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Mongolia Photo Tour and Eagle Training Experience

6,950 US$03 Jul 2019

A full-fledged Mongolia Photo Tour Naadam festival and Eagle Training experience where we get to know the rural, little known Mongolia. This trip is focused around contact with people – real people- who are living their lives in small, rural areas, telling the story of their life alongside their animals, out in the arid expanse of their land.

Aside from spontaneous photography, several photo sessions have been set up in advance to be more intimate and have a closer contact.

You can have a glance at this experience visiting my post Mongolia Photo Tour  Post and get an idea about one of my Photo Tours in What is a Typical Day like.

This is a Mongolia Photo Tour where we will  stage private  photo sessions with eagle hunters, former Mongolia Eagle Festival champions and also with  horse trainers, nomads living in their camps,  Mongolian models traditionally dressed, as well as other typical sports (horse racing, Mongolian fighting, archers, etc..) come to show off for the Naadam festival.

Read an interesting post on how is my Mongolia Photo Tour

A Mongolia couple wearing proudly their medals

HIGHLIGHTS

  • • Small group of only 8 maximum participants, guided in areas which have until now hardly been photographed, and group accompaniment by an internationally acclaimed photographer with great knowledge of the region.
  • •Get an intense  private photo sesión with the traditional EAGLE HUNTERS and witness the training of the eagle
  • •The rural Naadam festivities outside Ulaan Baatar: avoid the crowds and get to a more intimate experience
  • •Several  photo sessions with fighters, horse races, white camels, dancers whirling with skirts flaring, archers, military musicians
  • •Enjoy private photo sesión and document a horse taming in a Nomadic landscape
  • •Travel all the way in comfortable 4x4 mith a maximum of 3 participants in each car and avoid  harsh russian 4x4 cars.
  • • First class hotel in Ulaan Baatar and best available  tented camps along the trip

We will be meeting the real Mongolia: fighters, local people in their homes, horse races, white camels, dancers whirling with skirts flaring, archers loosing into the sky, eagles soaring, and in one of the most impressive landscapes anyone can imagine.

This photo workshop begins in Ulaan Baatar, the capital, but quickly seek out the small, tight knit rural communities to document the rural Naadam festivities instead of staying in the big city, much more mass-market and also fairly inaccessible, as the majority of the festival and competitions take place inside of a giant stadium.

We take great care to cultivate ties and set up options in the smaller, more intimate rural areas. We will see them with their horses, great herds of them, and, among many other surprising things, witness an actual horse taming against the dramatic backdrop of the steppes.

After the Naadam experience, we’ll head west to stay with a champion of the Mongolia Eagle festival and learn the story of him and his magnificent birds.

The Kazak people have used their beautiful golden eagles as hunting birds for generations. The hunters (called kusbegi) are taught their trade fathers to son and do not speak of the training or bonding process with outsiders. They are so close with their animals that they can feed their eagles by hand – but only the handler has such confidence, all others might be bitten or worse.

In the capital we will sleep in first class hotels. Our transport will be Japanese made 4x4s cars instead of the typical Russian vans, as those are uncomfortable for long trips or off roading.

 

The trip to Ethiopia was a dream come true. It felt as though I had been dropped right into the pages of National Geographic Magazine, which I read as a child, and which instilled a thirst for travel to Africa.

 

Harry ‘s organization and guidance leave nothing to chance. He uses wonderful people on the ground to drive, guide, and make each experience seamless. The festivals and amazing opportunities, remote and wonderful locations are trademarks of his trips.

Harry is a genuine character, with a wonderful sense of humour, an eye for the magic in photographic situations, and a natural teacher’s ability to explain how to make use of light, line and composition in our shots.

This trip was my third with Harry, and a true testament to his ability and to the opportunities he exposes us to is that I am planning trips number four and five only 10 days after my return from Ethiopia.

Thank you Harry for an unforgettable experience.

 

Lynda Greenberg.  Toronto Ontario



ITINERARY


Day 1: ARRIVE IN ULAAN BAATAR

We start our adventure today as we are met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. After check in, we’ll start with a quick tour of the Mongolian Capital.

Ulaanbaatar, which means Red City in the native language, is a weird and aesthetically interesting mix of then and now. We’ll start out with a more spontaneous photo session in the streets, taking in the mix of modern westernized houses with the lingering vestiges of the Soviet Era, mostly in the form of drab, uniform row homes.

After a tour around the major sites and back alleys, we’ll head over to the Chojin temple. There we have a set photo session with two models in traditional Mongolian dress. Besides that, the Chojin temple itself is of great photographic interest. It is a sprawling temple complex which Stalin had converted into a museum in the late 1930s.

After our photo sessions we will have a photosession with models dressed in typical outfit.

Overnight in hotel. (L/D)


Day 2: ULGII, THE KAZAKS , EAGLE TRAINING

We will meet at the hotel and transfer by car to the airport to catch our flight to Ulgii. This town is centrally located in the far western province of the country of Bayan-Ulgii. It is town with a high population of Kazaks – a nationally recognized minority. They live very traditionally and are known best for carefully preserving their culture and traditions.

We will have several photography sessions today, one light, off the cuff, around the town as we explore, and other posed and set sessions with the local people. One of these sessions will include one of the most gorgeous and unique photographic opportunities, which is a chance to get personal with the famed Eagle Hunters of Ulgii.

Of course as well we will stop along our way for some short sessions of the incomparable landscapes; mountains rising sharp and hard against a bright, clear sky, o’ertop of rolling endless miles of countryside.

