Golden Eagle Festival Close Up
A fabulous opportunity to experience first hand the life of a Kazakh Eagle Hunter. Living alongside a hunter and his family you will have the privilege of witnessing their daily lives and the preparations for the Eagle Festival. Your host is one of the region's most experienced and respected hunters. Learn skills and history from him and help him to do the final training with his bird before the festival.
Fly from Ulaanbaatar west to the Altai Mountains. Before heading off to meet your hosts, visit Bayan Ulgii's mosque, museum and baazar. Drive the 45km to the ger of one of the regions most respected eagle hunters in the country and spend the next few nights alongside the family. Learn about the relationship between man and bird from when the chicks are first collected from their nests perched high on cliff faces, until they work together to catch quarry as large as foxes or wolves. In preparation for the festival, you and your host can practice skills with his award winning bird. You will have the opportunity to ride to the festival near Ulgii on horseback - riding into the Eagle Festival with the eagle hunters feels like you are in an old Western movie! As many as 400 eagle hunters gather on horse back with their prize birds to compete in contests of speed and agility. The festival starts with a colourful procession followed by traditional Kazakh games including "Bushkashi" (during which riders wrestle over a goat skin), and camel racing, finishing with a Kazakh concert.
See the rest of our small group tours to Mongolia here.