Mongolia Photography Tour

Mongolia photography tour


  • 20 - 30 Aug 2019 Guided by 3 Local Photo Guides 3 Spots Left
  • 4 - 14 Sep 2019 Guided by 3 Local Photo Guides 2 Spots Left
  • 15 - 25 Sep 2019 Guided by 3 Local Photo Guides 2 Spots Left
  • 11-22 Aug 2020 Guided by 3 Local Photo Guides Available
  • 22 Aug - 1 Sep 2020 Guided by 3 Local Photo Guides Available
  • 1-11 Sep 2020 Guided by 3 Local Photo Guides Available


Mongolia is truly one of the world’s last hidden gems: pristine, undiscovered and brimming with a unique culture that has spanned over thousands of years. It is a place where you can experience far-reaching landscapes from dramatic mountains to canyons, deserts and crystal clear rivers and lakes; where the warm hospitality of the locals will move you to your very heart and soul. Known by legend as the “Land of the Blue Sky”, this ancient region is subjected to such extraordinary weather conditions that leave the sky strikingly cloudless for more than two thirds of the year. The result is an enchanting experience just waiting to be captured.


Total price: 7900 USD

Silk Road & Eagle Hunters of Mongolia Photography Adventure

The first part of our Mongolian adventure will have you immersing yourself in the vast, rugged expanse of the Gobi Desert – one of the last few places on Earth where nomadic life remains a living tradition. You will travel in specially prepared Toyota landcruisers with local drivers and find yourself welcomed into traditional Ger camps for the ultimate cultural experience. You will make your base at these camps in the essence of nature as you explore the wild and wondrous landscapes all around.

During a number of private sessions, you will have the incredible opportunity to meet and photograph the locals as they herd Bactrian camels across the sands of Southern Mongolia. You will also have the chance to partake in a profoundly special event – a private viewing of the Golden Eagle Festival in West Mongolia. This annual festival is the only place on the planet where you can witness Kazakh eagle hunters celebrating their heritage by performing the ancient art of eagle falconry. After the festival, you will be whisked away to a number of remarkable mountain locations for a breathtakingly intimate encounter with the eagle hunters, as you photograph them framed against a backdrop of some of the most impressive scenes to be found in nature.

Be inspired by the untamed beauty of Mongolia. Join us on this thrilling photography workshop for an intense cultural experience that will have you practicing portrait, landscape and genre photography in-field in one of the most captivating countries in the world!

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival

You will arrive in Ulaanbaatar (Airport Code ULN), where you will be met by our drivers and transferred to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day at your leisure to explore the city, a melting pot of cultures where East meets West, before meeting your guides and the rest of your group at 7pm in the hotel lobby. You will then be driven to a local restaurant for a welcome dinner, during which you will be able to sink your tastebuds into some of the delicious regional fare on offer and get to know your fellow travellers a little bit more. Over dinner, your guides will give you a brief overview of the itinerary and prepare you for the days ahead. You will stay overnight in Ulaanbaatar.

** Please note: International flights are not included in the price of this tour. When booking flights, please choose one that will land on this day before 5pm. Options include via Beijing, Seoul or Moscow. However, it is recommended that you arrive one or two days in advance to ensure that you will be well-rested and that you will not miss your morning flight on Day 2.

Day 2

After breakfast, you will meet together as a group and board a domestic flight from Ulaanbaatar to Dalanzadgad. The flight time is 1.5 hours. Please note that the flight schedule will only be released in March. In the case that no flights are available, we will travel by cars from Ulaanbaatar towards Dalanzadgad at no additional cost. We ask that you only purchase your international flight tickets after the point that local flights are announced.

Depending on your arrival time in Dalanzadgad, if time permits then you will head towards the Khongor sand dunes – the most important sand mass of the Gobi desert – for a sunset shoot. Suddenly arising from the plains and reaching breathtaking heights, these dunes are undoubtedly among the most spectacular in the country. Beyond the dunes, the steppe extends as far as the eye can see, making for a mind-blowing scene.

You will spend the night in a tourist Ger camp. Amenities include electricity and a shower. The Ger camp is heated with 2 persons allocated to each Ger. Each person will have their own bed with linen, blanket and a pillow provided.

