Reindeer herders & Eagle Festival, 19 days LET'S PLAN YOUR TRIP
The Mongolian Altai Mountains of western Mongolian offer a beautiful landscape coupled with three unique cultures - Mongolians, Kazakhs, and Tuvans. The area is rich in wildlife and provides one of the last refuges for the Altai Argali, the world's largest sheep, as well as the endangered Snow Leopard. In addition, western Mongolia is rich in archaeological sites that vary from ancient petroglyphs to stone carvings from early Turkish nomads. To travel in western Mongolia and visit this area's nomadic people between the snows covered peaks of the Altai Mountains means to experience something that cannot be repeated anywhere else in the world. On a trip though this region, one discovers new horizons, will feel the beauty of unexplored wilderness and experience the freedom of nomadic life.
Our horse treks take you through the country, where you’ll find camping in the traditional gers are a perfect way of discovering the traditional Mongol way of life. Mongolia has a unique and durable traditional culture, centered on the herding lifestyle. Herders remain semi-nomadic, moving their animals with the seasons as they have for centuries.
Here you will meet also Altai Nomadic Kazakh people and explore their cultures, especially Eagle hunting skills.
Day 1. Arrive UB
Arrive UB airport and meet by our Blue Wolf team. Takes approx 45min to transfer to hotel.
After a short rest to freshen-up we will do a sight -seeing tour of Ulaanbaatar, focusing on such significant cultural sites as Gandan Buddhist Monastery, the Zanzabar Fine Arts Museum, which holds the finest collection of thangka paintings, carvings and sculptures in Mongolia. The Chojin Lama temple will be visited, the location of which clearly illustrates the great contrast between the old and the new in Mongolia. Lunch will be enjoyed in a nearby Mongolian restaurant with traditional cuisine. In the afternoon, the Winter Palace of the last Bogd Khan will be visited which houses some very interesting cultural and religious artifacts. To get a panoramic overview of the city, we may visit the Great Buddha statue and memorial at Zaisan. Overnight at a 3*/4*/5* hotel.
Fly to Huvsugul and Drive to Renchinlkhumbe
Fly to Murun and meet by our team. Driving about 300 km /7-8 hrs/ reach village Renchinkhumbe. The road goes by Darhad Hotgor valley. Darhadyn Hotgor is a wide high valley west of Hövsgöl nuur. The valley is about 150 kilometers long and 40 kilometers wide, the valley's altitude is about 1600 meters, and the surrounding peaks are up to 3100 meters high. Darhadyn Hotgor is named after the Darhad Mongols, who make up most of the valley's population. On second day, we will meet horse rangers and first introduction to the horses and riding training. Overnights in tent. (BLD)
|Early morning we start horse ride toward high mountains. Only next day evening, we reach the rein-deer people, who live in tepees. Overnight in tent. (BLD)|
Stay with Reindeer Herders
Learn their everyday life and their traditions as like milking reindeers, riding, processing skins. Also you enjoy the beautiful nature. Reindeer people /Tsaatan/ are small ethnic group of Mongolia /about 600/. They follow shamanism and very believe in mysterious shamanist deeds and traditions. (BLD)
Ride back and Drive to Lake Huvsugul
Known as “The Dark Blue Pearl”, Lake Khovsgol is Mongolia's largest and deepest lake. Located in the northernmost province, it is the largest tributary stream of Lake Baikal in Russia. Lake Khuvsgul is 136 km long, 36 km wide, and 262 meters deep and is located at an altitude of 1645 m above sea level and is frozen from January until April or May. It's the second largest fresh water lake in Central Asia. It's inhabited by nine species of fish including the Siberian grayling and lenok. Fishing and sport fishing are becoming popular in the lake area. Taiga Fauna and Flora, Tsaatan, practicing reindeer breeding are the main attractions for tourist. Different ethnic groups live in the area: Khalh, Darhadt, and Buryat. Tsaatans are reindeer herders. Lake Khovsgol is on the important migration route for birds from Siberia, thus facilitating marvelous opportunities for birdwatching. In the evening, come to Murun city. Overnights in local hotel. (BLD)
