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Mongolia Altai Golden Eagle Hunters Festival Tour

Group Tour

13 Days From C$5,241

Overview

Blessed with a gentle nomadic hospitality and vast, open vistas, Mongolia remains one of the most fascinating destinations in Asia. And each year, beneath its expansive skies and before the towering peaks of the majestic Altai Mountains, it plays host to the spectacular Golden Eagle Hunters Festival. This stunning 13-day journey takes us from its bustling capital and deep into the heart of the breath-taking western wilderness.

Here, amongst the traditional tribal lands of the Kazakhs, we ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

12 x Breakfasts
12 x Lunches
12 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will use minibuses, domestic flights and 4WD vehicles.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

As an overall ethos, wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night. This can obviously vary dramatically from country to country and from trip to trip. On this particular trip we will be in a combination of hotels and ger camps. In the ger camps you will sleep in native Mongolian dwellings which Russians call “yurts”. Although not luxurious, they are clean, comfortable and cosy. Bedding is provided in the shape of a foldable bed and travel mattress and there are shared showers, washing and toilet facilities, or you can request for hot towels. In the hotels and gers in Ölgii twin-share and single supplements can be offered, but in the ger camps outside of Ölgii it may be necessary for up to 4 people to share a ger. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Mongolia Altai Golden Eagle Hunters Festival Tour
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN ULAANBAATAR

DAY 1: TOUR STARTS IN ULAANBAATAR

Starting mid-morning, we’ll have an introductory meeting and then take a walk to the city square and visit the Winter Palace Museum, the residence of the last king of Mongolia, Bogd Khaan which now houses an eccentric collection of animals, curios and artefacts. There are great views of Ulaanbaatar city from Zaisan Hill, and we’ll take a stroll here before our welcome dinner and an evening of traditional Mongolian folk concert and dance.

Bayangol Hotel or similar
Lunch, Dinner

DAY 2: ULAANBAATAR - ÖLGII

DAY 2: ULAANBAATAR - ÖLGII

Departing Ulaanbaatar this morning we take a 3½ hour flight across the vast steppe to the town of Ölgii, located near the country’s extreme western frontier. The heart of the predominantly Kazakh region of the country, Ölgii lies sandwiched between the waters of the Khovd River and the craggy peaks of the Altai Mountains, some 1,000 miles from the Mongolian capital. On arrival we will have an opportunity to visit the local museum and open-air market, before continuing by road on to our ger camp.

Ölgii Ger Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: ÖLGII - TAVAN BOGD NATIONAL PARK

DAY 3: ÖLGII - TAVAN BOGD NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast this morning we take a rugged drive through the Mongolian countryside towards the spectacular beauty of the Tavan Bogd National Park. A vast mountainous landscape that provides a breath-taking natural border between Mongolia and neighbouring China and Russia, the park is home to the five ‘saintly’ peaks that give it its name including the snow-capped heights of Kuiten Uul, the highest of Mongolia’s mountain peaks at 4,374m. En route we will pay a visit to a 3000-year-old rock painting that forms part of the extensive Petroglyphic Complexes of the Mongolian Altai. This evening we overnight in a guest ger camp.

Tavan Bogd National Park Guest Ger or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4: TAVAN BOGD NATIONAL PARK

DAY 4: TAVAN BOGD NATIONAL PARK

Following breakfast we will pay a visit to a local family in the area to hear from them about their day to day life, before continuing on to our horse ride to a local glacier. Today you will have the option to ride Mongolian horses out to a stunning glacier to enjoy the views and get some priceless photos. This is a four hour ride and a challenging trek, so those not wishing to partake can do some walking in the region.

Tavan Bogd National Park Guest Ger or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5: TAVAN BOGD NATIONAL PARK - KHOTON & KHURGAN LAKES

DAY 5: TAVAN BOGD NATIONAL PARK - KHOTON & KHURGAN LAKES

Setting out after breakfast, we follow a trail of dirt roads across the park today towards our next destination. A long, but ultimately engrossing journey, our drive takes us across a landscape hemmed in by towering snow-capped mountains and beautiful alpine lakes, where we will stop for a picnic lunch and to take in the breathtaking views.

Khotan & Khurgan Lake Guest Ger or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: KHOTON & KHURGAN LAKES

DAY 6: KHOTON & KHURGAN LAKES

Lying at the northern end of the Altai Mountain Range, the Lakes Region presents us with some of the most spectacular scenery of the journey. We begin the morning with a drive out to the site of the Baga Turgen Waterfall, a 36-metre high cascade that lies at the end of a lovely, and easily accessible walk through a larch forest. Then it is on to Biluut Tolgoi, whose Bronze Age petroglyphs lies along the eastern shores of the lakes. Please note that this walk is weather dependent

Guest Ger Khotan & Khurgan Lakes or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: KHOTON & KHURGAN LAKES - ÖLGII

DAY 7: KHOTON & KHURGAN LAKES - ÖLGII

Departing this morning we cross the vast Mongolian steppes once more and head on towards the squat Kazakh homesteads of Sagsai Village. Lying some 27 kilometres to the west of Ölgii, the village provides us with an opportunity to spend the day with the family of one of the local Golden Eagle Masters. After watching the preparations and training for the coming festival, we then complete the journey to Ölgii to our ger camp for the evening.

