Register to Participate in the 2016 Winter Expedition to Mongolia (SOLD OUT)
Categories: Life Stories
The Migration of the Eagle Hunters. Join us on an epic journey across the Altai. February 15th-February 29th, 2016
In our time-honoured tradition of providing incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences to adventurous photographers, this year we will be offering 8 people the chance to come with us on an awe-inspiring nomadic migration across Mongolia’s Altai mountains with a Kazakh family and their livestock. Your journey will give you intimate access to an incredible cultural experience in a fantastically remote corner of Mongolia rarely visited by foreigners.
Last winter, I was the first foreigner to walk the length of this nomadic migration over 5 days. Accompanying my good friend Shohan, a Kazakh eagle hunter, our group made the 150km corral with around 1000 animals including camels, horses, goats, sheep and yaks. A collection of the photographs from that trip can be found on the BBC’s website here.
Our expedition will follow roughly the same route that I took last year, crossing snowy passes, frozen lakes and through the incredible winter scenery of the Altai mountains. Backed up by a team of 4 off-road vehicles and 11 staff including cooks and translators, we will erect a camp of warm yurts every night at each stage of the journey, providing home cooked food and cosy beds in the evenings when outside temperatures regularly fall to minus 30°C. Our destination will be Shohan’s family’s Spring camp in Tavan Bogd National park, a place that only a handful of outsiders have witnessed in the winter months. Once there we will set up camp alongside Shohan’s family and enjoy a few days in this truly remote location, accompanying him hunting with his golden eagle and spending time with his extended family at their homestead. After the migration we will return to the capital of Western Mongolia, Ulgii in our expedition vehicles and round off the trip spending a relaxed day enjoying an ice archery match on the frozen river.
We will be using the same fixers and guides who organised my first trip to Western Mongolia with the BBC’s Human Planet team… trusted friends who understand precisely the kind of opportunities that photographers and filmmakers crave. We have limited the attendance to 8 people in order to give everyone the chance to shoot great images without creating too much impact on our surroundings. I will be traveling with you at all times and offering as much advice and help as you can absorb as well as guiding you through my methods of shooting, editing and image preparation in post production.
This is a specialist photo expedition for the adventurous type and for this reason I will be personally vetting participants. This will involve a brief Skype or phone conversation prior to booking so that we can ascertain whether or not you will be a suitable member of our team. Traveling in extremely cold environments throws up uniquely complicated problems for living and you must expect the possibility of a certain degree of discomfort on this journey. Equally, we will expect you to come with a sufficient level of clothing and personal equipment to deal with the potential harshness of the environment. We will discuss all these things before you book.
What is included in the price of this trip?
Everything except your international flight, personal travel insurance, Visa fees and the costs of the kind of things you would normally expect to buy with your own personal money supply (gifts, personal treats, plus we will not welcome or cover the cost of excessive alcohol consumption). Other than that, from the moment we pick you up at Ulan Bator’s Airport we will take care of everything for you. Accommodation, 3 meals a day, internal flights to Western Mongolia, overland transport, tips, translators… anything you can think of, and probably a few things you can’t.