Kyrgyzstan’s wild mountainous terrain supports some exceptionally unique wildlife that you can only find in the high mountain peaks of Central Asia’s ranges. This includes the snow leopard, the Siberian Ibex, the Tien Shan Brown Bear, and many more. The harsh, captivating mountain landscapes can only be survived by the strongest and most adaptive creatures. One of the world’s rarest and exotic animals can be counted among them – the Marco Polo sheep.
MARCO POLO SHEEP
Marco Polo sheep are the largest of all big-horned sheep and have an extremely distinctive appearance with massive horns that look like someone took a large curling iron to them. They were first seen and recorded by Marco Polo in the 13th century and have always been an elusive animal to spot. Their natural habitat includes the countries of China, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Kyrgyzstan at high mountain elevations usually between 3,700 to 4,800 meters (12,100 to 15,700 ft). Due to overhunting, Marco Polo sheep numbers have dropped quite low, but they can still be seen traipsing around the mountains in herds of a few dozen.
CRAZY FACTS ABOUT MARCO POLO SHEEP
- When Marco Polo sheep fight, the crack from the collision of their horns can be heard kilometers away.
- Marco Polo sheep can weigh over 135 kg (300 lbs).
- They have the longest horns of any sheep in the world.
- The longest Marco Polo sheep horns ever recorded were 190 centimeters (6.2 feet) long.
- They only have an average lifespan of 13 years.
- Snow leopards are really the only natural predator of the Marco Polo sheep (besides humans).
MARCO POLO PHOTO HUNTS IN KYRGYZSTAN
Here in Kyrgyzstan, it’s possible to catch glimpses of Marco Polo sheep either in the eastern or southern stretches of the country. Marco Polo photo hunts in Kyrgyzstan offer travelers a chance to dive into the Kyrgyz wilderness in search of these elusive animals. For people taking tours to Kyrgyzstan, a Marco Polo sheep photo hunt is an excellent way to spice up your vacation. Few people in the world have gotten a glimpse of these magnificent creatures, so if you take a trip to Kyrgyzstan in 2015, make sure to sign up for a photo hunt.
TRIP TO KYRGYZSTAN 2015: TRAVEL TO KYRGYZSTAN VISA FREE
A huge plus of going on a Marco Polo photo hunt in Kyrgyzstan is that it’s easy to get into the country for many travelers. Traveling to Kyrgyzstan has never been easier because citizens of 44 countries (including the USA and most of the EU) can travel to Kyrgyzstan visa free for up to 60 days! So as you’re thinking about a trip to Kyrgyzstan in 2015, keep in mind that it’s cheap and hassle-free.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR A PHOTO HUNT?
If you travel to Kyrgyzstan for a Marco Polo photo hunt, you’ll want to take a couple things into consideration. First of all, the best months to spot Marco Polo sheep in Kyrgyzstan are October and November. Since you’ll be at high elevations for this kind of traveling in Kyrgyzstan, clothing for extremely cold temperatures is highly recommended! Secondly, you’ll most likely spot a herd from afar, so make sure to bring the appropriate camera equipment. Also be prepared to spend a good amount of time on horseback if you’re planning on tours to Kyrgyzstan that include Marco Polo photo hunts. To get to the higher elevations where the sheep can be found, horses may be the only way to navigate the rugged terrain. Besides the use of horses, you will also spend some time trekking around at high elevations in order to catch of glimpse of the sheep. This will require a decent amount of physical exertion, so come prepared!
EMBRACE THE ADVENTURE
So as you’re traveling in Central Asia, take some time to explore Kyrgyzstan and sign up for a photo hunt to capture a shot of Marco Polo sheep for yourself! These rare, beautiful animals are a sight to behold and you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to witness them in their natural habitat. Just ask your travel agency in Bishkek how to sign up for a photo hunt and begin your journey to seeing one of the world’s most exotic animals with your own eyes.