09-30-2018 Mongolia Eagle Hunters - incredibleTravelPhotos
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Mongolia: Eagle Hunters, Horses

and Nomadic People

Western Mongolia 

September 30 – October 10, 2018

8 participants

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.


Registration: $5,900
Single supplement: $300

Select Deposit

Questions: email Oliver Klink

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)

Deposit (non-refundable):
$500 (Double Occupancy)
$800 (Single Occupancy)

Full payment due by May 31, 2018 (payable by check)

Registration: $5,900
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.

Where: Mongolia
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


10 days of guided photoshoot and reviews
September 30 - October 10, 2018
Note: Itinerary and activities might change based on weather conditions

Day 0: (September 29) On your own arrival in Ulaanbaatar (ULN). We can arrange airport transportation and hotel for you.

Day 1 (September 30): Horse Photoshoot
- Morning - camera technique for fast moving wildlife
- Afternoon – Mongolian horses in grand landscape
- Overnight Hotel

Day 2: Horse Photoshoot + City Tour
- Morning - Mongolian horses running in water
- Afternoon – Highlights of Ulaanbaatar
- Dinner and entertainment at a North Korea Restaurant
- Overnight Hotel

Day3: Eagle Hunter Family #1
- Flight to Ulgii, the center of Bayan province in the far west
- Drive to the the Eagle Hunter’s family #1
- Sunset Photoshoot with eagle hunters and their horses
- Dinner with eagle family
- Overnight in Kazakh traditional GER

Day 4: Special Photoshoots with Eagle Hunter Family #1
- Photoshoot with Kazakh Eagle Hunter family, their lifestyle and culture
- Special shoots with eagles and various family members
- Overnight in Kazakh traditional GER

Day 5: Special Photoshoots with Eagle Hunter Family #1
- Photoshoot with eagle hunters in grand landscape
- Eagle hunters and their horses
- Overnight in Kazakh traditional GER

Day 6: Special Photoshoots with Eagle Hunter Family #2
- Photoshoot with a second eagle hunters family
- Eagle hunters, horses, grand landscape with water stream
- Overnight in Kazakh traditional GER

Day 7: Special Photoshoots with Eagle Hunter Family #2
- Photoshoot with eagle hunters family elderly
- Drive back to Olgi
- Photograph eagle hunters participants traveling to the festival
- Overnight in hotel

Day 8: Eagle Festival Days (Opening day)
- Eagle hunters compete with their beautiful traditional clothes, horse, horse decorations, their eagles and the eagle decorations while parading from the Ulgii central square to the competition arena
- Competition for with speed, agility and hunting skills
- Private GER set up at the Eagle Festival
- Overnight Hotel

Day 9: Eagle Festival Days (Closing day)
- Various competitions (skills and time based)
- Award ceremony
- Private GER set up at the Eagle Festival
- Overnight Hotel

Day 10: (October 10) Fly to Ulaanbaatar
- Fly to Ulaanbaatar
- Transfer to international airport
- Conclusion of the workshop (early afternoon)

What to Bring

Upon signing up for the workshop, you’ll receive a detailed coursebook describing what to bring, recommended camera gears, booking your flight, extra activities pre or post workshop.

Clothing: (temperature ranges from 10 – 70F)
- Comfortable and warm layered clothes (neutral color recommended)
- Goretex gears, gloves, hat for sudden weather change
- Sturdy shoes (hiking on uneven pavement)
- Hat, sunglasses, and sun screen
- Rain gears/windbreaker
- Knee pads for low angle shooting

Camera Equipment:
- Camera with extra batteries and memory cards
- Lens for eagle shoot: 200 – 400mm+
- Lens for grand landscape: 10 – 300mm
- Lens for portraiture: 35 - 200mm
- Lens for grand details: 100 - 200mm
- Tripod (sturdy as you’ll be using it extensively)

Other Equipment (Optional):
- Small notepad (notes, observations, …)
- Flash with diffuser
- Extender (1.4x, 2x) for details of remote peaks

Photography Review Equipment (Recommended):
- Laptop (with power cord), memory card downloader
- Post processing software (Lightroom, Photoshop, plug-ins)
- External hard drives (backup)


This workshop includes:
- 10 days of guided photoshoot
- Internal flights in Mongolia
- Private shoot with TWO eagle hunters family
- Private shoot with 100+ Mongolian horses
- Accommodation, Meals, ground transportation
- Travel in 4x4 land cruiser
- Special permits & Model shoots
- Small group (maximum 11 people)
- Daily reviews (including tips on post processing, file management, idea to build portfolio)
- Two photography instructors, two local guides, special staff (cook, helpers)

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

Travel Recommendations:
- Plan on arriving in Ulaanbaatar no later than September 22. Your return flight can be booked after 4PM on October 2
- We can assist with booking extra nights in Ulaanbaatar (pre and post workshop) and airport transportation

Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance Suggestions:

Here are a few recommendations but please browse around as services and prices vary

- Travelex Travel Select http://www.travelexinsurance.com (800) 228-9792
- Travel Guard http://www.travelguard.com/ or Travel Insurance Services http://www.travelinsure.com.
- Travel Insurance Services (Walnut Creek, CA) http://www.travelinsure.com/cobrand/select/photoex (800) 937-1387
- Atlas International Insurance (HCC Medical Insurance Services) http://www.visitorsmedical.com/atlasinternational.html
- TEN (Travelers Emergency Network) Emergency Evacuation Coverage https://www.sevencorners.com/insurance/HW7C6YH
- Medjet Assist 1-800-527-7478 https://medjetassist.com

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