Epic Mongolia 2020

Epic Mongolia 2020

July 6th – 17th, 2020


SKU: 20200706-Mongolia Category: Tags: , ,

Description

McKay Photography Academy Presents: Experience and Photograph the Naadam Festival, Eagle Hunters and more!

NEW EPIC 2020 Photography Tour Announcement!

Photographic Excursion for ALL LEVELS

Including Beginner through Advanced!

Great fun and learning at a great price!

No matter what your photographic level, you can attend this tour. Beginners through advanced will find this tour wonderful in so many ways. You will be instructed personally by the MPA team!

Camels, Yaks and more!

Mongolia has recently been voted as one of the top 10 places to experience in travel by several leading travel publications and organizations. This year we have 2 sold-out tours and with good reason.

We have just concluded our first tour to Mongolia and there truly are no words to truly express what this tour, the landscape, and the people are like. This is why we are already planning for a new return tour in July of next year 2020 for Naadam and The Great Eagle Hunters! Here you can ride a camel, yak or both!

This tour is a smaller group and will sell out ASAP. Do not miss this once in a lifetime adventure! Every once in a while we do a tour that as much as we can hope to explain in words and images must simply be experienced for yourself! Mongolia is THAT TOUR!

Naadam and Ulaanbaatar

Most typical tours to Mongolia end up in the large city of Ulaanbaatar for the Naadam Festival which is the annual festival honoring the people and traditions of Mongolia. While the festival itself is filled with pageantry and traditions and is very awesome, most visitors never visit outside of the city and tend to stay in the comforts of their hotel. While this may be nice in many aspects, it is not truly fully visiting this incredible country. 

Although we LOVE Naadam in the city, the incredible celebration that goes with it, as well as the wonderful hotel we stay at…..this should not be your entire Mongolia experience.

Experiencing Mongolia without a doubt should also be outside the city! Each village holds their own Naadam festival with wrestling, archery and ankle-bone playing. But beyond that, there is SO MUCH MORE to Mongolia to experience and Naadam is just one facet of Mongolia. The rural villages have absolutely incredible culture, scenery and tradition! 

Details

  • Dates: July 6th – 17th 2020
  • Price: $7,295
    • Based on shared accommodations. A single supplement is available for $700 for only 2-3 guests. However, it is not guaranteed in one Ger camp as space is limited.
    • $2000 deposit and a payment plan on balance offered interest-free over 12 months.
    • Limited Non-Photographer Spaces are available for a rate of $6,795.

Included During Tour Dates:

  • Personalized Instruction with MPA team**
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary (B, L, D each full day)
  • Transportation, including in-country flights, while on tour.
  • Accommodations – Combination of Hotels, Gers and Camp Accommodations are clean and simple. This is true Mongolia when out with the people and culture.
  • All sightseeing fees
  • Admission fees for Naadam Festival and Mongolian Shows
  • Nomad Family Visit
  • Horse and Camel Back Riding
  • English Speaking Local Guide

**Note – Instructors are scheduled but may change without notice. You will always have a top MPA instruction team!

NOT Included:

  • Transportation to and From Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
  • Trip Insurance (Compulsory for This Tour)
  • Personal Expenses Such as Soft Drinks, Alcohol, Laundry, Souvenirs, Etc.
  • Tips for Guides and MPA Team Outside of David and Ally
  • Extras and Optional Activities

David and Ally McKay and the MPA team will personally be your host on this trip. You will be photographing, learning and enjoying Photography, Travel, Friendship, and Adventure all together on one of the most amazing photographic tours in the world! 

Our heart’s desire is for everyone to have an experience of a lifetime that you are unable to get with anyone else! We work incredibly hard to make sure our guests are well taken care of, have plenty of photographic instruction and enjoy an amazing adventure. This is why our clients return again, and again!

Once your registration is complete, MPA will be in touch to work with you on a payment plan. Due to limited space, this tour is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Itinerary

Base Itinerary as Scheduled*

*Subject to change based on many factors but date and time are set
 
6th DAY: 1 Welcoming Day
Upon arrival in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. Transfer to your hotel.
Accommodation: Hotel in Ulaanbaatar Best Western Premier Tuushin***** www.bestwesternmongolia.mn
Meal: Dinner
 
7th July DAY: 2 Mongol Nomadic Show
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 50miles, 1.5hours
9.00A.M we will drive to Mongol Nomads camp where you will be experienced Nomadic show which is all about the traditional way of life.
 
8th July DAY: 3 Ar Burd Sand Camp
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 140miles, 4-5hours
After breakfast, we continue our trip to Ar Burd camp about noon and check-in & change off and lunch at the camp. In the afternoon, you can choose to ride or camel through the sand dunes and photo shooting. Late afternoon, visit the nomad family where you will experience daily lifestyle routine of distilling vodka out of yogurt or making curds and milking cows etc. For dinner, we will have Mongolian “real” BBQ at the camp.
Accommodation: Ger camp in Ar Burd Sand camp
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
 
9th July DAY: 4 Ar Burd Sand Camp
After breakfast, we will have a short drive to Baga Khairkhan Mountain where we try to spot Ibex mountain wild goat and then to petroglyphs on rocks nearby mountain Zorgol khairkhan and we may have packed lunch with us. Back to the camp and take a rest.
Accommodation: Ger camp in Ar Burd Sand camp
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
 
10th July DAY: 5 Return back to Ulaanbaatar
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 100miles, 3-4hours
Travel back to Ub and visit Bogd Khaan`s winter palace and Zaisan memorial hill and afterward check in hotel.  Free in the afternoon. Dinner in the restaurant.
Accommodation: Hotel in Ulaanbaatar Best Western Premier Tuushin***** www.bestwesternmongolia.mn
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
 
