Altai Eagle Festival
Altai village in Bayan Ulgii province is considered as a region of eagle hunters. If there are 200 eagle hunters among Bayan Ulgii province, 40’s or more of them live in Altai village. Altai village administration in cooperation with local tourist companies and eagle hunters, have started first ever Eagle festival back in 2017. And have been organizing this festival for decades. During the Eagle Festival, hunters and their eagles compete against each other in various hunting skills competitions, but also, they are judged by their traditional attribute 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
Flight to Ulaanbaatar. Company personal meet you at the airport and check you in hotel. City sightseeing and welcome dinner. (Hotel/D)
Day 2 Ulaanbaatar-Ulgii
Local flight Ulaanbaatar-Ulgii. Bayan-Ulgii provice is the only Kazakh populated province in Mongolia. At the airport you will be met your English-speaking guide, as well as your driver and expedition cook. We’ll drive to Eagle hunter family, stay in their ger. (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. A fantastic opportunity for photographers and adventurers alike to see these magnificent birds up close. There are approx. 400 eagle hunters in Bayan-Olgii aimag. Eagle hunters from around regions gather to test their finely trained birds in singular contests of speed and agility in these few days. During the festival we also see some Kazakh Traditional Horse Games like Tug of war (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).
We will drive to Altai village. Because it is a part of Mongolian Altai mountain range, there is a lot of places you should visit and see in this village. Yolt natural preserved area is one of them. 150km (Tent or Ger/B/L/D)
Today we’ll drive to Khoton and Khurgan Lakes, stopping for lunch on the way, and spending the night at the camping site on Hairaht . 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, with an average depth of 26 m, and maximum depth of approximately 58 m. Khoton lake has one Iceland which is covered by woods. These two lakes are connected with narrow channel. You will get acquainted with beautiful landscape and snowcapped mountains. (Tent /B/L/D) 150 km
We drive back to Ulgii. Afternoon do some arts and crafts shopping. Stay overnight in your hotel or ger camp. (Ger camp or Hotel/B/L/D) 180km
Return flight to Ulaanbaatar. (Hotel/B)
- 3 – 4 $2310 per person
- 5 – 8 $1954 per person
- 9 – 12 $1687 per person
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”
Is the September Eagle Festival Tour suitable for you?
On the September Golden Eagle Festival Tour, you will travel to Ulgii, a central town of Bayan Ulgii province, located 1600 km from Ulaanbaatar. To save time and keep the driving short, you will fly to Khovd town at the beginning of the tour and back to Ulaanbaatar from Ulgii town when the trip ends. Due to the remoteness and infrastructure, accommodations and restaurants are basic in Ulgii. The Eagle Festival Tour does not include long driving, except for 240 km paved roads driving from Khovd to Ulgii town on the first day. Golden Eagle Festival takes place 30 km out of Ulgii town. September Eagle Festival size is smaller compared to the October Eagle Festival. 40-50 eagle hunters compete in the September festival, while 60-70 eagle hunters participate in October Eagle Festival. The September Eagle Festival’s advantage is that the audience can see and photograph the events from a closer distance.
The ger camps and hotels are in local standards and for twin share.
You will dine at local restaurants in Ulgii and have a picnic lunch or eat in ger food courts at the Eagle Festival site. Vegetarians and restricted diet travelers should inform of the dietary requirements before arrival in Mongolia. We will arrange the meals accordingly. We will supply two 0.5L bottles of water a day. Providing one large bottle (1.5 liters) of water instead of 2 small bottles is available upon request. More information about the Mongolia meals
Fully guided by an English-speaking guide.
The tour includes a round-way domestic flight to western Mongolia. Regarding the land transport, the September Eagle Festival Tour was designed with four wheels driving Russian vans, driven by experienced, friendly, and good mechanic-drivers. Different car types are available upon request for private tours. You may check the travel vehicle details at Mongolia transportation.
September weather during the Eagle Festival
The 2023 Golden Eagle Festival takes place on 16 and 17 September. Therefore, the tour departs Ulaanbaatar on 14 September and returns to Ulaanbaatar on 18 September. It occasionally snows in the Altai mountains in September. You should expect -2°C to +10°C during daylight and below 0°C at night/in the evening/ morning. Therefore, we suggest you bring warm clothes suitable for a little below 0⁰C, including your woolen hats and gloves. Please check the DISCOVERY TOUR PACKING LIST and pack accordingly. Also, consider the free luggage allowance on domestic flights – 15 kg per person, including the handbag.
To plan your dream holiday or customize the tour exclusively for you, please check the attractions in Western Mongolia