4* HOTELS &
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.
Level of Difficulty
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.
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
Tue 22 Nov - Sahara
Sahara walk + oasis
Overnight on the desert
Wed 23 Nov - Sahara
Thu 24 Nov - Chinguetti
Fri 25 Nov
Drive to Nouakchott (7h)
Stopover in Terjit oasis
Sat 26 Nov - Nouakchott
Port de Peche
Sun 27 Nov
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
Tips for guides
International flight into Nouakchott
Covid-19 test before departure
Personal expenses (e.g. room service, porters, laundry)
Hotel Semiramis (4*) - single occupancy
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
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
Royal Air Maroc via Casablanca from multiple airports in Europe (CHF 600)
Turkish Airlines via Istanbul (CHF 600) - very long stopover
Air France via Paris (CHF 1,000)
For current flight options, check:
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.