EAGLE HUNTING TOUR IN MONGOLIA
Golden eagle hunting is- one of the most unique features of Kazakh nomads. Get acquaint with the culture and history, life style and traditions of the Mongolian Kazakh nomads. This amazing type of the tour gives you a chance to hunt with golden eagle in remote western Mongolian Altai mountain’ and experience nomadic life.
Golden eagle hunting is one of the most unique features of Kazakh life. Also eagle hunting is oldest method of food hunting and traditional form of falconry. Our ancestors in the Eurasian steppes mastered eagle hunting several thousand years ago in the Andronov age. Proof of this fact comes from Bronze age petroglyphes. At the present time we can meet few people with such knowledge, but you can find this type of hunting in our country. There are estimated 250 eagle hunters in the Western Mongolian Bayan-Olgii province. Many Kazakh tradition preserved by Kazakhs in Mongolia eagle hunting being amongst them. Hunting with golden eagle shows that Kazakhs are well familiar with nature, its life, and its secrets and mysteries. The hunter is named “kusbegi”. Kusbegi comes from the word “kus” meaning “bird” and “bek” meaning “lord, the title thus literally translated as “lord of birds”. Golden eagle was intended to hunt a particular type of animal apart from foxes, usually catch corsacs and hares. Strong rapacious, well trained eagles proved useful for hunting hoofed animals and even wolves. There are several birds needed for hunting. Such as: eagle, northern goshawks, peregrine, falcons, saker falcons and more. This type of hunting demands many skills and knowledge. The experience of wild bird training was gained by kazakh eagle hunter over centuries, the secrets were imparted from father to son and kept very secret. The skill of hunting with golden eagle was interesting for hunters, while useful for other people. Because after successful hunt, Kusbegi gives the fur of prey to the friends or relatives who accompanied him for hunting. It was developed not only as the source of livelihood, but also as a way of entertaining and keeping themselves fit.
Eagle hunters in Mongolia
Tour price includes:
- Flight tickets to and from Olgii
- Airport pick up and drop off in Olgii
- Local English-speaking guide full time service
- Experienced driver and cook
- land transportation, + fuel
- Accommodations, hotel, home stays
- Horse rent with saddle and gears
- Eagle hunters fee
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner with snacks in between,
- National park entrance fee.
Tour price doesn’t include:
- International airfare
- Any service in UB
- Travel insurance
- Sleeping bag
- Excess baggage charge
- Passport and visa fees
- Optional additional activity cost
- Personal expenses
- Special order in cafes and restaurant
DETAILED TOUR ITINERARY
Day-1 Fly to Olgii
Olgii is highest Mongolian aimag (province). For the most part is located in the Mongolian Altai mountain region. The aimag is famous for the traditional hunting method using trained golden eagles. An estimated 80% of the world`s eagle hunters live here.
At local airport you will be met one of our representatives: driver, English speaking tour guide, and cooker. We will drive from airport to the small community of Ulaankhus. In this river valley, Kazakh eagle hunter Bashakhan and his family have their cozy winter house, where you will be warmly welcome. Accommodation will be in a room of their house and the first will be spent experiencing eagle hunter’s family lifestyle.
Day -2 Hunting with golden eagle
After having a breakfast eagle hunter shows you his magnificent golden eagle and give some informations about very old eagle hunting traditions in western part of Mongolian Altai. After that you will meet your Mongolian horse and saddle up go to the mountains following up the Eagle hunter and his eagle. Once you reach the top of the mountain, the eagle hunter take off the hood from the eagle. The “Khaguchi” another team member will try to flush out the eagle’s prey, by chasing the prey towards to the hill that eagle hunter and guest will be. The eagle will screech to be released, once it sees its prey, the hunter let the eagle swoop down the mountain for catch.
Day -3 Hunting day
More riding and hunting with golden eagle. During your stay with eagle hunter’s family, you’ll follow him by horse to the neighboring mountains. Eagle hunters only hunts in winter month, when it is easy to spot the gold colored foxes against the snow. The hunter use his eagle hunting small animals such as fox, corsac fox and hares. If you are lucky, you will see how the golden eagle catches it’s prey, and take many photos of all the action.
Day -4 Hunting day
Ride your horse go to mountains with different direction than day 2-3. Our eagle hunter shows you some eagle training activities, such as; he will call his eagle from the distance to the gloved hand. Plenty of opportunity for photography of the eagle and hunter.
Day -5 Drive to 2nd eagle hunters family.
Early morning pack up and drive to another eagle hunter’s family, en route we stop in Olgii, for a shower and then continue driving 1 and half hours to the host family of Jenisbek another famous eagle hunter. You will have 2 days hunting with Jenisbek and his amazing eagle. Welcoming dinner with family.
Day -6-7 Hunting day
Go to the mountain for hunting. The hunter and the eagle stay almost 15 years together and have built a very strong connection during that time. As you join them with their eagles you’ll start to understand that the communication between man and bird, which is a key to successful working relationship. The eagle is not only a hunting partner, it is a one member of hunter’s family.
Day-8 Drive back to Olgii and explore city.
After breakfast we’ll drive back to Olgii city on the way we’ll stop for watching Dear stones or Bal bals. In Olgii you will visit local Bazaar (outdoor market) and central museum of Olgii province. Time for shopping local art and souvenir. In the evening “Altai nomads travel” team organize a wonderful short musical concert to include Kazakh folk song, Kazakh traditional dance, and you can listen to the amazing sound of “dombra” that Kazakh main traditional musical instrument.
Day -9 farewell to Olgii
After breakfast you will driven to the local airport with your guide for your return flight to Ulaanbaatar
Your accommodation- kazakh yurt