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Kyrgyzstan Photo Tour

Silk Road Kyrgyztan

Join us for this photo tour of Kyrgyztan, a Central Asian country along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean. The Tian Shan mountains, which surround the old caravan route and dominate the country, are home to snow leopards, lynx and sheep. Kyrgyztan is often referred to as the little sibling of Kazakhstan.

Some highlights of this photo tour:

Bishkek. Local models, traditional oriental and very colorful Bazaar, traditional living and clothes
Ala Archa National Park. Beautiful alpine views, snow peaks, rivers
Burana Tower, national monument
Boom gorge. Issyk-Kul, the second largest mountain lake in the world after Lake Titicaca
Kok-Boru, a traditional sport played on horseback
“Seven bulls” rocks and hike to the “Tears of Snow Leopard” waterfall
Visit traditional yurts
Sunrise at the Son-Kul lake, breakfast in the yurt
Traditional handicraft. Try your own hand at making felt and traditional Kyrgyz carpets.
Kegety Gorge, home to numerous streams, alpine meadows, and spruce forests
Horse riders in Kegety gorge

Itinerary for Kyrgyzstan Photo Tour with Tim Vollmer and Dean J. Tatooles


Day 1 Arrival in Bishkek
Arrival to Manas Airport in Bishkek. Our team welcome you and drive you to the hotel situated in the capital. You have the rest until the 12:00 than the lunch in the restaurant. In the afternoon we will visit of the capital-Bishkek to see and capture the Orthodox Church, Oak Park, theater of Opera and Ballet, place of the Victory, TCUM. Dinner at the restaurant. Accommodation: Hotel Plaza

Day 2 – Bishkek
After breakfast in the hotel, we start our visit from the heart of the city – Ala-Too Square at 10:00, photo shooting ~2hours with the professional model, the gallery of painters, and the square of the Victory. Lunch in the restaurant. Closer to evening it is a great time to take a good photo with shadows. Let’s visit the largest traditional market (bazaar) in Bishkek. The bazaar where you can take a colorful photo of local citizens during their routine life. Here you can find a lot of interesting faces, women in national clothes and children and appreciate the creativity and talent of local artisans. Just as you step the market, you plunge into the real oriental atmosphere: an interminable stream of people, a big variety of goods and colors. Dinner at the restaurant. Accommodation: Hotel Plaza

Day 3 – Bishkek – Ala Archa National Park -Bishkek
Full day Arbaminch to visit Netchsar National park which protects varsities of savannah habitats,(Zebras and gazelles) ranging from the knotted acacia scrub on the bridge of wide scenery. Once across the bridge, there are sweeping views over the plains to majestic volcanic hills on the eastern boundary. After lunch drive for the boat ride (5-6 Hours) on Lake chamo to enjoy the most spectacular scenery of the lake and see the largest crocodile, species which riches until 6-meter length / Crocodile Market/ of the African continent as well as birds species. Overnight at the Paradise Lodge.

Day 4 – Bishkek – Burana – Chon Kemin

After breakfast, we are leaving Bishkek and driving around 2-3 hours to the Burana Tower. We will start photo session at this spot at 15:30 with the professional model.
Photo shooting up to sunset ~19:00. In the evening we will reach Chon-Kemin valley where will stay for overnight. Accommodation: Guesthouse «Ashuu»

Day 5 – Chon-Kemin – Cholpon-Ata
Transfer from Chon-Kemin is going through Boom gorge where we will have several stops for taking picturesque photo. We go to Issyk-Kul, the second largest mountain lake in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America. It is at an altitude of 1,607 meters and reaches 668 meters in depth. Will stay in the city of Venus-Cholpon-Ata. It is the main resort town of Issyk-Kul region. We will discover the cultural and historical complex Ruh Ordo, a spiritual place and monument for 4 main religions of the world and the open air museum. Free time for photo session of the lake ~17:00 – 20:00, this time is the best for a photography due to the light. Accommodation: Hotel «Caprice»

Day 6 – Cholpon-Ata – Karakol

Breakfast at the hotel, then we are going to Karakol where we will have a photo session of traditional Kyrgyz game “Kok-Boru”. Instead of usual game playing, you will have photo stages of the most spectaculars moments with awesome mountain background. Kok-Boru – it is the traditional sport played on Horseback with the Carcass of a Goat. It is like nomad’s polo but more wild and rough. After the photo shooting transfer to hotel. Dinner at the ethnic restaurant « Dastorkon». Accommodation: Hotel «Karagat»

