In Mongolia, 4 Missionaries of the Consolata operate, based in 2 communities. They take care about and provide prevalence, missionary animation, drop-in-center, interreligious dialogues and more.
July 10 - 22, 2018
In cooperation with Missionari della Consolata Onlus
Discover one of the most beautiful countries in East Asia. Experience remote desert villages and warm welcomes.
Photo Travel & Workshop
From Ulaanbaatar to the Gobi Desert and the Naadam Festival.
On this amazing travel across Mongolia we will experience the incredible diversity of scenery of this fascinating country. Wherever we travel we will meet scattered families of Mongolians who are incredibly hospitable and are usually more than happy to welcome travelers into their Gers for a glass of airag (fermented mare’s milk).
We will travel through the rural areas of Mongolia, from the flaming cliffs at Bayanzag to the remote western stretches of the Gobi, accompanied by Missionaries of MCO and expert local guides on roads less traveled on. This allows us to experience unique situations of everyday life, incredible faces, unique humanity everywhere we go.
This travel will let you experience the true essence of humanity of a people and a territory, far away from the usual tourist routes and in the context of the daily activities of the MCO projects. It’s a continuous discovery. You will be surprised moment after moment on these travels, while meeting and getting to know these amazing local villages and people. We combine our passion for photography and travels with ourprofessional experience, organizing your travels with a deep love for the countries and attention to details.
The basis of our responsible photographic travels are the unique contact and the empathy while engaging with locals. You will stay in remote villages, attend NGO activities supporting the community, participate to carry out their projects, take part in food preparation and last but not least work and photograph the life of the community from sunrise to sunset.
These are unique and unimaginable moments that only a slow, conscious and responsible travel can give you, organized by people who devoted their lives to the support of others.
This is a short itinerary. The detailed program will be available only for interested participants in order to protect local communities, children, people and the privacy of our NGO Staff on the field.
- Day 1 - Flight to Mongolia
Departure from Europe/International flights.
- Day 2 - Ulaanbaatar
Arrival in Ulaanbaator (UB), transfer to the accomodation and getting to know the city. Visit of the buddhism monastery Gandan (Standing Buddha statue, higher than 20 meters).
- Day 3 - Ulaanbaatar Naadam
Attend the largest Naadam festival, the National Naadam, held in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar. There are long introductory ceremonies where you will meet the horses, the jockeys, dancers, singers, and more. This event is especially focused on horseback riding.
- Day 4 - Kharkhorin
Travel to Kharkhorin, the antic Karakorum, imperial capital of Genghis Khan. First “exercise” with mongolian panoramas. Distance of travel: 360 km. On the route you will also meet the sand dunes and a Buddhist hermitage. Accommodation in Karkhorin.
- Day 5 - Kharkhorin
Visit the museum of Kharkhorin and the buddhist complex of Erdene Zuu. In the afternoon transfer to Arvaiheer. Distance of travel: 120 km. The travel to Arvaiheer goes through a typical valley with farms and beautiful views.
- Day 6 - Arvaikheer
Get to know the Mission of Arvaiheer with it’s various activities. Possibility to make a visit of the local market and some families of our NGO contact.
Possibile giro al mercato locale e visita a famiglie di nostri conoscenti. Meet the local missionaries and spend some time together.
- Day 7 - Arvaikheer Mission
Day with the Mission. Activities will be planned according to the interests of the group. Alternatively, we will start already the travel to the Gobi Desert.
- Day 8 - Gobi Desert
Travel to the Gobi Desert. Descending toward the south of the country, we enter the region of Omnogobi, to reach the most fascinating dunes of the desert.
Distance of travel: 350 km (almost all on dirt roads). Crossing 2 villages, we reach Khongoriin Els, the dunes. Accomodation in Gers (typical Mongolian houses).
- Day 9 - Gobi Desert
From the dunes to the red canyon of Bayanzag, passing through the valley of the eagles (Yoliin Am). The valley is a gorge with formations of ice, even in August. The red canyon is the place where there were found fossils of the largest dinosaurs. Accommodation in Gers (typical Mongolian houses).
- Day 10 - Omnogobi
From the red canyon we reach the capital region Omnogobi and following the asphalt roads continue to Ulaanbaatar. Distance of travel: 600 km (mostly on asphalt roads). According to the needs of the group, we will divide this long travel to visit some other interesting sites along the path.
