Cultures and the Eagle Hunters of Mongolia
I’ve just (reluctantly) left Mongolia after a photography tour with 4 ORYX clients that will live long in my memory.
Mongolia. What a country….
To start with it’s overwhelmingly beautiful- wide-open spaces, light that is any photographers dream and never a dull moment. Your memory cards fill up faster than you can say “Sain baina uu” (hello)
The people are gentle and incredibly welcoming and friendly. ORYX’s Mongolia photography tour involves staying with 3 families, in their warm (very important in the freezing temperatures!!) gers, witnessing (and able to photograph) their daily lives. You’re welcome to dig in and help with chores while you photograph. Antoinette (originally from Germany, but now living in the States) helped herd the goats one evening… All of the families we stay with are headed by eagle hunters – the reason, ultimately, that we are there. Each morning we photograph as they prepare their eagles for the annual Eagle Festival in Mongolia.
It’s a fascinating sight. The eagles are huge, bigger than you expect, and the relationship between hunter and bird is a special thing to witness.
After a week we head off to the Golden Eagle festival in Olgii
– made famous in the movie The Eagle Huntress (watch it, you won’t regret it). It’s a fascinating 2-day affair filled with eagle hunting, tug of war contests, dress up competitions and camel races. (Seeing those Bactrian camels with their wobbly humps run will leave you laughing out loud). Aisholpan, the star of The Eagle Huntress and a VIP in these parts is there and we get to have lunch with her much to everyone else’s jealousy. She’s sweet, polite and charming.
A can be for everyone. Whether action photography is your thing, or you prefer portraits there is something for you. Documenting daily life presents you with loads of great material for your camera. Mongolia photography tour
I’ve travelled widely and led photography tours to many different countries. But Mongolia is special. Being able to share it with ORYX adventurers was the cherry on top!
Here are just a few photographs – but watch our social media feeds for more from me as well as the hang that came along.