2019 Reindeer Herders, Eagle Hunters and Naadam Festival

We have created a workshop that introduces you to ancient Mongolian cultures in very remote parts of a country that once ruled the majority of the civilized world. These nomadic culturest have been in existence for over 900 years and through years of travelling to Mongolia we have created this trip just for photographers to enjoy intimate photo opportunities. Together we will travel through Mongolia to see first-hand the thousand year old art of eagle falconry on horseback, witness the Naadam Festival, which has origins back to the 17th century, and then travel north to see reindeer herders that only exist in remote pockets of the world and most people only ever read about in magazines or history books. 

Workshop Dates: July 04-17, 2019

Workshop Leaders: Jeff Wendorff and Kevin Pepper

Company I am working with on this workshop: Jeff Wendorff Photography

Price: $7495USD

Deposit Information: $1000USD and the balance due April 3, 2019

Tour includes: Transfers on arrival and departures,English speaking guide at all time. All lodging: Twin share in Hotel-9 in Ulaanbaatar; triple/quadruple in Ger camp/local hotel and shared Ger (men in 1 Ger and women in 1 Ger) at Kazakh nomadic family Gers. All meals are provided as mentioned in the itinerary. Costs of model, 4x4 Russian vehicles in Western Mongolia and at Lake Huvsgul, comfortable minivan/minibus in and around Ulaanbaatar, Photography session with Monks at Gandan Monastery, Park Entrance Fees, Sightseeing as per itinerary (traditional folk concert in Ulaanbaatar included), Ticket for Naadam Festival, Ulaanbaatar – Olgii – Ulaanbaatar flight tickets + Tax (15kg free luggage), Ulaanbaatar – Moren – Ulaanbaatar flight tickets + Tax (15kg free luggage), 1L of drinking water per day per person

DOES NOT INCLUDE: International air/train + tax, luggage fees above 15kg for each internal flight, Travel insurance, medical insurance, Fee for Visa, Drinks, Additional services, camera fees, Personal expenses, Items of a personal nature, gratuity to local guides etc. 

Day 1. Jul 4. ARRIVAL DAY.

Travelers arrive on your different flights and be picked up at the airport and transferred to our hotel in downtown Ulaanbaatar by our drivers.

Accommodations at Hotel-9 in the city center

Day 2. Jul 5. Tour of the city, including Gandan Monastery

We will gather in the morning at 9am to enjoy a leisurely tour of Ulaanbaatar city. Today is a day to acclimate to the time change and give you a city tour of Ulaanbaatar.

This easy tour takes you through some of the principal sights of this unique city. You visit the Gandan Monastery, housing a 26 meter high gilded statue of the Buddha. Here you will be able to photograph the Monks as they go about their daily activities and photograph inside and around the temple. 

While out taking photos we will work on such things as using natural light for portraits and taking street style photography of the locals and monks going about their daily lives and chores.

Today we will have with us a model and a 13th Century Queens Dress. We will take our model into a natural setting and take portrait photos of her in the Mongolian Landscapes.

After our excursion into Mongolian culture and history, we will gather back at the hotel and discuss the weeks activities. Now is a chance to find out your expectations of the week and give you the itinerary for the workshop.

At night we have arranged for the group to go visit a local musical performance including throat singing and Mongolian contortionists.

Accommodations at Hotel-9 in the city center

B, L, D included

Day 3-5. Jul 6-8. Ulaanbaatar - Bayan Ulgii

Day three we will travel day to Bayan-Ogli (flight MO-97 scheduled to leave Ulaanbaatar at 06.20am and arrive in Ulgii at 08.20 local time: flight times TBA), the western most province of Mongolia.

We will get picked up at the airport and transported to our accommodations with a local family, our hosts the the next two nights. Here, you will immerse yourself in the Kazakh traditions and live and sleep in our own Ger tents with a nomadic family.

During our time here we will live in a valley surrounded by mountains, the fields dotted with sheep, yak, horses, and local families that will invite you into their homes, engage in conversation with us and allow us to take photos of them as they live as they did for generations.