- Day 11 - Ulaanbaatar
Last day in Mongolia, in the capital. You can use this day for shopping, visiting other interesting places or museums. Accommodation in Ulaanbator.
- Day 12 - Ulaanbaatar
Departure from Mongolia, International flights.
The participation fee includes:
All transfers in private vehicles (car, minivan or minibus, concerning the number of participants) with air condition and driver.
Accommodation in double/twin rooms with or near the local NGO partner
- Meals - Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Meals as indicated in the itinerary, with our NGO partner or in local restaurants.
- Professional Photographers
Professional NGO Photographers, experienced in the humanitarian field, will accompany the group for the whole travel.
The participation fee does NOT include:
- Personal transfers to your departure airport
Personal transfers / train tickets to and from your departure airport are not covered by the participation fee.
- International Flights
Return flights from any Worldwide main airports, economy class. We can offer best fares from our partner Raptim if you tell us your departure airport in the enquiry form.
- International Medical & Travel Insurance Coverage
All Participants in a Cause Photo Travels tours are required to have sufficient Medical Travel Insurance. Cause Photo Travels refuses participation of travel if the correct valid Medical Insurance is not provided. Travel insurance can be purchased with Cause Photo Travels and RAPTIM. Please visit the Medical and Travel insurance page.
Each participant hereby confirms that they understand and agree to purchase the required insurance listed below, that is valid internationally, and that they will be required to provide proof prior to departure for the Trip and in order to participate.
- Accident & Sickness Medical Expense Coverage (minimum $100,000 USD)
- Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation of Remains (minimum $200,000 USD)
- Accidental Death / Dismemberment
- Trip Cancellation Coverage
Suggested Additional Coverage:
- Hospital Room and Board
- Baggage and Personal Effects Coverage
- Trip Delay / Interruption
- Visitor to Bedside
We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out travel insurance that covers the full value of the Trip and personal effects in the case of Trip cancellation, loss or theft of baggage, and emergency evacuation. The Tour Operators their owners, agents and subsidiaries will not be held responsible for these expenses. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short the Trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum of the amount paid (see the section “Deposits, Payments, Cancellations and Refunds” in the terms and conditions above).
Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut the Trip short for medical or any other reasons.
There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, we recommend that you read carefully the fine print of your insurance policy.
- Snacks & Drinks outside of normal meals
Please consider a little amount for some personal snacks or drinks along the way.
- Tips for guides, drivers, bellhops etc.
Tips are not covered by the participation fee. Please read the “What to bring” section to check for tipping guidelines.
- The country
Mongolia is an independent republic in East Asia. The country is bounded on the south, east and west by China and to the north by Russia. The capital city is Ulaanbaatar, and other major cities include Darhan and Erdenet. The country is mountainous with an average altitude of 1580 meters above sea level, which makes Mongolia one of the highest countries in the world. The lowest point is Hoh Nuur depression at 560 meters above sea level and the highest point is the Khuiten peak at 4374 m.
- Documents required
There are 13 different types of Mongolian visa issued to foreign citizens by Mongolian authorized organizations to enable them to enter Mongolia on different purposes. It is important to research visa requirements before traveling internationally to avoid any issues with border control officials and airlines.
The tögrög or tugrik (sign: ₮; code: MNT) is the official currency of Mongolia.
- Credit cards
Most larger shops, hotels, and restaurants in Ulaanbaatar will accept the common credit cards. To some lesser degree this is also the case in other large cities. Small shops, merchants on public markets, end everybody on the countryside will only be able to process cash. All big banks in Ulaanbaatar will accept traveller cheques. But outside of the capital they’re not likely to be of any use.
The official language of Mongolia is Mongolian, and is spoken by 95% of the population. A variety of dialects of Oirat and Buryat are spoken across the country, and there are also some speakers of Mongolic Khamnigan. In the west of the country, Kazakh and Tuvan, both Turkic languages, are also spoken.
Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.
In generally, No special vaccinations are required for travel to Mongolia unless the traveler is coming from a yellow fever infected area. In general, it is advisable to follow the advice of the World Health Organization or USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to have some vaccinations in advance.
- Time Zone
The international time zone in Mongolia is GMT + 8 hours and GMT + 7 hours in the western provinces of Bayan-Ölgii, Uvs and Khovd.
