Exotic Landscapes of the Gobi Desert

Camel caravan in the Gobi Desert

Imagine photographing towering dunes, camels, desert oases and red sandstone cliffs!

Overview Gobi Desert Photography

Join me on this incredible photography expedition to the rugged, harsh and stunningly beautiful Gobi Desert. We’ll travel in comfort from Ulaanbaatar to the Khongor Sand Dunes and spend the next 5 days exploring and photographing the amazing Gobi Desert.

This trip is meant to be a prequel to the Golden Eagle Festival photography tour, but hey, if you want to fly to Mongolia and come along, do it!

Highlights Gobi Desert Photography Tour

  • 5 Nights and 6 Days
  • Small Group – 6 clients
  • Professional Bi-lingual Guides
  • One on One and Small Group Photography Instruction
  • Camels, Horses, Local People and Models

Arrive in Mongolia September 27, 2018


September 27, 2018 – Day 1

Arrive in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia where you will be met at the airport by our local representative and driven to the hotel.

September 28, 2018 – Day 2

We will leave after breakfast, head south toward the Gobi Desert. The drive this day will be about 6 hours on paved roads with a stop for lunch and several photogenic locations along the way.

September 29, 2018 – Day 3

We will arrive at the Khongor Sand Dunes in the early afternoon. These dunes are the most significant and most beautiful of the Mongolian Sand Dunes stretching for some 100 miles (170km) in length. At the Khongor Oasis, the dunes reach a height of about 700 feet (200 meters), The locals call them “The Singing Sands” because of the noise made by the wind sweeping across the dunes. We will visit a camel breeder’s family and use their Bactrian Camels as models at sunset.

September 30, 2018 – Day 4

We will be up with the sun photographing the camel herders, dunes and local people in traditional clothing. We will also have photo ops with a camel caravan, women milking camels and other traditional activities.

This evening we will photograph Gobi’s Flaming Cliffs.  The Flaming Cliffs site also known as Bayanzag and the sandstone cliffs are stunning during the golden hours.

Flaming Cliffs or Bayanzag in Mongolia's Gobi Desert - Golden Eagle Festival Photography Tour
Flaming Cliffs or Bayanzag in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert

October 1, 2018 – Day 5

Our sunrise photo session will again be at the Flaming Cliffs, this time with a herd of horses. In the afternoon we will be photographing more horses with a local family.

October 2, 2018 – Day 6

After breakfast, we make the drive back to our hotel in Ulaanbaatar and brag about our incredible images to those just arriving. Ok, you don’t have to do that!

Included in the Tour

All of you accommodations and most meals are included for the Gobi extension. All transportation in Mongolia is also included. Multiple English speaking guides and translators and photography instruction.

Not Included

International transportation, extra nights accommodations, meals not mentioned, items of a personal nature, alcohol, gratuities.

You should bring your standard kit for landscape photography. We recommend a wide angle such as a 16-35mm, a fast prime (F1.8) such as a 20 or 24mm, and  mid range zoom like a 70-200mm. A tripod and ball head, remote trigger release. There will not be much need for a long telephoto for this trip, so you can travel light and leave the big glass at home.

Bring plenty of batteries as we may not have electricity that is suitable for charging everyday.

It’s almost impossible to list everything that you’ll need, so just get in touch, and we can talk about what you have and what you might need.

US Citizens Traveling To Mongolia*

Passport

Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of departure from Mongolia.

Blank Passport Pages

One page required.

Visa Requirements

Not required for stays of fewer than 90 days.

Vaccination Recommendations

None required, please consult with your physician if you have any health concerns or questions.

Travelling to Mongolia

Chinggis Khaan International Airport (ULN) in Ulaanbaatar is the destination airport for our trip to Mongolia.

You will be picked up at the airport and driven to the groups hotel. You should plan to arrive before 3PM on October 2 and you plan departures anytime on October 12.

There are two ways to travel to Mongolia from North America that are easy to navigate, via Beijing, China and via Seoul, South Korea.

Both airports have connecting flights to Mongolia. Air China has a direct flight from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar and Mongolian Air (MIAT) has a direct flight from Seoul to Ulaanbaatar.

Making connections in Beijing

When you fly from North America, you will only be issued one ticket to get you to Beijing. You have to go to a ticketing counter before security to obtain your second ticket from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar. If you have two to four hours your luggage will be checked through, and you only have to get your second ticket.

If your layover in Beijing is longer than four hours you will need to go through customs in the line that says 72-hour visa and get that stamp on your passport, then retrieve your luggage and check in for your net flight at the appropriate counter on the departures level.

It sounds complicated, but its quite easy and we can walk you through more details when you are booking your flights.

Making Connections in Seoul

If you fly through South Korea, they have the same policies, but you don’t need to obtain a visa, you just have to retrieve your luggage for longer layovers and check into your flight three hours before departure.

Both airports have hotels in them. So for longer layovers, you don’t have to leave the airport if you don’t want to.

Mongolia Travel Tips

When booking flights, please do not cut your connections too short. We suggest at least 2 to 3 hours between flights to make it through security if your bags are checked all the way through to Mongolia. Especially in Beijing.

Kevin has done this route for the past five years and has mentioned that there can be delays on flights leaving Mongolia because of high winds and also said that there are frequent late arrivals into China and South Korea when you are flying from North America. Kevin always leaves 4 hours going through Beijing and 3 hours going through South Korea.

We might also suggest you arrive a day early to help you get over the jet lag before the trip. The extra night will cost you about $100 USD with breakfast, and we will arrange that you can pay the hotel directly. Alternatively, you can book your additional nights on Expedia with Hotel9 direct. Just make sure you inform us on how you want to do that.

Arriving in Mongolia

When you arrive in Ulaanbaatar, you don’t need a VISA if you are an American or Canadian citizen with an American or Canadian passport. You just need to fill out the customs declaration form and go through customs and retrieve your luggage.

Grab a cart to put your luggage on, and when you walk out into the arrivals terminal, our local representative/driver will be waiting with a sign that says, Jeff Wendorff Photography.

Your driver will take you to his car or van and drive you to Hotel9. The drive is approximately 30 minutes. Once you arrive at the hotel the diver will also show you the way to the third-floor reception area and introduce you to the girl at the check-in counter. She will give you a room card, and the porter will be there to take your luggage up to your room for you. Easy peasy!

The food is good at the restaurant on the 3rd floor and is open from 7:30 am till 10 pm.

Travel Information Required

Please make sure that you send Jeff and Kevin the following information before the trip.

  • Your flight information
  • Your date of birth
  • Your passport issuing country
  • Your home country
  • Your passport number
  • Your dietary requirements
  • Any medical issues we should be aware of
  • Emergency numbers back at home.Lodging & Transportation

Trip Insurance

I always use trip insurance for my travels. It’s so much easier and with so many more benefits when you compare it with your insurance. I’ve found the costs to be reasonable given the benefits. I use Travel Guard when I travel and even though; I’ve not had a claim they were helpful and easy to deal with on the phone.

*Information for US citizens travel to Mongolia was obtained from the US Department of State and was valid as of October, 2017. If you are traveling to Mongolia from another country, please check with your embassy to check the travel requirements for your country.

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