Mongolian Eagle Hunter Photography Workshop
Journey with us to the ancient, exotic, mysterious world of the Mongolian Eagle Hunters. For centuries the Kazakh people of Northern Mongolia have captured and trained Golden Eagles as hunters, protectors, and companions. We will be staying with a family of Eagle Hunters, and you will photograph their daily lives with their eagles. The intimate photos that you will make during these days of the workshop are off the charts cool.
Rather than join the chaos of the official Golden Eagle Festival with the hordes of people and incredible difficult photography, we are doing a private photography event. You will meet and interact with the hunters, as they fly their eagles from horseback and clifftops. The images you can make with the Eagle Hunters are unlimited with pristine settings and backgrounds. These photos are impossible to achieve at the festival.
In addition to the Eagle Hunters, you will photograph the nomadic camel herders of the Gobi Desert. These colorful people will work their camels in multiple ways over the golden sands of the Gobi Desert. Single camels, numerous camels, running camels all placed with the goal of giving you many unique scenes to photograph. No humpday camels though, sorry!
There will be many other fantastic photography opportunities on the Mongolian Eagle Hunters Photography Workshop including the Mongolian Wild Horses, Mongolian Red Stag, Raptors, Monks, Monasteries, and Ghengis Khan! No really! We also have hired a model wearing the traditional ancient clothing of the queens of Mongolia. You will love it! Wait, I mean You Will Be Amazed!
- 10 Nights and 11 Days
- Small Group of 8 Clients
- Two Instructors and Local Guides/Drivers
- Includes Most Meals, All Lodging and Local Transportation
September 27, 2019 – Day 1
Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, you will be met at arrivals and driven by private car to our 5 Star accommodations in the heart of Mongolia’s largest city.
We will have a meet and greet at the hotel introducing ourselves and each other. Afterward, we will go have a group dinner at an excellent rooftop restaurant.
September 28, 2019 – Day 2
We leave the city early in the morning and fly to Dalanzadgad, the capital of Ömnögovi Province in Mongolia and the gateway to the Gobi Desert.
We’ll be sleeping in a ger camp among the dunes and under 235,987,643,001 stars!
September 29, 2019 – Day 3
Today you will meet the camel herders of the Gobi Desert. We have 2 photo sessions planned today with the master camel herder and his family. They will be dressed in traditional garb and will pose for photos with the camels. We will set up scenes featuring camel caravans and camel riders crossing the golden dunes of the Gobi for you to photograph. It’s a fascinating day of photography!
September 30, 2019 – Day 4
It is sort of a planes trains and automobile day, but without the chaos (we hope) and the railroads. We say goodbye to the Gobi and make the flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Then we will be whisked away in our private vehicles and make a 2-hour drive to Hustai National Park, the home of the endangered Przewalski’s horse. We will plan to do some Milky Way photography without the fear of light pollution.
October 1, 2019 – Day 5
We will get up before sunrise and head out into the park to find the wild horses at the waterholes at dawn.
We will continue the morning photographing the horses and perhaps the stunning Red Stags (Elk) and other birds and wildlife that we may find.
After lunch, we make the drive back to Ulaanbaatar.
Today is the day that will test your ability to refrain from indulging yourself at the cashmere factory outlets. At ten cents on the dollar or less the deals are fantastic and quite hard to resist. Hint: Buy socks!
October 2, 2019 – Day 6
Today we soar like the Golden Eagles that you are about to visit by flying to Ulgi for the start of the adventure with the Eagle Hunters.
Olgii is home to Kazakh people, who have a rich cultural heritage, music, handicrafts and traditional Hunting with Golden Eagles. On arrival in Olgii, the provincial capital, visit the local museum, which provides insight into the diverse ethnic groups in the region. Next visit the local Mosque and market. Spend the night with an Eagle trainer’s family.
October 3-4, 2019 – Day 7 & 8
Today is the day to watch the Eagle trainers at work: to witness the special relationship between the trainer and their bird, which is often considered a family member. Join the hunters on their hunting trips and watch them pamper their birds. Spend the night with a nomadic Kazakh family to learn more about their culture and traditions.
October 5, 2019 – Day 9
It will be hard to leave the Eagle Hunters, but today we travel my air back to Ulaanbaatar.
October 6, 2019 – Day 10
We meet at 9 am and head to the Monastery in Ulaanbaatar to spend some time photographing the monks in a private photo shoot around prayer time.
From here we will then spend some time with Mongolian women dressed in traditional wedding dresses out in a natural country setting. Our model will be positioned in a typical environment and present us with a unique opportunity to photograph something most people will not witness.
Enroute to photograph our model we will visit the Giant Genghis statue. This 46m statue which is the biggest equestrian statue in the world. We then continue back to Ulaanbaatar from here and in the evening, return to Hotel in Ulaanbaatar for dinner and overnight at the hotel.
October 7, 2019 – Day 11
Sadly today we say goodbye to magical Mongolia and return home.
Transfer to the airport for the flight home as required (standard check out time is 12pm).
What is Included?
- Transfers on arrival and departure
- All in-country flights and ground transportation
- Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner are Included
- English speaking guide at all times
- All lodging
- Park Entrance Fees
What is NOT Included?
- International Air
- Travel insurance, medical insurance
- Fee for Visa
- Drinks, Additional services, camera fees, Items of a personal nature,
- Gratuity for local guides and drivers
What Should I Bring?
It’s best if you have two bodies. It is not necessary, but it’s not a bad idea to have a backup camera body in case something happens to your primary camera.
