Summary

Experience the best that Western Mongolia has to offer: a living nomadic culture, staying overnight in a ger, and incredibly vast landscapes. On our Experience Western Mongolia & Golden Eagle Festival trip you’ll visit the Kazakh minority community, learn about their way of life and stay overnight in a ger. You’ll also witness the stark desolation of the Mongolian landscape on remote roads and day hikes. At the Golden Eagle Festival, we’ll watch with fascination how these hunters use their birds for this ancient tradition.

Why We Love this Tour

The Golden Eagle Festival is only held twice per year and you don’t want to miss this. Combine this with our Mongolian Gobi Trip for an unforgettable journey.

Tour by:

Start
Ulaanbaatar
End
Ulaanbaatar
Trip Type
Experience Tour
Physical Level
Moderate
Culural Rating
Moderate
Ages
Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
Group size
12 max group size
minumum of 2 to run this tour. Please wait for confirmation before booking flights.
Included
Admissions to all included attractions and sights described in itinerary including entrance fees to Protected Areas, sightseeing costs, and Eagle Festival fee
Round trip Domestic Flight
Twin/double based accommodations as follows: One (1) nights in hotel accommodation in Ulaanbaatar; Two (2) nights of ger camp accommodations; Three (3) nights in local community ger Two (2) nights local hotel stay in countryside.
Local English speaking guide service in the Bayan-Ulgii area
All transportation within Mongolia (including airport transfer). all transfers by minibus in the city and by 4WD Russian minivan in the Bayan-Ulgii area in the countryside.
8 Breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners
Bottled mineral water
Not Included
International air tickets to and from Mongolia
Visa (if necessary)
Compulsory Travel/health insurance (Browse policies at World Nomads, our recommended travel insurance provider.)
Alcoholic drinks.
Tips and gratuities.
Laundry and personal items.

Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Flight to Bayan-Ulgii
    Meet in Ulaanbaatar for transfer to the airport for a morning flight (2.5 hours) to Ulgii, capital of Bayan-Ulgii, Mongolia’s westernmost province. If time permits, we will visit Ulgii town to explore local market. Ulgii (or Ölgii) sits at an altitude of about 1,700 meters (5,600 ft) and has a population of about 29,000. It is the largest town in the area. It is the center of the predominately Kazakh region of Mongolia. Our local staff will greet and welcome you at the airport. Visit local ethnic museum. Stay overnight in Local 3-star hotel. 

  • Day 2
    Travel to Tolbo Lake and Uriankhai family experience
    After breakfast we will travel to Tolbo lake and visit a local Uriankhai family. Stay overnight in ger camp.
  • Day 3
    Hiking
    In the morning we will be hike near the lake for 2-3 hours and after lunch we'll be hiking to a neighboring mountain and hills for 4 hours. Stay overnight in Ger camp.
  • Day 4-5
    Visiting Eagle Hunting Family and explore their unique lifestyle
    Travel to Sagsai soum (90 kms) via Ulgii town. Here we will visit Kazakh families in their settlement. Their gers are slightly larger than Mongolian gers and are decorated with brightly colored rugs. We will enjoy their hospitality and friendliness and learn more in deep about their culture. We will learn how Kazakh men train their eagles for hunting purposes.In the evening we will taste traditionally prepared “bisparmak”, a real Kazakh dish prepared for respected guests. Stay overnights in ger of local community.
  • Day 6
    Golden Eagle Festival
    In the morning we'll enjoy the opening ceremony of the Golden Eagle Festival as the participants join the parade on horses with their eagles. The competition begins with each Kazakh displaying his hunting outfit and accessories. The most elaborate and beautiful clothing and accessories are given the highest points. In the afternoon, the Golden Eagles will be evaluated for their speed and agility. In the evening we'll watch a Kazakh concert consisting of traditional songs and dances. Stay overnights in ger of local community.
  • Day 7
    Golden Eagle Festival
    Prepare for some exciting action today! The Golden Eagles will be released from a cliff to attack fox skins that will be dragged by their owner on horseback. The eagles will be judged on their success of grabbing the “fox”, their speed, and “gripping” technique. As the points for the competitions are being tallied, the Kazakhs will compete in their traditional game called “kekbar”- passing goat skin which tests one’s horse riding skills, strength, and agility. In the late afternoon, the winners of the festival will be announced at the awards ceremony. In the evening, travel to Ulgii town (30 km) to enjoy a celebration dinner. Stay overnight in local hotel.
  • Day 8
    Flight back to Ulaanbaatar
    After breakfast, we will visit the local market and then transfer to the local airport for taking our flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Arrive in Ulaanbaatar and transfer to your hotel. Rest and leisure day. Stay overnight in a three-star hotel.
  • Day 9
    Departure
    Transfer to airport and departure home.

More Information

Packing List for Experience Mongolia trip (recommended)
  • Weather in Mongolia in late summer / early autumn can be warm during the day and chilly at night. Pack layer clothing.
  • Comfortable shoes/hiking boots for walking/hiking
  • Cash (new, clean Euros or USD printed after 2006)
  • ATM cards, credit cards (only useable/accepted in the cities)
  • Headlamp and/or flashlight (and spare batteries)
  • Money belt
  • Gifts from home like photos, stickers, postcards, children’s books, souvenir pins for the Nomad family
Useful Information
  • Please note that the temperatures can become chilly at night an average about 4 to 10 degrees Celsius  (40-50 degrees Fahrenheit) during the night time, and colder in the higher elevation, and about 10 to 20 degrees Celsius  (50-68 degrees Fahrenheit) during the daytime.
    For the current weather conditions in Ulaanbaatar, visit: http://www.bbc.com/weather/2028462
Accommodation

The accommodation will range from a three-star hotel for 1 night in Ulaanbaatar before and after traveling through the countryside of Mongolia where we will spend 3 nights in ger camps and 4 nights in a local hotel.

Transportation

The transportation during this trip will be by bus/minibus in the city and by 4WD Russian minivan in the countryside. There are two domestic flights.

Our trip provider: This exclusive Unquote Travel tour is brought to you in conjunction with local tour provider: Tour Mongolia. Tour Mongolia has been a local tour leader in Mongolia since 2001. We chose to work with them due to their experience connecting travelers with local Mongolian culture, their focus on adventure travel, and their continued dedication to Responsible Tourism. Hope you’ll let us show you the real Mongolia!

Important Notes

Cancellations and Refunds
If you must cancel your reservation for a tour and/or its extension, we will refund your payment, less the following fees per tour and/or extension:

Days Prior to Trip Start Date Trip Cancellation Fee Per Person
60+ days $250
31 – 60 days 50% of trip price
0-30 days 100% of trip price

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