Day 3

The adventure truly begins! You will have a sunrise session at the Khongor sand dunes, where a camel herder will be waiting to provide you with an exciting and private shoot with camels. The sunrise is sacred to Mongolians, as they believe that the first rays of the sun revives the spirit. You will have the chance to experience this principle first-hand as you witness the rays streaking across the undulating curves of the Gobi Desert, painting the mountains behind them with a blushing glow.

During the day, you will convene with your guides for an image review, critique and post-processing session at the kitchen Ger.

In the evening, be prepared for a sunset shoot in the magnificent Gobi desert, followed by an unimaginable shoot beneath the fabric of the night sky, adorned with a veil of countless shimmering stars.

You’ll retire for the night at the same tourist Ger.

Day 4

On this day, you’ll have an early sunrise session at the Khongor sand dunes. Thereafter, you’ll be treated to a hearty breakfast and begin making your way towards the Bayanzag red sand cliffs, arriving by the afternoon. Otherwise known as the “flaming cliffs”, these smoldering ridges take on a life of their own at sunset, during which you will have the chance to photograph their fiery edges ablaze with the light of the sun from a number of panoramic locations.

You will retire for the night in a small Ger camp.

Day 5

The adventure continues with a 1.5 hour flight from Dalanzadgad airport back to Ulaanbaatar. This flight is included in the price of the tour, though flight times will only be released in March so please only arrange your international airfares once we have access to the local flight itinerary.

Once you arrive in Ulaanbaatar, you will be transferred to a comfortable hotel in the city centre and have the chance to rest before meeting once again with your group for dinner in a local restaurant.

You will retire for the evening in Ulaanbaatar.

Day 6

The day begins early with a 3-hour commercial flight to Ulgii city from Ulaanbaatar. From there, our drivers will pick you up and take you towards your next destination – the welcoming home of a Kazakh family, where you will be presented with the opportunity of a lifetime to capture portraits of the locals dressed in traditional clothing.

In the afternoon, you will have an exhilarating sunset shoot with several eagle hunters poised regally with sweeping mountains all around, making for a series of captivating photos. After sunset, our drivers will return you to Olgii, where you will have dinner with your group before retiring for some much needed rest for the night.

You will spend the night in a simple hotel with a shower, access to wifi and electricity.

Day 7

After breakfast with the group, you will return to the home of the Kazakh family from the day before. Be prepared for a day of breathtaking wonder, as you partake in an experience of traditional Kazakh heritage that you’ll never forget. This is the day that you will witness a private Golden Eagle Festival. Our private session will be different from the much busier public festival, during which it is almost impossible to take home any photographs of much value due to the sheer number of people in the background. During our private session,you will have full access to take as many stunning photos as you like while the Kazakhs demonstrate their majestic skills in eagle falconry on horseback with nothing but the landscape all around. Clad in traditional coats and scarlet hats, the eagle hunters will exhibit their mighty finesse in a whirlwind of fearlessness as Golden Eagles perch strongly upon their arms. You will even have the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with the Golden Eagles, as well as to allow one to perch upon your own arm.

Afterwards, we will have a private portrait session with up to 20 eagle hunters across a number of diverse locations, spanning mountain ridges to grassy marshlands where reflections and horses hooves crashing into the water will make for immeasurably heart-stopping moments and magnificent photos.

In the evening, we will return back to Olgii where you will retire to your hotel.

Day 8

After yesterday’s excitement, you’ll be glad to wake to a slow morning after a long night’s sleep and to tuck into a hearty breakfast., following which you will head towards the stunning wilderness at the foothills of the Mongolian Altai mountain range. This spectacular region is home to many different ethnic groups and five striking holy peaks – of which Tsambagarav, standing at 4208 metres tall, will be your magnificent backdrop for the day. On this day, we have arranged for you to participate in private photo sessions with five eagle hunters, who will demonstrate their prowess in an incredible 360° location surrounded by jagged, rocky ridges to one side and snow-capped mountains to the other.

In the evening, you will return to Olgii and retire for the night in your hotel.

Day 9

Following on from another epic day, you’ll have the chance to rest in the morning before heading out together as a group for lunch in the town of Olgii. From there, your drivers will transport you to a crystal blue lake, where you will have the opportunity to photograph three eagle hunters set against a panoramic rocky viewpoint. The magic takes hold when the sun begins to set, bathing the eagle hunters in the last rays of warm sunlight. It’s a wonderful occasion to practice shooting with a person for scale, demonstrating the power of the eagle hunters against the immense beauty of the landscape.

