Photographs Courtesy of Wild Focus Expeditions
Think about occurring an journey that features using horses throughout the exact same land that Chinggis and Khubilai Khaan trekked, being a part of a camel caravan throughout the Gobi Desert, sleeping in conventional Mongolian tents, and eventually, becoming a member of the well-known Golden Eagle pageant held within the far-western province of Bayan Olgii. Effectively, welcome to Wild Focus Expeditions’ 16-day journey via Mongolia the place you’ll do all of that and a lot extra.
Experiencing nations and cultures vastly completely different from your personal could be intimidating, to not point out difficult to orchestrate, which is why selecting a good tour firm to journey with is a no brainer. Award-winning wildlife images tour firm Wild Focus Expeditions (WFE) makes a speciality of small group journey and guarantees that via their packages, you’ll “journey completely different” than you might be used to. The corporate connects photographers and adventure-seekers with intimate, distinctive moments in nature to make uncommon picture moments attainable. Enter their Eagle Hunters tour taking place from September 30 to October 10, 2020.
Mongolia’s historical past is extremely wealthy and assorted, and WFE’s itinerary is specifically designed to point out you the whole lot there’s to see. With 90% of landlocked Mongolia lined by deserts or pastures with excessive weather conditions (desert space is the biggest temperate grassland habitat), this nation is house to a wide range of animals, together with grey wolves and Siberian ibex, in addition to endangered species just like the wild Bactrian camel, the snow leopard, and the Gobi bear. Oh yeah, and Mongolian horses and camels which had been, and nonetheless are, on the very middle of nomadic existence and are instrumental within the historical past of the nation and its individuals. These are the descendents of the exact same horses that carried the armies of Chinggis Khaan so they may conquer half of the recognized world within the 13th century. It’s due to the horses that mongols are nonetheless capable of trek transfer via Interior Asia in practically the identical approach their ancestors did. And these camels made it attainable for commerce routes between Asia and Europe, making it attainable for the good Tea Highway to flourish for over 200 years. Actually, up till the mid-20th century, camels had been nonetheless used to move items all through the entire of Interior Asia.
This small, 10-person tour will take you on camel caravan via the notorious Gobi Desert and convey you along with the descendants of Chinggis and Khubilai Khaan whereas on horseback. You additionally get to hitch the Golden Eagle Pageant, which is not like some other pageant you may have ever attended. We promise. Discovered within the lovely Altai Mountains, the yearly pageant begins at the start of winter looking season. Kazakh eagle hunters from all around the area head to the pageant with their prized Golden Eagles, often known as Berkut. Whereas wearing full eagle regalia and mounted proudly on their embellished horses, the hunters compete to point out off their skilled eagles to hopefully win the glory of being the very best eagle hunter.
Over a thousand years previous, eagle looking has a storied historical past in Central Asia and in contrast to different cultural practices which have fallen sufferer to the fashionable world, the Kazakhs have stored eagle looking as a significant a part of their tradition and traditions. The Golden Eagle Pageant not solely exams the hen’s braveness and the hunter’s ability, but additionally the uniquely particular bond between the hunter and the eagle. Having the ability to witness and be a part of this pageant is actually exceptional.
Leaving the pageant doesn’t imply your time with eagle hunters is over. You’ll not solely be invited to spend time with eagle hunters in their very own village to study firsthand concerning the about Kazakh tradition, together with tapestry making, additionally, you will additional west to the village of Altai soum the place you’ll spend the next days using on horseback with eagle hunters. It is possible for you to to go looking with them and get some superb photographs of the hunt within the lovely mountains. A visit to the northern entry of the Yolt Valley, one of many scenic areas the place elements of the “Eagle Huntress” film had been filmed, can be on the agenda.
After the eagle portion of the journey, WFE will probably be taking you to the Yol Valley within the Gobi Gurvan Saikhan Nationwide Park, the biggest nationwide park in Mongolia. House to a lot of Gobi’s wildlife, together with Ibex, Argali sheep and snow leopards, it’s right here the place you’ll discover the Hongoryn Els, the biggest sand dunes in Mongolia (much like the dunes in Egypt). The dunes span 60 miles alongside the Gobi Altai Mountain Vary and might attain as excessive as 300 meters (984 toes). If the wind is blowing excellent, the sand slides down the tallest of dunes and creates an odd buzzing sound. This phenomenon is why the dunes are sometimes known as “singing dunes” or “singing sand.” You can be climbing these actual dunes on the backs of Bactrian camels, with their herders as guides, below the evening sky.
After all, we couldn’t presumably cowl the whole lot that this journey via Mongolia from WFE has to supply; these are simply the highlights! You’ll have to join if you wish to expertise it for your self.
WFE’s Eagle Hunters tour is priced at $10,960 to $12,160. To study extra concerning the nitty gritty particulars, akin to what’s included and what isn’t, take a look at WFE’s web site.