The Mongolian Eagle Festival

21 Days – 27th August 2024 – 16th September 2024

 

from $10,995.00 per person based on 2 sharing

Trip Style: Safari, Touring, Independent, Luxury, Nature

Share

Included:

Not Included:

Prices are subject to availability and may fluctuate depending on the season.

Operators:

Join us for Mongolia’s Eagle festival, or Golden Eagle festival, an annual traditional festival where Kazakh eagle hunters (Burkitshi) celebrate their heritage and compete to catch small animals such as foxes and hares with specially trained golden eagles, showing off the skills both of the birds and their trainers.

Prizes are awarded for speed, agility and accuracy, as well as for the best traditional Kazakh dress, and more. You will visit a smaller more local Eagle Festival, allowing a more intimate experience with the Kazakh eagle hunters.

Combine this fascinating festival with exploring the fascinating Gobi Desert. Travel through the rocky mountainous terrain as well as Mongolia’s highest peaks and largest glaciers. Mingle with nomads as you learn their way of life and the challenges of living off the land.

As we travel with Singapore Airlines on this itinerary we include a stopover in each direction in both Beijing, China and Seoul, South Korea allowing making use of some unique airfare options for reaching the remote wilderness of Mongolia. 

This really is a unique trip. We want to help bring to light some of the amazing experiences there are to be had around the world. We only work with the best suppliers who can guarantee that experience and Crooked Compass are one of those we trust to take you on a holiday like this.

 

Day 1-4

Beijing, China

Your first stop is Beijing, Capital of the world’s most populated country, Beijing is known for its numerous Historical Monuments and a Well-Preserved Culture. Also, home to the Great wall of china, the city is a hub for tourists from all around the world. Aside from a rich history, the city boasts modern architecture and a contemporary lifestyle. Not to mention the food scene, Beijing is undeniably the most food-obsessed city on earth. Popular destinations include The Great wall of china, Forbidden City, and the fun-packed Beijing Zoo.

Day 4

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Welcome to Mongolia! Upon arrival, you will be met at Chinggis Khaan International Airport and transferred to your hotel in the centre of Ulaanbaatar (which the locals call “UB”), the capital of Mongolia. Visit the Gandan Monastery which is home to a huge gold plated Buddha, a symbol of Mongolian national pride and cultural revival. This evening you will enjoy a welcome dinner where you’ll meet your fellow travellers and your guide will give a briefing on the adventures to come. Enjoy witnessing an incredible folklore concert this evening – a great introduction to Mongolian culture.

Day 5

Yol Gorge

This morning, transfer to the airport for your 1 hour flight to the incredible Gobi.

This valley is nestled deep within the hills and is a safe haven to get away from the desert heat. Some areas of the valley are continually sheltered from the hot sun and house huge, blocks of ice that gradually melt away during the summer. It is very wide at the entrance and narrows gradually into a remarkable gorge. You will get to see wild animals such as ibex and wild sheep, and the vulture. Enjoy a gentle walk through the gorge where you have the opportunity to observe the Lammergeier vulture. This vulture is also known as the ‘bearded vulture’.

Day 6

Khongor Sand Dunes

After breakfast, drive through Gobi and at the end of the Altay mountain range is West Beauty Mountain. Arrive at your ger camp in time for lunch.

After taking a rest, you will drive on to the Khongor Sand Dunes, home to the ‘Singing Sands’. These spectacular dunes obtained their name from the noise made by the shifting sand in the wind. Feel the breeze in your hair as you ride a camel across the dunes before returning to the ger camp. Isolated from the rest of the country, the Singing Sands were a best kept secret for thousands of years. Take an easy camel ride in this area for 1 hour and take a walk amongst the sand dunes.  Return to your ger camp in the evening. (B,L,D)

Distance: 6 hour drive to Khongor Sand Dunes 

 

Day 7

Gobi - Bayanzag, Flaming Cliffs

This morning, drive to Khavtsgait mountain where you will see petroglyphs dating back 3000-500 years (elevation-1800m). Continue driving to Bayanzag, Flaming Cliffs. Many paleontological findings have been discovered here. The place is known as ‘Flaming Cliffs’ and was named by Roy Chapman Andrews, an American explorer who had visited Mongolia in 1922 and over the course of two years he searched throughout the Mongolian Gobi Desert and found dinosaur fossils and dinosaur eggs about 10-15 cm. It was the first discovery of its scale and kind in the world that had been made at the time. Transfer to a local ger camp here and enjoy a good walk in the Flaming Cliffs. Sunsets are great in here, in the Gobi. Dinner at your ger camp (elevation -1300m).

Distance: 3-4hour drive to Petroglyphs. Then 1 hour to ger camp. From ger camp 40 min drive to Bayanzag cliffs

 

Day 8

Ongi Ruined Monastery - Arvaikheer Town

After breakfast, drive to Ongi Ruined Monastery. Ongi ruined monastery used to be home to 1000 lamas and once housed four universities. Anti-religious communists destroyed them in 1937. Only a single temple was renovated in 1992 (elevation 1300m).

