Mongolia: Steppes, Deserts & Nomads - Eagle Festival

17 days
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Small Group Tour
Rolling steppe make way to stark desert; small nomadic ger camps pepper this vast land where camels and goats are herded on horseback, fermented mare’s milk is the tipple of choice, sand dunes are known to ‘sing’ and the first intact dinosaur eggs were found. Genghis Khan went forth from here on horseback to conquer the biggest land empire in history and, to ...
26%
$9,315
From$6,900
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Overview

Trip type
Small Group Tour
Lodging level
Standard - 3 star
Physical level
Moderate
Trip pace
Balanced schedule

Highlights

    • Attend the Eagle Festival in the remote Altai Mountains
    • Explore Mongolia's vast wilderness stepp and Gobi Desert
    • Experience traditional nomadic culture

What's this trip about?

    Rolling steppe make way to stark desert; small nomadic ger camps pepper this vast land where camels and goats are herded on horseback, fermented mare’s milk is the tipple of choice, sand dunes are known to ‘sing’ and the first intact dinosaur eggs were found. Genghis Khan went forth from here on horseback to conquer the biggest land empire in history and, to this day, Buddhist and Animist traditions mix. We travel through steppe, mountains and the Gobi desert exploring the nature and culture of this fascinating, yet little known country before making our way to the far western reaches to visit the eagle festival, celebrating the fascinating past time of hunting with eagles and the strong connection the Mongolian people have with their animals and land. For an alternative Eagle Festival itinerary starting in Ulaanbaatar on 17 September 2023 and 22 September 2024, please click here.From Mongolia's vast steppe to the Eagle Festival in the Altai Mountains

Details

Itinerary focusClassic Highlights
Group sizeSmall Group - max of 16 people
Age range16 years and up
Flights and transportN/A
Start CityUlaanbaatar
End CityUlaanbaatar

Travel Themes

  • Cultural
  • National Parks
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Festivals & Special Events

Destinations

  • Asia
  • Mongolia

Attractions

  • Beijing
  • Ulaanbaatar

Activities

  • Culture
  • Festivals & Special Events
  • Nature

Trip includes

    • All breakfasts, 14 lunches and 15 dinners
    • All accommodation
    • All transport, including 4WD Jeeps
    • Activities as listed in the itinerary
    • All internal flights
    • Tour leader throughout

Popular Trips

Itinerary

Travel Map

Day 1 Arrive in Ulaanbaatar

Start in Ulaanbaatar. Those not travelling with the group from London will join us at the hotel. There are no activities planned for today to allow for different arrival times and to rest after the flight. You will have your trip briefing with your Leader this evening...

Day 2 Transfer to Khustain Nuruu N.P trek to see wild horses

In the morning we head west out of Ulaanbaatar towards Karakorum, making a detour to the KhustainNuruu National Park, 2 hours west of Ulaanbaatar. KhustainNuruu is famous for the re-introduction of Mongolia's wild horse. The Takhi Horse or Przewalski's horse was once ...

Day 3 Drive to Little Gobi Desert; visit Khogno Khan Mountain; opportunity for bird and wildlife watching

After breakfast we continue our journey westwards towards Karakorum along an asphalt road. Today's destination, the Mongol Els or 'Little Gobi Desert' as it is known, is a unique belt of sand dunes in the steppe. Arriving at lunchtime, we check into a nearby ger camp ...

Day 4 Karakorum; visit Erdene Zuu Monastery

We start the day with a (90km) transfer to the 13th century capital of the Mongol Empire - Karakorum. Karakorum was established by Ogedei Khan and remained the Mongols power base until Khublai Khan established Beijing as the capital. Here we will visit the Erdene Zuu ...

Day 5 Transfer to Arvaikheer via Shankh Monastery and explore the museum

We drive on a paved road to Arvaikheer, the capital of Ovorkhangai Aimag and on the northern edge of the Gobi. On the way to Arvaikheer we visit Shankh Monastery, once the home of the great Mongolian theorist Zanabazar. We should arrive at Arvaikheer during the middle...

Day 6 Bayan Gobi via Mt Ikh Bogd

After an early breakfast we start towards Orog Lake via Bayanteegsoum, a coal-mining centre. Passing over Taats River, the majestic Ikh Bogd Mountain should be visible in the distance, the highest mountain in the Gobi Altai Mountain Range. We stop for a picnic lunch a...

Day 7 Explore the region of Bayan Gobi

We start our journey southwards with a short drive (2-3 hours) to the Bayan Mountain Range to view petroglyphs (Rock Art), called Bichigt Khad. The rock inscriptions and pictures here date back to 3000 BC; we will see paintings including depictions of ibex, argali and...