You’ll return to Olgii in the evening and retire for the night at your hotel.

Day 10

After a hearty breakfast in the morning, you’ll depart from Olgii airport on a flight back to Ulaanbaatar. This 3-hour flight is included in the price of the tour. On return to Ulaanbaatar, you will check in to your hotel, after which you will have a few hours to explore the city centre at your leisure.

In the evening, you will meet your group for a final farewell dinner at a restaurant in Ulaanbaatar before retiring for the night to your hotel.

Day 11

You will be transferred by our drivers to the Ulaanbaatar airport (code ULN). The private transfer is included in the price of the tour. You can select any flight on this day to return home or to continue your journey elsewhere around the world.

Total Price :7900 USD per person.
Single Room Supplement :750 USD
Registration deposit: 2000 USD
Maximum Number of Participants: 14
Payment in Full: 90 days prior to the workshop's starting date.

Sign me up!
After you signup, we’ll send you a recommended camera gear and packing list. Please pay special attention to things that we say are absolutely required.
Included:
  • Sharing twin accommodation in hotels where available
  • Ger camp /All accommodations/
  • All transportation: 4 Domestic flights and ground transport by well-prepared Toyota Land Cruisers, 3 persons per car
  • Drivers
  • Fuel
  • Photography Guides and Tour leaders services
  • National park fees
  • Meals
  • Chef’s services
  • Private Eagle hunting mini festival, Eagle hunting activity – all stages and model fees
  • Beverages (water)
  • Additionally we prepare electric cord line, power generators for remote places with no electricity
Not Included:
  • Medical insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Visas (but we will prepare all needed documents for your visa – invitations, supporting letters etc)
  • Single supplement in hotels (750 USD) – in Ger camp in Gobi twin accommodation, single supplement for hotel basis (Olgii, UB)
  • Extra baggage charge (Limit of baggage in Domestic flight is 15kg total carry on and check in), around 2-5 usd charge per extra kg paid by credit card at the airport

What to bring

Gear:
  • DSLR camera with tripod and remote shutter release
  • A wide angle lens. For example, Nikkor 14-24 or Canon 17-40. Best lens for use in wide-angle scenes or architecture photography
  • A middle-zoom lens such as a 24-70 mm
  • A telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-200 mm
Wear:
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket (consider the average temperatures +5 – 20 C)
  • Waterproof pants
  • Warm down-jacket and thermal pants
  • Casual clothes for dinners and lunches and photography workshops
Full list of recommended wear will be sent to participants.

Accommodation and food



During this photo tour, you will be staying in an amazing hotel within Ulaanbaatar city centre. In Olgii, you will stay in a more basic hotel, though we can assure you that it will be the best in town. This hotel will have a private shower and toilet in each room, electricity and wifi.

When in the Gobi Desert, you will be staying in a heated Ger tent with beds, pillows and linen provided. Sleeping arrangements will be 2 people per Ger, with women and men separated. Electricity is available within every tent in Gobi, as well as in the kitchen tent at the Flaming Cliffs. Please be aware that facilities are basic camping style outside with a sheltered toilet (normal toilet, not a hole in the ground). All dining in Gobi will be in a special Ger tent. There will be no wifi available in Gobi, though slow cellular Internet connection is partially available. There are no hotels in Gobi, only Ger camps. This is an incredible experience designed to get you out of your comfort zone and into the pristine surrounds of nature.

During the extension part of the tour only, you will stay in a traditional Ger tent with a stove in the remote region of Altai. The Ger will be heated in the night and allowed to cool by the morning. You will be sleeping on a mattress / carpet in a camel sleeping bag that is provided. If you are particularly sensitive to the cold, then you may bring your own down sleeping bag. There will be a toilet outside for you to access (a hole in the ground with a mobile tent around it) and electricity is available via a generator which is only run for 2-3 hours in the evening.

Please note that all meals will be provided by our talented chef during this tour. Although it is difficult to obtain vegetables in Mongolia, we will ensure that good vegetarian options are available.

