Snow Leopards are one of the most elusive of all the big cats in the world. Called Irbis by the Mongols. Most people will know it exists in the Himalaya, Pamir, Hindukush in Inner Asia. Actually, Mongolia (Mongolian Altai) has a reasonably large number of Snow Leopard (second only to China) and with its limited areas of suitable habitat, harbors the densest Snow Leopard populations in the world. Where live Argali Sheep and Siberian Ibex, there you have a chance to see Snow Leopard, who naturally prey on these wild animals rather than domestic livestock. You will learn about on this trip.

Kazakh Eagle hunting is Altai Kazakh tradition dating back about 2000 years (Marco Polo mentions it). Kazakh people use female eagles as they are one-third heavier than the males and far more aggressive. The eagles are trained to hunt hairs, wild cat, ibex, foxes and wolves (eagles have eight times more acute than humans), and release them to the hunter, who clubs the prey to death.

Day 1: Arrive UB

Arrive UB airport and meet by our guide. Transfer to hotel.

Today we will do city site seeing tour. Explore Gandan Monastery, Buddhist center in Ulaanbaatar. See,

Zanabazar Museum

Chojin Lama temple. Lunch time in a typical Mongolian Restaurant

The winter Palace

Buda Big Statue on the Hill

Central market (black) (one or two hours if we have time)

Typical folkloric Mongol performance (songs and dances), at the restaurant, during Dinner time (optional). Overnight at 4* hotel.

Day 2: Fly to Hovd and Drive to Chandman village near Jargalant Mountain

After early breakfast, transfer to UB airport. Arrive Hovd airport and meet by our team. Have a lunch in Hovd town. After lunch, we will drive towards Chandman soum, where they claim throat singing originates. The nomads live from livestock herding. On the way, we will see the Khar Us Nuur National Park, where WWF Mongolia is very active. The largest of the lakes is Khar Us Nuur (Black Water Lake). Overnight with nomadic family. (BLD

Days 3-5: Explore Snow Leopard in Jargalant Mountain

These days, we explore Jargalant Hairhan Mountain and hike into Rashantiin Am (Spring Valley), a sacred valley. Here is a sacred spring which is being said to have medicinal properties, including good for eye diseases Jargalant Hairhan (Sacred Happiness) is a snow-capped mountain, which is the back drop of Khar Us Lake. Rashantiin Am is an eerie valley with bolder and poplars. The great lakes basin has the largest reedbeds in all of Central Asia, with many bird species as well as Saiga Antelope, the rare Wild Boar (in the reeds!), Snow Leopards, Gazelle, Wolves etc. (BLD)

Day 6: Drive to Blue Goat Nat. Park

After breakfast, we drive 160kms (4-5hrs ) to northwest to come Kazakh Eagle hunter-Erbol’s summer spending place, which is located just on the north-west side of Blue Goat Nat. Park.

Meet Ebol and his magnificent bird. Overnight with family. (BLD)

Days 7-9: Blue Goat Nat. Park

Every day hiking by the wild big remote mountains of Blue Goat Nat. Park, we can watch some Argali, Ibexes and deer. This place has many wild endangers animals and birds like Snow leopard, Altai argali and Ibex, lynx, wolverine and bearded vulture, black vulture, different kinds of falcons, golden eagle, and others. Staying with Eagle hunter, you can learn Altai Kazakh Eagle hunting skills. Overnights with nomadic family. (BLD)

Day 10: Drive to Olgii

Today after 4-5hrs driving come to Blue Wolf gercamp in Olgii. City sightseeing. The bazaar in Olgii is interesting, as well as the mosque, which has been renovated in recent times. There are some very interesting back street handicraft shops and a well-stocked local museum. Overnight at local hotel. (BLD)

Day 11: Fly to UB

After breakfast, transfer to Olgii airport and fly to Ulaanbaatar. Transfer to hotel.

Overnight at (4*) hotel. (B)

Day 12: Depart UB

After early breakfast, transfer to UB airport and depart UB. (B)

Some recommendationsEagle hunting season in Mongolia are from October to end of March. The western Mongolian winters are cold and dry with occasional snow, but most days have clean blue sky and strong sun. The temperature can fluctuate as much 5-10 degrees centigrade between day and night. /+20°+30° during a days and -+10°-5° of Celsius during a nights/
What to bringBinoculars,
Warm hat and gloves,

Long underwear for travel in the high mountains, comfortable footwear,

Prescription medications (if needed),

Money belt and small padlocks
Small first-aid kit
Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
Electrical adapter plug
Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
Insect repellent
Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
Refillable water bottle
Phrase book
Warm clothes - when travelling in cooler climates
Wind and waterproof jacket
Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)

TransportFor eagle hunting, local Kazakh people use horses. The services of some herdsmen will be hired by the expedition, and they will provide us with their animals.

StaffA local guide who speaks English and Mongolian will accompany the group at all times. A cook will follow, with an assistant. In addition, the services of the local herdsmen will be hired along with their animals. The horsemen follow a traditional lifestyle in the areas where we will be riding.
MealsOur cook will prepare the meals. We pride ourselves in having cooks adapt to both western and Mongolian cooking on our trips. There are always vegetables available, and we have no problem accommodating vegetarians on our trips. For breakfast we can usually buy fresh yogurt from the herdsmen in the local area.
My prices1870 USD per person (min. 2 pax)
IncludesEng. guide, 3 meals per day outside of UB, overnights with nomadic families and local hotel in Olgii, sleeping matts and bag, 4x4 car, Kazakh eagle hunter and riding horses, Nat. park ranger and permits. Transfers from/to UB airport and UB city tour. ULN-HVD and ULG-ULN flights.
Does not includePersonal needs, laundry and alcohol drinks. Single occupancy is 240 USD.
DatesAny time of year. As eagle hunting season is from late August by late April, if you come during a summer, we offer you learn some hunting and training skills with golden eagle.

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