Day 7 – Karakol –Altyn-Arashan- Karakol

This day, we try a special transport on real broken mountain roads; we have to overcome the enormous rocks, ravines, and pits. This ride should be very exciting and fascinating. When we arrive at Altyn Arashan, the incredible beauty of these places strikes our eyes. Later, swimming in the hot springs is a preview. The road back will be full of unforgettable emotions thanks to terrain and driver’s talent. Accommodation: Hotel «Karagat»

Day 8 – Karakol – Jety-Oguz—Barskoon-Tamg

After breakfast, we go Jety Oguz Valley. Its name means “Seven bulls”. The name is symbolic because there are seven huge red-brown rocks resembling ranked furious bulls standing together. The especially romantic look has the rock “Broken Heart” located at the entrance to the gorge. We go hiking to the waterfall. After we visit, the Barskoon Gorge with impressive nature and the waterfall called Tears of Snow Leopard. At the foot of the mountain, you can also enjoy the beautiful Barskoon River. During the summertime, people build yurts here, so you can try the Kyrgyz traditional drink Kymys and enjoy the beauty of the landscape. In the evening, you will try a real Russian bath “banya” in Tamga. Accommodation: Guesthouse «U Pavla»

Day 9 – Tamga-Canyon «Fairy Tale» – Bokonbaevo-Son-Kul

Breakfast in the guesthouse and transfer to Son-Kul Lake. On the road, we visit Skazka canyons, which signify Fairytale. Here you can find objects of surprising shapes and sizes. A real skyscraper or an animal may appear in front of you. In Bokonbaevo, we will meet the real eagle hunters who demonstrate you the talent of their birds of prey. When we arrive at the yurts camp, you get to know the hospitality of the nomads, their lifestyle and their customs. Accommodation: Yurt camp

Day 10 – Son-Kul-Kochkor

Many photographers are visiting Kyrgyzstan only for sunrise at the Son-Kul lake, and here you will have such ability to do it. Breakfast in the yurt. We will return to the civilization descending from the pass and passing along one of the most important roads in the country. In Kochkor, the visit of the cooperative of women, very little museum of antiquity and shop of handcrafts. We will participate in producing the felt, traditional Kyrgyz carpets and enjoy the Kyrgyz traditional folk music. Accommodation: Fatima’s guest house

Day 11 – Kochkor -Kegety- Alamedin

After breakfast, we go to Kegety gorge. Kegety Gorge is home to numerous streams, alpine meadows, and spruce forests. One stream in particular crescendos into a beautiful waterfall that is one of the most visited features within Kegety Gorge. The falls are 20 meters high and are located just 100 meters from the main road in the gorge. After hiking and having a picnic in Kegety gorge, we will go to Alamedin gorge and will stay in a very comfortable hotel and have a rest. Accommodation: Hotel «Jannat Resort»

Day 12 – Alamedin -Bishkek

Early in the morning, the beautiful light will open the new corner of the gorge. The horse riding in the gorge. You can take your time, take photos and enjoy the beauty of the nature around you. After lunch, transfer to Bishkek. Free time in the hotel. Farewell dinner in the evening. Accommodation: Hotel «Plaza»

Day 13 – Bishkek

Flying home



June 1-13th, 2019


13 days/12 nights

Photographic themes:

landscape, nature, architecture, Villages, culture, people,


Bishkek, Ala Archa National Park, Ala-Archa gorge, Burana, Chon Kemin valley, Cholpon-Ata, Issyk-Kul, Ruh Ordo, Karakol, Altyn Arashan, Jety-Oguz, Barskoon-Tamga, tamga canyon, Bokonbaevo, Son-Kul Lake, Kochkor, Kegety, Kegety gorge, Alamedin,

Acomondations :

Bishkek – Plaza Hotel (3 nights)
Chon Kemin Valley – Guesthouse Ashuu (1 night)
Cholpon-Ata – Hotel Caprice (1 night)
Karakol – Hotel Karagat (2 night)
Tamga – Guesthouse U Pavla(1 night)
Son-Kul – Yurt camp (1 night)
Kochkor – Fatimas Guest House (1 night)
Alamedin – Jannat Resort (1 night)
Bishkek – Plaza Hotel (1 nights)


