In Search of the Mountain Ghost – Snow Leopard Safari & Golden Eagle Festival


Prepare yourself for the harsh environment in the remote Tsagaan Sair Valley of Mongolia, tracking the Snow Leopard, Mongolia’s “Mountain Ghost.” Experience one of the last true wildernesses and a place where few travellers have ventured. Arrive in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar and take a domestic flight out to the area of Sagsai where we will stay with a nomadic family of eagle hunters, learning their ways and making a real cultural connection. We will stay with the family in their village in a traditional Ger next to that of our hosts.

Next we will spend the following two days attending Mongolia’s Golden Eagle festival. Amidst the rugged terrain of Mongolia’s Altai Mountains, a fierce gathering of wings unfolds every autumn. The sound of galloping horses echoes through the valley as proud hunters unleash their golden companions to soar and strike.

At the end of the festival and on the last day with our hosts, we assist them with one of their biggest days of the year. Their migration from their summer camping spot to their winter residence. Help our host family take down their Ger, pack up their possessions, heard their livestock and then transport it all by camel & 4WD to their winter spot. This is a unique opportunity to participate in the very real lives of actual semi-nomadic peoples and is what immersive travel is all about!

After the festival the real adventure begins as we head out, with our team of guides, drivers and cooks, into the rugged wilderness of the Jargalant Mountains to search for Mongolia’s most elusive resident, the Snow Leopard. Notoriously hard to spot (pun intended), Snow Leopards are one of the worlds most spectacular and characterful big cats. We spend the next 4 days in this harsh terrain to give us maximum chance of a sighting.

We return briefly to Ulaanbaatar before heading out to Hustai National Park in search of Przewalski’s horse, once extinct in the wild, Przewalksi’s horse has been reintroduced successfully into the wilds of Mongolia making it a miracle of conservation.

This Snow Leopard safari & tour to the Golden Eagle festival is a grassroots tour and requires a good level of physical fitness. This tour stays primarily in traditional Ger camps and with a Mongolian host family. These camps will not reflect a hotel standard and facilities are shared. Please read the ‘a note about fitness’ section of our tour listing on our website for more information.

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