The Golden Eagle festival – photo dairy

Kazakhs are renowned for their unique and extraordinary skill in using Golden Eagles to hunt small prey. Unfortunately, like traditional practices elsewhere in the world, hunting with eagles is on the verge of extinction. The Golden Eagle Festival has being organized since 1999 in Bayan-Olgii province of western Mongolia in order to help revive this remarkable tradition and promote it among the younger generations in an effort to balance the preservation of Mongolia’s past traditions with conservation of nature and the modern demands of a growing population.

When Golden Eagle festival was organized for the first time back in 15 years ago, there were only 6 Eagle hunters participated and in 2014, it increased to 72 eagle hunters and 400 – 500 travellers watched the Golden Eagle festival.

There is no English word for the hunting with eagles such as ‘eagler’. Today professional Kazakh hunters in Mongolia call the hunting with eagle berkutchy. A berkutchy is a life’s profession, and in Mongolia is often a hereditary one. Female eagles are preferred since they are believed to be more aggressive and weigh as much as fifteen pounds (nearly one-third more than the males).

Below are the photos from the Eagle festival – 2014.

The very first female Eagle hunter in the world and trained as her father's and her ancestors' next generation as an Eagle hunter

The very first female Eagle hunter in the world and is trained as her father’s and her ancestors’ next generation as an Eagle hunter.

western Mongolia, Kazakh man, eagle hunter

Such intimacy must turn into a lifelong trust with the eagle – twenty years or more. And it is said that as the man trains the eagle, so does the eagle trains his man.

hunting with Golden Eagle

For weeks, the growing bird is rendered sightless under its hood until its dependence on its master become complete.

Eagle is a good friend of his owner

Eagle is a good friend of his owner. Eagle can dance too. 🙂

Mongolia Eagle hunters

The relationship of the bird and its master is constant, and all-consuming. In the training of a young eagle, the berkutchy must sacrifice his sleep for a long period.


New Mongolian Ambassador amazes Buckingham Palace with his dazzling traditional dress

Mr. Narkhuu Tulga became Mongolia’s ambassador to the UK in Jun 2013; presented his Letters of Credence in traditional dress including his dazzling deel in royal blue – a traditional Mongolian double-breasted overcoat – was complemented by a matching hat and leather boots when he met the Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace on 13th November 2013.

A Queen of United Kingdom said “How do you do… have you come far?” The Queen is used to being the most stylish person in the room. But when she met the Mongolian ambassador, she may have felt a little under-dressed.

A New Mongolian Ambassador educated at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, speaks fluent in English, Russian and Chinese, having previously held posts in China, Singapore and the United States.

Good luck Mr. Narkhuu Tulga to delegate Mongolia in the UK.

His Excellency Mr Narkhuu Tulga of Mongolia was presented with his Letters of Credence as Ambassador, by the Queen at Buckingham Palace 

He presented his Letters of Credence in traditional dress, with his bright royal blue outfit drawing the eye from Her Majesty’s rather muted mauve

Photo source from

Mongolia is on WTM London Travel show 2013

Mongolia is on WTM London Travel show 2013

It is just finished one travel season and started a new travel season. What are you planning to do on your holiday 2014? To give you some hint, Mongolia is an exotic travel destination and right for adventure and discovery tours. There are 5 tour operators are delegating Mongolia on WTM London this year and Selena Travel Mongolia is one of them. Plan your travel to Mongolia, here are some suggestion on group Mongolia tours.

Lake Huvsgul in Aug 2013 – Travel photography in Mongolia

We are sharing some photos from our recent trip to the Lake Huvsgul – so called the Mother Ocean by the Mongols, a fresh water lake situated in the northern part of Mongolia. The Lake Huvsgul is famous for its’ picturesque surrounding landscape and contains 3% of the world’s fresh water. The Lake Huvsgul area is suitable for all kinds of tours including hiking, horseback riding, culture experiencing and sport fishing. Thanks to Uugaa & Crystal for the great photos!  If you have Mongolia travel photos please feel free to share with us and fellow travellers!  You can check them at Travel Photography.  Thank you!

Happy Naadam Festival 2013

Happy Naadam Festival 2013

Mongolian Naadam Festival is the highlight of all these festivals and events that this country holds. The Naadam festival is held in mid July annually and the Mongols show off with this festival. The Naadam festival, or eriyn gurvan nadaam, is the biggest festival of the year for Mongolians. Usually occurring in July, it runs for three days in all parts of the country and highlights the greatest athletes in horse racing, archery, and wrestling: Mongolia’s most popular sports. During the festival women participate in all but the wrestling category. The word Nadaam means game or competition in Mongolian. Competitions take place days on the first two and merry-making is reserved for the third.

The Naadam festival has been held for centuries as a form of memorial celebration, as an annual sacrificial ritual honoring various mountain gods or to celebrate a community endeavor. The festivities kick off with a colorful parade of athletes, monks, soldiers marching in perfect uniformity, musicians performing powerful military tunes, and Mongolians dressed in Chinggis-style warrior uniforms. It is the most widely watched festival in the country, and is believed to have existed for centuries in one fashion or another.

The Great Naadam festival is lots of music, dances and sports and very colorful. Naadam festival’s competitions were originally called “the three manly sports” and, thus, restricted to men. But over time, and under the influence of the former communist rulers’ insistence on female equality, the horse races and archery were opened to all comers. Only wrestling remains a “manly sport”. The best parts of the Naadam festival are the Naadam festival opening ceremony, Mongolian wrestling, Traditional Mongolian archery and Mongolian horse racing.

Naadam wrestling, archery and horse racing are very famous as hundreds of participants participate in them. The Mongols wear their colorful clothes on the Great Naadam Festival day and go to the Naadam stadium to take part in it. Selena Travel organizes wonderful Naadam festival tours and we invite you to spend your holiday in Mongolia taking one of our Naadam festival trip. Travel to Mongolia and see Great Naadam festival of Mongolia!

Join us on this “Toys & Books donation for rural kindergartens of Mongolia” this summer! You can drop your donation at our office, or also can post them to our address: “Zolzaya, Selena Travel. POB 349, Ulaanbaatar 26, MONGOLIA”

Thank you so much to “Patricia and Samuel”, and “David Tjan, Angela Barrameda, Karin Cheung and Cynthia Operio” who recently travelled with us and donated these lovely toys and books for the children of Mongolian rural villages.