Mongolia Eagle Hunters and Gobi Desert

The Very Best of Mongolia: Eagle Hunters, Landscapes, Gobi Desert

September 19–30, 2023

We will begin our journey into the heart of the Gobi Desert to meet the traditional Bactrian camel herders. Bactrian camels are the lifeblood of the Gobi people—used for meat, milk, fur, and transportation. The ability of the camels to survive and thrive in arid conditions cemented their importance along the infamous Silk Road—the great movement of goods between ancient Europe and Asia—and earned them their prominent place in the art and literature of the region. Life here is little changed—the nomadic camel herders still live as they have for centuries. We’ll have the opportunity to compose portraits of the herders and their livestock in a variety of different lighting situations against the stunning backdrop of some of the longest sand dunes in the world.

We’ll then travel to Ölgii province to meet the Eagle Hunters, their families, and eagles. We’ve been invited into the world of the Kazakh Eagle Hunters because of the trust we have built through nearly 10 years of visiting them. We’ll journey up into the mountains with them and watch as they exercise and train their birds. After several days of photographing this community, we’ll get to photograph our very own private eagle festival! Why private? The Golden Eagle Festival has 2,500 attendees, and it’s challenging to get the photographs we want. From our front-row seats, we’ll watch the region’s hunters gather to test their skills and those of their eagles. Look for horse racing, too, and even goatskin tug-of-war. It’s just our small group and about 40 Eagle Hunters. It’s a festive event, the stakes are high, and the competition is fierce! Our private Eagle Festival has become something that the Eagle Hunters know about and compete for. We’ll be staying close to the action the whole time, living in cozy, fire-warmed gers—traditional round, felted tents—set up for us among the families’ own homes. Kazakh hospitality is legendary, and you’ll likely be invited for a cup of tea or two!

Journey deep into the Mongolian countryside to places few get a chance to experience. You will be learning how to capture photographs of action, intimate portraits, compose compelling environmental portraits, and work on your landscape composition techniques throughout our journey in these stunning landscapes.

This workshop is fully customized—you’ll have simple but comfortable accommodations and our own private chef—so you can focus on the experience. Time has also been set aside for our famous image reviews and critiques to help you produce stunning images throughout our journey.

Come witness lifestyles that have been preserved for centuries with an instructor who has a wealth of experience leading photographers on epic adventures around the globe.

Read More About Mongolia

We’ve been invited into the world of the Kazakh Eagle Hunters because of the trust we have built through nearly 10 years of visiting them. Read more about our experiences with the fascinating culture and people of Mongolia

Sep 19, 2023 - Sep 30, 2023
Activity Level
Moderate - You must be able to complete walks of 1 mile on uneven ground or heavy sand.
Your Pros
Kevin Pepper, Jeff Wendorff
Group Size
Open for Registration
Limited to 7 Guests