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 venture. Go on safari in Hustai National Park in search of Przewalski’s horse, once extinct in the wild, and learn about eagle hunting from people still practicing this ancient way of life on this trip for the hardcore adventure and wildlife lover.
This year we have planned our trip to coincide with 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.
Stay in locally owned and operated hotels, marvel at the hospitality of the eagle hunters and assist our family of eagle hunters in relocating to their winter residence.
SNOW LEOPARD SAFARI HIGHLIGHTS
- Journey to remote Mongolia to track the elusive snow leopard, known locally as the “Mountain Ghost”
- Witness a triumph of conservation in Hustai National Park as you go on safari in search of the wild Przewalski’s horse
- Discover the ancient art of eagle hunting at Mongolia’s famed Golden Eagle Festival
- Meet and stay with a local Kazakh family, learn about their traditions and culture and have lunch with them in their Ger
- Be a nomad for a day as you assist our family of Eagle Hunters in relocating to their winter residence
- Stay in traditional nomadic accommodation, ger camps and locally owned and operated hotels.
Trip style: Special Interest
Max group size: 15
Reasons you’ll love this tour
- You love wildlife and have always wanted to see Snow Leopards in the wild
- You are ready for a real adventure which includes sleeping in Ger tents in the wilderness
- You like experiencing local festivals
- You’re ready for an experience that is outside the comfort zone of most people
- You like feeling remote and disconnected from western society while exploring a different lifestyle
- You want to get to know local people in an authentic way while participating in their lives
- 16-nights’ accommodation in a Ger Camp, temporary Ger camp with eagle hunter family and hotels
- Economy class flights between Ulaanbaatar and Uglii (return) 15kg luggage allowance
- Entry to the Golden Eagle Festival and all other attractions as listed
- Transport by 4×4, bus and Russian Van
- Airport transfers on arrival and departure
- Meals as specified in itinerary (B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner)
- Services of your Inverted Atlas trip leader, local guides & cook
Details – Snow Leopard Safari
Duration: 17 Days
Trip style: Special Interest
Group size: Minimum 6 / Maximum 15
Trip code: IGUU
Cost: $9864.00 AUD twin share
Single supplement: $467.00 AUD
Trip price does not include
- International airfares
- Airport transfers on arrival and departure
- Visa for Mongolia
- Meals not included as per trip itinerary including drinks and mini bar
- Additional accommodation before or after the tour
- Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry, souvenirs, porterage etc.
- Travel insurance – please note comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas
This trip travels to remote western Mongolia, a part of the world with very limited infrastructure and where few travellers have ventured. There are a few very long travel days where we will be getting up early and arriving at our accommodation quite late, most of the time this accommodation will be a ger camp with simple facilities or a ger camp with no facilities at all. Accommodation while staying in gers will also be shared and there is no option to upgrade to a private ger. We will mostly travel by coaster buses and 4×4 where necessary.
Good quality hospitals, pharmacies and other public amenities will be limited to Ulaanbaatar, and you should be prepared for eastern-style squat toilets in public places, as well as no toilet facilities at all while in the National Park on the Snow Leopard safari. While this trip does not travel in winter, you can expect some snow and very cold nights.
We recommend that travellers on gluten free, vegetarian and vegan diets bring some supplemental snack food from home as it might be difficult to meet these dietary requirements in this part of Mongolia.
A note about fitness
This snow leopard safari requires a good level of physical fitness. You should be able to walk up to 10km over rough terrain, which will sometimes be at an incline. In addition, you should be able to climb up to 200 stairs unassisted, use an eastern-style squat/drop toilet (beware if you have knee issues) and be free from lung issues as a portion of this journey will be at altitude. This trip involves trekking through the mountains and you should expect to be walking for between 4-6 hours on days 9-13.
You will need to be able to carry your own luggage to and from the coach/4×4, suitcases are not appropriate for this trip, please bring a soft 15kg backpack. If you need to bring more or bring a suitcase you will be able to leave the suitcase in the hotel in Ulaanbaatar and bring smaller luggage into the wilderness. (Due to OH&S regulations our trip leaders are not able to assist with luggage.)
In addition, you should be in good health, with no major chronic conditions requiring frequent medical attention. This trip often travels through very remote locations where the availability of a hospital or even phone reception to call an ambulance is limited. While all our trip leaders are required to have a valid first aid certificate, they are far from doctors and any assistance they are able to provide will be limited to basic first aid. For more information please see our booking conditions.
Traveling by yourself? No problem, we love single travelers and don’t believe in penalising them by charging half the trip price again for our single supplement. With us you are only paying the actual cost to have a room all to yourself. If you’re up for making a new friend, you can elect to share with another single traveller of the same sex and only pay the twin-share price. The choice is yours!
Please note that on this trip the single supplement on this trip only includes nights spent in hotel accommodation (4-nights). It is not possible to accommodate requests for single ger accommodation.
Trip leader description
Accompanying you along your journey will be your Inverted Atlas trip leader. Your trip leader is a logistics extraordinaire, keeps the trip running smoothly and ensures you have the best time possible on your trip. It is important to know that while your trip leader has the best job in the world, they aren’t actually on holidays, but rather they are there to make sure you have the best time while you are on your holiday! Your trip leader may at times need some time out so that they can complete back of house tasks that ensure everyone continues to enjoy the trip. It is also your trip leaders’ job to handle any issues (heaven forbid!) that come up while you’re on your trip like:
- If you lose your passport or other travel documents
- If there is a problem with your room at the booked accommodation – seriously please tell your trip leader don’t wait until you leave
- If you become unwell and need to find a pharmacy
- Assisting with restaurant recommendations or additional sightseeing during free time
- Questions regarding the itinerary
Your trip leader will have some good local knowledge about the destination in which you are traveling, however they are not a ‘local guide’. You’re welcome to ask your trip leader anything about the trip and if they don’t know they will find out and get back to you. Other people you will meet along the way are ‘local guides’ who are generally available to the group in specific towns or at specific sites like national parks, temples or archaeological sites. These people are the local experts and will be able to answer any questions you may have about the history and culture of a specific site.
This itinerary is correct at the time of upload to our website and we have composed it in good faith. From time to time we may elect to make changes before departure, if we are making a big change we will of course notify you, however if it is a small change this will be reflected in the final trip notes. So, make sure you download these prior to departure. Small changes prior to departure are usually made with the groups best interests in mind and come about due to liaising with our best resources – our past travelers and of course our trip leaders! The ability to change and evolve depending on what our travelers enjoy is what makes us such a great trip operator.
While we strive to operate our trips exactly to the letter of the itinerary, sometimes we may need to make changes on the ground while the group is on the road. This is all part of the adventure of traveling and we would ask that you come on your trip with an open mind and a good sense of humour because as much as we want it to, everything doesn’t always go to plan. In fact, these impromptu situations often make the best stories that you can have a laugh with your friends about later.
Minimum Age: 18 years
Due to the nature of this trip children are not permitted for their own safety.
There is no upper age limit for this trip, but you should consider the above fitness requirements prior to booking. If you are 65 years or over, you will be asked to complete our Health Check Form and have your medical practitioner sign it to confirm you are in good health and able to participate safely on this trip.
Please note that comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas. Insurance must include provision for medical situations, emergency medical repatriation to your home country and personal liability at a minimum. Proof of valid travel insurance will be requested by your trip leader on arrival at the pre-departure meeting. Please have this paperwork available for them. If you are unable to provide proof of comprehensive travel insurance, you may not be allowed to join the trip and no refund will be payable.