Nauryz Eagle Festival and Snow leopard Explore, 2018

Hunting with Golden Eagle is one of the most unique features of the Kazakh life. The hunter is named kusbegi or berkutchi. The experience of wild birds training was gained by Kazakh kusbegi by centuries, the secrets were impacted from the father to the son and kept deep secret. At the present time we can meet few people with such name. These masters have innate gift of wild birds training. For a hunting they tame falcons, golden eagles and eagles. Names of birds are given depending on their appearance and battle characteristics. The hunting with Golden Eagle are during ten centuries. Was considered, to present the teenager a nestling of hunting bird, means, to wish to him to begin courageous, strong dzhigit. To train golden eagle – it is the high art. The caught bird gradually accustom to the owner. For it berkutchi some nights doesn't close eyes and interdicts to sleep golden eagle. The bird can take feed (bits of uncooked meat) only from hands of the owner. After bird will get used to the hunter- berkutchi, his horse and dog, berkutchi begins to train to hunt for stuffed fox and only then the real hunting begins. Specially trained golden eagle hunts for small animals: rabbits, foxes, and partridge, black hazel grouses.

Snow Leopards are one of the most elusive of all the big cats in the world. Called Irbis by the Mongols. Most people will know it exists in the Himalaya, Pamir, and Hindukush in Inner Asia. Actually, Mongolia (Mongolian Altai) has a reasonably large number of Snow Leopard (second only to China) and with its limited areas of suitable habitat, harbors the densest Snow Leopard populations in the world. Where live Argali Sheep and Siberian Ibex, there you have a chance to see Snow Leopard, who naturally prey on these wild animals rather than domestic livestock. You will learn about on this trip.

March, 16. Arrive UB

By your arrival in UB meet by our guide and transfer to hotel. After lunch, we will do city site seeing tour. Explore Gandan Monastery, Buddhist center in Ulaanbaatar. See Zanabazar Museum Choijin Lama temple. Lunch time in a typical Mongolian Restaurant. The winter Palace Buda Big Statue on the Hill Central market (black) (one or two hours if we have time). Overnight in 4* hotel.

March, 17. To Hovd and drive to Blue Goat Nat. Park
Arrive Hovd airport and meet by our team (Eng. guide, driver and cook). Have a dinner. Here we try to meet “Hoomii-singers”. 
The Hovd town was a trade center, located on the northern Silk Road with connections to Russia and China. In 1763 the Manchu administration built the fortress Sagijn Cherem (Castle). An area of about 4 ha was fenced with 3m high and 2m wide walls. Now all 18 Mongolian ethic groups live in this province. After lunch, start to drive to north-west about 150km (about 4hrs) and reach one of Kazakh Eagle hunter’s families. His house is located near “Blue Goat Specially protected area”. Overnight in wooden house. (BLD)

March, 18-20. Blue Goat Nat. Park (possible horse riding)

Every day hiking by the wild big remote mountains of Blue Goat Nat. Park, we can watch some Argali, Ibexes and deer. This place has many wild endangers animals and birds like Snow leopard, Altai argali and Ibex, lynx, wolverine and bearded vulture, black vulture, different kinds of falcons, golden eagle, and others. Staying with Eagle hunter, you can learn Altai Kazakh Eagle hunting skills. Overnights wooden house. (BLD)

March, 21-22. Nauryz- Eagle Festival and Kazakh New Year

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. 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 “Bush Gushy” (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.

Second day, enjoy Kazakh New Year Celebration, Kazakh culture, traditional kitchen, handicraft and their grade hospitality. In this country, the religion follows the ancient nomadic customs. You will have chance to feel the life in Altai Kazakh felt gers. Overnight in local hotel. (BLD)

March, 23. Fly to UB and Drive to Hustai Nat. Park, (150km, 2 hrs.)

After breakfast, transfer to Olgii airport to catch a flights leave for Ulaanbaatar. Meet by our team and driving by mostly open steppe area, we reach Hustai Nat. Park. Hustai National Park is the site of a unique re-introduction scheme of Przewalskii’s horse (Eques przewalskii), by Mongolian’s called Taki. It became extinct in the wild and have since 1992 been successfully re-introduced to Hustai from zoos around the world. It has been an international effort monitored to The Foundation for the Przewalskii Horse of the Netherlands and MACNE (Mongolian Association for Conservation of Nature and the Environment). The national park is rolling Steppe Mountains with rather large patches of birch and aspen forests. There are also visible remains of Neolithic graves. In addition Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) and Wolf (Canis lupus) have increased quite a bit during the last few years, as well as Mongolian gazelle. Species that are in Hustai but usually not seen are Lynx, Argali Sheep and Roe Deer. We will trek few hours a gully and get to incredible look out points, while having a reasonable chance to see Red Deer, Black Vultures and other numerous raptor’s such as eagles and falcons. Overnight in gercamp. (BLD)

March, 24. Drive to Terelj Nat.Park

Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is located on the east of Ulaanbaatar (170kms). The Park is a great getaway destination for short and long time visitors. If time allows, spend a night at one of the Mongolian Ger camps in Terelj Park to get the taste of Mongolian culture. Among local attractions are famous “Turtle" Rock, man-made park with dinosaur statues, "Arraybal" Buddhist temple, "Khagiin Khar" Glacier Lake, and relaxing views of Tuul River valley. Chinggis khan statue complex is located 54 km from Ulaanbaatar among beautiful natural scenery on the bank of river Tuul, in the place called “Tsonjin Boldog”, memorial place connected with historic events. In evening, drive back to UB and transfer to 4* hotel. (BL)

March, 25. Depart UB

After early breakfast, transfer to UB airport and fly out. (B)

My price: USD 1740 per person, if you are 2 people

Includes: English speaking guide, 4x4 car, ULN-HVD, ULG-ULN flights, 3 meals per day in Altai and outside of UB, overnights at hotel (4nts), gers (1nts) and wooden houses (5nts), camping equipment, festival fee, national park permits.

Number of days: 10
Included services:
Guide
Breakfast
Lunch/Dinner
Beverages (non-alcoholic)
Car (with driver)
Fuel, Petrol
Bus/train tickets
Domestic flight tickets
Entrance fees (i.e. parks, events)
Accommodation (Homestay)
Accommodation (Hotel)
Not included: Personal needs, laundry and renting of riding horses. Single occupancy is 210USD.
What to bring: Binoculars, 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
Transport: SUV 4x4
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