Known for its arid steppes, skilled nomadic horsemen and Genghis Khan, a visit to Mongolia feels like a trip back in time. At the annual Naadam Festival, contestants vie to be the victor in the centuries-old pursuits of wrestling, archery and horse-racing.
A landlocked nation comparable in size to Alaska, Mongolia is home to just around three million people, making it one of the most sparsely populated countries on the planet.
On this amazing adventure Art Wolfe will guide the group to photograph prehistoric wild horses as they roam the steppe, ride in the mountains with a Kazakh tribesman who hunt with golden eagles and has set up a special photo shoot with some of the local shaman.
To keep our instructors and clients safe and healthy as well as streamlining the process of acquiring destination venues and accommodations, we are asking that all workshop participants be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Led by Art Wolfe
Assisted by Gavriel Jecan
Limited to 8 participants
Transportation and Accommodation
All meals, lodging, and transportation specified on the itinerary are included. You will be responsible for your flight to and from Ulaanbaatar. You are encouraged to arrive one day prior to the workshop so that there is no worry of flight delays causing any problems.
Shooting schedules have the ability to be altered to effectively cater to the photographic desires of the group, as well as to adapt to changeable weather conditions.
July 6 ULAANBAATAR
Arrive at the international airport. Meet with guide and driver, and transfer to the hotel. At leisure in the city.
July 7 HOVD
Transfer to the domestic airport and fly to Hovd. Upon arrival in Hovd the group will be transported to our remote 360° Wilderness Ger Camp which is located near our host family in the area of Gants Modnii Zuslan. The host family are fully nomadic pastoralist’s and famous eagle hunters. (B,L,D)
July 8 ALTANTSÖGTS SOUM
Our host family reside on the north side of the eternally snow-capped twin peaks of Tsambagarav and Tsast Mountains. We will have a full day photographing and getting to know the lifestyle of traditional Kazakh pastoralist’s. (B,L,D)
July 9 ALTANTSÖGTS
Today the group will explore the area in the vicinity of Altantsögts, and spend time with the family, who share the practice of Eagle hunting and learn about Kazakh traditions. We can bring the hunters on horseback to scenic locations for photography. Their home base is excellent for photography of nomadic tasks. (B,L,D)
July 10 Tavanbelchir
Depart for Tavanbelchir which is a fairly high mountains where there is eternal snow on the mountain tops, which makes for great landscape photography. Perhaps even bring the eagle hunters to this location for a different backdrop. (B,L,D)
July 11 HOVD-RURAL NAADAM
Today we will depart early in the morning to rural Naadam, to experience Naadam Games of the local Mongol communities which entails wrestling and horse racing. People will dress up in their best attire as entire communities gather. Nomads have trained their horses for 21 days for speeds of up until 20 miles per hour in full gallop. The children, aged 4 to 12 years old are the jockeys.
Overnight at Hovd. (B,L,D)
July 12 HOVD
Hovd is a small multi-ethnic town of Halkh Mongols, Myangad Mongols, and Kazakhs. It has both Buddhist temples and a mosque as well as an interesting local museum. There are markets here to explore as well. As Hovd is the provincial capital, Naadam competitors from the entire province gather here. Some wrestlers and horse trainers will have come all the way from the Dzungarian Gobi, on the China-Xinjiang border. The games in Hovd may also include archery, as the Uriankhai ethnic group are keen archers. (B,L,D)
July 13 HUI DOLOON HUDAG VIA ULAANBAATAR
Early in the morning we will drive to the airport for the domestic flight to Ulaanbaatar. After arrival at the airport the group will depart Ulaanbatar traveling west and drive to Hui Doloon Hudag, the grasslands outside the city where the Naadam horse races take place. The Naadam games continue with wrestling and horse racing. (B,L,D)
July 14 HUSTAI NATIONAL PARK
The group will explore the Hustai National Park with the assistance of a park biologist who will provide guidance for the best possible wildlife sightings. Since it is the warm summer period we expect the Przrewalskii Horses will descend from the mountains to drink in the evening. (B,L,D)
July 15 ULAANBAATAR
We will start off the day with a morning visit to the community groups who inhabit the fringes of Hustai with their livestock. We will enjoy a wonderful lunch provided by the locals, partners in the conservation of Hustai. After lunch meet with Shaman and attend their ceremony before returning to UB. There are nearby small mountains in the park that are revered as sacred which can be used as a backdrop for our photo session with the Shaman. (B,L)
July 16 FLY OUT
Check out and transfer to the airport and fly out. (B)
End of tour
- Accommodations (twin sharing basis) as indicated above in the itinerary.
- All meals noted on the itinerary.
- Services of Air Conditioned Van
- Services of English speaking guide escort accompanying the trip
- Entrance fee to visit monuments.
- Services of local English guides during city sightseeing (as required)
- Mineral water during all meals, transfers, drives and sightseeing (available in vehicle)
Services Not Included
- Any international Airfare, travel insurance or medical insurance. (health insurance is mandatory and travel insurance is highly recommended)
- Anything not mentioned in inclusion above.
- Tipping to accompanying escort is not included in our quote.
- Any expenditure of personal nature like alcoholic drinks, Fruit shakes, sodas, laundry, telephone calls, or internet
- Anything ordered from room service at any hotel including mineral water (other than what being offered by the hotels on their compliment).
- Any sudden increase in price due to steep hike in fuel cost, change in government tax policy or for any reason beyond our control like acts of god, natural calamity, law and order situation, riots etc and any forced change in itinerary for any unforeseen situation or reason beyond our control.