Day 1. Fly to Ulgii and Khara Khatu
You will fly from Ulaanbaatar to Ulgii, the principal Kazakh town of Bayan Ulgii Province, in Western Mongolia. You will be met by your guide and will be driven to Khara Khatu, which is the summer residence for some nomadic Kazakh families. On the way, we stop for Lake Tolbo to have our lunch. The landscape at the lake is simply stunning. Birdwatching opportunity.
Every spring Kazakh Nomadic families leave their winter residences to travel to the summer pastures to fatten up their livestock in preparation for the long and often very harsh Mongolian winter. On the way again, you will be able to see the snow-capped Mount Tsair, the fifth highest in Mongolia, and have the opportunity to take photographs; arriving in plenty of time to be introduced to your host family before joining them in a traditional meal.
Day 2. Day to day life of a Nomad
Today you will spend your time with your host family as they go about their everyday chores. There is never a day off, never a time for dodging duties; the work has to be done each day before there is time for leisure. You will rise with your family and experience the morning duties of lighting fires, milking the animals, perhaps you may even be able to assist. There will be much to see and do. You can ride with the herdsmen; see how they look after their animals. You will see how the milk products are made: butter, cheese, yogurt etc. This way, you will directly experience the real life of Kazakh Nomadic families living their normal life and appreciate their warm hearted, friendly hospitality.
Today also we practise riding Mongolian horses. Prepare for the horse riding part of this tour!
Day 3. Visit an Eagle Hunter
Today we will walk (or drive) 8km to visit the family of an Eagle Hunter. The ancient art of hunting with Golden Eagles is unique to the Kazakh people and you will get the opportunity to meet and learn from an experienced Eagle Hunter this traditional form of hunting. Summertime is not when hunting occurs; winter is the traditional time for hunting. Nevertheless, you will still get to see these magnificent birds and appreciate the skills required to raise and train these wild creatures.
Day 4. Horse riding
Today we ride horses up to the mountains to sight see and get some photos.
In the evening, we will make a bonfire, have some Mongolian beers, sing songs and see the sky brimming with stars.
Day 5. Exploring
Today we will explore a little more with a hike to a local glacier. On the way we will visit other families and listen to Kazakh traditional music, sung and played on Sybyzgy, a flute made from mountain bushes and traditionally played by shepherds and herders. As today is our last day with our Nomadic friends, we will celebrate in traditional fashion by eating Besbarmak, which means ‘five fingers’ since the meal is traditionally eaten by hand. This delicious meal, made of stewed mutton, sausage, mixed vegetables, homemade noodles, sprinkled with parsley can be washed down, if one is so inclined, with a bottle or two of local vodka.
Day 6. Goodbye!
Today we say farewell to our new friends and set off for the drive back to Ulgii. We will have time to explore the town, to visit the museum, the bazaar, handicraft shops or maybe even a local Mosque. In the evening you will stay at the hotel. You can enjoy a hot shower and recover from the rigors of country life. In the evening, enjoy a concert and some local cuisine.
Day 7. Return to UB
Following breakfast, you will be transported to the airport in time to catch your flight back to the capital city Ulaanbaatar
Nomadic Life in Western Mongolia
This is a wonderful opportunity to experience, at first hand, the unique lifestyle of the Nomadic Kazakh people of Western Mongolia. You will have this once in a lifetime experience to stay with Nomadic families and learn about their ancient nomadic way of life. You will see how they go about their daily chores, looking after their animals, milking them and making various food products from this milk. You may even be able to participate.