On the rocky ridges overlooking Mongolia’s remote, westernmost province, Bayan-Ulgii, a dwindling number of ethnic Kazakhs carry on a 6,000-year-old tradition — hunting with magnificent golden eagles, one of the world’s largest predatory birds. On this 12-day tour, guests will attend the annual Golden Eagle Festival, where the eagle hunters display their birds’ speed, skill and training, as well as the deep bond that forms between bird and human. Along the way, they’ll explore Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, with its Buddhist and nomadic heritage, and the fabled Gobi Desert. The tour is scheduled for September 28-October 9, 2019 and starts at $7,595 USD. For more information, visit https://www.mircorp.com/trip/mongolias-golden-eagle-festival/.
Days 1-2: Ulaanbaatar
Begin in Ulaanbaatar, capital of Mongolia, where the centuries-old Buddhist heritage is still vital. Pay a visit to the Gandan Monastery, the “Great Place of Complete Joy,” and explore the National History Museum.
Days 3-5: South Gobi Desert
Fly to the remote South Gobi Desert to discover the Flaming Cliffs and the green Yolyn Am Canyon, and to climb the sand dunes at Moltsog Els. Explore the habitat of the lammergeier, the huge bearded vulture. Along the way, encounter the nomads who call this formidable environment home.
Day 6: Ulaanbaatar
Fly back to the capital for a day, visiting the Bogd Khaan Winter Palace, with its six remaining temples and ceremonial gate.
Days 7-9: Ulgii
Fly to Bayan-Ulgii, westernmost province of Mongolia and remote home of Kazakh nomads who hunt with golden eagles. Attend the opening ceremony of the Golden Eagle Festival, when participants parade on horseback with their eagles, displaying their elaborate and beautiful hunting outfits and accessories. Visit with Kazakh families around Tolbo (Frog) Lake, hearing about their way of life in the Mongolian outback.
Days 10-12: Ulaanbaatar, Gorkhi-Terelj
Fly back to the capital and enjoy a performance of Mongolian throat-singing, the eerie-sounding musical tradition of Mongolia. Take a day trip to beautiful alpine Gorkhi-Terelj National Park to get a feel for the huge distances and enormous sky that nomads have contended with for eons. Return to Ulaanbaatar for a festive farewell dinner to toast your adventure on the high steppe of Mongolia.
For more than 30 years, MIR has built a reputation as a leader in pioneering travel to destinations at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. MIR, from the Russian word meaning both “peace” and “world,” specializes in bringing people together to discover more about the world and, consequently, about themselves. https://www.mircorp.com