MANUL OF MONGOLIA PHOTO TOUR
photograph the unique Pallas's cat
Manul of Mongolia Photo Tour
Photograph the unique Pallas's cat
Spend six full days photographing the small, unique manul found in the eastern steppes of Mongolia. This tour is timed to photograph manul kittens as they emerge from their dens, allowing for unique opportunities to see play behavior as well as food deliveries by their mom. You will have the unique chance to spend hours with these curious and cute looking felines.
PHOTOGRAPH WILD MANUL IN MONGOLIA
SEE MANUL KITTENS AT THEIR DEN
WATCH MANUL KITTENS PLAY
SEE CORSAC FOXES ON THE MONGOLIAN STEPPE
EXPLORE THE PREDATORY BIRDS, LIKE STEPPE EAGLES
STAY IN A TRADITIONAL MONGOLIAN GER CAMP
Why we love this Manul of Mongolia photo tour
Our manul of Mongolia photo tour is an exclusive tour offering to find and photograph manul, also known as Pallas's cat, in the wild. We have designed the tour to overlap with the time at which manul kittens first start leaving their den, providing us the unique opportunity to photograph these cute fur balls as they start exploring their world.
We travel to the eastern part of Mongolia, where the vast steppes evoke a sense of endless freedom. Large herds of domestic horses run freely through these grasslands. Corsac foxes dig their obscure dens into hillsides. Steppe eagles and Eurasian Eagle-Owls keep an every watchful eye out for rodent prey.
We work directly with manul biologists to photograph the cats ethically, in a way that ensures the well-being of the cats, while providing you ample opportunities for great pictures. In all of our past trips we have had the opportunity to see multiple mother's and their kittens, giving us the opportunity to see different personalities amongst the cats.
Our accomodations for this manul of Mongolia photo tour are the most unique within all of our tours. We have the privilege of staying at a traditional, nomadic ger (yurt) camp, in the middle of the vast steppes. The rooms are simple, but very comfortable, the food is delicious, and our hosts are extremely friendly.
Manul of Mongolia photo tour testimonials
"One of my best encounters with wild cats. Being in the mongolian remote areas to meet the shy manuls is one of my best encounters with this little wild cat. Everything was tiptop from the organisation to the local guide and all opportunities to meet these very shy cats. Do highly recommend this trip for people who are interested in saving the wild cats!"
- Maria Tf
"The Manul trip was spectacular. We spent hours at the den sites every afternoon, watching kittens play and run to greet their mothers whenever they returned from a hunt. We even came to recognize individual kittens and see differences in their personalities. I never dreamed I’d be able to watch and photograph wild cat kittens like this, let alone those of a species as elusive as the Manul! The cat sightings are worth the whole trip, but it was also excellent in so many other ways. I loved staying in a ger on the beautiful endless green steppe, which is unlike any place I’ve experienced. We had great encounters with other wildlife like Corsac Foxes, Steppe Eagles, Eurasian Eagle-owls, and Mongolian Gazelle. I can’t recommend this trip highly enough!"
- Carrie Smith
"From the moment we arrived in Manul camp in Mongolia, the sightings began. Lots of cats and lots of action. In the morning we would drive with our skilled local guide and see beautiful species like owls, steppe eagles, and corsac foxes. Afternoons were all Manul for hours, it was unbelievable. From a cultural perspective, Manul camp is fantastic. Delicious home-cooked meals for any type of eater from vegetarians to carnivores. Staying in a beautiful Ger with hand-carved wood ceilings and beautiful details is something I will never forget. Working with a skilled cat guide like Sebastian helped us prepare for the cats' behavior and how to position for the best images. And, best images we sure did get."
- Michelle Liles
"The manul trip with Sebastian and our local guide delivered an experience of a lifetime. We could observe Pallas’s Cat families around their den sites for hours every day. It was amazing to watch the kittens pounce around, play with each other and interact with mom. We also had a chance to photograph other species on this tour as well: corsac fox, steppe eagle and eagle-owl were just some of my personal favorites. Staying in the gers out in the steppe, eating the local, delicious home cooked meals and spending time with our wonderful hosts was absolutely priceless!"
- Zita Quentin
"The trip exceeded my expectations! Ethical wildlife viewing is hugely important to me. Oogii’a knowledge and experience, combined with Sebastian’s expert understanding of both the cats, and photography allowed us to experience wildlife safely and with minimal disturbance. We came back with a greater knowledge of the manul - and some great images!"
- Julie Jessen
"This trip exceeded expectations. We had so many opportunities to observe and photograph the manul cats and kittens, hunting, playing, hanging out and more. I thoroughly enjoyed the ger camp, the food was perfect, our research hosts were lovely and accessible, and we got to also photograph a variety of other native mammals and birds, including the Steppe eagle."
- Jodi Frediani
"Sebastian and his team were very friendly, welcoming, professional and knowledgeable. They provided lots of interesting information about the Manul as well as the other species that we observed including fox, gazelle, eagles, falcons, badger, and vultures. We were fortunate to see Manul kittens relaxing on rocks, playing, and hunting every day while out on the steppe. Sebastian encouraged questions and his suggestions significantly improved the quality of my photographs. Sebastian and the host family provided a very relaxed environment at the ger camp. The food was good and the gers were quite spacious and comfortable. Thank you Sebastian for such a wonderful experience."
