hotel/D)
Day 2 Ulaanbaatar-Ulgii
Those day will fly to Ulgii City, in the Bayan-Ulgii province in Western Mongolia, about a 3 hour flight. The population of this province is mostly Kazakh, with their own culture and language. At the airport you will be met your English-speaking guide, as well as your driver and expedition cook. We’ll drive to Sagsaigol area visit Eagle hunter family, (Ger/L/D).
Day 3 Experiencing training of Golden Eagles
A full day with the Eagle hunters: watch the hunters train their eagles with various false-prey and other methods. (Ger/L/D).
Day 4-5 Enjoy the Eagle festival in Sagsai area.
Meet the Kazakh Eagle hunters. The rodeo of eagle hunting. A fantastic opportunity for photographers and adventurers alike to see these magnificent birds up close. There are approx. 400 eagle hunters in Bayan-Olgiiaimag. Eagle hunters from all around region gather together to test their finely trained birds in singular contests of speed and ability in these few 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. (Ger/L/D).
Drive to the Altai village. The landscape around the lakes is stunning, with forests and snow-capped mountains. 150km (Tent or Ger/B/L/D)
Drive to Khoton and Khurgan Lakes, stopping for lunch on the way, and spending the night at the camping site on Biluut Hill. Here you will find ancient rock carvings of Turkic origin, 1500-2000 years old. Khoton and Khurgan lakes are second largest and clearest of all lakes in the Mongolia, the average depth is 26 m, the maximum depth is approximately 58 m, Khoton lake has one Iceland which is covered by woods, the system of Khoton lake and Khurgan lakes connected by wide channel. The landscape around the lakes is very beautiful and picturesque surrounded by snow-capped mountains.(Tent /B/L/D) 150 km
Drive back to Ulgii. In the afternoon do some arts and crafts shopping. Overnight you can stay either in our own Ger Camp or at hotel, and take a good hot shower. (Ger camp or Hotel/B/L/D) 180km
Return flight to Ulaanbaatar. (Hotel/B)
INCLUDED IN TOUR PRICE
- All meals during the trip
- All accommodations during the program
- Transport with car including gasoline
- Local guide
- Camels and horses
- Permits and fees for the national park
- Visa support
- Local flights Ulgii-Ulaanbaatar
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Charges for excess baggage
- Airport taxes
- Individual equipment
- Drinks and extra charges in hotels and inns
- All alcoholic drinks
- All costs not specified in “Included”