Who is this tour for?
First of all, it's for people who are in love with life, new emotions and discoveries; for those who want to see the unspoiled nature of the Altai Mountains and life of nomadic hunters in Mongolia. If you are ready to travel in a small but tight-knit team of adventurers, explorers and romantics – this trip is just for you!
No doubts that if you like to pick up a camera you will have many reasons to do so during our journey. And our guide will be happy to show and tell you where and what to shoot.
But even if you don't consider yourself a keen photographer you will feel comfortable and excited with us. To see the golden colors of the Kurai steppe and to look into the mirror of the most beautiful lake in Altai... After all, you love unusual travel and adventure, don't you?
In the second part of our trip we are going to visit a family of Golden eagle hunters in Mongolia. Nomadic way of life, ability to provide a living in the steppe, cultural traditions and of course, powerful birds with a two-meter wingspan – all this will be in focus of our close attention. We will become guests in a family of these hardworking and hospitable people for three full days.
Read our description, pry into it, ask questions! Spend a couple of minutes watching our video about our trip to Altai (below).
Altai And Eagle Hunters
We invite you to join a trip to the Indian summer Altai at the end of September. Autumn is already in full power in the mountains at this time of the year. Larches are trying on their golden outfits, and mountain peaks are dusted with sugar powder from first autumn snowfalls. The sun is already very low and the weather in the mountains is quite changeable, to the travellers' delight.
After the Altai part of the route is finished we will go to Mongolia, to stay with a hunters' family for three full days.
We will travel by comfortable 7-seat Toyota minibuses or 17-seat Mercedes Transporter. And in some places where the road is beyond the power of our machines, our final transportation will be carried away by cars with a good name "Loaf"(UAZ).
Travelling by car allows us not to think about the limits of our personal luggage. All our luggage – suitcases, travel bags, field kitchen and food supply – will travel in the trailer. We will only take fragile items and documents inside the car.
We have planned the work of a group cook on this route. Cheesecakes or oatmeal porridge with a mug of hot, deliciously smelling coffee or herbal tea while you're on the shore of Lake Kidelju – yummmmm... What else can be a better start of the day?
In order not to bore you with a long text we suggest that you should take a look at the Altai from the height of our drone, during one of the first trips to this wonderful place! As they say, it is better to have one look with your own eyes than to read a hundred times.
Enjoy the video!
Our journey starts in Gorno-Altaisk (airport code RGK). We recommend that you should plan your flight from Moscow or any other city so that you are in Gorno-Altaisk a day or more before the start of the program. We have booked a hotel in Gorno-Altaisk where we can meet, relax after the flight and discuss details of the upcoming journey.
The recommended Ural Airlines flight from Moscow departs at 8.00 am on September, 20 and arrives in Gorno-Altaisk (airport code RGK) at 4.15 pm the same day.
You may book a return ticket for September, 29. The flight will depart at 5.20 pm and arrive in Moscow at 6.05 pm.
September, 20. We arrive from Moscow at 4.15 pm. We will meet you at the airport and arrange a group transfer to the hotel. At welcome dinner we will discuss details of the upcoming journey and get to know each participant in person. (//D)
September, 21. There are two cars waiting for us by the hotel. The food supply is packed, the cars are loaded, and we are ready to start at once. Today we're going to travel to the village of Aktash. Lunch in a cafe on our way. Check-in at the hotel, dinner, rest.(B/L/D)
September, 22. We will have time to get to the mountain lake Kidelju before breakfast and to meet the dawn there. Immediately after breakfast we will go to Kurai, check into our mini-hotel, have lunch and get ready for the evening trip to our favorite location. (B/L/D)
September, 23. In order to reach this place by dawn, we have to set out in the dark. We're going to Yeshtykkel area. What is this place famous for? For the fact that dozens of small puddle-lakes are scattered there crowned with lonely larches. And the grey-haired North-Chui ridge of the Altai is reflected on their surface. We will spend as much time there as your energy and enthusiasm lasts. Evening shooting on the observation deck, not far from the village. (B/L/D)
September, 24. Early breakfast and departure towards the border (117km). We will pass passport control at the border with Mongolia and start moving towards the town of Ulgiy. Here we are going to stay in a yurt camp of a hunters family. A large heated yurt accommodates up to eight people, on normal beds, but at our request, men and women will be accommodated in different yurts. Depending on the time of our arrival, we will try to arrange a portrait shoot the same day. (B/L/D)
September, 25-27. Morning and evening shooting of hunters and their birds on the plains and in the mountains. (B/L/D)
September, 28. Another journey across the border, towards the village of Kurai. Evening shooting at a well-known location. (B/L/D)
September, 29. In the morning we will climb up to the observation deck once again and immediately set off for Gorno-Altaisk. Breakfast in a cafe on the way. Our trip is finished, and at 5.20 pm we will fly home. (B/L/)
The weather at the end of September may stand out both with plenty of warm sunny days and with plenty of cyclones. The average daily temperature can stay around +15°C - +20C, but there are also cold spells up to +5°C - +10°C and this is not uncommon. In the mountains, especially at Aktru, there may be frosts up to -5°C and even -10°C. Our travel format does not include overnight stays in extreme conditions, but your everyday clothing should be ready to be adjusted and reconfigured within the specified temperature range.
