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Mongolia Golden Eagle Festival & Expedition

From the Gobi Desert to the Golden Eagle Festival.

Feel like a nomad on our Mongolian expedition as we traverse the North Asian country by foot, camel and horseback. Together we’ll make sand dunes ‘sing’, haggle with vendors in chaotic markets and witness eagle hunting competitions during the Golden Eagle Festival. Mix in some extraordinary hikes, a few nights of glamping, a swig of fermented mare’s milk and you’ve got a grand adventure on your hands.

Please Note: 2021 and 2022 booking conditions differ, please ensure you have read all booking conditions thoroughly.


Quick Facts

  • Who's it for? Gay men, friends and family
  • Countries visited: Mongolia
  • Duration: 11 Nights/12 Days
  • Starts in: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • Ends in: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • Group size: Min 4; max 20
  • Accomodations: This tour features 3+-star hotels and traditional gers/yurts.
  • Physical Rating: 3/5
  • Theme: Active
  • Activities: Camping, Hiking, Local Festivals, UNESCO Site Visit, Wildlife

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Enjoy eagle hunting competitions, Khazak clothing shows, throat singing and regional delicacies during the country’s famous Golden Eagle Festival
  • Experience Mongolia’s famously rugged landscape during invigorating hikes
  • Track wild horses in Khustai National Park and learn to ride tame horses in Bayan-Ulgii
  • Unleash your inner-childhood wonder at the site Roy Chapman Andrews unearthed the world’s first intact dinosaur egg fossils
  • Enjoy a couple of humps on a Gobi Desert camel ride
  • Haggle with local artisans in Ulaanbaatar’s Black Market
  • Make sand dunes ‘sing’ while exploring the Khongor sand dunes, a particularly photogenic region of the desert
  • Slumber in traditional gers like a true Mongolian nomad—see Important Information
  • Hike the colourful Yol Valley
  • Discover Ulaanbaatar on a private walking tour that includes the Mongolia Museum of Natural History and the Gandan Buddhist Monastery

DATES AND PRICES

September 10-21, 2021 (From $5,995.00 USD)
WAITLIST ONLY
  • Tour Prices - All tour prices are in USD and based on double/twin occupancy
    • Tour Price: $5,995.00 per person
  • Single Supplement (Optional) - All single supplement prices are in USD and additional to the tour price
    • Single Supplement - 7 nights only - see important info page: $700.00 per person
  • Payment Terms: $500 Deposit - Balance Due 60 Days Before Departure (2021)
  • Guides and Hosts for this trip: Robert Sharp, Tuul
September 9-20, 2022 (From $5,995.00 USD)
OPEN
  • Tour Prices - All tour prices are in USD and based on double/twin occupancy
    • Tour Price: $5,995.00 per person
  • Single Supplement (Optional) - All single supplement prices are in USD and additional to the tour price
    • Single Supplement - 7 nights only - see important info page: $700.00 per person
  • Payment Terms: $500 Deposit - Balance Due 60 Days Before Departure (2022)
  • Guides and Hosts for this trip: Robert Sharp, Tuul
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Tour Map

ITINERARY

Day 1 Ulaanbaatar

Сайн уу—Hello in Mongolian! After arriving in Ulaanbaatar a private driver will transport you to our joining point hotel. The evening is yours to catch some Zs and prepare for the adventure ahead.

Tonight’s accommodation: Hotel

Day 2 Ulaanbaatar

After an energizing breakfast, we’ve dedicated today to touring Ulaanbaatar. Our local guide will point out buildings of interest as well as tour us through popular sites such as Mongolia’s Museum of Natural History or the Gandan Buddhist Monastery. At an ideal time, we’ll stop for a relaxed nibble. If time allows we may swing by the Black Market—a sprawling bazaar where vendors haggle over everything from carpets to curios such as shaman drums. Tonight we’ll have our official Welcome Dinner complete with throat singing and traditional dancing. Then it’s off to bed as a we have an early flight tomorrow.

Tonight’s accommodation: Hotel

Day 3 Gobi Desert

Rise and shine, Gentlemen! We have an early flight to the south Gobi. After touching down we’ll immediately make our way to the Yol Valley (Yolyn Am)—a particularly beautiful valley characterized by the creek cutting through it. You’ll likely see the valley’s namesake vulture, as well as altai snowcocks, bighorn argali sheep, wild ibex rams and potentially wolves and foxes. There have even been reports of snow leopard tracks! It’s here we’ll enjoy our first hike, a breezy 2–3 hour trot through the scenic valley. With our appetites revved, we’ll head to our ger camp for lunch. Gers—sometimes referred to as “yurts”—are traditional Mongolian structures that are easily transportable and popular among nomads. We’ll get to enjoy a number of these unique accommodations throughout the journey. After lunch you have plenty of free time for a power nap or to take it easy. In the evening, we’ll enjoy dinner at our camp before a short hike to watch the desert sunset.

