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Kazakh eagle hunter, Hukh Serkhiin Nuruu National Park, Altai Mountains, Mongolia

The Altai Mountains

At Mongolia’s western reaches lies a wilder and more unpredictable landscape dominated by the craggy peaks of the Altai Mountain range.

Here you can drive or ride for miles without seeing a soul, but you will never be far from a large lake or a snow-capped peak. Bayan-Olgii, the western-most aimag (state or province), is home to the Kazakh nomads who hunt every winter using Golden Eagles.

These magnificent creatures are caught and trained when their hunting instinct has begun to develop. Capable of bringing down animals as large as Oryx, they are treated with great respect by their Kazakh masters and at the age of ten to fifteen are released back into the wild to retire. The Kazakhs themselves dress differently from Mongolians in thick black belted overcoats and brightly coloured silk and fox fur hats and their traditions differ greatly to those of the Mongol nomads.


Wildlife in the Altai

Search the mountain landscapes for wildlife including snow leopard, saiga antelope, pallas cat and argali sheep.

Track Snow Leopards

Join researchers in the wild Altai Mountains in search of the elusive snow leopard.

Bird Watching

See an array of birdlife among the vast reed beds of the Altai as well as raptors including eagles and cinereous vulture.

Kazakh Eagle Hunters

See the Kazakh Eagle Hunters in all their finery – meet the hunters, their families and their birds, and learn about the skills involved in the capture, training and use of eagles as hunters.

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Altai Desert Adventure

Explore sand dunes on foot, camel or horseback, tracing the shores of vast blue lakes with snow-capped peaks in the distance.

Need Inspiration?
Browse our Mongolia holiday ideas.

Our experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul, our Mongolian expert, joined Steppes Travel in 1994 and has visited Mongolia numerous times. His most recent adventure was with his son when they experienced a yak trek, staying in yurts as they travelled, as well as visiting a nature reserve where they found eagles and argali sheep.

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Clare Higginson

It was my passion for languages that first encouraged me to leave the UK behind and grab my rucksack. Since then, it’s been a mixture of intriguing cultures, jaw-dropping landscapes and the wonder of seeing animals in their natural habitat that sees me continuously extending my travel wish list. I also seek adventure; exploring the deep blue or hiking a peak often winning favour. Although it’s my time horse herding in Mongolia that I regularly want to relive.

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Why Choose Steppes?

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