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About

Altai Expeditions was founded by Bugibay Bekbolat, also known as Bek, a native of Bayan Ulgii and an ethnic Kazakh.

The Kazaks have been the dominant population group in the western provinces of Mongolia. Kazahks are Muslims who have their own culture and traditions, which are an important part in their lives.

Your host, Bek, has a deep love and respect for his ancestral homeland and a firm commitment to cultural and ecological tourism. He is a well-trained, dependable guide, mountain climber and eagle hunter. Bek is dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism in the Altai Mountain region while sharing the wonders of its cultural and natural treasures with travelers from around the world. His vision is that responsible tourism will be an important part of the future of the region, and of his Kazakh people, where the remote and wild natural beauty of the Altai Mountains have kept other economic development opportunities to a minimum.

He is fully dedicated to training and employing the Kazakh people, known for their hospitality, to manage and support Altai Expedition tours as guides, translators, chauffeurs, cooks, horse wranglers, and all other essential functions. Tourism will also allow further exposure and increased sales of such traditional Kazakh products as embroidery and felt rug making, further assisting the local people.

Bek is supported by a group of trusted young people who he has personally trained to manage the tours
They are well-known by him, as they are members of his extended family and clan. They are also co-owners of the company.

Bek was born near the village of Sagsai to a family of goat herders, his own earliest profession, which enabled him to develop his deep inside knowledge of the mountains. He was the first of his family to attend high school. He is a graduate of the Mongolian National University in Ulaan Bataar, with a Bachelor of Science Degree.

Bek returned to Bayan-Ulgii and worked for a small international NGO (Kazakh Family Development), active in providing primary education to the children of the region’s nomadic families. He became an instructor in small business management and handicraft production for Kazakh women. In the summer months Bek began to act as a guide for the first foreign travelers who visited Bayan-Ulgii, from which Altai Expeditions grew. Altai Expeditions is now Bek’s full-time business and profession.

Bek is married to Kunsaule, a teacher at the Ulgii High School. They have four children, three daughters and a son.

Our team has 11 years experience in fulfilling our clients dreams and expectations. We provide the best and most experienced guides , drivers interpreters to take you on our group an tailor made tours. When in the country side we offer the best camping equipment and in Ulgii, we offer guests first class hospitality and the modern comforts. Our guides and drivers all grew up in the Altai Mountains and have in- depth experience and know how about the region. Our drivers are experiences and have been especially trained in of-road driving . Our friendly and professional team welcomes you to explore the land of Western Mongolia and the Altai Mountains and meet the local nomadic people. Let’s make your holiday unforgettable.

Altai Expeditions own hotel, Eagle’s Nest, is located on the outskirts of the town of Ulgii, about twenty minutes by car from the airport. Easy to reach and within walking distance from the town’s center, Eagle’s Nest Hotel has an unrestricted view of the Altai Mountains.

The construction of Eagle’s Nest began in 2011 and opened for business in the summer of 2013. It consists of a two story brick/stucco building with a flat roof and an ample courtyard with outbuildings, in the style of the region. It was constructed to provide our clients with all essential comforts, in a tastefully designed and furnished modern building, while preserving the characteristic simplicity of a Kazakh home.

The furniture is all locally crafted, floors and walls are decorated with Kazakh rugs and embroidered felt carpets. The design team includes a New York based architect who was inspired by the local architecture, as well as the “mission” of Altai Expeditions to open up the hidden beauty of the Altai Mountains, thereby supporting the economic development of the local people.

Eagle’s Nest has ten double bedrooms, each with its own full bath with flush toilets, with comfortable single or double beds
On the ground floor there is a restaurant which serves both international and local food, as well as a fully stocked bar. The rest of the ground floor consists of a comfortable lounge where guests can meet, and a reception desk which will provide guests with all the services they require. The ground floor will also be used as an exhibition space of the fine embroidery produced by the women of the region in cooperation with the Altai Expeditions Organization.

Fully equipped for all modern forms of communication
Eagle’s Nest is fully equipped for all modern forms of communication, including full mobile phone accessibility, cable web access, PCs, printers, and scanners.
Eagle’s Nest also serves as headquarters for Altai Expeditions, as well as the point of departure and return for all tours. It is also used to train local people as guides, cooks, translators, drivers, and all other skills necessary to develop the region as a first class adventure travel destination, matching the region’s unspoiled beauty with the Kazakh tradition of unselfish hospitality.

Reasonable costs
The costs of Eagle’s Nest rooms and restaurant are kept at very reasonable levels to reflect the objective of combining basic modern comfort with simplicity. Costs are seasonally adjusted and included in the tour price.

Ten authentic, traditionally furnished gers, provide accommodations for up to thirty guests

The Altai Expeditions Ger Camp, located about 2 km west of the Bayan-Ulgii airport and 8 km from the town of Ulgii, was established in 2009. It consists of ten traditionally furnished gers, with between two and three beds per ger, accommodating up to thirty guests. The cost of ger stay and meals are included in your tour price.

The camp also includes a beautiful, authentic Kazakh restaurant, housed in a specially built large ger. Our professional cook will prepare Western, Asian and traditional Mongolian and Kazakh hot and cold dishes such as “Besbarmak”, airag yogurt, yak cheese and hot milk. “Besbarmak” means “five fingers”, because the meal is typically eaten with the hands. It consists of a delicious stewed mutton, various sausages and vegetables, and homemade noodles sprinkled with parsley and onion.

For an authentic Besbarmak meal, a boiled sheep’s head is placed on the table in front of the most honored guest who cuts bits and parts from the head and offers them to the other guests at the table. (It is, of couse, also possible to ask the staff to leave the sheep’s head in the kitchen!)

The camp is fully equipped with modern facilities, warm and cold running water
The camp is fully equipped with modern bathroom facilities including flush toilets and comfortable showers with warm and cold running water fed by a solar 220w power system, and its own clean water deep drilled well. The camp has full mobile cell phone accessibility.

The Ger Camp also provides a regular program of live, traditional Kazakh music performances, a souvenir shop, and Kazakh embroidery exhibits.

Our camp is located on the shore of Lake Tolbo, 45 km from the Ulgii city. Lake Tolbo is a large freshwater lake on the side of the Altai mountain range. It is in Bayan-Ulgii and it is surrounded by mountains which are 2000 meters high. The ancient ice basin has a significant influence on the formation of the lake’s freshwater reservoir. Lake Tolbo is a remarkable lake that has not been polluted and changed by people. The road to the Tolbo Lake camp will take 30 minutes from the center of Ulgii.
The restaurant at the Tolbo lake camp can serve up to 80 people, we have got 6 yurts, a modern toilet, a boiler heating system, and also, a sauna. In each yurt there are 2-4 beds.

Welcome to the Altai Expeditions Guest House/Hostel. Located very close to the main square of Ulgii, it is in an older traditional type building, first constructed in 1960. It retains some very unique features from the Mongolian Socialist era, features which we aim to maintain. The building was originally a publically owned restaurant and hotel. In the early nineties the building was privatized and was used primarily for handicrafts. Recently, the building has been purchased and has reverted back to being a place of accommodation.

(*prices per bed)

Other facilities include, free shower, free kitchen, free security lockers, free Wifi. There is a laundry
service, $5 per wash load.