Photographing Mongolia: An Expedition to the Golden Eagle Festival - Atlas Obscura Trips
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Photo Credit: Cam Cope, courtesy of World Expeditions
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Photo Credit: Caroline Mongrain

Photographing Mongolia: An Expedition to the Golden Eagle Festival

from $5,490 USD per person for 12 days, 11 nights
See Dates
  • 16 People Maximum
  • Moderate Activity Level
  • Overland Adventure
See Dates
Trip Overview
Overview

Mongolia’s vast steppe, alpine meadows, and snow-capped mountains are a photographer’s dream. Come with us to explore dramatic landscapes and action-packed festivals by foot and on horseback, and through your lens. We’ll be charting a path across large swaths of Mongolia’s striking terrain. On this remote adventure, photographers will find inspiration at every turn as we encounter one spectacular view and dynamic environment after another. Along the way, we’ll pass through alpine wilderness and vibrant towns tucked into valleys. We’ll visit with nomadic families, stay in traditional ger camps, dive into the knotted history of the Mongol Empire, and sample traditional foods and drinks including fermented mare’s milk, a local favorite. Our journey will lead us to a sunset search for bands of wild horses and to a large gathering celebrating birds of prey. With our guide, photographer B.A. Van Sise, we’ll capture unforgettable scenes.

Highlights
  • Dramatic landscapes
  • Eagle festival
  • Overnights in traditional ger camps

Itinerary

Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.
World Expeditions
In Partnership with World Expeditions
Mongolia

Additional Info

Pricing & Single Accommodations

The total cost of this trip is $5,490. For those traveling by themselves, single accommodations can be provided, subject to availability, at an additional cost of $550. Please contact us to request a single room.

Activity Level

Adventure is always accompanied by an element of the unexpected. The most important thing to bring with you is a flexible, positive, and open-minded attitude. During this trip, you will be staying in three-star accommodations, while also spending time in areas with less predictable facilities. We recommend a medium level of physical fitness, since we'll be embarking on very active days together. You should be comfortable walking between three and five miles per day without difficulty, and spending extended periods of time on your feet. There will be several walks and optional horseback rides. If you're uncertain about whether this trip is a good fit, please contact us and we'd be happy to discuss with you further. 

Accommodations

In cities or large towns you will be accommodated in 3- and 4-star, twin-share hotels that are centrally located, atmospheric, and reliable. While in the more remote regions, we will be staying in ger camps. A ger is a circular felt yurt used by nomadic people. Warm in winter and cool in summer, these camps offer a unique and awesome cultural experience.

The ger camps provide basic but comfortable accommodation. Gers typically include four beds around the perimeter of the ger, with a wood-burning stove and low table in the center. The potbelly stoves can generate quite a temperature inside the ger. Wooden floors are generally provided. There are basic shower and washing facilities available, and hot water is supplied to all gers. Washing facilities are separate in men’s and women’s shower and toilet blocks. All bedding is provided at the ger camps and you will not be expected to bring your own sleeping bag. 

Arrival & Departure

Our trip begins with a welcome dinner on Saturday, September 28. We recommend you arrive in Ulaanbaatar by 4 pm on September 29, so you can settle into your accommodations and meet our guide and group for dinner. Our trip concludes after breakfast on October 9. If leaving Ulaanbaatar directly after our tour, we recommend departing after 12 pm. If you'd like to extend your trip, we’re happy to provide suggestions for things to do and see in Mongolia on your own!

Included
  • Lodging in double-accommodation rooms in modern, well-equipped hotels and basic but comfortable ger camps throughout the trip. (A limited number of single rooms are available at a supplementary cost of $550. Please note that one night is spent at a homestay where single rooms are not available.)
  • 11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 11 diners.
  • All entrance fees, activities, and excursions.
  • Internal flights
  • Private transportation throughout the trip and airport transfers.
  • Informal, in-the-field photography instruction by photographer B.A. Van Sise.
  • Local guides accompanying the entire trip.
  • A full briefing packet for each explorer, including country information, final itinerary, logistical and contact information, recommended reading list, and packing list.
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura fans, excited to explore all that this unique region has to offer!
Excluded
  • International airfare to/from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
  • Travel insurance (required).
  • Baggage charges.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Camera and video fees at sites and monuments.
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings.
  • If applicable, application for a Mongolia visa.
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