©Wolfgang Kaehler

The Golden Eagle Festival, Mongolia

ND4_4455

Our chef Janka, a Kazakh woman, was cooking for us good and delicious meals.

Jirgau, a local Kazakh man, kept us warm by lighting fires every morning and evening in the stoves in our gers.

Jirgau, a local Kazakh man, kept us warm by lighting fires every morning and evening in the stoves in our gers.

ND4_4452

My ger

ND4_4422

Our ger camp

ND3_0216

Visit of the eagle hunters (the one in the front won the competition)

ND4_6584

A Kazakh man with his daughter gave us a musical performance with their home made Kazakh dombras, a local string instrument.

Every year about 70 eagle hunters are coming to Ulgii to showcase their skills of hunting with Golden eagles to the public.  This year my Mongolia tour included this .  Ulgii is located in the western corner of Mongolia close to Kazakhstan.  It is remote and there is not much of an infrastructure for tourism.  My friend Gerel, our tour operator in Mongolia, setup our own ger (tent) camp next to the Tolbo River because the conditions at the local hotel are very bad.  In our camp we were roughing it for 5 nights with no running water or electricity.  However, in the evening a generator was running so we could charge our batteries and had light for dinner.  Our chef Janka, a Kazakh woman, was cooking for us good and delicious meals.   Jirgau, a local Kazakh man, kept us warm by lighting fires every morning and evening in the stoves in our gers.

The experiences we had for these days were priceless and hard to describe.  Gerel is on the board of the festival and has a lot of connections and knows all the important people. The hospitality of the Kazakh people was great.  We had breakfast with 6 eagle hunters in our kitchen ger, followed by a photo session.  Another board member stopped by with his daughter and gave us a musical performance with their home made Kazakh dombras, a local string instrument.  It was a great performance and you could tell that they performed from their harts and not for tourists.

The five nights were a little rough and it is not for everyone, but the memories and photos we got are one thing only a few will experience.  Kooksie, one of my tour members, mentioned that sometimes you have to get down and dirty in order to experience something special.

If you are interested in a future trip to Mongolia, please email me at Wolfgang@phototours.us

Comments are closed.