Mongolia is a vast but sparsely inhabited nation on the Eurasian steppe. It’s well-known for the large Mongolian Empire that swept over the world underneath the mighty Genghis Khan, which unfold all the way in which into Europe. Lately Mongolia continues to protect a lot of its historical traditions, with a big share of the inhabitants persevering with to dwell a nomadic existence.

Within the west of Mongolia, the Kazakh minority continues to protect the age-old custom of eagle searching. Visiting the eagle hunters is without doubt one of the nice journeys of a lifetime and appears like one thing straight out of a film. Mongolia is the stuff of medieval fantasy nonetheless being lived at this time – spending days trekking across Mongolia on horseback is one other should for intrepid vacationers. Glorious excursions round Mongolia are supplied by Mongolian corporations like Top Tours Mongolia.

Tourist with golden eagle in Mongolia
Photograph by Aaron Spray

Vacationer with golden eagle in  Mongolia

Why The Kazakhs In Mongolia Protect The Custom Of Eagle Searching

A lot of the inhabitants of Mongolia are ethnic Mongolians, however there are additionally minorities. These embody the reindeer-herding Tuvans within the north (most dwell within the Republic of Tuva in Russia) and the Kazakhs within the west (most dwell in the independent country of Kazakhstan).

In the course of the Soviet Union, lots of the traditions of the countries of Central Asia have been misplaced. The Kazakhs (and Kyrgyz) have been nomads dwelling in yurts throughout the steppe, very similar to the Mongols. However in fashionable instances, the Soviets compelled them to settle, and at this time, nearly all of the folks in these nations dwell settled lives.

As a consequence, the traditional Kazakh custom of eagle searching was partly misplaced in Kazakhstan. However in the course of the Soviet interval, Mongolia remained impartial and preserved a lot of its traditions. Even so, Kazakhstan is happy with its heritage, and the eagle options prominently on its flag. In the present day the Kazakh minority in western Mongolia preserves the age-old custom of eagle searching.

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Traditional Kazakh Eagle Hunter in Mongolia
Photograph by Aaron Spray

Conventional Kazakh Eagle Hunter in Mongolia

The Observe Of Eagle Searching In Mongolia

Previously, eagles have been educated for searching to assist folks survive within the harsh local weather of Central Asia. Lately, they’re nonetheless used for restricted searching, however the principle motive to coach the eagles is to maintain the custom alive and to go it on to the subsequent era.

To coach the eagles, the chicks are caught from the nest when they’re younger. Solely the feminine chicks are taken as solely the feminine golden eagles hunt. The eagle hunter trains the eagles and enters them in competitions round Mongolia. When the birds are just a few years previous (quickly after they attain maturity), they’re launched again into the wild. The hunter usually by no means sees the hen once more.

This observe may support in preserving the eagles as they’re tended to via of their susceptible years as a chick, however when they’re launched, they’re nonetheless as capable of survive within the wild as another eagle.

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Homestay with Kazakh eagle hunter in Mongolia
Photograph by Aaron Spray

Homestay with Kazakh eagle hunter in Mongolia

What To Know About Visiting The Kazakh Eagle Hunters Of Mongolia

A number of the eagle hunters welcome guests to their properties as homestays. Eagle hunters are sometimes nomads and dwell in yurts (so the place they dwell adjustments via the 12 months).

Guests must be ready for what it means to go to. Nomads dwell in distant areas off-road, with out electrical energy (aside from a photo voltaic panel to cost their telephones, and many others.), with out working water, and and not using a recognizable rest room or rest room. Garments must be washed by hand within the freezing water by the vacationers themselves.

However the journey is a once-in-a-lifetime expertise and one that each adventurous traveler ought to attempt to do. Guests get to don conventional Kazakh fur garments and maintain the mighty eagle on their very own arm (warning, the birds are surprisingly heavy).

Whereas it could be doable to go to by oneself, by far the easiest way is with a guided tour. Do not forget that these are nomads – there is no such thing as a fastened tackle, they usually usually don’t communicate English. Getting there usually contains some critical off-roading.

21-Day Tour Of Mongolia Inc. Visiting Eagle Hunters:

  • Value: $2,100 Per Particular person (4 folks & extra)
  • Contains: Meals, Off-Street Transport, Admission Charges, English-speaking Tour Information, Lodging (Homestays, Yurts, Tenting)
  • Period: 21 Days (2 Days with the Eagle Hunters)

Traditional yurts of Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia
Photograph by Aaron Spray

Conventional yurts of Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia

Top-of-the-line corporations to select from is Top Tours Mongolia. Because the Kazakh Eagle hunters dwell so distant from the principle Mongolian metropolis of Ulaanbaatar, guided excursions to them are usually a part of a lot bigger tour packages round Mongolia. High Excursions Mongolia is a really versatile and pleasant tour firm in Mongolia that has intensive expertise with guiding foreigners round Mongolia. They’ve 15 day and 21 day excursions in Mongolia that embody visits to the eagle hunters.

The 21-day tour additionally visits the ancient Mongolian capital of Karakorum – as soon as the capital of the most important empire the world ever knew (till the daybreak of the bigger British Empire).

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