After a picnic lunch, continue driving to Arvaikheer provincial capital town of Overkhangai province (elevation1650m). (B,L)

Distance: 3.5hour drive to ger camp to Ongi and 3hour drive to Arvaikheer town

 

Day 9

Arvaikheer/Kharkhorin Town

After breakfast, drive through the central part of Mongolia. You will notice the scenery change with more livestock and yaks in this region. Continue driving to Kharkhorin town. It is a collecting town for wheat, sea buck thorn mostly. This town used to be ancient capital of Mongols in the 13th century. Khubilai khaan moved his capital to Daidy (Beijing today) in 1270, it had lost importance and was destroyed twice. One of Mongol kings, Altan Khan decided to build a Buddhist Monastery complex on top of the ruins to stop robbing of the ancient capital ruins. This is Erdene Zuu monastery complex. Many of its parts were destroyed by anti-religious communists in the 1937. There are main temples and Tibetan temple (elevation 1500m). 

Distance: 3hour drive to Kharkhorin

Day 10

Kharkhorin Town/Ulaanbaatar

After breakfast, head back to Ulaanbaatar. Drive through bareback mountains and sand dunes. Lunch will be taken on the way. Arrive at Ulaanbaatar and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. 

Distance: 5-6hour drive

Day 11

Ulaanbaatar/ Ulgii Town/ Altai town

Today you’ll take a three-hour flight to Bayan-Olgii Province, where 90% of the population is Muslim Kazakh. This is the western most province in Mongolia and it has the feel of a wild west frontier town. Meet your support crew for the next leg of your Mongolian adventure before enjoying lunch in a Turkish restaurant.

Continue to drive out to Altai town. On arrival, you will transfer to your ger camp.  Tomorrow is festival day. Dinner and overnight ger (elevation 2100m). 

Distance: 3.5hour flight and 3 hour drive to Altai town

Day 12 - 13

Eagle Festival

After breakfast, you will start the day by visiting a local horse race. Mingle with the locals who have come to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.

Witness Kazakh hunters in all their glory, and see a parade of falconers on horseback, their prized eagles perched on their arms. After the parade, each hunter will demonstrate how well their bird obeys his commands by placing his eagle on a nearby cliff edge and calling it from below. It’s a spectacular sight to see these birds of prey soar down to their owners and alight on their arms.

The festival provides a unique opportunity to be up-close and be part of the festivity and to capture some incredible photographic opportunities.

The competition begins with a parade by eagle hunters with their hunting outfits and accessories. The most elaborate and beautiful adornments receive the highest marks. It’s followed by thrilling competitions. The Golden Eagles are evaluated for their speed, agility and accuracy. The festival provides a unique opportunity to be up-close and be part of the festivity and to take many incredible photographs.  Return to your Ger camp. (Elevation 2100m). (B,L,D)

Distance: 40 min drive to Horse racing field

Day 14

Eagle Festival

This morning after breakfast you will head out for another fascinating day at the Eagle Festival. Today you will witness trained golden eagles display their speed and agility. To test their eagles’ skills, hunters drag a fox skin behind their horse, and the fastest eagle to land on the skin is considered the best hunter.

Witness traditional Kazakh games, such as aitis, a poetry duel; kyzkuar, a dating game played on horseback; and kokpar, a team sport played on horseback with a goatskin – some of you may know it as ‘goat polo’, the national sport of Afghanistan! We invite our Golden Eagle masters to join us at dinner (elevation 2100m). (B,L,D)

Day 15

Altai-Ulgii Town

This morning you will take it easy before setting off to visit a local Golden Eagle Master’s family and  join them in their home for lunch. Then you drive out to Ulgii town in the afternoon. Transfer to local ger camp (elevation 1650m).

Distance: Less than 1hour drive to Local Eagle Master family. 3hour drive to Ulgii town.

Day 16

Ulaanbaatar

Following breakfast, we take a flight back to Ulaanbaatar city and transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure until your farewell dinner this evening. 

Distance: 3.5hour flight and 1hour drive to hotel.

Day 17-20

Seoul, South Korea

Next we have a 3 night stopover in Seoul, the vibrant capital of South Korea. This city seamlessly blends modernity with rich history and popular for travelers wanting a break in their flights to other parts of the world. Explore futuristic skyscrapers alongside ancient palaces like Gyeongbokgung, indulge in traditional Korean cuisine at bustling markets, and immerse yourself in the dynamic energy of districts like Gangnam. From serene temples to high-tech shopping districts, Seoul offers a captivating mix of old and new, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a diverse cultural experience.

Day 20-21

Overnight Flight Home

Today it is time to transfer to the airport for your onward departure home

Book Now!

Speak to a Travel Expert now on 07 3132 7942 or complete the form below to request a call back.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Call Now Button