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.