Day 8 Visit the singing sand dunes, the largest dunes in Mongolia

Today we have a full day to explore the sand dunes and surrounding area. The Khongoriin Els stretch for 200km and reach heights of 300 meters in places. They are known as the 'Singing Dunes' because of the beautiful sound that resonates through the dunes on a windy da...

Day 9 Hiking around the Flaming Cliffs of Bayanzag

Today we make a short drive to Bayanzag (70 km) known as the Flaming cliffs and hike amongst colourful sands of red, yellow and orange. Bayanzag is a world-renowned dinosaur fossil exploration site, discovered in the 1920s by Mongolian and American Palaeontologists. W...

Day 10 Travel through rocky plains of Gobi Gurvansaikhan N.P.

This morning we drive through the Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park. Gobi Gurvansaikhan means 'Three Beauties of the Gobi' and this range marks the eastern end of the Gobi Altai mountain range. The park's landscape is extremely varied, with rocky and sandy desert plain...

Day 11 Morning flight to Ulaanbaatar; afternoon in Terelj National park

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for the mid-morning flight to Ulaanbaatar (please note that we may be flying at a different time, possibly even the evening before depending on the airline's changeable schedules). Once back in UB we transfer to the Terelj Na...

Day 12 Ulaanbaatar via Genghis Khaan Statue

After breakfast we drive to the giant Chinggis Khan Statue, standing at 40 meters tall and made of stainless steel it is quite a sight! Here we have some time to fully explore the statue and surrounding area before making our way back to Ulaanbaatar where we have the ...

Day 13 Fly to Olgii; visit a nomadic Kazakh village

In the morning we fly to Olgii in western Mongolia, from where we drive off-road for about an hour to Sagsai village. Here we visit the home of the Kazakh people; there will be plenty to see and do. We spend the day seeing how they go about daily life. We will also be...

Day 14 Eagle festival

Today we attend the Eagle festival. For the first day of the festival, we will see the competition for the best Kazakh costume, horse racing and archery. In the evening we will see a cultural performance in the local theatre. Accommodation: Ger Camp

Day 15 Another day at the Eagle Festival

Today we have another chance to witness the competitions and events of the Eagle festival. We will be able to see a demonstration from the eagles and their hunters, a camel race and the lively competition of Kukhbar. Kukhbar is essentially a fighting match on horsebac...

Day 16 Fly to Ulaanbaatar; free time in the city

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for the mid-morning flight to Ulaanbaatar, arriving in the nation's capital at midday. We transfer to the hotel and freshen up before a light lunch. This afternoon is free for last minute sightseeing or souvenir shopping arou...

Day 17 End in Ulaanbaatar

The tour ends after breakfast today. Flight inclusive travellers will be transferred to the airport in Ulaanbaatar in time to catch the group flight.

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Dates & Availability

Price From $6,900
Price per day$406
Last Updated: 6/11/2024
Departure Date
Finish Date
Shared Room
Single Room
Availability
22 Sep 2024
08 Oct 2024
$6,900
$7,815
21 Sep 2025
07 Oct 2025
$7,650
$8,565

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Exodus Travels.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Exodus Travels Reviews & Ratings

4.7/5  Excellent
Excellent
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Great
3,259
Average
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Disappointing
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Terrible
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A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Being prepared

This trip was a real adventure. Mongolia is a stunning country and we saw breath-taking and different landscapes during our visit, as well as animals galore. Howe...

A

Anonymous

Oct 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

A memorable trip

The tour was well organised and covered everything promised in the brochure. The knowledgeable local guide enabled us to learn about Mongolia. Even the cancellati...

A

Anonymous

Jan 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Mongolias great.

Mongolia has been recommended to me by various travelers over the years, also to include the Nadaam Festival....they were right. If you are looking for something di...

A

Anonymous

Jan 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Amazing Mongolia

We saw only a small portion of such a huge country , within days we’d seen Steppe, desert ,mountains and cliffs , perfect sunrises and sunsets and the never ending...

A

Anonymous

Jan 2018

Provided byExodus Travels

Excellent trip.

Just returned from.this Mongolia trip. It was a wonderful holiday. Mongolia is vast and fascinating. The holiday was made more enjoyable and informative by our gui...

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Exodus Travels

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It is all about adventure. That is what Exodus was founded upon and what the company is still all about. Discovering countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts and jungles; exploring this amazing planet we all live on.

At Exodus, we know what makes you tick when it comes to holidays. It’s a desire shared by so many others. A yearning to visit new places and come home with a real sense of what they’re all about. This means delving into local traditions, cultures, cuisine, lifestyles – anything that contributes to its unique identity. At the same time, we always remember that we are only guests. So we travel courteously and respectfully, in smaller groups to minimise our impact, to ensure that every Exodus holiday is a beneficial experience for everyone involved.