Overnight in tent at the Kazakh family (with in-tent toilet) (B/L/D)


Day 3: EAGLE TRAINING EXPERIENCE

We will be visiting an eagle training facility where the family that has run it for generations will show us how they train and then use the eagles for hunting, and we will meet a multi time champion of the Golden Eagle Festival.

We will be spending the first half of the day photographing the training and then hunting process of these great birds, and have plenty of time with the trainer as well, getting to know him, and telling the story not only of his process, but his rich and storied history with these animals, the land, and their culture.

In the afternoon , we will head into town to stay at a hotel, to get ready for our flight the next day.

Overnight in Hotel (B/L/D).


Day 4: FLY TO ULAAN BAATAR- ULAAN BAATAR

Fly back Ulaanbaatar and check in our hotel. Next,we will visit Gandan. In the afternoon, attend Mongolian traditional culturalperformance which is one of the most interesting and authentic performances in Ulaanbaatar.

Accommodation: Hotel. (B/L)


Day 5: DRIVE TO ELSENTASARKHAI / SAND DUNES/ CAMEL HERDER FAMILY

After breakfast, start the countryside adventure to Elsentasarkhai. Elentasarkhai is a beautiful area of mountain steppes, green meadows and sand dunes. Arrive at Elsentasarkhai by lunch time. Have a lunch at a ger camp and visit camel herding family. See and photograph the camel herder’slife and show. Journey continues to Kharkhorin.In the evening, see the traditional performance.

Accommodation: ger camp. (B/L/D).


Day 6: NAADAM IN in KHARKORIN

Today we will be visiting the Naadam of the town of Kharkorin, set in a wide valley on the banks of the Orkhon River. We will arrive in the morning to photograph the opening ceremony of this wonderful festival, before moving on to photo sessions with the rest of the day’s events.

We will have a plethora of opportunities, from horse racing, to wrestling, and traditional archery competitions where we can be up close and personal with the competitors. We will have several hours to photograph all these events, and the milling in the aftermath; proud Mongolians in fine traditional clothing, showing off their medals and their beautiful horses.

As it will take place in a small town we will also have access to the local schools and official buildings. And of course, the food! We’ll be served up some true Mongolian hospitality in the form of sharing their famous Huushuur, a fried meat pie.

Overnight in the camp. (B/L/D).


Day 7: KHARKORIN / ERDENEZUU MONASTERY

We will wake up early, ready to start the second day of our Naadam adventure, and after breakfast we will head to the ancient and breath-taking monastery of Erdenezuu. A unique photographic experience, this monastery is over 400 years old but situated in the distinctly modern atmosphere of Kharkorin. The temple’s name means Hundred Treasures, and it certainly is worth that many, having been built from the bricks of the ancient city of Kharkorum which once stood here. We will be also visiting an active temple section where monks still practice, chanting and burning incense.

After our visit and session at the temple, we’ll continue on our photo shoot of the Naadam, which will include more events, and the phenomenal closing ceremony.

Overnight in the camp. (B/L/D).


Day 8: HERDING NOMADS

Today we’ll bid Kharkorin a fond farewell and head northwards to another Ger camp in the wilds of Mongolia. Our destination is the encampment of a nomad family.

Once we arrive we will have several photography sessions throughout the day including an up close and personal experience with horse training and breaking – watching the expert tamers weave around and rein the wild geldings in their care, and some portrait work with the nomads as they go about their daily life alongside their ever present animals.

We will stay and eat and have accommodation in the Ger camp. (B/L/D)


Day 9: ULAAN BAATAR

Today we start the long drive back to Ulaan Baatar. Once we arrive in the Red City we will check in at the hotel and have a little rest.

During the afternoon we will have another chance to do some spontaneous shooting along the streets of the city, looking for opportunities we may have missed before.

Overnight at Hotel. (B/L/D).


Day 10: ULAAN BAATAR -DEPARTURE

Transfer to the airport and end of services. (B).



Prices per person
8 Participants 6950 US$


Supplements
Single Room Surcharge Main Itinerary 1130 US$
Less than 8 participants surcharge 400 US$


WHAT'S INCLUDED

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy and for 8 travelers (see the surcharge for less if aplicable). A limited quantity of single-occupancy rooms are available for an additional charge.

 

The maximum number of participants are listed under "Maximum Group" in the Price section of each individual workshop. 

 

There will be  long drives,  bumpy roads and long distances  in   remote areas, but we pride ourselves on comfort and we’ll roll out in our air conditioned 4x4s. First class hotel in Ulaan Baatar  and Tents in Tented Camps along the trip. We’ve made sure to secure the very best accommodations available for every stop on our trip. 

 

SERVICES INCLUDED

 

  • - Tutoring by photographer/expert Harry Fisch
  • - Reception at  airport on arrival
  • - Local Flight
  • - Specified transfers
  • - Transportation by 4x4 vehicles air conditioned. Maximum 3 photographers per car
  • - All the trip with Toyota or similar 4x4 no russian cars
  • - Accommodation in 1st. class hotels, tourist and local hotels and tents in double rooms 
  • - All meals except three days (As listed in the Itinerary)
  • - All visits
  • - Expert English Speaking Guide

 

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED

 

  • - International Flights 
  • - Meals not specified in the table
  • - Tips
  • - Optional activities and visits
  • - Personal extras, such as drinks, laundry, telephone, etc.
  • - Visas.
  • - Air taxes
  • - Airport taxes
  • - Any other item not mentioned as included