Mongolia Photo Journey – July 2022
This trip had originally been planned for July 2020, then COVID happened. I am eternally grateful that folks hung on to their reservations for two years and we were able to have an amazing trip!
Our focus was cultural, though we did have a very few wildlife sightings including a critically endangered saiga antelope that galloped past us in a flash.
We were able to stay with and photograph the iconic Kazakh eagle hunters and even crashed a wedding. Near Khovd we went to a traditional festival called a nadaam, with dusty, spirited horse races, and beefy wrestlers who made short work of soldiers who were attending. Finally, as part of the group split off to photograph the endangered takhi (Przewalski’s horse) I was able to meet with shamans. In the Soviet era, Shamanism (and Buddhism) were repressed, but the ancient cultural traditions are making a resurgence.
The vast steppe and arid mountains of Mongolia are magnificent. It is awe-inspiring to witness a rainstorm sweeping across the land and passing clouds dapple the hillsides. It is truly one of the last places where one can feel so small yet invigorated by nature.