Nomad Games Astana 2024

Start
Sep 7, 2024
Astana
End
Sep 10, 2024
Astana
Duration
4 days
Price
US$650.00



TOUR OVERVIEW



Dead goat polo, belt wrestling and eagle hunting – the Nomad Games are exactly what they sound like. Beginning in 2014 with only ten sports, this is the fifth time the event will have been held - the first three times being on the shores of Lake Issyk Kol in Kyrgyzstan, followed by 2022 seeing Turkey have a turn, before it's returning to its Central Asian roots in Kazakhstan's capital.

This time there will be over 40 sports, with 3,000 athletes from 100 countries taking part. There are all the countries you'd expect to be involved like Kurgyzstan and Mongolia, but you might be surprised to see teams from the USA, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland, competing in horseback archery, tug of war, falconry, dead goat polo, ordo, and taigan hunting, just to name a few.

Not only can you see some of the most obscure sports you'll ever have come across, but there'll also be a traditional nomadic village built nearby, where a large yurt village will be set up, based on the times of Genghis Khan, with hundreds of yurts and wooden constructions and loads of people in national dress. Various customs and traditions will be displayed – from the birth of a child and his first steps, to a spectacular equestrian show.

We will incorporate the Opening Ceremony into our tour - probably the most exciting individual individual event of the whole thing, along with a variety of different events, and of course some sight-seeing of Astana itself.

View the full itinerary


World Nomad Games
World



If you like the look of this tour but the dates don't work for you, or you'd like to do part of the tour, please get in touch and let us know. All our tours are able to be split into smaller sections, we're always scheduling new tours and your dates might work for one of them, or we can always organise an independent tour.

This tour can be done as it is, but it is also the start of a 5 Stans Tour , for anyone wishing to see some more of Central Asia while you're here.

There is also a Polygon Extension directly preceding this tour, for anyone who wants to see another side of Kazakhstan as well.

INCLUSIONS:

Accommodation in twin share at roughly 3 star hotels, breakfast included

Transport as per itinerary

Entrance fees to events as per itinerary

Tour guiding during the tour


SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $200


EXCLUSIONS:

Visa fees if necessary

Visa support if necessary

Activities outside of those mentioned in the itinerary

Meals other than breakfast

Transport to and from the start and end of tour

Personal expenses such as souvenirs or any optional activities

Any COVID related expenses


Kok Boru
World Nomad Games


TOUR HIGHLIGHTS


See the Opening Ceremony of the Fifth World Nomad Games

Explore the futuristic and iconic buildings of modern Astana

Explore the many events of the Nomad Games including Kok Boru and Eagle Hunting



Itinerary
Day 1Sat Sep 7
Astana
  • We will spend today exploring this very spread out, but ridiculously impressive city. With the Nomad Games starting the following day, the city will be bustling and lively, so it's a great time for us to be there.
  • Built in 1997, Astana resembles in many ways other cities such as Ashgabat, or to a lesser extent Baku. Clearly built from nothing at the snap of a finger, several of the world's most iconic architects were given carte blanche and tasked with the epic job of designing an incredibly unique city.
  • We'll start the city tour with a visit to Bayterek. Sometimes referred to as the “Chupa Chup” because it looks like one, Bayterek has become a symbol of Astana. From the viewing platform, which is 97 meters high, symbolising the year of the city becoming capital, you can get spectacular views over the new city.
  • Next we'll visit the Palace of Independence, the shopping and entertainment centre "Khan Shatyr", probably Astana's most famous building. The building is in the shape of a giant, slightly lop-sided tent, and it's got everything inside that you might want. Restaurants, luxury shops, and even an aquapark which has sand imported from the Maldives.
  • What's in a name? Although currently known as  Astana, it was known as Nur Sultan (after the first President of Kazakhstan Nur Sultan Nazarbayev) from 2019 until 2022, before that the city was known as Astana for the first time. Before 1997 it was Tselinograd, and before that it was Akmola or Akmolinsk in Russian.
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Day 2Sun Sep 8
Opening Ceremony of World Nomad Games
  • Today marks the first day of the World Nomad Games, which is exactly what it sounds like - a colourful, vibrant and incredibly unique event, showcasing some of the coolest, weirdest and most amazing sports you'll ever come across.
  • First held in Kyrgyzstan in 2014, it was then held twice more in Kyrgyzstan before being handed over to Turkey for the 2022 games ( much to the outrage of most Kyrgyz and Kazakh ), but much to all of our relief, Kazakhstan has now been given the next one.
  • We will be attending the Opening Ceremony, which will be a concert and show-case of local and international musicians, sportspeople and entertainers.
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Day 3Mon Sep 9
Wold Nomad Games
  • Today the main events will kick off, and we will be seeing as much as we can of all the variety of sports.
  • Salbuurun is a sport based on the nomadic hunting routines. They would go on several day long group hunts, for which the best eagles, horses, riders, hunters and dogs would be selected. While returning home, the most nimble horseman would put the body of a wolf that they'd caught across the saddle and would gallop ahead of the group. The others would try to catch up with him and grab the wolf, attempting to display their own strength and agility. In the end the best rider would return home to the village and to show everyone his victory, would throw the wolf’s carcass at the elder’s yurt. And thus, Kok Boru was born.
  • The most famous and possibly most novel sport is Kok Boru, known in Afghanistan and Tajikistan as Buzkashi, and sometimes referred to in English as “Dead Goat Polo”. “Kok Boru” literally means “Grey Wolf” and originates from when Kyrgyz nomads would hunt wolves and play games with them. Nowadays the game involves two teams of men on horseback, each trying to get the decapitated goat or sheep which is the centre of the game, into the other team's goal, which is actually a large pit at the end of the pitch. It's absurdly fast-paced, very rough, and extremely exciting, but the decapitation of the animal at the beginning of the game is definitely not a site for the squeamish. (Don't worry, if you don't want to see the animal actually losing its head and limbs, you can easily not watch this part!)
  • Ordo, which means “Khan's headquarters” or “Khan's Palace” is a game played by kicking knuckle bones out of a circle drawn on the ground. It represents a military map, and originally the game was used as a training scheme to teach soldiers various strategies to use to defeat their enemies.
  • Another sport most likely based on military training, though the origins of this one aren't as clear, Er Enish is the wrestling of horsemen. The rules permit a lot of violence, and it's thought that it was used to train horsemen in cruel methods of melee combat to take down their enemies. For example grabbing your opponent's ribs or the muscles in their hands, or turning out their joints, are perfectly acceptable tactics to use.
  • In the nearby Genghis Khan style yurt village, there will be eagle hunting, equestrian displays, and demonstrations of arts and crafts and other ancient domestic traditions, just to name a few.
  • Of course there are many more sports and events you'll be able to witness, these are just a few of our favourites.
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Day 4Tue Sep 10
Astana, End of Tour
  • Today marks the end of this tour. Those continuing on with the 5 Stans Tour will fly to Bishkek this morning and continue to explore Central Asia from there. Those ending here will be taken to the airport or train station, or let us know if you'd like help organising anything else.
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Extensions
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Lakes, canyons and gorges, cosmpolitan and ancient cities, Soviet relics, odd architecture, yurts and way more. This tour of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan covers a huge variety of what Central Asia has to offer.

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5 Stans Autumn Whirlwind Tour
A great snapshot into 5 amazing countries.

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5 Stans Autumn Original Tour
Taking the scenic route from Astana to Ashgabat, this tour covers everything that makes Central Asia so special, including the World Nomad Games and Turkmenistan Independence Day.

Sept. 7, 2024
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5 Stans Autumn Original Tour
5 Stans Autumn Mega Tour
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Other Tours
4 Stans Autumn Tour
Lakes, canyons and gorges, cosmpolitan and ancient cities, Soviet relics, odd architecture, yurts and way more. This tour of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan covers a huge variety of what Central Asia has to offer.

Sept. 7, 2024
19 days
US$2830.00
4 Stans Autumn Tour
5 Stans Autumn Whirlwind Tour
A great snapshot into 5 amazing countries.

Sept. 7, 2024
23 days
US$3825.00
5 Stans Autumn Whirlwind Tour
5 Stans Autumn Original Tour
Taking the scenic route from Astana to Ashgabat, this tour covers everything that makes Central Asia so special, including the World Nomad Games and Turkmenistan Independence Day.

Sept. 7, 2024
27 days
US$4325.00
5 Stans Autumn Original Tour
5 Stans Autumn Mega Tour
Bishkek to Bukhara, Astana to Ashgabat, and everything in between. This epic tour will take you right across Central Asia through canyons and gorges, cosmopolitan cities, across land borders, and even to a fiery crater.

Sept. 7, 2024
32 days
US$4945.00
5 Stans Autumn Mega Tour

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