The Gobi Bear Photography Expedition To The Gobi Strictly Protected Area of The Gobi Desert And Mongolia September 2015

Gobi Bear Mongolia


The Gobi Bear Photography Expedition a unique wildlife photography opportunity for adventurous wildlife photographers. Mongolia is the least densely populated country on earth … the place to go if you are looking for solitude, wide open spaces, sunny weather and a true wilderness experience. It abounds in rare wildlife,with the Gobi Desert boasting a surprising array of large animals including the snow leopard, argali, ibex,wolf and of course the extremely rare Gobi Bear. It is a landscape and wildlife photographers paradise.

The Gobi Bear is the World’s rarest bear and one of the World most endangered species with scientific studies putting the numbers left at between 30 and 40. There is very little photography of the Gobi Bear and even less film. The area where the Gobi Bears are in southern Mongolia in the Gobi Strictly Protected Area and until now the only people allowed in to track the Gobi Bear have been scientific research expeditions and National Geographic to try and film the Gobi Bear.

We have negotiated these unique permissions due to our extensive contacts in Mongolia and the future photography expeditions to this are will be used to boost the slim resources of the Gobi Bear Foundation.

On the reconnaissance of the Gobi Bear photography expedition you will be accompanied by three members of the 1000 Mile Journeys Team including Dave Scott a veteran of over 22 expeditions to Mongolia. Dave is also the Honorary Consul of Mongolia for Scotland and has handled all the negotiations to get this unique access and permissions. Pete Syme 1000 Mile Journeys founder who walked across 1200 miles of the Gobi Desert on foot in 51 days and is going back in 2016 to attempt a 50 day crossing will also be on the expedition. Final member of the 1000 Mile Journeys team is Stewart Richardson a veteran of countless expeditions and our in house expedition photographer see. Expedition Photography

The Gobi Bear Photography Expedition Itinerary 

DAY 1 Arrive Ulan Bator

Arrive at Ulan Bator airport.You will be met at the airport for the transfer to your hotel in Ulan Bator. Check-in at your hotel and rest of the day at leisure. Evening meal and get together for the Gobi Bear Photography Expedition team

O/N Bayangol Hotel (DBB)

DAY 2 Hustai National Park

Breakfast and check-out. Depart for the Hustai National Park, the home of the wild Perwozski Horse Arrive in time for lunch. As well as being home to the rare Perwozski Horse, Hustai National Park is home to lynx, wolves, deer and marmots. While we will definitely see the horses, marmots and deer, sightings of wolves and lynx will involve a degree of good fortune, given our short time in the Park. Following lunch we will enjoy an afternoon drive and leisurely walk in search of wild horses and other wildlife.

O/N ger camp, Hustai (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 3 Bayanhongor

Early risers will have the opportunity of a very early game drive, followed by breakfast.After breakfast we will begin the drive to Bayanhongor. We will take frequent stops as we skirt theHangayn Nuruu mountains, arriving at our destination late in the evening. Lunch will be enjoyed along the way.

O/N in ger camp or central hotel. (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 4 Elhin Gol

Following an early breakfast we will continue our drive south into the Gobi Desert. Our destination is Elhin Gol,within the Gobi Strictly Protected Area, home to the Gobi Bear. Hear we will meet with the head of the Gobi Bearresearch project who will introduce us to this unique environment and brief us on its incredible natural history.As dinner is prepared we will take a relaxed drive into the surrounding mountains, enjoying its stunning vistas,beautiful aromas and, if we are fortunate, some of its wildlife.

O/N in camp (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 5 Elhin Gol

Following a very early rise, we will drive into the countryside in search of wildlife. Enjoying coffee onthe way, we will return to camp for breakfast. The rest of the day will be spent at the bear feeding station, where we will have the opportunity to set overnight camera traps. Wolves, snow leopards, argali, ibex and bears have all been photographed previously.

O/N in camp (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 6 Elhin Gol

As per day 5, visiting another spot within the bears range.

O/N in camp (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 7 Elhin Gol

As per day 6, visiting another spot within the bears range.

O/N in camp (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 8 Gurvantes

Today we will take a short journey East into the Gurvain Saikhan National Park. We will spend a day in the Gurvantes area, home to the snow leopard research station where we will have the opportunity to seek out these most elusive of cats.

O/N in ger camp (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 9 Khongyron Els

Following an early breakfast we will cross the mighty Khongyron Els, the highest sand dunes in Asia (and thesecond highest in the World). After a lunch spent with nomadic camel herders we will continue to a secluded gorge to pitch camp. This gorge has been the scene of many wildlife sightings by our team over the years including snow leopard, Ibex and wolf. As we enjoy dinner we will watch a variety of vultures and raptors soaring overhead.

O/N in ger camp (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 10 Yol Ice Gorge, Dalandzadgad

Today we will make our way toward the capital of the Gobi Desert, Dalandzadgad. On our way we will take frequent stops to sample local culture and enjoy stunning vistas and wildlife. The highlight of the day will be visiting the World famous Yol ice gorge, which holds ice throughout the year. The gorge and surrounding mountains abound in wildlife and with the gorge being named after the Lammergeyer we hope to see some of these stunning birds as they drop animal bones onto the hard ground to gain access to the marrow within. On arrival in Dalandzadgad we will pick up a one hour return flight to Ulan Bator

O/N in Ulan Bator Hotel (breakfast, lunch, dinner)


To apply for one of these 8 available places on this recce please get in contact with us by email or phone and give us a brief background on yourself and your wildlife photography history and any expedition experience. Please give us any links to your online wildlife photography. Also please state why you want to take part in the Gobi Bear photography expedition.

Before applying please watch this National Geographic short film about the Gobi bear

Photography Expedition tour dates

4th – 16th September 2015


Land package

Cost based on 8 paying photographer guests.

Per person sharing: £2,000 this is 50% reduction on retail cost from 2016.

Why is the recce discounted?

Even with all our joint Mongolia experience we have never operated in the restricted areas before due to never being allowed in! Therefore we want to ensure we have all the challenges of wildlife photography of the Gobi Bear ironed out before we take full paying guests and some professional wildlife photographers who want the chance to get photography of this elusive and rare bear. Some bears have tracking collars and this means tracking them over rough terrain working with the local rangers and we want to see how this works with a small group of wildlife photographers. We want to give future photographers every opportunity possible to get photography of the Gobi Bear and that means ironing out the challenges a group of real live wildlife photographers presents and that is where you come in.

Therefore you will need to be up for the challenges and willing to work as a team to achieve the expedition aim which is: To get high quality wildlife photography of the Gobi Bear.

Single Supplement: £100

~ English speaking guide


~ All transport, including fuel

~ All accommodation (hotel, ger camp, camping)

~ Medical Support


~ International flights

~ Travel, medical and luggage insurance

~ Visa, if required

~ Meals not specified

~ Things of a personal nature (eg. Alcoholic beveridges)

Future Gobi Bear Photography and Filming Expeditions

2015 Oct/Nov 2 weeks  £4000

2016 March/April 2 weeks £4000

2016 Oct/Nov 2 weeks £4000


The Gobi Bear Photography Expedition is a unique opportunity for Wildlife Photographers to get the chance to photograph not only the Worlds rarest bear but one of the most endangered animals in the World and at the same time contribute to their future survival. This recce expedition at a 50% discount to future expeditions will allow ambitious amateur wildlife photographers who are used to operating in wild challenging environments a chance to photograph a rare animal which to date has not only been photographed very few times but has been only the domain of professional wildlife photographers.