Tonight’s accommodation: Tourist-style ger camp. 2 ppl/ger

Day 4 Gobi Desert

After a leisurely breakfast our journey continues south towards the Khongor sand dunes. These beautiful dunes tower over 200m/655f high and stretch for over 100km/62mi. Locally, they’re known as “the singing dunes” due to the whistling sound they emit when strong gusts of wind shift sand down the slopes. We’ll likely climb one of the dunes ourselves and make them sing by shifting the sand with our feet. After lunch we have an exciting two humped Bactrian camel ride awaiting us. Another beautiful sunset awaits as well as a late dinner and some free time back at camp.

Tonight’s accommodation: Tourist-style ger camp. 2 ppl/ger

Day 5 Gobi Desert

Get ready for a time warp beginning with a visit to Khavtsgait, an area containing bronze age petroglyphs. It’s here we’ll trek 40 minutes uphill to reach the ancient carvings before our guide regales us with stories of Gobi life during this fascinating period. From the Bronze Age we jump further back in time to the Jurassic Period at a world-famous dinosaur fossil site known as the Flaming Cliffs. Roy Chapman Andrews—whom some believe Indiana Jones was modelled after—discovered vast amounts of intact dinosaur bones and fossilized dinosaur eggs here. As you wander the aptly named Flaming Cliffs, keep your eyes peeled for geodes and fossils—many are still being unearthed today! In the afternoon, we’ll head back to the ger camp for lunch, free time and eventually dinner.

Tonight’s accommodation: Tourist-style ger camp. 2 ppl/ger

Day 6 Ulaanbaatar and Khustai National Park

This morning we catch another early flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Upon touch down we’ll drive straight to Khustai National Park. The area was specifically set aside to reintroduce the stocky, wild horses known in western countries as przewalski and takhi in Mongolia. For a period of time, the takhi were completely wiped out of Mongolia. Luckily, about 50 were living in European zoos. In 2001, takhi were successfully reintroduced to Mongolia and today a healthy herd of about 200 roam their natural habitat. After a quick lunch, we’ll take a guided tour through the visitor’s center before hiking up the mountains in search of the horses. Tonight we’ll settle into another ger camp before dinner and free time.

Tonight’s accommodation: Tourist-style ger camp. 2 ppl/ger

Day 7 Bayan-Ulgii

After breakfast, we’ll catch a flight to the western province of Bayan-Ulgii. The region sits right on the border of Kazakhstan and many local people retain Kazakh customs. Upon arrival we’ll head directly to our host family’s private gers. We’ll meet with the family and have local delicacies while learning about their way of life. This will be a pretty busy travel day so after our included dinner at the ger camp you’ll likely want to relax.

Tonight’s accommodation: Host-family ger. 4 ppl/ger

Day 8 Bayan-Ulgii

Today is dedicated to learning the Kazakh way of life. Be prepared to meet our host’s whole family—and we mean the whole family! Ulgiis are famously hospitable, so expect a warm welcome. We’ll also get to meet their magnificent golden eagles and enjoy a private eagle hunt demonstration. Depending on how the group feels we can also enjoy an optional hike through the mountainous landscape or even saddle up some horses. Tonight we’ll dine with our hosts.

Tonight’s accommodation: Host-family ger. 4 ppl/ger

Day 9 & 10 The Golden Eagle Festival

The pinnacle moment of our adventure has arrived: The Golden Eagle Festival! To kick off the spectacular event we’ll have the privilege of entering the festival with our eagle hunter hosts. The festival opens with a parade of the locals wearing traditional Kazakh clothing followed by the hunters on horseback bearing majestic golden eagles. After some opening speeches, the competitions will begin. Together we’ll watch the games and learn about the eagle competitions. We’ll also get to see various tests of horsemanship as well as other amusing contests. There will be plenty of opportunities to taste local delicacies and interact with the local people. As there are no accommodations in the area, we’ll be staying at a temporary ger camp near the festival. On the second afternoon of the festival, we’ll make an early side trip into the city to buy some unique Kazakh crafts sold by a woman who’s a trail-blazer for female entrepreneurship in the area.

