2017/02/06 to 2017/02/24

Ethiopia Photo Tour 6 - 24 Feb 2017



Tour Dates



Split by the Great Rift Valley and rippling with seemingly endless mountains, the country’s geography is as dramatic as its history and culture. Ethiopia is the cradle of our earliest known ancestors; a hub for some of the first Christians, Muslims, Jews and a last frontier for some of Africa’s most intriguing wildlife and photogenic tribal traditions.

Credit: All images on the website and in the accompanying PDF are reproduced with the kind permission of Gavriel Jecan and Art Wolfe. Robel Petros was the local Ethiopian guide used by Art Wolfe and Gavriel when the images were captured by Gavriel. Robel will be the local guide on this photo tour in Ethiopia.


This exclusive, small group tour provides a rare opportunity to photograph the “best of the best” in Ethiopia.


Ethiopia is a wonderland of exotic tribes and cultural mix. In many of the areas we are travelling to, there are few roads and very little protocol with regards a ‘formal’ itinerary. If some of the tribes are not in the area when we are there, then we wont see them. To make sure we have the best opportunity to witness the Omo valley at its best, we are working very closely with Robel Petros, a local guide who specialises in the Omo Valley and has gained a reputation for running the best photo based groups in the valley. Art Wolfe uses Robel exclusively when he visits the Omo valley and Robel is a well known figure in the Omo. His reputation amongst the tribes in the valley is excellent and he is able to get us into places that many visitors cannot.

 

 

Why These Particular Destinations & Subjects?


A person can visit Africa many times to photograph its spectacular wildlife, scenery and cultures, but it requires a discerning eye to discover and appreciate photographic opportunities in uniquely iconic destinations. I continually seek ‘less-travelled-by-others’ destinations for each photo safari and tour and this one introduces you to destinations that reveal an Africa, you possibly may not have known existed.

It is not about seeking lions, leopards or other ‘big cats’ as I anticipate those interested in joining me on this tour will already have undertaken a number of such ‘photo safaris’ with me, or with others.

I wish to introduce you to subjects of Ethiopia, each unquestionably unique in its own right but when brought together into the one journey offers a kaleidoscopic selection of natural history, nature, travel and cultural photography.  The photography you will experience on this trip is some of the richest you will find in Africa, if not the world. The itinerary is a carefully selected set of unforgettable experiences for those who dare to find them.

It has been created for photographers who have a passion for travelling “towards the edge” in search of compelling images.

 

 

Highlights

  • Combining the northern and southern parts of Ethiopia in the one photo tour is unique and not offered by many.
  • Photographing the endemic wildlife and endangered species of the Simien Mountains National Park – Ethiopian wolf, walia ibex, gelada monkey, bearded vulture, etc.
  • Photograph the amazing churches of Lalibela – churches not constructed in the traditional way but hewn from the living rock of monolithic blocks and in continued use since their construction in 12th century.
  • This is a true photographic journey into the “best of the best” of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley, one of the most culturally rich tribal destinations on the African continent.
  • You will visit the villages of the Dorze, Kara, Mursi, Ari, Erbore, Hamar, Dassanech, Suri and Surma tribes to photograph their daily activities, stunning portraits, and timeless ceremonies.
  • In one trip you will have the opportunity to photograph the UNESCO cultural site of Konso, people planting crops, herding livestock, tribal dancing, hairdressing like you have never seen, body painting, wearing lip plates, wearing beaded skins and ornate necklaces, and with a little luck being involved in a bull jumping contest.
  • The tribes live in a remote locations where there are no upmarket hotels or lodges; living in a mobile tented camp is an experience not to be missed in this part of Africa. Memories of it will remain with you forever.
  • You will be accompanied by two experienced and committed photographers who will provide every assistance to you – Shem Compion (South Africa) and Denis Glennon AO (Australia).
  • Robel Petros is one of the most experienced local guides in Ethiopia and has been the personal guide for numerous photo tours led by my good friend, Art Wolfe, the legendary US photographer. Robel has also worked with some of the leading photographers in the world. He will be our local guide for the entire time we are in Ethiopia. You will gain access to photographic opportunities that most others will not.

Day 1 (6 February)

Radisson Blu Hotel, Ethiopia.

Arrive at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Met by your ground handler and transferred to the Radisson Blu Hotel for 1 nights stay, by private vehicle.

Day 2 - 4 (7 - 9 February)

Semien Lodge, Ethiopia.

Fly to Gondar for our Semien Mountains Park visit. Simien Mountains National Park, listed as a World Heritage Site in 1918, is one of the more dramatic national parks of Ethiopia We will visit the Semien Mountains National Park on each of the two days while staying at the Semien Lodge for 2 nights.