Cost of participation in the program includes:
- Group transfer on arrival and departure from Gorno-Altaisk airport (airport code RGK);
- Guidance of the group by professional guides who have many years of experience on the route;
- Work of an expedition cook on the route;
- Food and kitchen equipment;
- Meals according to the program (B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner);
- Rent and fuel for all our cars;
- Local Interpreter's work in Mongolia;
- Accommodation in a yurt camp or guest house in Mongolia;
- Payment to the hunters for participation in the shootings.
Cost of participation does not include:
- Flight to Gorno-Altaisk (airport code RGK);
- Mongolian and Russian visa fee;
- Personal expenses and payments;
- Health insurance;
- Alcoholic beverage;
- Meeting a yeti;
The cost of participation is €2550 EUR
Group of 12 people; 2 places available.
Especially for those who are fond of photography, we would like to add that, according to the established practice, only six to eight people from the group bring photo equipment. The others enjoy new impressions, emotions and seeing new places. So, you will not have to crowd and push each other on the shooting site.
A deposit of €1500 EUR will reserve your place in the program. The second payment of €1050 EUR is due by April, 1, 2021. If you book after April, 1, 2021 the full cost of participation is paid.
Cancellation of Booking:
If you are unable to participate in the program, or if you cancel, provided that the group is full, we will refund the full amount you have paid. If, after your cancellation, the group is still incomplete, we will refund the price you have paid in accordance with the following schedule based on 100% of the tour price:
>180 days before the start of the tour: full refund;
>90 days: 75% refund;
>60 days: 50% refund;
<60 days: non-refundable.
List of photo equipment for those who want to shoot:
- A tripod;
- A camera;
- A remote control of the camera;
- A wide-angle lens 16-35/14-24/15-30 in full-frame equivalent;
- A standard zoom 24-70/24-105 in full-frame equivalent;
- A telephoto lens minimum 70-200;
- A drone for photo and video shooting (optional).
- Trekking boots with a hard fluted sole;
- Light shoes for hotels;
- Slippers or rubber flip-flops for shower;
- A wind- and water-proof jacket (preferably with a membrane and a hood);
- Trekking pants;
- A raincoat (recommended, in case of bad weather);
- A sun protection hat;
- Thermal underwear (in case of cold weather);
- A headlamp and extra batteries;
- Personal toiletries;
- Rubber boots or UGC shoe covers;
Professional photographer and guide, mastermind and organizer of a travel project for keen photographers and photo enthusiasts. Works with groups from the USA, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries.
Travel photographer of the year by the TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT.
Articles and publications in the following magazines: Aeroflot, Aeroflot Premium, Siberia, the Evening Moscow.
Contest-winner and prize-winner of international competitions:
- First place, National Geographic 2017, Night Landscape section;
- First place, National Geographic 2017, Planet Summer Competition;
- First place, 35PhotoAwards, Daytime Landscape section;
- Third place, PSA Arctic Awards, 2016;
- Second place, Epson International Pano Awards, 2017;
- Winner of the RGO international contest "The Most Beautiful Country", in the section “Indigenous Peoples of Russia”, 2018;
- Gold Medal, TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT, 2019;
- Third place, 35PhotoAwards, 2020, in the section of serial works “Everyday Life of People”.
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