US$ 3999

per person in double room

US$ 400

single supplement

Price includes

  • Photo production stages:
    Models -3 times (Ala-Too, Ala-Archa, Burana)
    Kok-Boru – 1 time
    Kyrgyz traditional musicians – 1 time
    Felt production show – 1 timeActivities:
    Eagle hunter
    Hot springs
    Horseback riding

    • Transfer from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the Airport.
    • Accommodation based on twin room sharing
    • Meal plan full board
    • Private Road transport in mini-bus (Mercedes sprinter)
    • Professional English speaking guide
    • Photo production stages:
      Models -3 times (Ala-Too, Ala-Archa, Burana)
      Kok-Boru – 1 time
      Kyrgyz traditional musicians – 1 time
      Felt production show – 1 time
    • Activities:
      Eagle hunter
      Hot springs
      Horseback riding

    not included:

    • International airfare from your home to Addis Ababa
    • Alcohol and additional non-alcoholic drinks
    • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, camera or video fees at any sites etc
    • Early check-in, late check-out, at the hotels
    • Travel insurance, health insurances
    • Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary)
    • Model fees
    • Fees for photos and video
    • What is not mentioned as included

Photography Instructors


Tim Vollmer

Tim has devoted his life to photography, which has been his long held hobby and great passion. Tim has always felt himself drawn to the power and beauty he finds in nature. Tim has been leading photo tours and workshops in Iceland and in many different countries over the years. He has had the world as his workplace. Photographing everything from the dramatic landscape in Iceland, to the native people in the remote corners of the world and the culture that are unique to each country. His journeys have taken him around the world in pursuit of memorable travel experiences and the creation of compelling images. His work has been featured in international publications. His images and stories are shared on various internet outlets. As a driven artist, professional, entrepreneur and an adventurer, Tim is eager to share his passion, knowledge in photography and travel through the tours he designed on his own, or through his partnership with professional photographers from around the globe. Tim and his family currently lived 11 years in Iceland. Now they are based in Czech Republic.

Phone: (00420) 732203764

See his Website:

Photography workshops

Dean J. Tatooles

Chicago-based photographer, Dean J. Tatooles, is the owner and operator of Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris. In his professional career, Dean has specialized in landscape and wildlife photography and indigenous portraiture. His travels have taken him across all seven continents multiple times.

Dean works primarily with Nikon digital SLR equipment to capture his wildlife images and indigenous portraits and a Linhof 617 S III Technorama medium format panoramic camera to produce his majestic landscapes. At a young age, Dean became fascinated with the topography, culture and wildlife of certain locations in the Southern Hemisphere. In that spirit, he created Southern Cross Galleries after the constellation that bears its name and is only visible from below the Equator. His hope is that his work touches that sense of adventure in everyone and that viewers of his photographs will be transported to another time and place, even if it’s for just a moment.

As owner and operator of Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris, Dean in conjunction with his global partners, has lead photo tours all across the globe. The world is his workplace and Dean is eager to share his passion for photography with others whenever he can. Southern Cross Galleries Photo Safaris’ photo tours are always small and intimate –with rarely more than six to eight guests on a given trip. Wherever possible, mass tourism and the norm are avoided, opting for the more “off the beaten path” locations. Dean understands that light and timing are everything in creating that perfect photo and makes sure to have his guests in the right place at the right time to maximize opportunities. Accordingly, scheduling is flexible and his tours adapt constantly to conditions on the ground. Dean is happy to have many return guests over the years and hopes that you will choose to travel with us on your next adventure.

Phone: +1 (312) 898-0248

See his Website:

Dean J. Tatooles

International Planed Photo Tours – 2019


ML Warp

9 Jan – 23 Jan 2019


ML Warp

2 Feb – 12 Feb 2019

Lake Baikal

ML Warp

16 Feb – 25 Feb 2019



ML Warp

March 19 – April 3rd, 2019


ML Warp

June 1-13th, 2019


ML Warp

14 Sep – 21 Sep 2019



ML Warp

18 Oct – Oct 28, 2019


This is an overview of our currently scheduled photo tours and workshops. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or are interested in a booking. New trips are added periodically, so please revisit our website often to keep up to date on recently added itineraries.

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Kyrgyzstan August 3, 2018