11th  July Day:6 Naadam Festival
In the morning, we will you pick you up from the hotel to walk 3minutes to the main square front of Parliament House where to watch the white banners are being carried by state ceremonial soldiers on horses. After that get on bus drive to the stadium to see the opening ceremony of the Naadam festival at 11.00a.m. There are 2 other arenas where we will see Archery and Ankle bone shooting competitions. Depending on timing, we are able to go to see horse races outside of the city. In the evening, at the square firework and music show.
Accommodation: Hotel in Ulaanbaatar Best Western Premier Tuushin*****
 
12th July Day: 7 Day with Kazakh Eagle Hunter Family 
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time: 3hours of flight.
Today we will take a flight to Ulgii town and transfer to Ger camp. The rest is at leisure. 
Accommodation: Ger camp nearby in Ulgii
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
 
 13th July  Day: 8 Eagle Hunters Gathering
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time:?
This day you might meet 8-10 Eagle hunters who are ready to show you some training of their Eagles just for you.
Accommodation: Ger camp nearby in Ulgii
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner 

 14th July Day: 9 Market Day and POSSIBLE Aisholpan visit
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel time:
Accommodation: Ger camp nearby in Ulgii
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner 

 
15th July Day: 10 Return back to Ulaanbaatar
Approximate distance covered and estimated travel flight time:  3 hours.
Take a local flight to Ub and transfer to your hotel. Mongolia is famous for its cashmere and camel and sheep wool products. A traditional folk concert followed by farewell dinner in Mongolian barbeque.
Accommodation: Hotel in Ulaanbaatar Best Western Premier Tuushin***** www.bestwesternmongolia.mn
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
 
16th July Day: 11 FREE DAY
Mongolia is famous for its cashmere and camel and sheep wool products.
A traditional folk concert followed by farewell dinner in Mongolian barbeque.
Accommodation: Hotel in Ulaanbaatar Best Western Premier Tuushin***** www.bestwesternmongolia.mn
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
 
17th July Day: 12 Depart
 
* Due to many situations, Itinerary may be adjusted as needed to create the best photography and group situations for this tour. 

Accommodations

Ger Camps and Way of Living

A Ger is a traditional Mongolian home that is still used today throughout the country. Each location we travel to outside of the main city of Ulaanbaatar, we stay in traditional Ger camps. This is still the traditional way most people live that do not live in the city. However, we DO have electricity to charge our batteries, cell phones, and laptops if desired. 
 
Each Ger is simple yet accommodating and comes with two beds, a table, and in some cases a small sink. They are comfortable and a unique experience in and of its own! 

Although the camps can seem primitive in nature to keep things authentic, our select camps also have toilets and showers, which is a nice benefit!

In addition, a special dining Ger set up as a gathering place, where we receive wonderful authentic meals and drinks! Special dietary needs such as vegetarian can be met as well.  

The Eagle Hungers

The Great Eagle Hunters!

If you have not yet watched the documentary “The Eagle Huntress” about Aisholpan, the young girl who is the first woman to compete in the ancient Eagle Festival…it is a MUST!  Here is a link to the film trailer and it is available on Amazon at this time!

With the popularity of the film, Aisholpan has become quite famous and the film along with other publications and news stories such as the recent 60 minutes special, and has ignited an interest in the Famous Eagle Hunters of Mongolia!

For the few that make the trip to Western Mongolia to visit with an Eagle Hunter, most offer that you may get to visit with 1-2 Eagle Hunter families.

However, with our guide Oso and his knowledge and connections, we not only are able to visit, but we are able to do incredible EXCLUSIVE photography sessions with 8-10 Hunters! No…that is not a typo.  We are the only group that has ever been able to arrange this! 

This without a doubt, has been one of the top highlights of any photographic tour and life experiences we have ever had and it will be for you as well!

Each of our guests are also usually able to hold and have a photo taken with a Golden Eagle. You can too!  Although we cannot for many reason guarantee to meet Aisholpan, our guide knows her family and we may be able to arrange a personal meeting with her on this particular tour!

As we have built a relationship with these amazing Eagle Hunters, we are now able to work with them with future tours in a way no one else can! This is something that no one has been able to do.  As I was talking to another guide at the airport, his eyes got big and he said, you were able to photograph 10 Eagle Hunters privately! NO ONE gets to do this! 

We are incredibly excited about our return!

It is important to note that because we have established this relationship with the Eagle Hunters, we need to return sooner rather than later to guarantee the experience with them as things are changing QUICKLY in this country!!  The outside world is moving in and we have a relationship now that we can work with them in this type of way. This is why we are returning a year from now. We do not know how long we will continue to get this unique opportunity and want to guarantee it now!!

NOW IS THE TIME TO RETURN WITH US!

The People

The Mongolian people are made up of over 30 ethnic groups spread throughout the country. Each has their own traditions, history and story, and they are fascinating! 

The people of Mongolia are some of the most beautiful, sincere, genuine and welcoming you will ever meet. Everywhere we visit, you will be warmly welcomed with smiles and invited to sit down in the family Ger! Truly a beautiful cultural exchange taking place with each family or location we visit!

Instructors

  • David McKay
  • Ally McKay
  • Frank Stelges

Instructors are scheduled, however they are subject to change as needed.

Tour Pack

Please download the Tour Packet from link below.  Much of the information contained in this packet is also available under the Tour Prep page here on the web site. However, this packet will also include some gear specifics for this tour.  Please note that specific flight information, arrival and departure times, accommodations, and other logistical information may not be in this packet. Those items will be emailed to you at various times in the planning process of each tour. 

Mongolia 2020 Tour Pack