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Salbuurun Eagle Looking: The Custom of Eagle Hunters in Kyrgyzstan 2021

Did you know that people in Kyrgyzstan use eagle hunting as a means to capture their prey? Yes, you heard me right! During our 2-month travel in which we covered the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan, surrounding places, and Kyrgyzstan, we had the most amazing experiences. We stayed in yurts, indulged in the local cuisine, […]



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This post is originally published at Meander Wander blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!

Do you know that individuals in Kyrgyzstan use eagle searching as a method to seize their prey?

Sure, you heard me proper! Throughout our 2-month journey wherein we lined town of Almaty in Kazakhstan, surrounding locations, and Kyrgyzstan, we had essentially the most superb experiences. We stayed in yurts, indulged within the native delicacies, bought concerned in native actions, and much more.

And out of all these issues, essentially the most fascinating factor that we realized about is the apply of Eagle Looking in Kyrgyzstan.

In fact, the probabilities of attending Salbuurun Eagle Looking festivals may be slim however we have been nonetheless capable of catch an indication by the Salbuurun Federation.

The face of falconry in Kyrgyzstan, Salbuurun Federation is the easiest way to expertise and be taught concerning the methods of eagle searching.

On this article, we are going to share all the main points about this historical custom in Kyrgyzstan and how one can e book an indication for your self too.

Eagle Looking in Kyrgyzstan

Historic Custom in Central Asia

Do you know the traditional custom of eagle searching was began in Central Asia?

The nomads who roamed round these lands in Central Asia began this custom a number of thousand years in the past. They tamed the eagles to amass meals and fur within the harsh winters and have handed on the custom from one technology to the opposite.

Since this type of searching will not be essential anymore for the survival of the individuals, the traditional custom of eagle searching is being slowly forgotten.

Nonetheless, Kyrgyzstan is likely one of the few international locations the place this nomadic custom continues to be adopted by a couple of knowledgeable hunters.

Their important goal is to maintain the custom alive by utilizing eagles to hunt for meals. These knowledgeable hunters now compete in several festivals round Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia together with the well-known World Nomad Video games and Salbuurun pageant in Issyk Kul.

Why are Eagles Used for Looking?

Salbuurun Federation
Salbuurun Federation

Kyrgyz individuals didn't consider in utilizing weapons to hunt animals for meals. They believed in utilizing searching birds to kill the animals for meals because it was extra humane.

This methodology of searching wild animals utilizing a educated chicken of prey is called falconry. However whereas falconry is usually related to birds like falcons and hawks, Kyrgyz hunters felt these birds weren't sharp and barely amateurs.

So, they educated golden eagles and referred to as them the chicken of God. Eagles are discovered to be essentially the most highly effective, clever, and deadly hunters on earth. They're able to killing every kind of untamed animals together with foxes, wolves, and so forth which is why Kyrgyz hunters most popular them.

In Kyrgyz, these golden eagles are referred to as berkut because of the golden feathers which might be current in the back of their heads. The Kyrgyz eagle hunters are often known as berkutchi and are the guardians of the traditional custom of searching.

These knowledgeable eagle hunters have been well-respected in Kyrgyzstan society as earlier, searching was a vital a part of nomadic life. And what's extra, they would supply meals and fur for your complete village through the winter.

So, Kyrgyz eagle hunters have been rich however they spent some huge cash on coaching and feeding these eagles too.

How are the Eagles Skilled

Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle

As talked about earlier, the traditional custom of eagle searching has been handed down from generations, normally from a father to a son.

The eagle hunter coaching takes round 3 to 4 years earlier than each the eagle and the coach are prepared. The eagle hunters in Kyrgyzstan are fairly critical about this custom and work arduous for the coaching.

The coaching begins with the novice eagle hunter or berkutchi capturing an eagle or a fledgling from the wild. That is fairly harmful as eagles can simply kill the novices once they try to steal their fledgling or infants.

As soon as the eagle hunter procures an eaglet, he must spend his total time with the chicken. This manner, the eaglet acknowledges the hunter as his grasp and turns into depending on him.

They shut the eyes of the eagle with a leather-based hood to forestall the chicken from seeing through the daylight. That's not all, the hunter additionally sings and talks to the chicken in order that it will possibly be taught the coach's voice.

The berkutchi can also be answerable for feeding the eagle as this bonds them collectively.

The berkutchi makes use of a stuffed fox to coach his eagle to hunt correctly. This fox is normally tied to a rope in order that it's not consumed by the eagle and can be utilized for coaching once more.

Additionally, as soon as the eagle hunts an animal and kills it, it's educated to fly again and sit down on the hand of the coach.

What occurs when the coaching is accomplished?

As soon as the coaching is full, the berkutchi takes his eagle for the true searching of animals. He wears a leather-based glove on his fingers to hold the eagle and retains the chicken's eyes shut till he sees a possible prey.

