Autumn Expedition To Mongolia
Migration Of The Eagle Hunters
On this expedition, we will be following along with my good old friend, Kazakh eagle hunter, Yermyek’s family accompanied by around 2000 animals including camels, horses, goats, sheep and yaks, crossing snowy passes, frozen lakes and through the incredible winter scenery of the Altai mountains. Backed up by a team of 2 off-road vehicles and 4 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 cozy beds in the evenings when outside temperatures regularly fall 15°C. Our destination will be the eagle hunter family’s Autumn camp in Tavan Bogd National park, a place that few outsiders have witnessed. Once there we will set up camp alongside our good friend eagle hunter Yermyek’s family and enjoy this truly remote location. We will accompany him in hunting with his golden eagle and be spending time with his extended family at their homestead. After the migration, we will return to Ulaanbaatar.
We will be using the same fixers and guides who organized the first trip to Western Mongolia with the BBC’s Human Planet team and with trusted friends who understand precisely the kind of opportunities that photographers and filmmakers desire for. I have limited the group to 4 people in order to give everyone the chance to shoot great images without creating too much impact on our surroundings. I will be travelling with you at all times and offering as much advice and help as you can absorb as well as I’ll be guiding you through my methods of shooting, editing and image preparation in post-processing.
- An incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience for adventurous photographers on an awe-inspiring nomadic migration across Mongolia’s Altai mountains with a Kazakh family and their livestock.
- A small group of only 4 participants, guided in areas that have been hardly photographed until now, would be accompanied by an internationally renowned photographer with excellent knowledge of the region.
- You’ll have the lifetime experience to live alongside nomadic Kazakh Eagle Hunters in their remote family yurts, experiencing their everyday lives.
- Concentrated private photo sessions with traditional Eagle Hunters.
- Landsap opportunities in some of the most attractive locations in the Altai Mountains.
- A true photographic adventure in the wildest regions of Western Mongolia.
- Special attraction – Private eagle hunting festival to photograph the Eagle Hunters practising their hunts with their trained Golden Eagles.
- A local guide who is knowledgeable about the natural and human history of northern Mongolia.
About Eagle Hunters
Deep in the rugged hills of the Altai Mountains region of western Mongolia, live a group of hunters with an extremely rare skill of hunting small mammals with golden eagles. These are the ‘Kazakhs’. The Kazakhs are the descendants of Turkic, Mongolic and Indo-Iranian indigenous groups and Huns who populated the territory between Siberia and the Black Sea. For more than 4000 years, nomadic tribes of the Altai region have trained their young men and women in the ancient Mongolian art of golden-eagle hunting and have developed and nurtured a special bond with golden eagles for centuries. The ancient art of eagle hunting is one of the many traditions and skills that the Kazakhs and the Kyrgyz in contemporary Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan have held onto for the last decades. They don’t hunt eagles, but rather use the revered golden eagle as their tool and form a close bond with the bird of prey along the way.
Historically, the golden-eagle hunters known as ‘Burkitshi’ have been male, as the age-old art was traditionally handed down from the father to the son. However, in recent years, very few courageous women have developed this skill. Today, there are at least 8 female Mongolian golden-eagle hunters.
21st August to 29th August 2023
Across Mongolia’s Altai Mountains
Maximum 4 participants
Meet Your Mentor
Internationally renowned photographer Apratim is a contributing photographer for National Geographic, Getty Images and Stocksy United. He is a Canon Brand Ambassador – EOS Maestro and the Global Brand Ambassador and Mentor for Datacolor, Nisi, Godox, Vanguard and Blackrapid. Apratim Saha has over 36 years of experience, in the traditional film to digital photography. He is a commercial photographer specializing in people photography, portraiture, lifestyle & editorial clients.