- Plugs, sockets and electricity
Electricity in Mongolia is 230V, with a frequency of 50hz. Power sockets are of type C (standard Euro plug) and E (french origin).
- Phone, Smartphone and local carriers
- Mobile operators: G-Mobile (CDMA) – Established in 2007, it is focusing on development in rural areas. Mobicom Corporation (GSM) – The first mobile operator. Skytel (CDMA). Unitel (GSM)
Buddhism (50%), Irreligion (38.6%), Islam (3%), Shamanism (2.9%), Christianity (2.1%)
Mongolia is one of the safest countries in the world. The policemen are quite friendly to the tourists. As a visitor you are unlikely to experience any serious problems. However, like anywhere else there are a few things that visitors should be aware of, things that will need extra care and attention. Foreign visitors are targets for a very small minority of thieves. Theft is seldom violent. Pick pocketing and bag slitting is most common in crowded places such as the black market, on buses or at tourist attractions such as Gandan Monastery and shopping places. Valuables should be kept in a money belt and kept underneath your clothing. Be careful about being seen with large amounts of money outside.
Low Season (Oct–Apr)
Most ger camps and some guesthouses close; discounts available. Frigid in December/January, air pollution in Ulaanbaatar. Winds and dust storms March/April. Activities like dog sledding, ice skating and skiing.
Shoulder (May & Sep)
Some ger (traditional yurt) camps may be closed. Weather can be changeable so plan for a cold snap. Fewer tourists means more available train and plane tickets.
High Season (Jun–Aug)
Expect warm and mostly dry weather in June and July, with some thunderstorms. Late August sees cooler temperatures and more rain. Book flights and accommodation in advance, especially around Naadam.
As visa requirements vary considerably from country to country and nationality to nationality, please contact the various embassies or a visa service agent in your home country to re-check your visa requirements at least 4 weeks prior to travelling. Please note that visas are the responsibility of the traveller and that Cause Photo Travels will not be held responsible for guests being denied entry should they not be in the possession of the relevant visas. All travellers must be in possession of a valid onward/return air ticket or proof of other means of transport enabling the traveller to leave the country in which our tour passes or terminates. You should also have proof of sufficient funds (e.g. credit card) to see you through your time in the country. In some cases visas are available on entry into a country and may be cheaper to do so, however for peace of mind and to speed up the border crossing process, Cause Photo Travels will always advise you to get your visas prior to your trip if possible.
WHAT TO BRING
You can bring whatever camera you wish, but we recommend a DSLR or mirrorless digital cameras. Make sure you are familiar with your camera, as with some scenarios you will encounter, you will have to work fast in order to not miss a picture.
- Memory Cards
Memory cards for your cameras may not be available at every stop of the travel, so make sure you bring enough memory cards with you.
Without Batteries, you will not be able to get any pictures. So make sure you bring spare batteries for your camera and a charger. Charging will be possible at the hotels.
Backups are essential. Cameras, harddrives and memory cards may break or get stolen. Make sure you bring enough Backup for the travel.
If you want to bring accessories, please consider the weight of your luggage. We usually use available light, but it could be useful to bring GND filters or a light travel tripod. Make sure, all accessories work with your camera.
Lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing is recommended and long-sleeved items should be included for protection from mosquitoes and the sun. During the rainy season, bring everything to protect yourself and your camera from the rain. A jacket may be needed in hotels and restaurants using excessive air-conditioning.
- Wind & waterproof
It is recommended to bring light wind- and waterproof jacket.
Laundry service may be available in bigger villages or hotels, but if you need washing, please bring ecofriendly detergent to hand wash your clothes.
Mosquito repellent is highly recommended.
- Drinking Water
Tap water is not drinking water. You can bring your own bottle and filter system and buy big water gallons along the way to refill your bottle.
Tipping is not traditionally expected here, but in a country as poor as Cambodia, tips can go a long way. Salaries remain extremely low and service is often superb thanks to a Khmer commitment to hospitality. Hence a tip of just US$1 might be half a day’s wages for some. Many of the upmarket hotels levy a 10% service charge, but this doesn’t always make it to the staff. If you stay a couple of nights in the same hotel, try to remember to tip the staff that clean your room. Consider tipping drivers and guides, as the time they spend on the road means time away from home and family.
Bring a light daypack, suitable to carry your cameras for shorter trips in order to avoid bringing your complete camera backpack every time.
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