As quickly as he spots a prey, he removes the hood from the eagle's eyes and the eagle instantly flies to assault the animal. The eagle kills the animal in a single stroke by breaking the neck of the animal.

For the reason that eagle has been educated to not eat the kill, the chicken will look forward to the grasp to catch up. Later, the berkutchi offers the eagle a small portion of the kill as a reward. The remainder of the kill is taken again to the village for meals and fur.

When do they hunt?

Though there aren't many eagle hunters in Kyrgyzstan anymore, the few that are there normally hunt through the winter season. This is called the searching season and it occurs between late October and February finish.

For the remainder of the 12 months, the eagle hunters must spend a minimum of 2 – 3 hours with their eagles lest the chicken turns into wild and harmful once more.

How lengthy do the Berkutchi and Eagle keep collectively?

Though there isn't any arduous and quick rule, most eagle hunters stick with their pets for round 20 years and type a powerful bond with them.

In these years, the eagle isn't only a searching companion or a method to an finish however is a member of the family of berkutchi's household. After 20 years, the berkutchi units the eagle free to renew its life within the wilderness.

That is absolutely a troublesome name for many eagle hunters and it takes a couple of days for the eagle to revert to its wild habits.

Nonetheless, that is how it's performed by the hunters in order that the inhabitants of free-living birds within the area stays sustained. This was notably useful when this custom was generally practiced throughout Central Asia.

The place to See Eagle Looking in Kyrgyzstan

Eagle Hunter
Eagle Hunter

Though this Kyrgyz nomadic custom will not be widespread anymore, there are a couple of eagle hunters nonetheless residing within the Issyk Kul area.

They're making an attempt to maintain this custom alive and move on the abilities to the youthful technology.

These eagle hunters are part of the Salbuurun Federation who organizes festivals in Kyrgyzstan through the winter and fall seasons.

A number of of those hunters work in affiliation with the native tour guides the place they manage a tour of Bokonbayevo village and showcase the eagles and their abilities to the vacationers.

For those who want to e book this tour and be taught extra about this historical custom, then you may verify contact Destination South Shore.

Web site:
Electronic mail: [email protected]
Cellphone Quantity: +996 772 673 307 (Cell and WhatsApp)

Salbuurun Demonstration Particulars

While you take this 1-hour day tour, right here is every part that you'll witness in a short while concerning the Kyrgyz tradition.

Eagle Looking Demonstration

Salbuurun Federation
Salbuurun Federation

In the beginning, you'll meet the eagle hunter who will information you to an open discipline with a horse race monitor.

The golden eagles are safely saved within the hunter's automotive and he brings the chicken out to indicate how he trains the chicken after which hunts the animals.

They may inform you your complete eagle coaching course of and that eagles reside 30 – 40 years. So, as soon as he lets go of the eagle, it has half lifetime to reside out within the wild.

They preserve the hood on the eagle's eyes your complete time to maintain it calm till they reveal the searching course of.

And also you additionally get an opportunity to carry the eagle which is sort of heavy. It feels notably intimidating when the eagle flaps its wings whereas being perched in your arm.

As soon as they've shared the coaching course of and historical past of this custom, one of many hunters walks to the highest of a close-by hill with the 2 eagles.

After that, the eagle hunter will get a small piece of meat and provides a high-pitched name to the eagle whose hood has been now eliminated. The eagle immediately assaults the peace of meat and snacks on it.

They present it to you with a rabbit and a stuffed fox as effectively and it may be fairly unbelievable(though a bit scary) to observe.

Archery Demonstration

Archery Demonstration
Archery Demonstration

After the searching demonstration, they transfer on to their horses to reveal their archery abilities. The eagles' eyes are lined once more and they're locations contained in the automotive throughout this a part of the demonstration.

As soon as they reveal their abilities, additionally they offer you an opportunity to check out archery over there and have a bit enjoyable.

Taigan Canines Utilized in Looking

Lastly, you might be proven essentially the most prestigious breed in Kyrgyzstan, the Taigan. They're sighthounds which might be used primarily for searching and are adopted by the higher class to indicate how rich they're.

There are only a few Taigan canines (round 40) left on this nation so it's a huge deal to have one in every of these.

They reveal the searching abilities of this magnificent canine utilizing a useless fox. The horseman pulls the useless fox alongside the again of the horse and the canines begin operating behind it.

These canines are bred to hunt so they're actually quick and highly effective and might simply catch their prey.

Nonetheless, that doesn't imply the canines are scary or harmful. Actually, they're fairly lovable and pleasant and have a tender wool coat. So, you'll really feel like caressing them and holding them shut.

Tips on how to Attain Bokonbayevo


Since Bokonbayevo is relatively a lesser-explored area by the vacationers, you have to to succeed in a better vacation spot first reminiscent of Bishkek or Karakol.

