COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS AND WORKSHOP TRAVEL

The Very Best of Mongolia: Eagle Hunters, Landscapes, Gobi Desert

September 17–28, 2022

We’ll travel to Ölgii province to meet the Eagle Hunters, their families, and their eagles. We’ll journey up into the mountains with them and watch as they exercise and train their birds. After several days of photographing this community, we’ll get to photograph our very own private eagle festival! Why private? The Golden Eagle Festival has 2,500 attendees, and it’s very difficult to get the photographs that we want. From our front-row seats, we’ll watch the region’s hunters gather to test their skills and those of their eagles. Look for horse racing, too, and even goatskin tug-of-war. It’s just our small group and about 40 Eagle Hunters. It’s a festive event, the stakes are high, and the competition is fierce! Our private Eagle Festival has become something that the Eagle Hunters know about, and compete for. We’ll be staying close to the action the whole time, living in cozy, fire-warmed gers—traditional round, felted tents—set up for us among the families’ own homes. Kazakh hospitality is legendary, and you’ll likely be invited for a cup of tea or two!

We then travel into the heart of the Gobi Desert to meet the traditional Bactrian camel herders. Bactrian camels are the lifeblood of the Gobi people—used for meat, milk, fur, and transportation. The ability of the camels to survive and thrive in arid conditions cemented their importance along the infamous Silk Road—the great movement of goods between ancient Europe and Asia—and earned them their prominent place in the art and literature of the region. Life here is little changed—the nomadic camel herders still live as they have for centuries. We’ll have the opportunity to compose portraits of the herders and their livestock in a variety of different lighting situations, against the stunning backdrop of some of the longest sand dunes in the world.

Journey deep into the Mongolian countryside to places few get a chance to experience. You will be learning how to capture photographs of action, intimate portraits, compose compelling environmental portraits, and work on your landscape composition techniques throughout our journey in these stunning landscapes.

This workshop is fully customized—you’ll have simple, but comfortable, accommodations, and our own private chef—so you can focus on the experience. Time has also been set aside for our famous image reviews and critiques to help you produce stunning images throughout our journey.

Come witness lifestyles that have been preserved for centuries, with two instructors who have a wealth of experience leading photographers on epic adventures around the globe.

Read More About Mongolia

We’ve been invited into the world of the Kazakh Eagle Hunters because of the trust we have built through nearly 10 years of visiting them. Read more about our experiences with the fascinating culture and people of Mongolia

Your Pro

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Location

Mongolia

money
Tuition

$12,995

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Dates

September 17–28, 2022

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Fitness Level

Moderate

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Availability

3 Spots Left
Limited to 8 Guests

Itinerary

This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.

September 17, 2022: Arrive today in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (ULN airport code), you will be picked up by our drivers holding a “Muench Workshops” sign with your name on it. You’ll go right to our hotel in downtown “UB.” The workshop starts with a group meeting at 5:00 PM in the lobby of our hotel, and then we will go for a group dinner at our favorite restaurant in UB. We’ll discuss the workshop and get to know each other better.

September 18, 2022: Today, we travel to the Ghandan monastery and have a private photoshoot with a few monks in one of the temples at the Ghandan Monastery. We will then have a private tour and discussion on the history of the location of the monastery and religion as it exists in Mongolia.

There will be lots of opportunity to take photos that most will never get the opportunity to photograph.

September 19, 2022: We’re up very early so we can fly to Ulgii on a 6:00 AM flight. No worries about airline luggage allowances, we’ve taken care of that! Once we arrive in Ulgii, we will visit and photograph at the local outdoor market. Afterward, we’ll grab a coffee in Ulgii, discuss the events of the coming days, and have the first of many private photoshoots with our host Eagle Hunter family.

Our accommodations for the next two nights are where you will see yourself living alongside an actual Eagle Hunter family. We will sleep in heated Ger tents. Men in one Ger, women in another Ger. Comfortable beds, and plenty of space. Toilet facilities are camp-style: a ground-toilet with a wooden structure around it, running water in the sinks for face and hand washing. Electricity for charging is by a generator, and is in the main dining Ger tent, as needed. Amazing meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner cooked by our private chefs.