This is a philosophy we take with us around the world, helping you reach some incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across over 90 separate countries. We also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as we possibly can, making it simple for you to experience a very different holiday.

Exodus started life on 4 February 1974 when two friends got together to provide an overland truck to travel to the Minaret of Jam, deep in the heart of the Hindu Kush, the most inaccessible of the world’s great monuments.

All our office staff have a passion for travel and adventure, and between us we’ve notched up experience that spans 171 different countries. That’s not all. In their former lives, our team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus – so no-one is better placed to create tours that appeal to a wide range of specialist interests.

Their care in putting all the details in place really shines through too. Extensive planning, research, fact-finding and training are a sign of our commitment to providing a holiday where your enjoyment, value for money and safety come first. It’s a telling reason why we remain one of the leading worldwide adventure tour companies. It is no exaggeration to say that our tour leaders can make a world of difference to the enjoyment of your holiday – so we choose them carefully. The result is that, in 2013, 93% of our clients stated that their leader exceeded their expectations. Where possible, we train and employ local leaders because they can provide invaluable insights that enrich the trip. What’s more, this investment in local staff really helps us benefit both them and their community.

Why we love this operator
With a huge range of trip styles and themes, they cater to basically every type of traveler out there- even those with super specific interests.
What they’re known for
Global trips to both classic and exotic destinations with a focus on themed adventures, exciting physical activities and discovery of local culture.

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Logistics

What's excluded

    • Travel insurance
    • Single accommodation
    • Visas

Accommodation

,We use hotels in Ulaanbaatar and Arvaikheer and ger camps elsewhere. Gers are similar to yurts, generally airy and comfortable with beds and, normally, a central wood-burning stove (though in the summer the stoves are not normally needed). The bathrooms are shared and all have hot water (due to the remoteness of the camps this can be erratic at times). Many of the ger camps now have 24-hour electricity in the ger itself for charging batteries. If there is no charging facility inside the ger then there are charging facilities in the common area (though this may only be when the generator is turned on during limited periods of the day). Accommodation at the Eagle Festival is four people per ger. For the rest of the camps, it is two people per ger and hotels are on a twin-share basis too. Due to the remoteness of Olgii, there is a limited choice of accommodation and the ger camps here are more basic than elsewhere. There may also be rare occasions when a single cannot be guaranteed in a particular ger camp.
Cancellation policy

The cancellation policies of this trip when booked through Travelstride are determined by the stated policies of the tour operator - Exodus Travels.

If you or any other member of your party decides to cancel a confirmed booking you must notify Travelstride in writing. Your notice of cancellation will only take effect when it is received in writing by Travelstride and will be effective from the date on which we receive it.

If You Cancel Your Holiday
You, or any member of your party, may cancel your travel arrangements at any time. Written notification from the lead name or your travel agent must be received at our offices. 

Since we incur costs in canceling your travel arrangements, you will have to pay cancellation charges as follows (see also the exceptions below): 

  • More than 42 days - No cancellation fee. Deposit can be transferred to a new booking departing within 2 years of date of travel of original booking. Any remaining balance will be refundedThis excludes all non-refundable costs as set out in clause 4 above (for example international and domestic flights and local services).
  • Between 41 and 21 days (inclusive) - No cancellation fee. Balance and deposit can be transferred to a new booking departing within 2 years of date of travel of original bookingThis excludes all non-refundable costs as further explained in clause 4 above (for example international and domestic flights and local services).
  • Between 20 and 15 days (inclusive) - 80% of the holiday cost
  • 14 days or less; or failure to join the holiday (inclusive) - 100% of the holiday cost

Certain trips may involve different cancellation charges; you will be advised if this is applicable to your holiday during the booking process.For Polar holidays, the following cancellation charges will be made for all Polar holidays. Period before departure in which you notify us: 

Cancelation charge

  • More than 133 days - Deposit only
  • 133 days or less (or failure to join the holiday) (inclusive) - 100% of the holiday cost

Notes (i) Your deposit is non-refundable, even if the cancellation charge calculated is lower than the deposit amount paid; (ii) If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges; (iii) certain travel arrangements may be subject to higher cancellation charges and could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements from the moment the booking is confirmed.

If You Change Your Booking

If, after our Booking Confirmation has been issued, you wish to change your travel arrangements in any way, for example your chosen departure date or accommodation, we will do our utmost to make these changes but it may not always be possible. Any request for changes to be made must be in writing from the lead name or your travel agent. You will be asked to pay an administration charge of $60, and any further cost we incur in making this alteration (including those charged by third party suppliers who provide the component parts of your booking).  You should be aware that these costs could increase the closer to the departure date that changes are made and you should contact us as soon as possible. Note: Certain travel arrangements may not be changeable after a reservation has been made and any alteration request could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements.

