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Travel Portrait Masterclass

23 Feb - 3 Mar 2024

CHF 4,495

€ 4,495    S$6,300

All-inclusive except international flight








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.

No entry restrictions.

Covid Regulations

Level of Difficulty

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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


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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.

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Omo Valley

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 23 Feb - Lalibela
Arrival in Addis Ababa (early morning)
Flight Addis Ababa - Lalibela 8:10-9:10
Lalibela underground churches

Sat 24 Feb - Lalibela
Saturday market
Lalibela underground churches

Sun 25 Feb - Lalibela
Outdoor morning mass at St. Georges church
2h trip to a church built in a cave

Mon 26 Feb - Lalibela
Visit church on a high cliff
Street photography

Tue 27 Feb 
Flight Lalibela - Addis 10:00-11:00
Flight Addis - Jinka 12:00-14:10
Drive to Buska lodge (2h)

Wed 28 Feb - Omo Valley
Arbore tribe
Hamer tribe
Overnight camping in Hamer village

Thu 29 Feb - Omo Valley
Banna tribe
Kara tribe
Overnight camping at Karo village

Fri 1 Mar - Omo Valley
Mursi lip-plate tribe
Overnight in Eco Omo lodge

Sat 2 Mar - Omo Valley
Weekly market in Dimeka, with several tribes participating

Sun 3 Mar - Addis Ababa
Flight Jinka - Addis Ababa  13:25-14:35
Visit Mercato - one of Africa's largest markets
Departure (evening)


Photographic Coaching

  • 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 4 domestic flights

  • Ground transportation in private minivan / 4WD

  • English-speaking local guide

  • Airport transfers

  • Entrance fees

  • Tips for guides & people we photograph

Not Included:

  • International flight into Addis Ababa

  • Visa

  • Travel insurance

  • Personal expenses (e.g. room service, porters, laundry)


20% (CHF 900) refundable deposit to reserve your place
Balance by 31 October

CHF 450 (10%) for returning trip customers
CHF 200 if your international flight is with Ethiopian Airlines

Single room occupancy: CHF 450

Based on twin room sharing

31 October

CHF 4,495

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 4 months before the trip

  • Mandatory malaria pills + recommended vaccines/boosters for typhoid, tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and yellow fever.

  • Visa: most nationalities are eligible for eVisa, usually issued within 2-4 days. Apply:

Recommended Flights

Ethiopian flies directly from Zurich, Frankfurt, and London (approx. € 800)
EgyptAir via Cairo from Munich, Amsterdam, London (approx. € 500)

SIA+Ethiopian via Dubai, return direct with Ethiopian
S$ 1,400

Ethiopian with stopover in Bangkok, return direct
HK$ 11,000

For more flight options, check:

Pawel Lipski

  • 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 by 31 October

  • 50% refund if canceled by 31 December

  • No refund if canceled after 31 December

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