Tour Mongolia and join us for an unforgettable journey to the 18th annual Golden Eagle Festival in Bayan-Ulgii Province, located in the Altai Mountains of Western Mongolia. Each year Kazakh hunters from near and far attend the festival with their Golden Eagles, known as Berkut, to enter them into competitions testing speed, agility, and accuracy. Ceremonies, dance performances, a parade in the provincial capital’s city square, and a Kazakh play are held in honor of the hunters and their eagles. The Golden Eagle Festival is a highlight of any traveler’s visit to Mongolia.
This annual Mongolian festival, which celebrates the golden eagle as well as the hunters’ traditional culture, is arranged by the local Kazakh community and members of the Berkut Association, a community-based conservation organization. Historically, nomadic Kazakhs have depended on golden eagles for hunting; both the Berkut Association and the Golden Eagle Festival were established by Nomadic Expeditions’s Founder and CEO Jalsa Urubshurow in 1999 to preserve this proud tradition and protect the golden eagle. All proceeds from the festival’s ticket sales ($30 per person for two days of competitions) will benefit the Berkut Association, which will use these funds to further the organization’s goals, including arranging the annual festival. This expedition into the rugged Altai Mountains also includes opportunities to ride horseback alongside the hunters, as well as visits to a local mosque, town market, provincial museum, and archaeological site.
Day 1-2 Ulaanbaatar
Begin touring Mongolia by exploring Ulaanbaatar at the Zaisan Memorial, located on a hill overlooking the city. Visit the Gandan Monastery, the Zanabazar Fine Arts Museum, and National History Museum the following day.
Day 3 Hustain Nuruu National Park
Visit Hustain Nuruu National Park, home to the last remaining species of wild horse, the takhi – commonly known as Przewalski’s horse. Twenty-five years after becoming extinct in the wild, the takhi was reintroduced to the Mongolian steppe from zoo populations by the Foundation for the Preservation and Protection of the Przewalski’s Horse.
Day 4-6 Bayan-Ulgii | Opening Ceremonies | Competition | Awards Ceremony
Fly to Ulgii, capital of Bayan-Ulgii in western Mongolia. Visit the local History Museum and spend time with a Kazakh family. For two unforgettable days, experience the Golden Eagle Festival’s colorful parades and thrilling competitions. Attend the official opening and awards ceremonies, the celebration dinner, and a Kazakh play. After the festivities have completed, spend the day riding horses with the eagle hunters while getting to know the local area.
Day 7 Bayan-Ulgii | Ulaanbaatar
Head back to Ulaanbaatar and visit the Winter Palace of the Bogd Khan, Mongolia’s former spiritual leader.
Day 8 Departure
Trip Dates & Pricing
Dates:Sep 27, 2017 - Oct 4, 2017
$5,295 per person/double occupancy
$580 per person