Hotel Makhsum or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: ÖLGII - ALTAI

DAY 8: ÖLGII - ALTAI

After breakfast we will drive to Altai town, the home of the Altai Golden Eagle Hunters Festival. We will visit a local eagle hunter's place and enjoy lunch with them ahead of arriving into Altai. As it is pre-festival day everyone in the town will be preparing for the festival tomorrow so there will be a lively atmosphere to experience.

Altai Point Ger or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: ALTAI - GOLDEN EAGLE HUNTERS FESTIVAL OF ALTAI - ALTAI

DAY 9: ALTAI - GOLDEN EAGLE HUNTERS FESTIVAL OF ALTAI - ALTAI

This morning provides us with the first opportunity to experience the remarkable colour and pageantry of the Golden Eagle Hunters Festival of Altai. Altai's more intimate celebrations provide a chance to enjoy the splendour and spectacle of the festival without the crowds. Today's events include the opening ceremony with a parade of the eagle hunters, competitions to test the agility and mastery of bird and hunter and equestrian games that include horse archery.

Altai Point Ger or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10: ALTAI - GOLDEN EAGLE HUNTERS FESTIVAL OF ALTAI - ALTAI

DAY 10: ALTAI - GOLDEN EAGLE HUNTERS FESTIVAL OF ALTAI - ALTAI

A second day of festivities provides more games and ceremonies on the high desert steppes. Returning to the festival this morning we will enjoy more spectacular photo opportunities as we take in another day of competition and colour. Today’s offerings provide more chances to watch the eagles put through their paces, as they are called by the hunters to land on their arms or attack dragged bait and also include a women's equine competition.

Altai Point Ger or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11: ALTAI - ÖLGII

DAY 11: ALTAI - ÖLGII

Before departing the region this morning we will pay a visit to a local Golden Eagle Master's family and enjoy lunch with them. We will then drive back to Ölgii town later in the afternoon and transfer to our ger camp for dinner and an overnight stay.

Ölgii Ger Camp or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: ÖLGII - ULAANBAATAR

DAY 12: ÖLGII - ULAANBAATAR

Depending on flight times we’ll have the morning to relax and explore the rest of this town before our three hour flight eastwards back to Ulaanbaatar for our farewell dinner.

Bayangol Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: TOUR ENDS IN ULAANBAATAR

DAY 13: TOUR ENDS IN ULAANBAATAR

The tour finishes this morning at the hotel.

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

REVIEWS OF THIS TRIP

Additional Details

Events

The Golden Eagle Hunters Festival of Altai

Celebrating a remarkable tradition that can trace its origins back thousands of years, the annual Golden Eagle Festival takes place before the winter hunting season against the dramatic backdrop of the towering Altai Mountains. It provides a chance for magnificently garbed Kazakhs, and their equally majestic hunting birds, to compete in tests of speed, agility and accuracy, keeping alive a tradition that is all but extinct in the rest of Asia.

Responsible Travel

Locally sourced goods

On this trip we will use locally owned huts and will buy fresh milk at every possible opportunity from the nearby herders. There may also be some opportunities to buy some locally made handicrafts directly from the producers.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
SU 2577 London Heathrow (LHR) 11:50 Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) 17:35
SU 330 Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) 19:00 Ulaanbaatar Airport (ULN) 06:00
SU 331 Ulaanbaatar Airport (ULN) 07:10 Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) 08:45
SU 2582 Sheremetyevo Airport (SVO) 13:40 London Heathrow (LHR) 16:00

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently require a visa for Mongolia.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Terelj, Genghis Khan statue & Gun Galut

Only a few hours to the east of the capital you’ll find the ever popular Terelj National Park with its stunning scenery, the world’s largest statue of Genghis Khan and the Gun Galut Nature Reserve which is great for walking and kayaking. Allow 3-4 days.

Land of The Great Khan

For a more in-depth look at Mongolia, why not combine this trip with the Land Of The Great Khan group tour which takes in the central and southern areas of the country. Book both trips together and get a discount. Allow 14 days.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

Although it boasts over 260 sunny days a year and is known as the "Land of the Blue Sky", Mongolia's climate is extreme with fierce summers and bitterly cold winters. September is considered a good time for travelling with cooler temperatures especially in the evenings so be prepared to wrap up warm at night. Rain is unlikely but always possible.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a reasonable state of health, with an open mind and a sense of adventure should be perfectly able to cope with this tour, as all the walks are optional.  Please be advised that on this trip vegetarians can be catered for but the selection and variety may be very limited, therefore we recommend packing a few extra bits to fill the gaps! There are some long drives to be taken but that is part of the Mongolian experience, and there will always be time for walks, photos and local encounters.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip. On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour except for the seven nights in Tavan Bogd National Park, Khoton & Khurgan Lakes, Altai Guest Ger.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £200 (or equivalent) deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 8690 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION