Golden Eagle Festival

Every October Kazakh eagle-hunters from all over Bayan-Ulgii gather in the heart of the Altais for a competition to test the speed, agility, accuracy, and training of their magnificent eagles.  It is a rare opportunity for visitors to get up-close and personal with such a wonderful Kazakh tradition.

DAY 1: Ulgii

  • Catch an early flight to Ulgii from Ulaanbaatar
  • Visit the local outdoor market (bazaar) and museum
  • If arranged in advance, visit a local Tuvan shaman
  • Sample local restaurants for lunch and dinner
  • Stay in a nearby ger camp

DAY 2: Visit an Eagle-Hunter

  • Drive to the village of Altantsogts (45km from Ulgii) to visit Sailau, one of the most experience eagle-hunters in the region
  • Sailau and his son were recently featured in the BBC television series “Human Planet”
  • Visit nearby Oni Mountain to view nesting place of wild eagles
  • Enjoy Kazakh hospitality and experience the nomadic lifestyle

DAY 3: More Time with Eagle-Hunters

  • Before attending the festival, watch as the hunters conduct final trainings with their eagles
  • They practice calling their eagles from vast distances to attack animal skins drug by horses

DAYS 4 & 5:  Go to Festival with Eagle-Hunters on Horseback

  • Side-by-side with eagle-hunters, ride to the festival on horseback
  • Mongolian horses may be small, but they are tough
  • The hunters may even spy a chance to catch a fox, rabbit, or wild cat
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch to enjoy the remote mountain country
  • Excellent photo opportunity to hold the birds for yourself
  • Camp in the village of Sagsai on the bank of the Khovd River

DAYS 6 & 7: Altai Golden Eagle Festival

  • Ride to the festival with the eagle-hunters
  • Approximately 50-60 eagle-hunters participate in the festival
  • Festival also features traditional Kazakh horse games including “bushkushi” (horseback tug-a-war using an animal skin), “horseback-kiss-a-woman,” and “pick-up coins from the ground on horseback”
  • The festival is full of vendors selling Kazakh tapestries, clothing, and embroideries
  • In the evening enjoy a traditional Kazakh concert

DAY 8: Back to UB

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If you are interested, Kobesh Travel can arrange to have an Ulaanbaatar-based guide meet you at the airport/train station upon your arrival in Mongolia. The guide can help you navigate Ulaanbaatar, can travel with you to your accommodation, and can show you some of the city’s sights. Furthermore, Kobesh Travel can also help you explore more of Mongolia than just the West. We are more than happy to help extend your sightseeing of our beautiful country with additional journeys before or after your trip out West.

  • Includes: English-speaking guide, cook, land transportation, accommodations, camping equipment, three meals a day with snacks in between, pack animals, camel guides, and national park tickets
  • Excludes: Domestic flights, alcohol, discretionary horse/camel rides, and laundry