Welcome to one of the most fascinating and culturally diverse countries on Earth. Home to authentic indigenous tribes and some of the world's most unique man-made wonders. We will sample as much of it as is possible to pack in 10 days. This may well be the most emotionally thrilling trip of your lifetime.
From deep spirituality of Lalibela to hair-raising encounters with Omo Valley tribes, Ethiopia is one of the most rewarding places for travel portrait photography. The people, the mood, the ambience - I will show you how to bring this all to life in your images.
You need be prepared to rough it out in Omo Valley, with 5am starts to catch best light, many hours of driving on dirt tracks, and camping in tribal villages.
Level of Difficulty
Visiting tribal cultures of the Omo Valley is an adventure trip in a rough, undeveloped area. We will spend a couple of nights camping in tribal villages, which offers immersive interaction with the tribes.
You need to be prepared for:
Camping near tribal villages, with mobile flush toilets and hot water for scoop showers
Many hours of driving on dirt tracks
Early morning starts to catch the best light
4 domestic flights in 10 days
800 years ago, 11 full-sized churches were carved underground out of a whole rock by an Ethiopian king Lalibela. Complete with inside naves and columns. All using only hammer and chisel. These underground places of worship, still actively used for religious ceremonies, are guarded by Orthodox Catholic priests, silently appearing from darkness to greet you as you enter.
In an epic tour of Omo Valley, we will come face-to-face with 5 tribes - including Mursi lip-plate tribe and Hamer, who inspired Mad Max movie costumes. Expect real, raw Africa - limited facilities with shower only every other day, lifetime experience with indigenous people, waking up to the sounds of a village, stunning landscapes, striking poverty - and tonnes of smiles.
Fri 10 Mar - Lalibela
Arrival in Addis Ababa (early morning)
Flight Addis Ababa - Lalibela 8:10-9:10
Lalibela underground churches
Sat 11 Mar - Lalibela
Lalibela underground churches
Sun 12 Mar - Lalibela
Outdoor morning mass at St. Georges church
2h trip to a church built in a cave
Mon 13 Mar - Lalibela
Visit church on a high cliff
Tue 14 Mar
Flight Lalibela - Addis 10:00-11:00
Flight Addis - Jinka 12:00-14:10
Drive to Buska lodge (2h)
Wed 15 Mar - Omo Valley
Overnight camping in Hamer village
Thu 16 Mar - Omo Valley
Overnight camping at Karo village
Fri 17 Mar - Omo Valley
Mursi lip-plate tribe
Overnight in Eco Omo lodge
Sat 18 Mar - Omo Valley
Weekly market in Dimeka, with several tribes participating
Sun 19 Mar - Addis Ababa
Flight Jinka - Addis Ababa 13:25-14:35
Visit Mercato - one of Africa's largest markets
Full-time coaching by Pawel Lipski
Creative techniques & tips for travel portraits - both candid & posed
Camera settings for travel portraits
Location-specific briefings & assignments
Daily reviews of best photos
Written feedback on your 15 best shots after the trip
Full-time travel portrait coaching
Accommodation in lodges and 2 nights village camping in Omo valley
All meals (with beverages)
All 6 domestic flights
Ground transportation in private minivan / 4WD
English-speaking local guide
Tips for guides & people we photograph
International flight into Addis Ababa
Personal expenses (e.g. room service, porters, laundry)
20% (CHF 900) refundable deposit to reserve your place
Balance by 15 December
CHF 450 (10%) for returning trip customers
Single room occupancy: CHF 450
Based on twin room sharing
This Trip Is For...
This trip has been designed primarily for people who have already completed my training "3 Steps To Stunning Portraits", and are already familiar with natural light and composition techniques for people photography.
During this trip, you will learn how to apply these techniques to travel portraits - both candid and posed.
You need a good camera with a telephoto lens up to at least 200mm (full frame) - plus a wider lens for the churches (inside & outside) & when we can get up close to our subjects.
Personally, I will bring 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f2.8.
Important To Know
Information pack including a packing list and clothing recommendations will be sent 2 months before the trip
Mandatory vaccinations (list available) + malaria prophylactic
Visa: most nationalities are eligible for eVisa, usually issued within 2-4 days. Apply: www.evisa.gov.et
International photography coach, specialising in people photography in natural light - from posed to travel portraits
30+ years of photographic experience
An avid independent traveller with a passion for remote, non-touristy places with authentic cultures
Polish based in Zurich, Switzerland
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before trip start
50% refund if canceled 30-59 days before trip start
No refund if canceled less than 30 days before trip start