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Wild Mongolia and Golden Eagle Festival

Departing: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia - 16 days
Countries visited: Mongolia

Revel in Mongolia's beautiful mountainous regions, traverse the steppe and desert to discover ancient archaeological sites, stay with a nomadic family and witness the vibrant Golden Eagle Festival.

  

 

Itinerary

Modern and Ancient Capitals 
Ulaanbaatar offers the Gandan Khiid Monastery with its 25 metre gold plated Buddha, the impressive National History Museum and an amazing performance by traditional throat singers. In Kharkhorin, the ancient capital of the Great Mongolian Empire we visit Erdene Zuu Monastery, from 1586 with beautiful white walls and 108 stupas; and an extraordinary collection of Buddhist paintings, priceless religious dances and superb Buddhist iconography in typical Mongolian and Tibetan styles. 


Stunning Natural Beauty
Khorgo Terkiin Tsagaan Nurr National Park offers Terkhiin Tsagaan Nuur (or the Great White Lake), famous for its abundant birdlife and several extinct volcanoes, while rare species of flora and fauna dot spectacular basalt-covered valleys. At Telmen Lake, we discover a salt lake at 1789 metres above sea level spanning 194 square kilometres, and a perfect area for hiking or relaxing. Moving west across sand dunes, Khyargas Lake, is located in the Great Depression a globally significant wetland for migratory birds. Later Mongolia's largest lake, Uvs is home to 220 species of birds. Mountains, lakes and rivers provide dramatic scenery en route to Olgii, capital of Mongolia's most westerly province, famous for its untouched snow capped mountains and the rich, unique culture of the Kazakh people. We visit the museum, and learn about hunting with an eagle from an expert. 


Nomadic Culture
A quarter of Mongolians still lead traditional nomadic lifestyles, living in traditional felt tents, or Gers, and moving their herds of Bactrian camels, horses, yaks, goats and sheep between pastures as the seasons change. They are welcoming to all travellers and we will have a unique insight into how these hardy herders survive the harsh winters and remote conditions and witness their daily life during our stay with a nomadic family. Their simple lives and deep connection with nature and the environment is a humbling and inspiring experience. 


Golden Eagle Festival
Excitement mounts for the festival when Kazakh hunters come from near and far with their prized eagles to enter competitions based on skill, speed and accuracy. Traditional costume, displays of horsemanship, dance performances and traditional games celebrate Kazakh heritage. Afterwards, we drive to Tsambagarav Mountain for more hiking in this multi-ethnic region famous for the art of throat singing, before flying back to Ulaanbaatar. The tour uses some hotels, while much of the accommodation in rural areas will be in gers - the traditional dwellings of nomadic herders. 

 

Essentials

Group Size 
15 maximum, plus Tour Leader.

Accommodation
Hotels - 6 nights (twin share).
Gers  - 9 nights (shared). 

Single Supplement (Optional)
Available for hotel stays on this journey. Prices are available on request.

Meals
Many breakfasts (15) and some lunches (13) and dinners (14) are included

Sightseeing
Scheduled Sightseeing is part of the itinerary and includes all transport, entrance fees and English speaking local guide. 

Transfers
All arrival transfers are included once you have joined the group. Please refer to the Journey Itinerary for more details.

Visas
Required for Mongolia. Sundowners Overland will provide all required invitation letters and full visa support including detailed visa guidelines.