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Travel Portrait Masterclass

19-26 November 2022

CHF 2,995

All-inclusive except flight








Imagine a country so remote that most people never heard about it - let alone can locate it on a map. A country with a unique and deeply traditional culture. Where most men wear dresses taken straight from the Tales of 1001 Nights. You wouldn't think such a place would exist in the 21st century. But it does.

Mauritania is large a chunk of Sahara, 3x the size of France, that ends abruptly at the Atlantic coast. A harsh, rough country populated mostly by Moors. A place where you will not see another tourist for days.
Be prepared for a minivan rides on bumpy roads - and be fit for a 2-day walk through the Sahara.

Mauritania requires a PCR test to enter the country (taken within 72 hours before arrival).

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers can enter the country.

Covid Regulations

Level of Difficulty

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This is fairly easygoing and relaxed trip - but you need to be fit for a 2-day desert walk on the Sahara.


You need to be prepared for:

  • 2 days of walking on the desert, with no shower, toilet, or mobile connection

  • Sleeping on the desert, with night temperature dropping to 12-14 degrees

  • 7-hour drive to Chinguetti and back, half of which on dirt tracks




We will start in the capital, exploring the city and its markets, and absorbing Mauritania's exotic ambience, culture, and gorgeous dresses. The highlight will be a visit to Port de Peche (fishing port) on the Atlantic coast, with its raw beauty and incredible faces, seasoned in the harsh climate. While most people are busy with the fish, some take an opportunity to have a dip in the ocean.



One of the 7 holy cities of Islam in middle ages, today Chinguetti is a delapidated, forgotten place at the edge of the Sahara, with slow pace and detached feel. Not much is left of its former glory - except for several medieval libraries filled with thousands of old, hand-written books, and guarded by old-world librarians and wooden locks.


Sahara Walk

From Chinguetti, we will take a 2-day walk through the Sahara desert, accompanied with a couple of guides and camels that will carry our stuff. A true old-style caravan. We will soak in the vastness, desolation and silence of the Sahara, and the gorgeous patterns on the dunes in a late afternoon sunlight. We will sleep one night in an oasis - and another in an open desert, under the stars.


Fri 18 Nov
Arrival in Nouakchott (at night)

Sat 19 Nov - Nouakchott
Late start & stroll around town
Port de Peche

Sun 20 Nov
Drive to Chinguetti (7h)

Mon 21 Nov - Chinguetti
Street photography
Medieval libraries

Tue 22 Nov - Sahara
Sahara walk + oasis
Overnight on the desert

Wed 23 Nov - Sahara
Sahara walk

Thu 24 Nov - Chinguetti
Street photography

Fri 25 Nov
Drive to Nouakchott (7h)
Stopover in Terjit oasis

Sat 26 Nov - Nouakchott
Port de Peche

Sun 27 Nov

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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 10 best shots after the trip


  • Full-time travel portrait coaching

  • Accommodation in 4 & 3-star hotels (single occupancy), and 2 nights camping on the Sahara

  • All meals (with beverages)

  • Ground transportation in private minivan/4WD

  • Camel & guide for the Sahara walk

  • Airport transfers

  • Tips for guides 

Not Included:

  • International flight into Nouakchott

  • Visa

  • Travel insurance

  • Covid-19 test before departure

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




Hotel Semiramis (4*) - single occupancy

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Maison La Gueila - the hotel has 6 rooms, so single/sharing depending on group size



1 night in an oasis in a tent



1 night in open desert under the stars


20% (CHF 600) refundable deposit to reserve your place
Balance by 15 September

10% (CHF 300) for returning trip customers

Based on single room occupancy

15 September

CHF 2,995

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 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

  • Negative Covid-19 test result is required to enter Mauritania


  • No vaccinations required

  • Information pack including a packing list and clothing recommendations will be sent after deposit payment

  • Visa: all nationalities get visa on arrival at Nouakchott airport


Best connection
Royal Air Maroc via Casablanca from multiple airports in Europe (CHF 600)
Other options
Turkish Airlines via Istanbul (CHF 600) - very long stopover
Air France via Paris (CHF 1,000)

For current 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 at least 60 days before trip start

  • 50% refund if cancelled 30-59 days before the trip start

  • No refund if canceled less than 30 days before trip start

  • If the event is canceled within the last 60 days due to Covid restrictions, we will reschedule to a later date. If you cannot make the new date, you will receive a 100% refund

  • If you test positive for Covid in the last 10 days, or in case of any other medical emergency, you can switch to the next year's trip, or receive 80% refund.

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