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Eagle Hunters, father and daughter Only 4 Spots Left


Mongolia Photo Tour and Eagle Training Experience

7,950 US$30 Sep 2021

A full-fledged Mongolia Eagel Hunter's 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.

A comfortable Mongolia: Maximum 3 photographers per car, Lexus or Toyotas, Kempinsky Hotel or similar in Ulaan Baatar, best tented camps . And an incredibly experienced team with the best contacts in Mongolia.

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.

Mongolia Photo TOur What's so different

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A Small group of only 7 maximum participants, guided in areas which have until now hardly been photographed, and group accompaniment by an internationally acclaimed photographer with deep knowledge of the region and solid contacts.
  • 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, eagles soaring, and in one of the most impressive landscapes anyone can imagine.

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.

 

What makes this Mongolia photo tour a Travel Photographer’s genuine trip?

This Mongolia Photo Tour, visits the Eagle Hunters Festival as the central theme or perhaps the festival is the excuse for this travel photography experience in Mongolia.


Only a handful of photography trips ever visit Mongolia  and many – apparently more competitively priced- only remain in the capital Ulaan Bataar. This is an important limitation for a travel photographer.

If you choose one such alternative, you'll have more comfortable seats but will be dealing with a great deal more tourists and “mass market” people, as this festival is taking place in a stadium where people can not reach the participants- fighters, archers, dancers, etc- you will be taking your pictures with long lenses, far away…

One important difference of many photo tours against Nomad Photo Expeditions’s photography trips is that our trips take place mostly in remote villages, where traditional values and community accessibility is better preserved. In addition, we've planned some special and private photographic sessions close to the larger events with interesting people.

We are in close contact with the locals. We share their daily life. And we do it in comfort. In comfortable camped tents, with safety as well as nice lodging and food.

 

What should you consider before traveling on your Mongolia photography trip?

It is important to identify the various factors that go into making a successful photography tour, including the attitudeknowledge, and capability of the tour leader. 

When it comes to attention and priority, the first thing is to find about the photographerWhat I would be looking at first is the human quality of the lead photographer as much as his technical photographic ability. Joining a trip with a leader who doesn't know much about travel photography or how to socialize with locals, is not going to make the trip easier.

There are some red flags that you should be looking for, you will make a better decision to find an answer to these questions:

- What’s the itinerary like?
- Is it typical, such as viewing the festival only in Ulaan Bataar? Or is it more imaginative, authentic?
- Is it clear this photographer has good connections so as to offer better possibilities?
- What are you going to see? People, landscapes, local life, etc?
- How are you going to see it?: Private photo sessions or general access? What type of access does this lead seem to have to the events and people you’re interested in?
- How and where will you be sleeping?: Are there bathrooms available, or showers?
- How will you get around?: in this case, older model Russian vans that will be quite uncomfortable, or modern 4x4s?

 

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 photo session 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’s a small  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.  If the time permits, visit the local market, museum and climb a hill to see the panoramic views of Ulgii town.

We will move around the town as we explore the atmosphere with  local people

 

Overnight in a local hotel

 

Day 3: GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL

The impressive Golden Eagle Festival starts with a parade of eagle hunters dressed in traditional hunting clothes, riding horses and holding their eagles on their right arm. There are up to 80 eagle hunters participate in the festival. Spend the whole day seeing the eagle hunting festival, competitions, hunting techniques, the Eagles’ agility, and ability. The October Eagle Festival has been celebrated since 2000 and is the largest celebration that attracts numerous travelers and eagle hunters.

 

Accommodation: Local Hotel

 

Day 4: GOLDEN EAGLE FESTIVAL AND VISIT EAGLE HUNTER KAZAKH NOMADS

Continue to attend the Eagle Festival and photograph. After lunch, a 3 hours trip on our 4WD’s  we will reach the home of a family of eagle trainers that I have been visiting for years.  They will show us how they train the eagles and then use them for hunting, and we will meet a multi-time champion of various eagle hunting contests.

We will spend the evening documenting the Eagle Hunters’ lifestyle.

 

Accommodation: Extra ger at the Kazakhs/ in the tent

 

Day 5: EAGLE TRAINING WITH THE KAZAKH FAMILY

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 and the family 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.

 

Accommodation: Extra ger at the Kazakhs/ in the tent

 

Day 6: FLY TO ULAAN BAATAR- ULAAN BAATAR

Return to Ulgii and Fly back Ulaanbaatar and check-in our hotel. Once in the City we will be wandering around enjoying the town and the street photography.

 

Accommodation: Hotel. (B/L)

 

Day 7: HERDING NOMADS

Today we’ll 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.

 

Day 8: KHARKORIN / ERDENEZUU MONASTERY

We will wake up early 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 with a Private Set Photo session.

 

Accomodation in the Ger camp.

 

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
7 Participants 7950 US$


Supplements
Single Room Surcharge Main Itinerary 350 US$


WHAT'S INCLUDED

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy and for  7 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. We reserve the right to add up to 2 guests over the maximum of a tour . This is sometimes needed to fill a vehicle, accomodate a couple or and find a room mate for a guest. 

 

LIGHT / MODERATE ACTIVITY.- 

 

Daily activities may include city walking photography , visits to sites, or easy hikes  (1 hour , 3 miles) .  Yes, there will be  long drives, mostly off-road   in   remote areas, but we pride ourselves on comfort and we’ll roll out in our air conditioned 4x4s Toyotas.  Only 4 people max per car.   We do not use uncomfortable russian cars. First class hotel in Ulaan Baatar  and nice tents int he best  tented camps along the trip.  We will sleep one night at the eagle hunter's place in a large Ger (local tent) . 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 Mongolian Gers ( local big tents with proper beds).
  • - All meals except arrival and departure lunch
  • - 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