- Sue Stretton
Target wild cat during our Manul of Mongolia photo tour
Manul (Otocolobus manul)
Manul, also known as Pallas's cat are our main wild cat target species during our manul of Mongolia photo tour. We will be photographing these unique, grumpy looking cats from blinds near their dens. This allows us to ethically photograph kittens as they start to explore the world surrounding their den. With manul litters consisting of multiple kittens, play behavior is common.
You are in good hands, we are manul experts
We have designed a unique tour to photograph and observe manul in the wilds of Mongolia. The steppes are vast, but our guides know how to find pallas's cat on a consistent basis. Their expertise leads to multiple photographic encounters of manul throughout the trip.
Your international wild cat and photography guide is Sebastian Kennerknecht who has intimate knowledge of cat behavior, including that of the pallas's cat. He has spent over fifty hours observing manul at their den, seeing kittens play as well as their mother bringing back rodent prey for the little ones.
Besides having Sebastian by your side for guidance at all time, we have hand picked the best local guides who study manul and other steppe wildlife when not guiding out tour. They have an intimate knowledge of where manul dens are, and what their behavior is.
Fly into Ulaanbaatar airport in Mongolia. You will be picked up from the airport and driven to the hotel. After settling in we will meet for an early dinner to meet each other and get excited about our journey ahead. You will get plenty of rest before we head out the following day.
We take a packed breakfast as we head out early for an eight hour drive (no flights go to this part of Mongolia), towards the east of Mongolia. After arriving and settling into our traditional ger camp, we will have our first outing to explore the wilderness of the Mongolian steppe.
In the mornings we drive 4x4 vehicles to find and photograph steppe eagles, little owls, eurasian eagle-owls, corsac foxes, and other animals of the area. Lunch is back at camp, where you get to relax before our manul outing. In the afternoon we photograph manul from hides, at their den. Dinner is back at camp.
We leave early to utilize the first part of our drive back to Ulaanbaatar as a game drive. This drive also affords us the best chances to see Cinereous Vultures. We will have lunch along the way. After settling back into the comfortable Khan Palace, we will have a good-bye dinner celebrating the tour and new friendships we have made.
You will be taken from the hotel to your onward international flights.
Itinerary at a glance
1 hotel 1 ger camp
7 GAME DRIVES
5 blind shoots
1 SMALL CATS
Unique itinerary for our Manul of Mongolia photo tour
Like our other tours, our manul of Mongolia photo tour itinerary was designed to specifically see and photograph wild cats. We have chosen the best location in Mongolia to find manul. This is true not only on a large scale, having determined the best country location to find Pallas's cat, but also on a micro-level, knowing where to look for these cats on the endless steppes.
Besides manul, you will have the opportunity to photograph corsac fox, steppe eagle, eurasian eagle-owl, little owl, and other steppe birds. To do so, you will be led by both international photography guides with decades of experience, as well as local manul and bird guides who know the animals extremely well.
Besides providing you the opportunity to see and photograph wild cats, we at Cat Expeditions make your travel experience hassle free. Upon booking, you will be sent a full itinerary that includes what to bring and how to prepare. Once you land in Mongolia, you can focus on enjoying yourself as all the travel logistics are not only taken care off, but optimized to give you the most time to enjoy the incredible wildlife that the vast steppes have to offer.
Traditional Ger Camp
As part of our Manul of Mongolia photo tour, you will have the unique opportunity to stay in a traditional Mongolian ger (yurt) camp.
The rooms are basic in amenities, providing you with a twin bed under beautifully carved wood lattices holding up the thick canvas roof. Up to three same gendered individuals share one large ger.
The bathroom is an outhouse, a short walk away from the tents. You can take hot showers at camp, and internet is available in the evenings, when the generator is turned on.
Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace
Serving as our arrival and departure hotel, the Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace provides the luxuries you enjoy before and after time spent in the field photographing the manuls. Located in the capital of Ulaanbaatar it is an hours drive from the airport.
This five star luxury hotel offers king sized beds with extensive bathrooms, giving you the opportunity to relax before your onward international fights. Two restaurants on the premises provide us high quality food to celebrate our trip. An extensive breakfast sees you off full before your flights.
High speed internet is available. Laundry is available at a cost to you.
Conservation impact of our Manul of Mongolia photo tour
Like all Cat Expeditions tours, our manul of Mongolia photo tour has conservation impact built into it. Manul are classified as near threatened, and are decreasing in population worldwide. Habitat fragmentation, overgrazing by livestock, as well as livestock guarding dogs killing the cats are the major threats to pallas's cat.
We partner with a local research and conservation organization focused on studying and protecting manul in the steppes of Mongolia. Their latest research looks at the density, movement patterns, and diet of the pallas's cat.
Manul of Mongolia Photo Tour Dates
July 8th-16th, 2024 (SOLD OUT)
July 17th-25th, 2024 (SOLD OUT)
July 2nd-10th, 2025 (3 spots left)
July 11th-19th, 2025 (1 spot left)
Manul of Mongolia Photo Tour Pricing
Price per person: $7,800
Single room supplement: $500
The price includes:
- all transportation starting in Mongolia
- meals (not including alcohol)
- wild cat excursions
- guide services of Sebastian Kennerknecht
- guide services of local guide
- conservation donation to local manul NGO
The price does not include:
- flights to Mongolia