Spirit of the Nomad
The Kyrgyz Republic
Travel with local shepherds, falconers and guides across the Kyrgyz highlands, hunting with eagles, riding on horseback and staying in yurts.
The Mission
Use ecotourism to fight poverty in Central Asia, while raising awareness for the region's beauty and potential as an adventure travel destination.

• • •
The Backstory
Around the world, there are millions of people who struggle because they lack a basic necessity that some of us take for granted: the ability to build a livelihood and provide for their families; simply put, a job. I’m not talking about a fulfilling career or high-paying salary, but the security of being able to feed yourself and family at the end of the day.

This struggle is a fact of life for people living in the isolated mountains of Central Asia. Home to some of the most challenging and impassable sections of the ancient Silk Road, these extreme landscapes have traditionally been an economic barrier for the local communities. Today, they are finding ways to turn their mountains into an economic advantage — a sustainable resource from which they can build sustainable livelihoods.
“These extreme landscapes have traditionally been an economic barrier for the local communities. Today, they are finding ways to turn their mountains into an economic advantage.”
Central Asia has some of our world's most captivating mountains and lush valleys, but it's also challenged by the insurmountable obstacles locals face as they build futures for themselves and families. Although there were, and still are, few work opportunities in the region, some innovative locals have discovered a ray of hope through the development of community-based tourism, adventure travel, and hospitality initiatives.

Unlike mainstream tourism, which often involves all-inclusive packages and multi-national tours, community-based tourism takes place in rural regions that are often poor or economically marginalized. Local residents welcome travelers into their own homes and villages, enabling them to earn incomes as land managers, entrepreneurs and service providers. Through this model, travelers participate in genuine cultural exchange while locals benefit from hyper-local spending. With the highest mountain ranges in the world, no shortage of breathtaking landscapes, and kind-hearted locals, Central Asia is an unparalleled destination for adventure travelers. Unfortunately, it can be nearly impossible for people to find dependable information online regarding the logistics and accommodations necessary to live this hyper-local experience.
The Expedition
We're building a team of travelers to trek by foot and horseback across the Tian Shan mountains and live like nomads alongside Kyrgyz hunters and shepherds.

• • •
Together we’ve built a true adventure, guided by a team of locals including Ruslan, a Kyrgyz hunter who raises and trains Berkut Eagles for hunting foxes, rabbits and other animals for meat and pelts. We became friends last year while visiting his small village in Kyrgyzstan, where he told me about his long family heritage of falconers who raise birds of prey. Today, the countless hours Ruslan spends training his eagles not only provides food and furs for his family but also provides over 50% of his annual income, through demonstrations and eagle shows given to visitors.
Date
June, 2017
Capacity
4-8 Travelers
Price
$1,850
Get Involved
Request Information
The Kyrgyz Republic
June, 2017
4-8 Travelers
As low as $1,850
Like the merchants who once traversed this mountainous stretch of the Silk Road, you’ll travel with a caravan of shepherds, falconers, and local guides across the Kyrgyz highlands, hunting with eagles, riding on horseback, and staying in yurts.

Read more
This is an active 10-day journey, passing through the hidden valleys of the Central Asian steppe and windswept passes of the Tian Shan mountains. The Kyrgyz take great pride in the snow-capped peaks, charging rivers, cavernous gorges, and deep-green forested valleys that make up their homeland. Both an outdoor and cultural adventure, you’ll have the chance to soak up their culture and live as they live, making lasting friendships along the way.

Most of the journey will be spent on horseback and foot as we navigate alpine meadows and lakes, traversing mountain passes (up to 13,000 ft.) and the high pastures of local herdsmen. After a long day of trekking, relax in traditional Kyrgyz yurts, intimate mountain huts, and pristine tented camps. Our diet will mirror the fresh, seasonal dishes of the locals. Activities include traditional hunting with Berkut eagles, high-alpine trekking to natural hot springs, horseback riding to remote shepherds camps, and ample opportunities to learn about the rich history of the Tian Shan Mountain Range.
Meet the Team
3 more travelers to unlock trip!
Ruslan
Adventure Leader
Ruslan comes from a long line of traditional falconers and hunters. His ancestors used highly trained eagles, falcons, and other birds of prey to capture foxes, rabbits, and other animals for meat and pelts. Today the countless hours Ruslan spends training his eagles not only provides food and furs for his family, but also 50% of his annual income is generated by taking foreigners on backcountry hunting expeditions.
A Few Highlights
7 Spots Left!
June, 2016
For each person that joins, everyone's price drops!
4 People: $2,299
5 People: $2,225
6 People: $2,125
7 People: $1,990
8 People: $1,850
What's Included
All accommodations (yurts, tents, local homestays)

All in-country transportation

All meals

Horse

8-day horseback trek with local shepherds

3-day hunting adventure with traditional Berkut eagles

3-day mountain trek with local shepherds

Not Included
Travel insurance

International flights

Additional meals or drinks

Interested in joining?
Request Invite