An alternative choice could be to make Bokonbayevo your base as there are a number of attention-grabbing sights round it for exploring reminiscent of Skazka Canyon, Jeti Oguz, Issyk Kul lake, and so forth.

Listed here are a couple of in style modes of transportation that you need to use to succeed in Bokonbayevo from totally different areas.


One of the vital in style modes of transportation in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, a marshrutka is a kind of minivan that may match a number of individuals at a time.

The marshrutkas are smaller than a bus however larger than a taxi and are comfy for each quick and lengthy journeys.

You may take a Marshrutka from Bishkek (Western Bus Station) or Karakol to succeed in Bokonbayevo. It would take 3-4 hours to succeed in from Bishkek and can price round 250 INR.

There are a number of marshrutkas in a day that you could get after 30 – 60 minutes of ready. From Karakol, you may get 4 marshrutkas at 12:20, 14:20, 15:20, and 16:30.

It takes round 2.5 hours to succeed in from Karakol and can price round 120 INR.

Shared Taxi

There are additionally shared taxis from totally different areas to Bokonbayevo however these shared taxis solely go away after they're full.

From Bishkek, you will discover shared taxis all through the day for 350 – 400 INR that can take 3 hours to succeed in. From Karakol, you may get shared taxis all through the day for 200 – 250 INR and it'll take round 2 hours to succeed in.

Night time Bus

If you're on the lookout for a extra comfy journey, then you may at all times take an evening bus from Bishkek that leaves at 9:00 p.m. and takes 6 hours to succeed in Bokonbayevo.

This journey will price you round 200 INR and you'll get the bus ticket from the Western Bus Station.

Non-public Taxi

Lastly, in case you are quick on time or don't have a budget-constraint then you may rent a personal taxi to succeed in Bokonbayevo. Ideally, it can price you round 2000 – 4000 INR (4-seater) relying on the place you begin from.

Non-public taxis generally is a little costly so be sure to cut price the associated fee earlier than hiring a taxi.

The place to Keep in Bokonbayevo

Yurt Camps in Kyrgyzstan
Yurt Camps in Kyrgyzstan

If you're planning to spend an evening in Bokonbayevo in an effort to discover this area, then don't fear. There are numerous choices out there right here.

Yurt Camps

Top-of-the-line methods to make your keep in Kyrgyzstan memorable is by spending an evening in a yurt camp round right here. There are a number of yurt camps all through Kyrgyzstan, particularly within the Bokonbayevo area.

Personally, we stayed within the Bel Tam Yurt Camp that was situated on the shore of Issyk Kul lake.

Top-of-the-line issues concerning the Bel Tam yurt camp is that it's heat and comfy and a fusion of western and nomadic tradition.

Right here, you may select to remain in a yurt camp and have entry to scorching water, eco-friendly bogs, showers, and many others. So, you get to expertise the nomadic tradition whereas being comfy.

Value: 850 INR/particular person for yurt keep and breakfast. 350 INR/particular person for a meal

There are a number of different yurt camps additionally out there on this space that you could search.

Visitor Homes and Accommodations

Aside from yurt camps, you even have a number of visitor homes and inns on this area that can cost you round 2000 – 3500 INR for the evening.

These lodging are clear and secure and you may as well get meals right here for an additional price. A number of choices to look out for are Aziza Visitor Home, Gulmira Guesthouse, Muras, Sherbet Guesthouse, and so forth.

ATMs in Bokonbayevo

There are a couple of ATMs out there in Bokonbayevo from the place you may withdraw money. Nonetheless, just remember to use an ATM that accepts VISA or Mastercard.

Additionally, since there are solely 2-3 ATMs on this area, it will be advisable to withdraw money from Bishkek itself to pay to your journey, keep, and actions on this area.

Cell Community in Bokonbayevo

There's an intermittent community close to the Issyk Kul lake area so that you may need some troubling connecting to the Web round right here.

Nonetheless, O! and Beeline do work splendidly in most areas of Kyrgyzstan so get these Sim playing cards whereas touring this nation.


We skilled this exceptional exercise with Destination South Shore Tour and it was simply out of the world.

The command that the hunters had over their eagles and the precision with which the eagle killed the animals was astounding. Whereas it was not a fairly sight because the eagles generally is a little scary, it was a good way to be taught extra concerning the Kyrgyz nomadic tradition.

Additionally, your complete tour was of round 1 hour together with the archery and horse driving demonstration so it was fairly enjoyable and effectively definitely worth the cash.

So, in case you are planning a visit to Kyrgyzstan anytime quickly, I might urge you to take this tour and find out how amazingly people and nature can co-exist peacefully and sustainably.

Support author of this article and visit his post, originally published HERE

This post is originally published at Meander Wander blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!