September 20, 2022: We have private sessions with a total of five eagle hunters in the foothills of the mountains. You will photograph the methods that the eagle hunters have used to supply food and fur for their families for over one thousand years. At sunrise and sunset, we’ll have five eagle hunters on horseback with their golden eagles. Throughout the day, we have a variety of photoshoots and portrait sessions planned.

September 21, 2022: This is a special day—our own private eagle festival! We have worked with the Eagle Hunters and locals to create a unique private Eagle festival just for us. You will witness and photograph their eagle hunting skills, wild horse riding, kockbar, and other events that show off the prowess of horse rider and horse. You can shoot indoor portraits of some of the best eagle hunters in our own private tent. This may be a private eagle festival, but the competition is fierce, real, and intense!

September 22, 2022: Catch our early afternoon flight back to UB from Ulgii. Upon arrival in UB, we will head to our hotel and have dinner in the hotel.

September 23, 2022: After breakfast, we’ll get settled into our comfortable Toyota minivans. There will only be three guests per vehicle to allow for plenty of room for you and your camera bag without crowding. We will head towards the Gobi Desert, photographing along the way, with a photoshoot of horses at sunset.

September 24, 2022: We reach the Khongor sand dunes in the late morning. These are the most substantial and most beautiful of the Mongolian sand dunes, stretching for some 170km in length. At the Khongor Oasis area, the dunes reach a height of about 200 meters, and locals call them “The Singing Dunes.” Upon arrival, we will check into our Ger camp. We will visit the camel herder’s family to discuss our private photoshoots of Bactrian Camels and camel herders in traditional Mongolian dress. Overnight at Ger camp. Heated Gers, comfy beds. Electricity for charging is in the main building. Toilet and shower facilities are in a separate building and are western-style.

September 25, 2022: Today, we are at the Khongor sand dunes photographing the dunes and camel herders. It is a full day with exclusive access to the camel herders and camels at sunrise and sunset, walking and riding on the dunes. After our sunset shoot and visit with the camel herder family, we’ll take the very short drive back to our Ger camp and have dinner and download images.

September 26, 2022: After a morning photo shoot at the sand dunes, we drive back to Dalanzadgad, where we will have a review of your images from the Gobi desert.

September 27, 2022: After breakfast, we drive back to UB. We’re in our comfortable Toyota Minivans, and you can stretch out in “First Class” and enjoy a nice nap. We reach UB by late afternoon, and check-in to our hotel. 

We will visit the best cashmere stores in UB where you can purchase some of the finest cashmere in the world. Back at the hotel, we will have a final editing session. Then it’s a celebratory dinner prepared just for you in a museum in UB, catered by our private chefs. We’ll then head back to the hotel and overnight at the Best Western.

September 28, 2022: Depart for home.

Gallery

Fitness

Moderate: You must be able to complete walks of 2km on uneven ground or heavy sand

Flights

Arrive (UBN), Ulaanbaatar before 3:00 PM on September 17, 2022. Flights out can be made anytime on September 28, 2022.

What to Bring

Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.

What’s Included

  • Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $1,000 supplement. (Hotel only.)
  • All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop
  • Internal flights during the workshop
  • All transportation during the workshop
  • Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides
  • Multiple image reviews and post-processing sessions
  • English speaking local guide throughout the workshop
  • Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros
  • Image reviews and post-processing instruction
  • Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!

Not Included

  • Travel to and from Ulaanbaatar.
  • Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
  • Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
  • Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
  • Anything else specifically not listed as included.
  • Single rooming available for $1,000 supplement. (Hotel only.)

Payment Terms

  • Your deposit of $4,995 will hold your space in this workshop.
  • Further payment of $4,000 is due by February 1, 2022.
  • The balance is due not later than June 1, 2022.
  • All of our standard Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Need special payment arrangements? No problem, just ask us.

Testimonials

“The photo opportunities were fantastic. Especially the eagle hunters. Kevin was great. Helpful and fun, but not intrusive. He put our shooting ahead of his, which is something that some leaders sadly do not do. I would definitely like to go on another one of his trips.t

Kevin was great at the short recommendation for settings right before a shoot and he always seemed to be correct. ”

— Elaine Heron, Mongolia Nadaam Festival '18