We will also have four private photo shoots with traditional eagle hunters in mountain settings as they put their eagles and horses through their traditional hunting practice.

You will witness eagles flying from mountains and landing on eagle hunters arms as they ride on horseback. You will photograph eagles hunting prey and be able to photograph these hunters running and riding horses with the eagles on their arms. This truly is a once in a lifetime experience.

Shared accommodation in Ger tents for two nights, (Men in one Ger tent, women in another)

Shared accommodation at Eagles Nest on third night.

B,D included

DAY 6. Jul 9. Bayan Ulgii – Ulaanbaatar, Naadam activities.

Take the return flight from Ulgii to Ulaanbaatar (MO-98 scheduled to leave Ulgii at 08.20 local time and arrive in Ulaanbaatar at 12.20pm; exact flight times TBA), upon arrival transfer to a restaurant for lunch.

After lunch we will visit the Naadam Festival fields to photograph some of the sporting events such as horse races, archery and ankle bone shooting competitions.

Accommodation at Hotel-9.

B, L, D included

DAY 7. Jul 10. Naadam in Ulaanbaatar

Today we will enjoy a full day at the Naadam Festivals activities such as wrestling, more archery competitions and horse races. There will also be thousands of local dressed traditionally as well as lots of music and dances around the Naadam fields.

You may also want to photograph the Naadam fireworks at the Central Square at night at around 10pm. This is the largest and most intense fireworks display I have ever seen. The fireworks are just steps away from our hotel. You will be positioned to photograph the fireworks above the main square and the parliament buildings.

Accommodation at Hotel-9.

B, L, D included

Day 8-9. Jul 11-12. Hustai National Park - Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes - Ulaanbaatar

After an early breakfast drive to the Hustai National Park. Just 100 km away from the capital, it is the nest of the Mongolian Przewalski horses which can be seen roaming wildly in this beautiful national park.

From there we will head to our ger camp near the beautiful Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes. After dinner you will be taken to the Sand Dunes for your chance to photograph the sun as it descends over the dunes.

Elsen Tasarkhai is one of the most picturesque places of Mongolia and is part of the 80 km long Mongol Els Sand Dunes. This place is a wonderful combination of pretty sand dunes, majestic granite mountains, grassy green land, a clear fresh spring and a tiny lake. Indeed, here you can enjoy seeing the combination of Gobi and Khangai Natural Zones.

Together we will visit the Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes and Erdene Khamba Temple in picturesque Khugnu Khan Mountain Return to Ulaanbaatar and transfer to the hotel on the night of day 10.

Accommodation: Night 8 at Ger Camp near Elsen Tasarkhai Sand Dunes

Meals: BLD

Accommodation: Night 9 at Hotel 9 

Meals: BLD

Day 10. Jul 13. Ulaanbaatar to Moren via an internal country flight, further drive to the Lake Huvsgul.

Today we travel north to Lake Huvsgal once we arrive in Moren. A day of travelling through the northern part of Mongolia to the most photogenic lake in Mongolia.

Transfer to tourist Ger camp

Meals: BLD

Day 11-12. Jul 14-15. Days to visit a summer camp of the Tsaatan Reindeer family or two, who have come down from the Taiga to the shores of the Lake Huvsgul to earn some money from tourists showcasing their huts & reindeers.

During our time here we will live in a valley surrounded by mountains, the fields dotted with sheep, yak, horses, and local families that will invite you into their homes, engage in conversation with us and allow us to take photos of them as they live as they did for generations.

We will also have private photo shoots with some of the last Reindeer herders in Mongolia.

Tourist Ger camp by the Lake Huvsgul.

Meals: BLD

Day 13. Jul 16. Flight back to Ulaanbaatar. Upon our arrival back in Ulaanbaatar we can visit the local cashmere outlets so you have a chance to take advantage of the very inexpensive cashmere prices in Mongolia.

Accommodations at Hotel-9 in the city center

B, D included

Day 14. Jul 17. Flight home as your schedule dictates. You will be transferred back to the hotel by our staff. 

If this trip is something that interests you, just click on the red button below. We can answer your questions and get you registered when you are ready.