You can transfer your booking to another person, who satisfies all the conditions that apply to this booking, by giving us notice in writing at least 7 days before departure provided that the new lead passenger accepts the transfer and these Terms and Conditions. Both you and the new traveler are responsible for paying all costs we incur in making the transfer. Please bear in mind that certain airlines and other transport providers treat changes as a cancellation and charge accordingly, up to 100% of the cost for that part of the arrangement. Where applicable these charges will be passed on to you.

If We Cancel Your Booking

Exodus reserves the right to cancel an itinerary before departure for any reason whatsoever, including too few participants ,logistical problems, a Force Majeure Event (as defined in Section 8), or any other circumstances that may make operation of the trip inadvisable. All trip payments received will be promptly refunded, and this refund will be the limit of Exodus’s liability without any further obligation on Exodus’s part. Exodus is not responsible for any expenses incurred by trip members in preparing for the trip, including non-refundable or penalty-carrying airline tickets, special clothing, visa or passport fees, or other trip-related expenses.

If We Change Your Booking

  1. Changes to the price. We can change your holiday price after you’ve booked, only in certain circumstances. Changes in the price of the carriage of passengers resulting from changes to the cost of fuel or other power sources, the level of taxes or fees imposed by third parties including tourist taxes, landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports, or exchange rates mean that the price of your travel arrangements may change after you have booked.

  2. Changes other than the price. It is a term of your booking that we are able to make changes to any aspect of your booking. If the change is insignificant, we will ensure that you are notified about it. Examples of insignificant changes include alteration of your accommodation to another of the same or higher standard. If we are forced by circumstances beyond our control to alter significantly any of the main characteristics of the travel services that make up your package you will have the rights set out below.

    2.1 - We will contact you and you will have the choice of accepting the change or having a refund of all monies paid. You can also accept an alternative holiday, where we offer one (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value). We will tell you the procedure for making your choice. Please read any notification of changes carefully and respond promptly as if you do not respond to us within the timescale given your booking may be canceled.

    2.2 - If you choose to accept a refund then that is the only liability we have and we will not be liable for any further sums, compensation or otherwise and you are advised to adequately insure yourselves against cancellation for any reason

Please note that insurance premiums and amendments charges are not refundable in any circumstances. 

Once you have put down a deposit for a tour, you are unable to cancel and re-book within a promotional period and we reserve the right to amend the pricing on any new booking you make within that time. If you cancel a tour and book the same tour under a promotional code, we reserve the right to decline the booking.

Important Note: Certain arrangements may not be amended after they have been confirmed and any alteration or cancellation could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements in addition to the charge above.

If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges.

Where possible, we will deduct the cancellation charge(s) from any monies you have already paid to us.

For more additional details, see the booking conditions of TruTravels at the following web address: https://www.exodustravels.com/us/about-exodus/exodus-booking-conditions.

Travel Insurance
We strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance alongside your travel package to safeguard against unforeseen circumstances such as medical expenses, trip cancellations, and other contingencies. It offers you peace of mind and ensures you are prepared for unexpected events that may occur before or during your journey
Visa requirements
Visa requirements vary depending on your country of origin and your country of destination. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the relevant requirements. For a handy tool that can help you quickly find the requirements, please visit this link .
Meals Included
All breakfasts, 14 lunches and 15 dinners included. Traditional Mongolian diets are very meat and dairy heavy. Whilst there will be opportunities to try some of these products such as dry-curd and fermented mare’s milk, the meals provided in the ger camps are generally western meals, at times with an Asian influence. There will normally be some form of soup and salad as well as a main course and desert. Vegetarians are generally well catered for, if you are vegetarian or have other dietary requirements please make sure to inform us in advance. Breakfasts can vary from place to place, some are buffet style whilst others are set, normally cereal, bread and possibly a hot dish will be provided. On some days a pack lunch will be provided, this is often still a proper meal (though without the soup). Water is provided and will generally be from 5L water-containers so make sure to bring a water bottle to decant into. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, beer, vodka and (most of the time) wine are available to buy at the ger camps. There is opportunity to buy snacks in Ulaanbaatar and on a couple other occasions along the way when we drive through towns or villages.
Age Requirements
16 years and up
Additional Information
  • 4 nights hotels, all en suite and 12 nights ger camp with shared facilities
  • Normally 4 to 16, plus local leader, Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by 4WD Jeeps, bus and one internal flight
  • Alternative Eagle Festival Itinerary available, trip code ACK
Trip ID
exodus-ACME

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