Full Itinerary for Mongolia Eagle Festival Adventure
Day 1: Arrive Ulaanbaatar, city tour
After transferring to our hotel we will take a city tour of the capital Ulaanbaatar (Red Warrior) including the incredible Gandantegchinlen Monastery that houses a 26.5-meter-high golden statue of Avalokiteśvara, a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas, before our first group dinner together in the city.
Day 2: Fly to Ulgii
We take the short national flight to Ulgii, the capital of the Bayan-Ölgii Aimag (province) of Mongolia, located in the extreme west of the country. The culture and race of the Mongolians here is strongly influenced by Kazakhstan. We will stay in a small local hotel.
Day 3: Eagle Festival Day One
Staying in a ger camp, we head to the opening of the festival where competitors parade showing off their costumes and hunting techniques. When the competitions begin the eagles chase fox skins dragged by their owners on horseback and are judged on their speed and gripping ability.
Day 4: Eagle Festival Day Two
Today is a great day for photographers as there are many opportunities to take photos of the competitors, their families and of course – the eagles! We have all day to mingle amongst the crowds of local people and join in the festivities as the competition winners are announced at a large dinner.
Day 5: Drive to Oigar village
This is a long drive covering 200km which can take up to six hours including lunch but it is undoubtedly worth it to experience both the magnitude of the country and to reach the destination of the gates of Altai Tavan Bogd National Park. Here we will stay with the local families, their eagles, horses and yaks in their gers (although not all together!).
Day 6: Optional horse ride to Altai Tavan Bogd base camp
It takes approximately four hours by horse including lunch to cover the 12km (one way) to base camp as no vehicles are allowed in the national park; so you can partake in this or a shorter hike. For both the mountain views are absolutely stunning before returning to the park gates before nightfall.
Day 7: Drive to Sagsai village
We will drive to Sagsai to visit another Kazakh eagle hunter family before heading back to Ulgii where we will stay in the same local hotel.
Day 8: Fly to Ulaanbaatar
After returning to the capital via national flight you can either spend the rest of the day at your leisure or explore the famous ‘black’ market where original and eclectic products of all descriptions can be found before our last group dinner in the city after a traditional music performance.
Day 9: Fly out of Ulaanbaatar
Optional add-on itinerary
Monday 20th – Wednesday 22nd September 2021
Day 9: Chingis Khan statue & Terelj National Park
Visit the biggest statue of Chingis Khan in the country, ride a horse or camel, visit a local family, Ariyabel Meditation Temple and Turtle Rock. Head back to UB and relax in the hotel.
Day 10: Khustai National Park
Visit one of the best preserved national parks in the country to see the remaining ‘Takhi’ also known as ‘Przewalski’s horse’ – the only completely wild and endangered horse native to the steppes. Return to UB for dinner.
Day 11: Fly out of Ulaanbaatar