Nauryz Eagle Festival and Migration, 2020
Potential journeys included photographing snow leopards, living and learning from Eagle Hunters and joining a traditional migration with a nomadic family and their herds of animals.
Soaring over the Altai’s cliffs and slopes are the legendary Golden Eagles – known as the Berkut, which are renowned for their hunting prowess and revered by the Altai Kazakh people.
This itinerary will take us into the heart of the Altai Mountains where Golden Eagles, Eagle hunter and the mysterious Snow Leopard coexist in a truly mythic landscape and culture.
/This tour is flexible possible to change as you want./
March, 10/Day 1. Arrive Ulaan Baatar
By your arrival in UB meet by our guide and transfer to hotel.
Overnight in hotel.
March, 11/Day 2. Fly to Olgii
Transfer to UB airport and fly to Olgii (roughly 3 hrs). Meet by our team. Have a lunch and tour briefing, we will drive 160kms (4-5hrs) to the northwest to come to a traditional Kazakh Eagle hunter’s winter home in an impressive valley on the northwestern side of the great Khukh Serkh Mountain. This is a mountain range renowned for its Snow Leopards, with abundant populations of Argali and Ibex. Our visit will be benefiting from an ongoing Snow Leopard research project that is being undertaken here, giving us considerable insight into the movements and habits of these elusive cats. We will meet Eagle Hunter and his magnificent Golden Eagle, and learn from a true master about the traditions and skills of hunting with Eagles in the Altai. Overnights in wooden house.
March, 12-14/Days 3-5. Classic Eagle Hunting and Explore Snow-Leopard
The Mongolian Kazakhs use for hunting female eagles as far they are bigger mail ones and more aggressive. These eagles are trained to hunt foxes, wolves, rabbit and wild cat. Everyday going side by side with eagle hunter to hunt mostly fox we learn and enjoy this unique customs of the Mongolian Kazakhs. We have the chance to explore Snow-leopard. Overnights in nomadic style ger.
Last day, evening drive back to Olgii. Overnight in local hotel.
March, 15/Day 6. Drive to Ulaangom
We drive about 5-6hrs to north-east and reach the road end. Here we will be able to have beautiful views of the entire Altai Mountains range. Reach Gantumur and his family. Overnight in nomadic style ger.
March, 16-18/Days 7-9. Migration
Follow nomadic movement towards Twin Peaks. Joining a traditional migration with a nomadic family and their herds of animals. We will go also with pack camels which load the ger \yurt\ that we set up each evening to stay. You will see real nomadic life and migration. You will be on horseback everyday for these three days. Last night with the nomadic we will celebrate our successful migration and have dinner together. Overnights in nomadic style ger.
March, 19/Day 10. Drive back to Olgii
Stay with nomads a half day and afternoon drive about 5-6hours to Olgii. Overnight in local hotel.
March, 20-21/Days 11-12. Nauryz Eagle Festival
After early breakfast, drive 1.5 hrs and come to the festival place. 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-Olgii aimag. The 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 “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. Overnights in nomadic style ger.
March, 22/Day 13. Fly To UB
Early breakfast. Transfer to the airport and fly to UB. 3 hrours. We will do city site seeing tour.
Explore, Gandan Monastery, Buddhist center in Ulaanbaatar.
See Zanabazar Museum Chojin Lama temple. The winter Palace Buda Big Statue on the Hill. Transfer to hotel.
March, 23/Day 14. Depart UB
Transfer to UB airport.
What to bring:
Warm hat and gloves,
Long underwear for travel in the high mountains, comfortable footwear,
Prescription medications, (if needed),
Money belt and small padlocks
Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
Torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates
Wind and waterproof jacket
Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
Western Mongolian families frequently move from one pasture to the other using camels.The services of some herdsmen will be hired by the expedition, and they will provide us with their animals.
A local guide who speaks English and Kazakh, Mongolian will accompany the group at all times. A cook will follow, with an assistant. In addition, the services of the local herdsmen will be hired along with their animals. The horsemen follow a traditional lifestyle in the areas where we will be riding.
Our cook will prepare the meals. We pride ourselves in having cooks adapt to both western and Mongolian cooking on our trips. There are always vegetables available, and we have no problem accommodating vegetarians on our trips. For breakfast we can buy fresh yogurt from the herdsmen in the local area sometimes.
Inclusion: Eng. guide, 4x4 land-cruiser or Russian vehicle, 3 meals per day (not in UB), cook with cooking gears, camping equipment (sleeping cot with matts and bag), overnights in 3* hotel
For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.
Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.