I would bring something in the following focal ranges… a wide angle lens around 20mm, preferably with an aperture of 2.8. A medium range walks around lens like a 24mm to 104mm, a 70-200mm, and a 100-400mm if you have one.
They aren’t all mandatory, but this will cover all the ranges that we will be using while taking photos of the eagle hunters, the reindeer people, monks, landscapes and night skies.
You should have enough battery life to go for three days without charging. We will have power throughout the trip except when we are with the eagle hunter families. When we are with the eagle hunter families, we will have three days and two nights without power. There will be a generator, but I never trust them for battery and laptop charging. During this time we will be photographing action and staged shoots. You can expect to take 1500+ photos a day and some long exposure at night and will eat your batteries. I am bringing five batteries for my two Nikon cameras and four batteries for my Lumix camera.
While we can download when we are at the tourist ger camps and hotels, you won’t be able to download when we have no power for the three days. I bring five 64gig cards, but I’m a bit of a burst mode shooter and take more photos than most people.
Tripod, ball head and remote shutter release for night photography. Remember you can pack your tripod, but you can also carry it on when it’s secured to your camera bag.
While we are there in the summer, we are headed to the mountains when we are with the eagle hunters. We will be in warmer temperatures for part of the trip and colder temperatures when we are at higher elevations at the eagle festival and when with the eagle hunter families. So, the following is what I am going to suggest…
Bring undergarments that will maintain your body heat. Thermal layers for low activity, cold weather. You can buy long underwear and thermal t-shirts that are short and long sleeves.
Pants can be the type you zip off at the knees or thicker cotton pants.
I dress in layers. Thermal undergarments, pants, and sweatshirts with a warmer jacket that is both a raincoat but will also break the wind.
Bring a thin layer glove, and I would suggest a hat with a brim to keep the sun off, and a winter hat because we never know how cold it will be around the mountain ranges with the winds.
Bring a jacket that you would wear in temperatures of 50F that break the wind and has rain repellant qualities.
Bring a good pair of hiking boots that protect your ankle and a pair of shoes.
I suggest socks that are wool or cashmere with some moisture wicking properties. You can always buy cheap cashmere socks in Mongolia if you want.
Bring your regular suitcase and another duffle bag. We will keep the larger suitcases at the hotel in Ulaanbaatar when we go see the eagle hunters and pack enough clothes for three days in the duffle bags for our flight to the western provinces. It will keep your weight down and decrease any overweight charges on your luggage on the internal flights.
It’s almost impossible to list everything that you’ll need, you will be sent some recommendations and then this will be covered again before your trip on a one on one phone discussion we will have with you.
At any point feel free to reach out to either of us and we’ll talk you off of the ledge!
US Citizens Traveling To Mongolia*
Valid for a full six months after your scheduled departure.
Blank Passport Pages
1 blank page
Not required for stays of fewer than 90 days. For stays of more than 30 days, register with Mongolian Immigration within seven days of arrival
Arrival and Departure Airport
Chinggis Khaan International Airport (ULN) Our drivers will meet us at the airport after we clear customs and immigration and re-claimed our luggage.
Let us know if you need help with accommodations if you plan to arrive early.
We will drop you off at the airport after our last adventures in UB!
Lodging & Transportation
The workshop includes all lodging and local transportation as described in your itinerary. You may be liable for any changes to that itinerary.
We always use trip insurance. It’s so much easier and with so many more benefits when you compare it with your insurance. I’ve found the costs to be reasonable given the benefits. I use Travel Guard when I travel and even though; I’ve not had a claim they were helpful and easy to deal with on the phone.
*Information for US citizens travel to Mongolia was obtained from the US Department of State and was valid as of January 2019. If you are going to Mongolia from another country, please check with your embassy to check the travel requirements for your country.
Click the Green Button at the Bottom the page and that will take you to my payment processor and you can choose your favorite method of payment. In the White Box you can enter the number of places that you would like to book.
About 30 days before departure, you will get a welcome kit with the nuts and bolts of what to expect. Of course, feel free to email me or call me and we can talk about it as much as you like!
There is a 2.5% convenience fee to pay your balance by credit cards. There are no fees with any of the listed payment methods for your deposit. Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions and or the FAQ to fully understand about deposits, cancellations and other important, but boring stuff.
I’ve been very passively advising my clients to purchase travel insurance for a while, but lately it seems like there have been multiple people having travel issues. Some have lost their deposits and sometimes even the cost of the entire trip!
Based on my client’s experience, I cannot stress more strongly how crucial it is to purchase travel insurance. Like I said before, and here it comes again, there is never a way to predict what is going to happen when you are booking trips months and years into the future.
You can read more about my thoughts about the importance of travel insurance in this blog post.
Or you can go get a free quote and book your vital travel insurance.
The tuition for the Mongolian Eagle Hunters Photography Workshop is $7395 USD single occupancy or $6995 USD if you share the accommodations. Please note that there is no option for single occupancy while staying with the Eagle Hunters.
The deposit for this workshop is $1000 USD. The deposit can be paid by PayPal, Credit Card, Wire Transfer or Check. Actually, if you have another way you would like to pay, I am open to new ideas when it comes to collecting money!
The balance of the workshop tuition will be due July 10, 2019 (90 days prior).
Ready to Go?
Here is the plan, you are going to create great images, you are going to leave a better photographer than when you arrived and we’ll have some laughs along the way! Hit the register button now!
By submitting you agree to Wildlife Workshops Terms and Conditions.