A Visual Journey: In the Footsteps of Mongolian Nomads with Tim Cope

Camel crossing, Mongolia | Cam Cope
Camel crossing, Mongolia | Cam Cope

Mongolian pastoral herders make up one of the world's last remaining nomadic cultures. Despite the draw of modern life and the city, hundreds of thousands of Mongolians continue to live a nomadic way of life that goes back at least a millennium.

In 2004, Australian adventurer and author Tim Cope set off on an epic 10,000 km journey from Mongolia to Hungry by horse. This journey took him three years and led him on a profound journey through the heart of nomad society on the Eurasian Steppe. 

Since his return, he has written a film series and book titled On The Trail of Genghis Khan. Tim has also led several guided trips with World Expeditions through remote western Mongolia. He has been named Australian Adventurer of the Year. He is the recipient of the Mongolian Tourism Excellency Medal and the Nairamdal' Peace' Medal, the highest honour the Mongolian government bestowed upon a foreign citizen.

Join adventurer and author Tim Cope for an exploratory journey through Western Mongolia's Altai Mountains |  <i>Cam Cope</i> Tim Cope with one of our local Mongolian staff |  <i>Tim Cope</i> Tim Cope |  <i>Tim Cope</i>

Tim reflects that the sense of harmony and sustainability with which the nomads live with the land holds a valuable lesson for us all.

They live within the limitations and the confines of the environment that they were born into,” says Tim Cope. “It’s an extremely different way of life to what most of us live, where we’ve basically molded the land for our own convenience.

(South China Morning Post magazine, 2016)

But what does the future hold for the next generation of nomads? Tim believes the future of Mongolia's nomads is in the younger generations' hands. As Tim told Tessa Chan, South China Morning Post, Mongolia is at a crossroads.

"For the first time in thousands of years, the young generation of Mongolians have a choice, to be a herder or to pursue studies in the cities and towns and perhaps have a very different way of life." (Tim Cope, SCMP magazine, 2016)

We invite you to get a taste of the life of a Mongolian nomad on this extraordinary photographic journey thanks to Tessa Chan who joined Tim on a trip to Mongolia - In the Footsteps of the Nomad with Tim Cope.

Chief herdsman Myagaa (C) and his friends live much the same lifestyle as their ancestors did 5,000 years ago.

Image credit: SCMP/Tessa Chan (

During a nomadic family migration, camels can carry loads up to 300kg. These camels dutifully wait to be loaded up with trekking gear as support for the tour.

Image credit: SCMP/Tessa Chan (

Most children here will master horse riding from the age of four or five.

Image credit: SCMP/Tessa Chan (

The spectacular landscape of western Mongolia.

Image credit: SCMP/Tessa Chan (

A well-earned rest after a challenging day's trek in western Mongolia.

Image credit: SCMP/Tessa Chan (

Young nomad girl, western Mongolia.

Image credit: SCMP/Tessa Chan (

Trekkers visit a glacial lake on the high pass between the Turgen and Kharkhiraa ranges.

Image credit: SCMP/Tessa Chan (

A view to wake up to: horses graze by the frozen Shivreen River, Western Mongolia.

Image credit: SCMP/Tessa Chan (

Three young nomads (L-R) Otga, Nana and Choinum sit by the Shivreen River.

Image credit: SCMP/Tessa Chan (

Young child in western Mongolia.

Image credit: SCMP/Tessa Chan (

Racing for glory at Naadam: young jockeys stand by their horses before the race starts.

Image credit: SCMP/Tessa Chan (


Mongolia, Tim Cope, Trekking

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