Lee Frost Photography
EPIC MONGOLIA - EAGLE HUNTERS AND GOBI DESERT
Mongolia has been on my hit list of many years, so I can’t tell you how excited I am that in September 2024 I will finally be heading out there.
Mongolia is a stunning place to experience a thousand year-old culture, photograph epic landscapes and experience the hospitality of local people.
This unforgettable trip will take you first to the heart of Southern Mongolia and the famous Gobi Desert, a land of canyons, desert dunes, beautiful mountains and ancient culture. We capture camel herders crossing the sands, have private portrait shoots with camel herders and shoot the amazing landscape at dawn, dusk and under the night sky.
In Western Mongolia, we attend our own private Eagle Hunter festival, and photograph Eagle Hunters in stunning mountain locations. The photo opportunities are superb, unlike anything you will have experienced before.
This first trip is essentially a recce for me, so I am only inviting a small group of photographers to join me. However, the tour is being led by two of Mongolia’s top photographers, Erdenbulgan Battsengel and Bayar Balgantseren. Both have led countless Mongolia photo tours in the past, so they know the locations very well and have also worked with the local people we will be photographing. In other words, while it’s new territory for me, it’s very familiar territory for them.
Day 1 – 1st Sept 2024 Arrive in Ulaanbaatar where we will be met by our drivers and transferred to a local hotel. We’ll meet in the evening to discuss the trip and have dinner. It may be necessary to arrive a day early, to relax and prepare for the trip. This will be confirmed well in advance, and advice on flights will also be offered.
Day 2 – 2nd Sept 2024 Ulaanbaatar - Tsagaan Suvarga (365 km)
After breakfast, we drive to the south of Mongolia through the endless steppe for about 5 hours to Tsagaan Suvarga Canyon. Millions of years ago, the canyon was a seabed with a sedimentary structure. The formation is represented by different colors that characterize a certain age of the sediment. We will photograph at sunset and sunrise among the unearthly landscape and stay overnight at a tourist camp.
Included: comfortable campsite, full meals, guide
Day 3 – 3rd Sept 2024 After breakfast we will head to Gobi-Dalanzadgad - Khongor sand Dunes by 4x4. We will be driving around 4.5 hours. Time permitting, we will have our first photo session in the Khongor sand dunes at sunset and also do some night photography. Overnight in tourist Ger camp, with beds and bed linen. The ger camp has electricity. In September, Gobi average temperature is 8-10C.
Day 4 – 4th Sept 2024 We start the day early with a sunrise shoot at Khongor sand dunes, which stretch for over 170km. Camels and camel herder will be waiting for us for a portrait session in the dunes and we’ll capture the first rays of light in the Gobi Desert. A sunset and night photo shoot is also planned today. We've chosen dates in the Gobi with no moon, so if we have a clear sky we can enjoy some night photography.
Stay overnight at the same tourist Ger camp in Khongor Dunes.
Day 5 – 5th Sept 2024 Another early start for a sunrise shoot in the Khongor sand dunes. After breakfast, we check out and travel to Bayanzag (Flaming cliffs). We will arrive in the afternoon. The area is most famous for yielding the first discovery of dinosaur eggs. Other finds in the area include specimens of Velociraptor and eutherian mammals. We photograph sunset from panoramic locations with overview of the flaming cliffs. At sunset they turn a deep red color.
Stay overnight in tourist camp which has a shower and electricity. We stay in this camp for just one night (the area is small).
Day 6 – 6th Sept 2024 Get up early for breakfast, check out and travel back to Ulaanbaatar city. We will arrive in the evening after a long day of travel (around 8-10 hours) Overnight in a comfortable hotel in UB.
Day 7 – 7th Sept 2024 Fly on commercial airplane (3 hours, flight starts around 6:00-8:00 a.m) to Ulgii city from Ulaanbaatar. Drive to the local Kazakh family for a portrait shoot. We also have a private photo shoot with a total of five eagle hunters in the foothills of the Altai mountains at sunset. The background will be holy Tsambagarav (4208m) mountain. The stunning 360° location offers rocky mountains on one side and snowy capped mountains on the other.
Overnight in a hotel with shower, Wi-Fi – it’s a simple hotel in a small town, but you can recharge yourself and your batteries!
Day 8 – 8th Sept 2024 We skip sunrise today, allowing ourselves a rest. It’s a very special day for us – a Private Eagle Festival, only for us, Kazakhs on horseback, dressed in their traditional dark coats and scarlet hats, with Golden Eagles hovering on their arms. The Festival is arranged by locals that are committed to preserve traditional Kazakh heritage. Enjoy the rare opportunity to view Golden Eagles close up and allow one to perch upon your arm. We will have 10-15 eagle hunters with many opportunities to shoot at diverse locations: mountain ridges, river bends and grass marshlands with water and reflections.
All of the eagle hunters will be ready for portrait sessions. You’ll feel like you’re in movie set today and bring back home lots of great images, with no crowds getting in the way (a common problem if you attend a public eagle festival). After this stunning day we return back to Olgii to our hotel (1-1.5 h drive).
Hotel with showers and wi-fi.
Day 9 – 9th Sept 2024 We have a relaxing morning, then after lunch in the town of Olgii we drive 1 hour on a paved road to beautiful blue lake Tolbo with panoramic rocky viewpoint. We have 3 eagle hunters today posing for portraits until sunset in the stunning landscape.
Back to Olgii. Stay overnight at hotel with showers and wi-fi
Day 10 – 10th Sept 2024 After breakfast, we will leave from Olgii airport back to Ulaanbaatar city. Flight is included – 3 hours to fly. Check in to the same comfortable hotel around 2 pm then have the afternoon to relax or explore UB city.
Farewell dinner at UB restaurant
Day 11 – 11th Sept 2024 Our bus will take you to UB airport. You can select any flight this day, a private transfer will be arranged and included in the tour.
At A Glance...
Deposit / Price
£495.00 / £5,995.00
Sharing Discount - £300.00
01st - 11th September, 2024
Local two-way air tickets: UB-Ulgii-UB, All accommodation, transportation in Toyoto 4x4s and fuel costs, drivers, photography guides and tour leader services, National park fees, meals and non-alcoholic beverages, all model fees and private Eagle Hunter mini festival
International flights, insurance, alcoholic beverages, Visa (the tour organizers we will prepare all required documents for visa applications), excess baggage fees on internal flights (weight limit is 15Kg)
Max Group Size