Mongolia: Eagle Hunters, Horses
and Nomadic People
September 30 – October 10, 2018
Eagle hunting is a tradition traced to over 2000 years ago and is one of the most unique features of the Kazakh life. The hunter is named a kusbegi or berkutchi. For centuries, hunting skills have been passed down from father to son and kept as family secrets. Training the golden eagle requires art and patience. The caught bird gradually gets accustomed to its owner, who is the only one that can feed him. After the eagle gets used to the hunter, he is introduced to his horse and dog. The eagle (12 – 15 lbs) sits on the stretched arm of the hunter. They both scan the horizon for a prey (rabbits, foxes, partridge, black hazel grouses) and for the hunt to start.
You’ll have a chance to experience this unique tradition at the annual Kazakh festival and on multiple private shoots in the mountains near Ulgii. It is accelerating to photograph such event as speed, accuracy, timeliness, and skills are all inter tangled for success.
We start the workshop in Ulaanbataar, where we’ll photograph Mongolian horses. We have set up private photoshoots with over 100 horses running in the grand Mongolian landscape and water.
Then we fly (flights included in the workshop) to Western Mongolia to first visit two different nomadic families of eagle hunters. We’ll have a chance to learn their culture and photograph them with their eagles and horses. The scenery is truly special.
When we return to Ulgii, we’ll photograph the eagle hunters traveling to the eagle festival. Some of them are horse back riding as far as 200 miles to attend this annual festival. We’ll be able to discuss with them what it takes to get ready for the festival and the various competitions.
The eagle festival is an event not to be missed. It is THE event for the hunters, who gathered to compete for skills, speed, agility with their horses and eagles. You’ll have a chance to photograph elderly , “new comers” and even young females competing at this event. One of the young teenager (Aisholpan – The Eagle Huntress) became really known in 2016, when a documentary about her won 2nd prize at the Sundance festival. Truly amazing.
We have paid special attention to the logistics for this trip, where transportation has been upgraded to 4x4 land cruiser (vs. Russian minivan), we have hired a cook when we travel to eagle hunter families, we have upgraded GER to sleep only 3 people, we have a ground crew to keep the GER warm. At the festival, we’ll set up a special GER so we can invite eagle hunters to visit us.
In summary, we have put an incredible experience focused on meeting nomadic eagle hunter families, enabling you to photograph them in their natural environment, photograph on private shoots over hundred Mongolian horses, and having a prime spot to enjoy the eagle hunter festival.
There is a say that no trip to Mongolia would be complete without at least a meal inside a GER with a real-life nomadic family. The hospitality and the ceremony of cooking and eating large servings of simple cuisine is a truly unique experience.
Get ready for this rich and unique adventure and the many private photoshoots. REGISTER early as all previous years were sold out.
See you in Mongolia in late September.
Oliver Klink has been photographing in Asia for the past 14 years. He has visited many minority cultures in Mongolia, China, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan, and more. He received the coveted 2016 award of Critical Mass Top 50 Fine Art photographer. “Mongolia is remote but accessible these days. Nomadic people are cherishing their traditions and welcoming outsiders to explore their culture. Our local guides are key to making this trip unique and off-the-beaten path, where we’ll stay with local families.”
Two local staff members (driver and a visual artist) who enrich our stay with the most current information, special activities, and “ways in” to places you only dream about!
Ground crew including cook, drivers, helpers
- Photographing eagle hunters customs
- Grand Mongolian landscape
- Photographing nomadic culture
- Photographing daily “life” at local families
- Model shoots
- Daily review of images (emphasis on “what else can I do”)
- Brainstorming sessions (theme, story telling, portfolio, hero shots)
- Post processing and workflow (efficiency, accuracy, quality)
- 10 days of guided photoshoot
- Local flights inside Mongolia
- Accommodation, Meals, ground transportation
- 4x4 landcruiser
- Special photoshoot with 100+ horses
- Special permits & Model shoots
- Instruction booklet emailed before the workshop
Not Included :
- Transportation to and from Ulaanbaatar (ULN)
- Transport from Ulaanbaatar airport to hotel
- Personal expenses, alcoholic beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Extra night(s) in Ulaanbaatar
- Tips to local staff
Double Occupancy: $5,900
Single Supplement: $300 (during hotel stay)
$500 (Double Occupancy)
$800 (Single Occupancy)
Full payment due by May 31, 2018 (payable by check)
Deposit: $500 ($800 for single)
Terms and Conditions
- Accommodation is going to be a mix between hotels and traditional GER. There are limited washing facilities when we stay at the GER.
- Weather can be challenging. Be prepared for moody sky. Winter could be already setting in.
- We are eating freshly cooked local Mongolian cuisine with local meat, vegetables, and soup (not spicy).
- We are traveling on highways and local unpaved bumpy roads.
- However, the photographic opportunities are incredible. It is an amazing adventure and photographic experience.
When: September 30 - October 10, 2018
Who: Oliver Klink, Local guides, ground crew (cook, local staffs)
Airport: Ulaanbaatar (ULN)
Accommodations: Hotels, GER (single occupancy only during hotel stay)
Weather: 10 – 70F. Moody Sky
Cost: $5,900 (+$300 single supplement)
Workshop details for Mongolia - Eagle Hunters, Horses and Nomadic People