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Dear ORYX, Vera and I really enjoyed our month-long Ethiopian adventure! Everything went well, and eventually I will be able to process and stare the photos I took. Thank you very much for putting a great program for us. Your photo tour leaders and local guides were superb and a pleasure to travel with!
Our trip was amazing, and Sam and the ground team were just wonderful! Travelling with a pro taught me that I have much to learn and this was a great beginning.
We had an amazing time and can’t quite believe it is all over! Thank you to you and your team for the excellent organisation. Sam was absolutely wonderful!
Mongolia was fascinating, a trip which I will always remember with a smile on my face. Lovely group, Sam was just beautiful, tour guides and drives endlessly helpful and kind, I cannot praise everybody enough.
We would happily recommend this tour to everybody, who wants great company, interesting people and see a totally different and interesting way of life.
Thanks for arranging it so beautiful, you and your team deserve all the recognition! Sam was not just the perfect hostess, but also was extremely patient with us and taking photographs.
Hope to go on another trip with your team soon.
Keep well and successful (as you deserve!)
The Eagle Hunters Tour from Oryx is an adventure like no other. This trip took us deep into the Kazakh culture in western Mongolia, well beyond the Eagle Hunter Festival that draws most visitors. Before the festival we spent four nights living with eminent eagle hunters and their multigenerational families. We were with them as they took meals, shoed horses, milked cows, and harvested animals from their herds. After sunset photo strolls, we helped drive the goats home for the night. We thus arrived at the event as well-connected insiders. In our private tent we hosted eagle hunters and celebrities including Aisholpan Nurgaiv, star of the documentary “The Eagle Huntress.”
The two-day festival itself is beyond description, and not just because of the mesmerizing competitions involving eagles, horses and humans. There is non-stop action everywhere you look. Scores of mounted hunters roam the grounds with enormous birds on their arms. Silk-clad archers display their prowess near vendors selling colorful hand-crafted items at attractive prices. You can hear five languages in five minutes.
Best of all, there is nearly no restriction on where and what you can shoot.
Leading our tour was Sam Reinders, a seasoned pro shooter who taught us to become better photographers both through instruction and by example; she also was unwavering in her determination to get us into the best position for great shots. The tour staff was marvelous, a true team eager to respond to any request. Travel in Mongolia can be unpredictable, and they always had a backup plan based on local knowledge. They also sparked spontaneous, unforgettable experiences with local residents as we drove through the magnificent countryside. Overal this is an extraordinary, unforgettable value in the photo expedition category.
We are home now and trying to get over the jet lag. As for our trip with you – it was fantastic! We loved the home stays with the families. Very cozy and interesting. The drivers and crew were so good and we felt very well fed and taken care of. As for the Eagle festival itself – what an amazing experience! We just loved the different competitions and the whole atmosphere. Having the ger where local celebrities gathered for photos was excellent and we enjoyed that immensely. Just having a place to go to have a little rest every now and then was a comfort too. Sam could not have been more helpful with ideas for shots and ensuring we were not in need of anything. All in all it was a great trip and we would do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks so much for all your help in organizing things!
We had a fabulous experience in Mongolia! Again, we want to thank the ORYX team and especially Sam Reinders for such an outstanding tour!
I travelled with Sam in Ethiopia to photograph the tribes of the Omo Valley in some remote and difficult areas. She was an inspirational guide with a very relaxed and natural style. She really helped us to get to the heart of the local culture and had a wonderful way with people, always calm and respectful. She obviously has great compassion and curiosity and brings with her years of experience as a photojournalist and traveller. She was just fantastic at finding different ways to approach a situation, always looking for creative ways to tell the story. I also found her very supportive in helping each photographer find their own voice and style. She is a lot of fun too so makes a great travelling companion! Sam is a really talented photographer and I would wholeheartedly recommend her as the perfect guide to spend time with exploring people and cultures more deeply.
I really enjoyed my trip with Sam, Bob, Patty, Afe and the rest of the team. The photographic opportunities were great and plentiful as usual. Sam and Afe make a great team and we were well taken care off by all staff members.
I was particularly chuffed with the new ORYX/Dinknesh’s campsite in Kibish, just imagine my surprise and delight (and the others as well) when we saw that we each have our own ablution facilities! On my last trip we had a discussion about camp facilities and Afe in particular wanted to know what kind of changes they can make, and I gave a few suggestions. I’m very happy that they listened and delivered!