The Very Best of Mongolia in the Winter: Eagle Hunters, Horses, Landscapes

In the remote areas of the Altai Mountains in Western Mongolia lies a culture that was first written about in the 9th century. History shows that the Kazakh people here have been carrying on a tradition of hunting with golden eagles. A tradition that was a way of life of the nomadic Khitans from Manchuria in northern China since 940AD.

In February of 2020 you will travel to a remote location to see a culture that most people do not even know exists. Now, you can travel there with Kevin, an experienced guide and Pro Photographer who has been travelling to this area for the last six years to visit this small community of eagle hunters that he refers to as his friends. Kevin has so much experience in Mongolia with the nomadic people that he is the only International pro photographer that has been acknowledged by the Mongolian Government with a citation. In 2018, he was honored by the Mongolian Government for his commitment to embracing the different cultures, increasing awareness and helping to grow tourism in Mongolia through his images and articles on the people, and the culture.

Join Kevin to photograph Mongolia’s vast, breathtaking landscapes, live in the Ger tents of the nomad as they have for over thousands of years, and hear the cry of a soaring golden eagle during our private eagle hunter sessions as they perform the ancient art of eagle falconry in a truly remote area of the globe.

Our trip will take place during the height of hunting season that the eagle hunters prepare for every year. The winter season is a time when you will be presented with some of the most visually stimulating images you will ever take, get to know some of the most welcoming and honorable people you will ever meet, and become immersed in an ancient culture. The experience rivals something you would see in documentaries and read about in magazines.

Yes, you need to a good level of fitness, but this experience doesn't require you to be a marathoner or weightlifter. It's more about your ability to handle cold weather and sometimes harsh conditions—and of course we'll get you prepared with the right clothing and gear. If you are tenacious, able to handle long days, can sleep on a bed in a yurt, use an outside bathroom, have a great mental attitude, and want a unique cultural photography experience, this workshop is for you.

You'll be rewarded with photos that very few have in their portfolio, and an experience that even fewer have undertaken. Our group is exclusive and small. Are you ready? Read on!

Location:

Mongolia

Tuition:

$8,995

Dates:

February 23–March 2, 2020

Fitness Level:

Moderate
Walks of up to 1 mile, uneven ground

Your Pros:

Kevin Pepper
Local Pro and Guide

Availability:

Limited to 8 Guests

I did my very first photo workshop with Kevin in June of 2017 to Newfoundland. I was nervous at first not knowing what to expect, but that quickly disappeared within a day. Kevin goes out of his way to make sure that the entire group is happy. He is in constant contact with his local connections to make sure that we will not miss any great locations or shots. He takes the time to get to know what your photo bucket list items are and does his best to make it happen. I ended up some fabulous photos and new friends. I had so much fun on this trip that I signed up for two more tours with him in 2018 and 2019. I highly recommend joining him on a workshop!
— Barb Marszalak, Newfoundland '17 and Tanzania '18

Itinerary and General Information

ITINERARY NOTE: While we don't expect it, we have learned to expect the unexpected! This itinerary is subject to change, but we intend to keep as close to it as possible. Also, not listed in the itinerary are the image reviews, critique, and post-processing sessions that we'll have over the workshop. We schedule them when time and facilities best allow.

February 23, 2020: Arrivals in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (ULN airport code) anytime this day. We'll pick you up at the airport with a private vehicle and bring you to our hotel in Ulaanbaatar. Tonight we'll have a group welcome dinner and get ready for our adventure ahead.

February 24, 2020: We have an early flight from Ulaanbaatar to Ulgii in western Mongolia. Once in Ulgii, we board our Toyota Land Cruisers, have one last stop to pick up clothing, coffee and snacks, and drive to our nomadic family's home in the Sagsai region. 

This afternoon we will have our first portrait session with our three eagle hunters, take some time to get to know them and discuss the photographic opportunities over the next couple days. 

Overnight in ger tented camp with Nomadic Family

February 25, 26, 27 2020: These three days we will have exclusive access to three of Kevin’s preferred Eagle Hunters that have significant experience working with our groups. They understand the types of photographs we want to take. The benefit to you is less time discussing logistics, more time taking the images we came to take. 

A typical day starts with a sunrise photoshoot in the foothills of the Altai Mountains of the eagle hunters, with their Golden Eagles, while on horseback in the Altai Mountains.

During the day we take environmental portraits and interior portraits with professional lighting.

A third photoshoot with the eagle hunters releasing their eagles in the foothills of the snow-covered mountains.

Each night we will have an optional photoshoot opportunity of eagle hunters around a camp fire with the possibility of a dark sky with the milky way.

On the night of February 27th we will return to Ulgii and stay at a local hotel. That night we will eat at our favorite Turkish restaurant. Tonight we will be dining with the sounds of a local band that we have hired to come and perform while we eat.

February 28, 2020: After breakfast we transfer to the airport in Ulgii for a flight back to Ulaanbaatar. We'll arrive in Ulaanbaatar, get to our hotel, have some dinner at our 5-star hotel, and rest.

February 29, 2020: Today we will travel outside the city for a custom created horse photo session in the countryside. We will be photographing Mongolian horses running in the fields covered with snow.

In the afternoon, we will conduct a scheduled editing and critique session at hotel, and when time permits, drop by the cashmere factory and local stores to pick up some souvenirs and the best cashmere in the world. 

March 1, 2020: There is a group of Mongolian Military that performs mock battles that mimic scenes from the Genghis Khan era. Mongolian Archers, and men on horseback, in full period costumes will conduct an amazing reenactment of a typical battle scene in a field of snow. 

Tonight, we will have a farewell dinner at one of our favorite (and we think the best!) restaurants in all of Ulaanbaatar. 

March 2, 2020: Breakfast at your leisure in the hotel and then we'll transfer you to the airport. Flights home anytime this day.

What’s Included

  • Double occupancy lodging (Single available, just ask)

  • All meals and tips during the workshop

  • Studio lighting and reflectors available for participants.

  • All ground and air transportation during the workshop

  • Photographic guiding and instruction from Kevin Pepper

  • English speaking local guides throughout the workshop

  • Fun, inspiration, amazing images, and a great time!

Whats Not Included?

Air travel to/from Ulaanbaatar Mongolia, passport and visa fees (if applicable), items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages. Medical Evacuation Insurance (required). Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended). Anything else specifically not listed as included.

Payment Terms

Your deposit of $4,000 will hold your place in this workshop. The balance of $4,995 is due not later than November 1, 2019. All of our standard terms and conditions apply. 

Additional Information

Are you ready to experience ancient cultures in the exotic land of Mongolia? This workshop is limited to a small group so don't delay, click the "Sign Me Up!" button and we'll see you in Mongolia!