Drive to Olgii
Driving from Hangai Forest Area to Altai Mountains, you can see many different wild areas, where mountains and steppe areas are combined. Meeting nomadic families, you can see how they are used to live on these remote wild places. Last day, come to Olgii, where you can stay in gercamp or hotel with hot shower. (BLD)
Hunting with Golden Eagle
The Mongolian Kazakhs use for hunting female eagles as far they are bigger mail ones and more aggressive. These eagles are trained to hunt fox, wolves, rabbit and wild cat. Going side by side with eagle hunter to hunt mostly fox we learn and enjoy this unique customs of the Mongolian Kazakhs. We have the chance to visit some Kazakh families and feel the grade hospitality. Every evening we stay with the Kazakh Dombro Player (traditional musical instrument with two strings). Overnight with family. (BLD)
Drive to the festival place and meet the Kazakh Eagle hunters. The rodeo of eagle hunting. A fantastic opportunity for photographers and adventurers alike to see these magnificent birds up close. There are approx. 400 eagle hunters in Bayan-Olgii aimag. The eagle hunters from around regions gather to test their finely trained birds in singular contests of speed and agility in these few days. During the festival we also see some Kazakh Traditional Horse Games like “BushKushi" (Try to take out from each other the goat skin on horseback), "Kiss woman on horseback", "Pick up coins from the land on horseback" and others. In the evening we enjoy to have the Kazakh Concert with some traditional songs and music. Overnights in ger/local hotel. (BLD)
Drive to Altai Tavan Bogd Nat. Park
We will drive further west. Bayan-Ulgii is rich in archaeological remains, as a reminder of the Bronze Ages and the time of the Huns and Turkic invasions. At Shiveet Hairhan Mountain, where numerous Tuvan nomads live, in Altai Tavanbogd National Park, we will pitch our camp. Shiveet Hairhan is holy for them, so there are about 400 Ibexes there. Sometimes seen, sometimes not seen. Here we will be able to view the biggest petroglyphs from the second period of the Huns (200 B.C.). The Huns were the reason for the Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huangdi to build and finish the Great Wall of China at this time. Overnight in tent/ger. (BLD)
Potanin Glacier and Snow Peaks
We will do day hike in the area. In the mountains here, there are some 20 glaciers and this is one of the few locations in the world where camels are used as pack animals in glacier areas. Should weather conditions be difficult we will not be able to see the glaciers. Tavanbogd means “the Holy Five” referring to the five highest peaks, of which Huiten Uul is the highest in Mongolia, 4374 meters above sea level. Quite a considerable height at this latitude. Overnight in tent/ger. (BLD)
Drive to Lakes Hoton and Hurgan
Today’s driving to north comes out to the steppe valleys of the lake area. We pitch camp on the shores of Hoton Lake, where you will find numerous petroglyphs. The area is below the snow-capped Ikh Turgen Uul. We are now only 15km from the China border. These are the summer pastures of numerous Kazakh herdsmen. Their yurts are a bonanza of handicraft. They are a very friendly and hospitable people. A fishing rod comes in handy here. The largest subspecies of Mongolian Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is easily fished here. The numerous Great Cormorants in the vicinity are a good indicator that there are plentiful fish in the lakes. Overnight in tent or with family. (BLD)
Drive back to Olgii
Drive to east via Ulaanhuis over desert mountain landscapes, with the snow-capped Sogoog Mountain as a powerful backdrop and the Altai Mountain range ahead of us. After driving 4-5 hrs, come to Olgii. Overnight in gercamp/local hotel. (BLD)
FLY BACK TO UB
Early breakfast and transfer to UB airport. Transfer to 4* hotel. (B) You will have a full day to explore the sprawling city of retro architecture, thrilling nightlife, wild traffic and exciting commerce. There’s plenty to see, do and eat – your guide will recommend some of the best places to dine at
After early breakfast, transfer to Olgii airport. Leave only foot prints & take only lifetime of memories home from your Mongolian adventure.