Rugged and remote, west Mongolia is characterised by glacier-wrapped mountains, salt lakes and wild landscapes. It doesn’t have much infrastructure so apart from a few basic hotels and ger camps, accommodation will mostly be in tents.

Sandwiched between Russia, Kazakhstan, China and the rest of Mongolia, this region is home to numerous ethnic groups. The capital of Ölgii, for instance, is where you can glimpse the culture of Kazakhstan. This is also eagle country, where the famous Golden Eagle Festival takes place every year against the backdrop of the majestic Altai Mountains.

If you crave a deeper experience – to have your feet touch the ground and gain a richer perspective – take part in a herd migration and get a true sense of what it meant that we were, once, all nomads.

Key Activities: Horse-Trekking, Hiking, Nomadic Migration, Fishing, Trekking, Family Stays

Key Highlights

  • Ölgii
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    Before the era of modern Mongolia in 1911, Ölgii was a Kazakh village, but anti-religious campaigns in 1930 destroyed its mosque. Ölgii's lack of connection by road or railway impeded the development of the city. Today, mosques have been rebuilt and there's even a 'bazaar' filled with goods stocked from Kazakhstan. Kazakh also serves as the primary language.
  • Nomadic Herd Migration
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    Mongolian Kazakh families move between seasonal camps four times a year, bringing hundreds (sometimes thousands) of animals including yaks, sheep, goats, cows, horses and camels with them. As travellers, being a part of the move is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that allows you to truly travel deeper into this raw and wild land.
  • Altai Tavan Bogd
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    Straddling the border of China and Russia, the Tavan Bogd mountains afford a bird's eye view of Kazakhstan from its peaks, making the area a trekker's paradise. Known as the "Five Sacred", the range is home to five of the highest mountain peaks in Mongolia, with Khuiten Uul ("Cold Peak") rising to a height of 4,374m.
  • Annual Golden Eagle Festival
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    One of the most anticipated festivals in Mongolia located in the Altai mountains is this event where Kazakh hunters and their golden eagles showcase their skills. Various competitions and displays, including one where a fox is released as bait for the top three eagles to hunt, take place over a weekend. You can also enjoy traditional horse games, camel races and archery amidst the striking scenery.
  • Kazakh Eagle Hunters
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    Eagle hunting is an age-old tradition dating back 2,000 years. Training these prized eagles is no easy task, and much lies in the virtues of patience and trust between the eagle-hunter - also known as the bürkitshi - and his feathery companion. Females, or bürkits, are bigger and more aggressive than the males, making them the formidable alphas in the hunting game.

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