Mongolia eagle hunting festival holiday
Optional Single Supplement: from £195
Description of Mongolia eagle hunting festival holiday
This eagle hunting festival holiday in Mongolia is a chance to witness the ancient art of hunting with eagles, practiced by the Kazakh people of western Mongolia. Travel to Sagsai, in the shadow of the lofty Altai Mountains, to enjoy the annual Golden Eagle Festival and spend time with a local Eagle Master and his family.
This is a 13 day small group tour, with plenty of time either side of the festival to discover Mongolia’s wonderful nomadic hospitality and vast landscapes. The adventure begins in the capital Ulaanbaatar, before travelling deep into the wilderness in the west of the country. This is land populated by Kazakhs – rich in history, natural beauty and traditional culture. See the ancient petroglyphs in Tavan Bogd National Park and soak up the vast landscapes, punctuated with lakes, glaciers and waterfalls. We can enjoy some hiking to hopefully spot snow leopards living in this remote wilderness, and can experience the vast steppe as a true Mongolia does – on horseback. We have a full two days at the Eagle Festival – ample time to enjoy this exciting and deeply traditional nomadic spectacle. Accommodation once outside Ulaanbaatar is in a mixture of log cabins and ger camps and we will use a mix of minibuses, 4WD vehicles and domestic flights to get around.
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1 Reviews of Mongolia eagle hunting festival holiday
Reviewed on 25 Sep 2019 by Andrew Leung
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Seeing the eagle hunters for the first time.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Prepare for some long travel days.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
A good break from civilisation.
PlanetWe have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to each one of our trips, and as a responsible tour operator, it is something we are careful and steadfast about promoting. Each one of our guides are trained to uphold, promote and put into practice such responsible behaviour, especially in wilderness areas or whilst traveling to UNESCO heritage sites, which many of our trips undoubtedly do. We have a strict no plastic bottle waste policy.
On day 3 to 6 of this trip we will visit Tavan Bogd National Park, home to many gorgeous mountain landscapes and lakes, ideal for a diverse range of flora and fauna. We are promoting the natural beauty and ancient heritage of Mongolia through visiting not only the National Parks, but also the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the rock paintings of Mongolian Altai. UNESCO Sites are chosen by the UNESCO committee and must "bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to civilisation", "an important interchange of human values" or be outstanding examples of major stages of Earth's history or ecological and biological processes in evolution. Visiting such sites helps sustain the traditions and natural ecosystems of Macedonia.
We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.
By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit.
On this particular tour, we will be staying in locally owned lodges and ger camps. These accommodations are mostly family run and are low emission. We ensure to promote staying in accommodations that contribute to the local economy of the region.
PeopleMade famous by the 2016 documentary “The Eagle Huntress” and one of Mongolia’s most impressive cultural highlights, the annual Golden Eagle Festival takes place before the winter hunting season. Celebrating a remarkable tradition that can trace its origins back thousands of years, the festival tests the skills of hunters and birds alike. Set 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, this remarkable spectacle also incorporates an array of other events that include horse racing, archery and the hugely entertaining Buzkashi, a goatskin tug of war on horseback.
By visiting this eagle festival in Sagsai Village, instead of the larger festival in Ölgii, we are reducing the impact of tourism in Ölgii. We will also be spending a day with the family of one of the local Golden Eagle Masters to meet the people taking part in the festival, to better understand the relevance of the festival to their culture and build a relationship with them to not just become another ‘spectator’.
In Central Asia we have developed unique relationships with many of the semi-nomadic peoples of the region and through our form of interactive, socially conscience tourism has helped them adapt to the modern, changing world by providing important income opportunities. With the eagle hunters on the shores of Lake Issyk Kul, or Noorgul, a shepherdess from the pristine Son Kul, or Nazira and her family at Tash Rabat, we have been responsible for introducing them to the homestay market, helping them to provide good, clean and interesting accommodation which in term allows them to educate their children, improve their standard of living and look after their ill.
Wherever possible we stay in locally owned accommodation, eat in locally owned establishments and purchase supplies from the local nomads. On this trip we will use locally owned huts and buy fresh milk everyday from the nearby herders. There may also be some opportunities to buy some locally made handicrafts directly from the producers.
Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that we have been committed to since our conception. It is part of our core sets of beliefs that these words are not simply scattered nonchalantly into our literature and on our website but moreover that they are central to each and every trip. Our adventures are therefore carefully curated celebrating all that is local from the people, to the culture. We believe that a successful trip delivers a unique and authentic journey for our clients, but furthermore benefits the people whose land we have the privilege of encountering.
On each Group tour we use local ground handlers. This means that all operational costs go directly into the local economy and help improve employment opportunities in remote regions. Such support can also be seen in our incorporation of homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of local guides and drivers into our itineraries, which ensures that the money you spend with us goes directly into the local economy and local community.
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