Stay with a Kazakh eagle hunter and his family
Discover the importance of golden eagles to the Kazakhs, and learn about training these birds
Witness the unique, two-day Sagsai Golden Eagle Festival
Explore the Altai Mountains on horseback and visit ancient sites
Experience local cuisine and traditions such as Mongolian throat singing
Curated by Diana
Day 1 Arrival Ulaanbaatar
Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be escorted by private car to your accommodation in the city.
Settle into your room, then meet your private guide for a walk across Sukhbaatar Square to the National Museum, where you’ll learn about Mongolia’s history.
In the evening, enjoy a traditional dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 2 Ulaanbaatar – Ulgii – Altantsogts
It’s an early start today as you head back to the airport for your flight to Ulgii, where you’ll have some time to explore the local mosque or visit the museum.
You’ll then be driven to Altantsogts, stopping en route to see some eagle nests that will be empty at this time of year.
You’ll be introduced to a Kazakh eagle hunter and his family who’ll be hosting you for the next few nights. Perhaps they’ll treat you to a traditional meal known as ‘Beshparmak’, which is eaten with your hands.
Day 3 Altantsgots
Spend the day with your Kazakh family, experiencing their generous hospitality and learning about their nomadic lifestyle. You’ll be staying with one of the region’s most experienced hunters, and he will tell you about the importance of golden eagles to the Kazakh people and discuss how they train their birds.
You’ll also have the option of meeting other Kazakh families, visiting a local shaman, or going horse riding or hiking through the mountains and plains.
Day 4 Altantsgots
In the final days before the festival, eagle hunters will do some last-minute training with their birds. You’ll spend the day with the hunters, learning about their golden eagles and watching them hunting. You’ll also have chance to do more hiking or trekking in the Altai Mountains.
Day 5 Altantsogts – Sagsai
Today, the men ride to the festival site. If you’re an experienced rider, you’ll join them on horseback. Otherwise you’ll be escorted by car.
Enjoy a picnic en route before settling into your wilderness camp at the festival site.
Day 6 Sagsai Eagle Festival
The two-day Sagsai Festival begins with a flamboyant parade and colourful opening ceremony, as the hunters arrive with their majestic birds sitting on their arms.
Throughout the festival, there’ll be competitions for the fastest eagle to catch its prey, as well as horse racing, archery, camel racing, and the entertaining bushkashi - a goatskin tug-o-war on horseback.
In the evening, you’ll enjoy dinner at your ger camp alongside a performance from local musicians, including the famed Mongolian throat singing.
Day 7 Sagsai Eagle Festival
Continue to enjoy the two-day Sagsai Festival.
Day 8 Sagsai
Festivities over, you’ll enjoy breakfast before setting off on horseback to see ancient Turkic man stone carvings. These standing stones carved into the shape of men dot the Mongolian landscape in this area, though their exact meaning remains unclear.
Day 9 Sagsai – Ulaanbaatar
This morning you’ll be transferred to Ulgii to catch your flight to Ulaanbaatar.
Settle into your hotel and enjoy the afternoon at leisure. We can arrange a shopping trip around the State Department Store, Gobi Cashmere and the Naran Tuul Market, where you’ll need good haggling skills!
Day 10 Ulaanbaatar
Start your day with a guided tour of Gandantegchinlen Monastery, a Mongolian Buddhist monastery where you may experience monks chanting.
Next, visit the Chinggis Khan equestrian monument at Tsonjin Boldog to the east of the city. Climb to the top of the horse’s head for panoramic views.
In the evening, enjoy a traditional throat singing and dance performance, and tuck into a Mongolian feast at a local restaurant.
Day 11 Departure
Today you’ll be escorted to the airport for your onward journey.