Tonight’s accommodation: Temporary ger camp set up near the festival. 2 ppl/ger

Day 11 Ulaanbaatar

After an extraordinary couple of days at the Golden Eagle Festival, we fly back to Ulaanbaatar where our upscale hotel awaits—likely a welcome change of pace from all the gers! This afternoon you have the option of enjoying the hotel amenities or touring one of the city’s fascinating museums. Alternatively, we can also head to a shop to purchase some Mongolian cashmere. Tonight we have our Farewell Dinner followed by a final brewski at Zorig’s Bar.

Tonight’s accommodation: Hotel

Day 12 Departure

Sadly, our adventure has come to an end. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at your leisure. Thank you for joining our gay Mongolia tour!


GUIDES AND HOSTS

OWNER & HOST
MONGOLIA GROUP LEADER

WHAT’S INCLUDED?

  • Arrival & departure transfers to/from Out Adventures’ joining/finishing point hotel
  • A gay Out Adventures host throughout and English-speaking guide
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 11 dinners
  • All domestic flights mentioned
  • All activities and entertainment mentioned in the itinerary, including national park fees
  • All gratuities for hotel/ger staff, host families, activity operators and drivers
  • All land transportation in comfortable, air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Mineral water available on all transportation (Please bring your own refillable water bottle)

WHAT ISN’T INCLUDED?

  • International airfare
  • Luggage fees on domestic flights
  • International departure taxes
  • Single supplements during the Bayan-Ulgii portion of the tour—see Important Information
  • Travel insurance is mandatory for all travellers. Click here for more details.
  • Gratuities for your Group Leader (budget $50 USD/person)
  • Optional gifts for ger camp staff / host families
  • All items of a personal nature (laundry, drinks, etc.)
  • Visa fees

LGBT INFO FOR Mongolia

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

What to bring, visa information, required
vaccinations, travel insurance and more.
TELL ME EVERYTHING!

EXAMPLES OF ACCOMMODATIONS

Ulaanbaatar
Hotel 9
Bathroom
Ulaanbaatar
Hotel 9
Standard Single
Ulaanbaatar
Hotel 9
Standard Double
Khustai National Park
Ger Camp
Exterior
Khustai National Park
Ger Camp
Dining Hall
Khustai National Park
Ger Camp
Exterior
Gobi Desert
Gobi Mirage Camp
Dining Hall
Gobi Desert
Gobi Mirage Camp
Interior
Gobi Desert
Gobi Mirage Camp
Exterior
Gobi Desert
Gobi Mirage Camp
Communal Shower
Gobi Desert
Gobi Mirage Camp
Communal Sinks
Khongor Sand Dunes
Gobi Erdene
Interior
Khongor Sand Dunes
Gobi Erdene
Exterior
Khongor Sand Dunes
Gobi Erdene
Dining Hall
Bayan-Ulgii
Eagle Festival ger
Interior
Bayan-Ulgii
Eagle Festival ger
Exterior
Ulaanbaatar
Tuushin Best Western
Exterior
Ulaanbaatar
Tuushin Best Western
Single Occupancy
Ulaanbaatar
Tuushin Best Western
Double Occupancy
Ulaanbaatar
Tuushin Best Western
Bathroom



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From $5,995.00 USD
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Who's it for?

While these trips typically attract gay men, all genders are welcome, and we encourage friends and family to join the fun as well.

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Accommodations

All accommodations on Out Adventures tours include breakfast and are located in areas central to our activities. All amenities are examples only, and may differ from hotel to hotel.

3-Star+ Hotels: Comfortable lodgings with thoughtfully decorated rooms. Some hotels will have nice amenities such as a restaurant and/or bar, a fitness centre, and even a pool. Customer service is good, and there is usually a concierge.

Ger Camping: This trip features a number of nights spent in traditional Mongolian gers (or “yurts”). These portable structures are quite comfortable with cots and air mattresses. While we stay in a wide range of gers, the more tourist-friendly ones will be decorated and feel quite cozy. All gers have clean communal toilet and shower tents.

Scroll down to ‘Examples Of Accommodations’ for specific information and photos about the accommodations used on this tour. And see Important Information for a more detailed description of gers.

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Physical Rating: 3 - AVERAGE

3 – Average

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This trip is fully booked but cancellations occur. If you’d like to be contacted if space opens up, please click “Book Now”, select the appropriate departure and you will be prompted to provide limited information.

If you are a solo traveller willing to share a room with another solo traveller, please select Shared/Twin Room when booking this tour.

If you are a solo traveller interested in booking a private room, please select single supplement when booking this tour (based on availability). If you are willing to share a room with another solo traveller, please select Solo Shared.

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