Mongolia's Golden Eagle Festival - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2022)

One of the last travel frontiers, Mongolia is vast, remote and hauntingly beautiful. Nomads still eke out a living on the steppe as they have for centuries passing from generation to generation age-old practices of horsemanship, herding and hunting.

Journey Overview

One of the last travel frontiers, Mongolia is vast, remote and hauntingly beautiful. Nomads still eke out a living on the steppe as they have for centuries passing down from generation to generation age-old practices of horsemanship, herding and hunting. On this rare visit you will spend two days at the thrilling Golden Eagle Festival in the far west of the country where Kazakh horsemen demonstrate their skills with the prized golden eagle in fierce competition. You’ll be honoured by the Mongol hospitality, bed down in a traditional ger, marvel at Buddhist monasteries and explore some of the wildest landscapes on the planet.

Journey Highlights

  • Marvel at the spectacular celebrations and events of the Golden Eagle Festival over two days including the opening ceremony
  • Meet with a Golden Eagle hunter in a memorable private encounter
  • Bed down in a traditional ger at a remarkable eco-lodge which celebrates Mongolia’s nomadic culture
  • Stargaze over the remote wilderness of the Gobi Desert
  • Explore sand dunes, ancient petroglyphs and the desert aglow at sunset
  • Hike through rugged canyons and gorges
  • Ride a Bactrian camel, meet local camel breeders and their families
  • Typically features a small group size of 10–12 guests
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

A warm welcome to the Mongolian capital and transfer to your hotel in the heart of the city. Spend the rest of the day settling in. 
Shangri-La Hotel

Day 2: Ulaanbaatar | National History Museum

This morning join fellow travellers and your Resident Tour Director for a briefing on the coming adventure before heading out on an exploration of the capital. Start off at Sukhbaatar Square which honours Mongolia’s 1921 revolutionary hero and the country’s independence from China. Next stop, Gandantegchinlen Monastery, one of Mongolia’s most important, which was founded in 1809 and houses an impressive library of important Buddhist literature. At the National History Museum see fossilised skeletal remains, dinosaur eggs from the Gobi Desert, traditional costumes and 12th century Mongol relics. Time to freshen up before a welcome dinner this evening. 
Shangri-La Hotel | Meals: BLD

Day 3: Ölgii | Kazakh Traditions

A flight to Ölgii in the far west of the country. The town is predominantly Kazakh and more closely resembles Muslim influenced Central Asia than Buddhist Mongolia. Find yourself in this remote province for the impressive Golden Eagle Festival which is celebrated each year. One of the oldest, most revered and spectacular celebrations of Mongolia’s Kazakh people, this is a tradition of hunting with specially trained eagles which is passed down from generation to generation. The festival brings together the best hunters and their eagles in an impressive display of showmanship testing speed, agility and accuracy. You spend two days at the festival with accommodation in a traditional ger. 
Ger Camp | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Ölgii | Golden Eagle Festival Opening Ceremony

Receive your privileged invitation to the opening ceremony of the Golden Eagle Festival which kicks off with a variety of spectacular displays. Marvel at Kazakh hunters riding in their traditional dark coats and scarlet hats with the golden eagles perched on their arms demonstrating the skills they have acquired since childhood. Eagle training competitions, dance performances and various Kazakh equestrian challenges are also part of this unforgettable event. 
Ger Camp | Meals: BLD

Day 5: Ölgii | Eagle Hunters Up Close

Another opportunity today to experience this unique festival and meet some of the hunters with their eagles. Through your guide, you’ll be able to converse with them capturing some extraordinary photographs and understanding a little of the deep bonds which exist between hunter and eagle. The afternoon is at leisure before dinner. 
Ger Camp | Meals: BLD

Day 6: Ulaanbaatar | Mongolian Capital

Return by air to Ulaanbaatar. After lunch, the remainder of the day is at leisure to immerse yourself in the vibrant city. 
Shangri-La Hotel | Meals: BL

Day 7: Ulaanbaatar | Design Your Day

Plot your own course today and choose from one of these Design Your Day activities:

  • Meet Local Textile Artisans on a Guided Tour
    Explore the country’s rich textile heritage when you visit some of specially selected boutiques where Mongolian cashmere and felt is celebrated. At Made in Mongolia, admire beautiful hand crafted felt products, before gaining special access to 976 Arts Gallery, which showcases the world of modern Mongolian artists.
  • Explore Picturesque Gorkhi‐Terelj National Park
    Visit picturesque Gorkhi-Terelj National Park for a chance to view beautiful landscapes, geological formations, a wide variety of plants and birdlife, as well as the Genghis Khan Statue Complex. Then continue to explore the surrounding area on foot or horseback.