Physical difficulty



The main photo tour in Mongolia is easy to moderate in terms of physical activity. Most of the locations, even in the mountains, will be easily accessible from where our drivers will park. The first and second locations in West Mongolia are about a 50-100 metre walk from the car, whereas the third location involves a 300 metre walk with a 20-30 metre ascent on a 20-30% slope to reach a small panoramic hill. At the Gobi Desert, you will need to be prepared to walk in sand dunes, which can be moderately physical in nature. We recommend that you bring hiking poles for this part of the tour, which is usually a 30-40 minute walk to reach the beautiful inner dunes.

At night, the temperatures may be cooler, so please be prepared in the way of warm clothing – particularly for the extension tour in the remote Altai mountain range.

During this tour, you will travel in Landcruisers on mostly unpaved roads. In West Mongolia, it will be a 1-2 hour drive to the location and back. The drive from Dalanzadgad to the Gobi Desert is 4-5 hours there and back.

Weather: (Averages in September)



--Coldest: +1°C to -2°C
--Normal: 6°C to +8°C
--Warmest: +13°C to +16°C

The Gobi desert is the warmest area in Mongolia. But it’s autumn time and it gets cold in the night time. So please take your warm clothes. Full packing list will be sent to participants 2-3 months before the trip start.

Tour Guides

BAYAR BALGANTSEREN


Bayar graduated with a degree in economy and he took on photography in 2007. He taught himself through online study and relentless practice.

Bayar uses mostly Nikon equipment and specializes in nature, wildlife, landscape, and traditional Mongolian nomadic lifestyle photography.

His first photography book, Bayar’s Photography Impressions, was published in 2013.
--An exhibition to celebrate his work was held in Mongolia at the Blue Moon gallery in January 2013.
--In February 2014, Bayar showcased his work in three Japanese cities – Tokyo, Saitamo, and Yokohama – with an exhibition called Beautiful Sceneries of Mongolia
--Also he held exhibition in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, Irkutsk, Yakutsk, Chita cities Russia, in January 2015 and 2016
--His exhibitions were in Bassano del Grappa on 19 September – 8 November 2015, 2017 Italy.
--And in Dolo city on 28 February – 6 March 2016 in Italy. Arxian city on15-30 December in 2016 China.
--“Beautiful Mongolia” Ottawa 2-15 March 2017 in Canada.
--“Beauty of Mongolia” Krakow city 25-30 October Poland

In the past four years, Bayar’s travel photography has been featured in multiple Mongolia magazines: National Geographic Traveler, Deejis, Goodali, Mongolian Photo, and Wonderful Life.

Awards:
--Won First Place at the Glowing Sunsets Photography Competition organized by Canon in 2014
--Very Popular Photo at the Mongolian Photography exhibition held by Cresc. 5. Japan, 2013
--Nominated First Place for Nature Photography at the Mongolian Press Photo competition, 2012
--Won Third Place at the Mongolian Birds Photography Contest organized by the Mongolian Centre for Wildlife Protection, 2012
--Best Participant in the EZNis Contest My Beautiful country – 2012
--Nominated one of the 40 best photos of the Mongolian Flickr group 2012
--Won Best Photo at the CIS corporate photography competition aimed at promoting Mongolia worldwide, 2011

Erdenebulgan Battsengel


Erdenebulgan is a landscape, travel photographer. He took photograph since 2011.

In the past years, Erdenebulgan’s photography has been featured in multiple magazines: Lonely Planet, Viewbug, Deejis, Goodali, National Geographic Mongolia etc…
2015: Feeling Chain – Photo exhibition
Awards:
--Winner in the EZNis Contest My Beautiful country – 2012
--Winner in the “Hureelen” Best of Mongolia photo contest – 2014
--Winner in the Delta outfitters photo contest – 2015
--Also many 3rd place awards and best participants..

Anton Agarkov


Anton Agarkov is a travelling photographer and journalist with more than ten years of shooting experience. Anton shoots mostly landscape and travel stories and organises photography workshops and expeditions in Russia and Central Asia in which he spends more than 200 days a year. His outmost interest lies in the territories of natural parks and reserves as well as hard to reach territories. Anton have a vast experience in shooting in harsh weather conditions such as snow and sandstorms, extreme cold and heat. Anton is Tamron ambassador in Russia and pro-rider for Marmot Russia. Works on regular basis with Nikon, Lowepro, Carl Zeiss and multiple other brands. Organises lectures and workshops on traveling and photography.

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Cancellation and Refund Policy

We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:

Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.
75 days or more: 75% refund
60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund


Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.

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