11 Day Mongolia Photography Tour
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.
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 what usually takes place during the Golden Eagle Festival in West Mongolia. This private session with 20-25 eagle hunters is the perfect opportunity to witness Kazakh eagle hunters celebrating their heritage by performing the ancient art of eagle falconry. After the session, 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!
Day 1 - Day 1: Arrival
Day 2 - Day 2: Dalanzadgad
Day 3 - Day 3: Khongor Sand Dunes, Gobi Desert
Day 4 - Day 4: Khongor Sand Dunes, Bayanzag Red Sand Cliffs
Day 5 - Day 5: Ulaanbaatar
Day 6 - Day 6: Olgii
Day 7 - Day 7: Private Golden Eagle Festival
Day 8 - Day 8: Mongolian Altai Mountain Range
Day 9 - Day 9: Olgii
Day 10 - Day 10: Ulaanbaatar
Day 11 - Day 11: Departure
Accommodation & 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 tourist 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.
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.
We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.
The tour will always dependent on weather, as the weather can be highly unpredictable.
2-12 Aug 2024: Guided by Andy Marty, Bayar, Baynaa & Ebu