Shangri-La Hotel | Meals: BL

Day 8: South Gobi Desert | Dunes, Mountains & Rare Wildlife

Early this morning, fly south to Dalanzadgad, provincial capital of the South Gobi. You are met and driven northwest to the lush Yol Valley (also known as Eagle Canyon) in the foothills of the Gurvan Saikhan Mountains. Hike into the valley with its dramatic rocky cliffs and narrow canyons and keep an eye out for the indigenous lammergeier (bearded vulture).

Continue to Three Camel Lodge, where your accommodation for the next three nights is in a typical felt-covered ger set against the dramatic backdrop of the remote Gobi Altai mountains. 
Three Camel Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 9: South Gobi Desert | Traditional Ger

This morning, your Bactrian camels await. Mount up for an adventure into the expansive sand dunes of Moltsog Els. Encounter local camel breeders and their families gaining unique insight to their way of life.

The afternoon is at leisure back at the lodge, admiring the vast surrounding landscape and the herds of livestock which come and go. 
Three Camel Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 10: South Gobi Desert | Flaming Cliffs

Head out on a morning hike in the nearby Havsgait Valley where views are breathtaking. See the ancient rock petroglyphs left by early Gobi settlers 15,000 to 40,000 years ago. Return to camp for lunch and watch an historic documentary on palaeontologist Roy Chapman Andrews who, in 1923, discovered the first fossilised dinosaur eggs in an area he named the Flaming Cliffs for the particular way the desert glowed, particularly in the early evening light. Get this singular experience on a special sundowner outing this evening. 
Three Camel Lodge | Meals: BLD

Day 11: Ulaanbaatar | Arts Immersion & The Ger District

Return by air to Ulaanbaatar. In the afternoon, you’ll visit to the Fine Arts Gallery, admiring pieces from local artists before exploring the ger district, home to the majority of the region’s residents. 

Then, celebrate your adventure at a farewell dinner this evening with local entertainment. 
Shangri-La Hotel | Meals: BD

Day 12: Depart Ulaanbaatar

Farewell Mongolia with a transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
Meals: B

Journey Details

Internal air included: Ulanbaatar–Ölgii/Ölgii–Ulanbaatar/Ulanbaatar-South Gobi Desert/South Gobi Desert-Ulanbaatar
Maximum Group Size: 18
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Tour Inclusions

  • All accommodation as detailed with private facilities (except in Ölgii where facilities are shared)
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including welcome and farewell dinners
  • Internal flights as mentioned in itinerary
  • Services of English speaking A&K Resident Tour Director 
  • Airport welcome
  • Porterage
  • Group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle or 4WD
  • Bottled water during transfers and touring
  • Wine & beer during lunches and dinners (selected by Resident Tour Director)
  • All entrance fees
  • Planning, handling, operational and communication charges
  • All tipping

Tour Exclusions

  • International flights to the tour start point and from the tour end point
  • Visas and other border fees
  • Insurance coverage of personal loss, injury, illness or damages incurred during your trip
  • Items of a purely personal nature such as drinks (unless specified), laundry, dry cleaning, internet, fax or phone charges
  • Transfers, sightseeing or meals not specified in itinerary
  • Excess baggage charges

Tailor-Made Travel with A&K

If scheduled departure dates don’t work for you, or you would prefer to travel privately, please talk to one of our expert Journey Designers or your travel agent about creating the perfect bespoke tailor-made journey for you, or your own small group with family or friends.

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Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Shangri-La Ulaanbaatar

Mongolia's Golden Eagle Festival - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2022)

Soaring 95 metres over the city, the 21-storey, glass-walled Shangri-La Ulaanbataar is located in the heart of the Mongolian capital. The ... Read more

Three Camel Lodge

Mongolia's Golden Eagle Festival - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2022)

Spectacularly located against a backdrop of the Altai Mountains, a scattering of felt-covered gers peppers the vast expanse of the G ... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Sep 28, 2022 - Oct 9, 2022
Price AU$15,950pp Single Supplement AU$3,635 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Book

* You must be a Qantas Frequent Flyer member to earn points. Membership and points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions, available at qantas.com/terms. Eligible Product(s) means any new International and Domestic private tour land itinerary or Limited Edition Small Group Journey with a land itinerary of seven nights or more* created by Abercrombie & Kent Australia.

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