 

Simien Mountains & Gelada Monkeys

Simien Mountains National Park, listed as a World Heritage Site in 1918, is one of the more dramatic national parks of Ethiopia. Located in the Simien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region in northern Ethiopia, the park covers the Simien Mountains including Ras Dejen, the highest mountain in Ethiopia at 4,533m (14,850 feet). It is an exotic setting with unique and endemic wildlife and breath-taking views on a landscape shaped by nature and traditional agriculture. The natural beauty of this region has always filled photographers with awe. With its undulating plateau and deep valleys it is frequently dubbed the Grand Canyon of Africa.

It is home to a number of endangered species, including the Ethiopian wolf (the rarest canid in the world, and Africa’s most threatened carnivore) and the walia ibex – a wild goat found nowhere else in the world. The gelada monkey and the caracal, also occur within the Simien Mountains. More than 50 species of birds inhabit the park, including the impressive bearded vulture, or lammergeier, with its 3m (10 feet) wingspan. Massive erosion over millions of years on the plateau has created one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, with jagged mountain peaks, deep valleys and sharp precipices dropping some 1,500m (5000 feet).

The gelada is an “Old World” monkey, not a baboon despite previous naming conventions. It is the only living member of the once widespread genus Theropithecus and is only found in the highlands of Ethiopia. The present day population of the gelada is limited to the steep escarpments and gorges that border the eastern side of the central highlands and the north western highlands. The gelada feeds predominantly on fresh shoots of grass, roots and seeds. It is frequently called the “bleeding heart” monkey as a result of the distinctive, bright red, heart-shaped patch on its chest. The gelada social system consists of a hierarchy of social groups generally made up of 1-4 breeding males, 2-10 females and their dependent young. The females tend to be closely related, have strong social ties and stay in their own band all their lives. A band of gelada shares a common foraging and sleeping area and may contain 2-10 reproductive units, as well as 1-3 all male groups (non-breeding males of a young age, who remain in these groups for 2-4 years before trying to enter a reproductive unit). The ranging areas of different bands overlap, and can mix easily for a short period, without any aggression, to form very large gelada ‘communities’ or herds. These communities can be up to 1,000 strong – geladas can associate in one of the largest groups of any primate on earth. Approximately 2,500 geladas live in the park with a further 2,000 on the surrounding Simien massif. The average band size is 200 geladas, providing excellent photography opportunities of these rare and magnificent creatures.

 

Day 4 - 5 (9 - 10 February)

Goha Hotel, Ethiopia.    

We will be in the Semien Mountains National Park up until noon on day 4 and then drive to Gondor and overnight at Goha Hotel. The next morning we will continue our journey to Lalibela.

 

Day 5 - 7 (10 - 12 February)

Panoramic View Hotel, Ethiopia.    

A flight transfer to Lalibela. Here we wil spend time visiting the famous churches and architectural wonders of this region. The most famous of these is the rock hewn church with its undergrond interleading passages. The following day has been dedicated to visit the rock churches. We will be staying in the Panoramic View Hotel for 2 nights.

 

Day 7 - 8 (12 - 13 February)

Paradise Lodge, Ethiopia.    

After breakfast we will drive back to Addis for our connection flight to Arba Minch for one nights stay at Paradise Lodge on our way to Omo Valley.

Day 8 - 9 (13 - 14 February)

Omo Eco Lodge, Ethiopia.    

Drive to Jinka town for 1 nights stay at Omo Eco Lodge. With an elevation of 1490 meters above sea level, the town has a moderate temperature and serves as a capital of the South Omo region. The Ari people dominantly live in and around Jinka and they are the most populated in the whole Omo region. They have adapted the western clothing and their traditional huts are now replacing by the iron roof housing. Out of Jinka is where you find the world’s most fascinating tribes.


Day 9 - 11 (14 - 16 February)

Murulle Lodge, Dus, Omo Valley.    

Drive to the Omo Valley through several village & towns to where the Kara Tribe resides along the Omo River. On the way we will stop by the UNESCO Cultural site of Konso. Konso Cultural Landscape is a 55km arid properties of stone walled terraces and fortified settlements in the Konso highlands of Ethiopia.

Over the next two days, spend the best hours of the day photographing people in the villages as they go about their daily activates, along the river planting crops, herding livestock, and traditional tribal dancing in the evening, whilst allowing plenty of time to set up individual & group portraits. We will also visit the village of Labuke. Our lodges location will allow us unprecedented access to village life and some of the more remote tribes. It will also allow us the unique possibility of mingling with some of these tribes in hours when tourists are not present. Our accommodation for 2 nights are in Murulle Lodge.

 

The Tribes of the Omo Valley

For millennia, the Omo Valley has been inhabited by a kaleidoscopic variety of ethnic groups having rich and distinctive cultural identities. Tribes living in the more remote lower Omo Valley are among the most fascinating on the African  continent. The Arbore, Ari, Bena, Bodi, Bumi, Dassanech, Dorze, Hamer, Kara, Kwegu, Mursi, Tsemay, and Turkana tribes are hidden beyond the cities and towns of modern life and their way of life is still largely untouched by modernity. This is a true photographic adventure into the remote region of southern Ethiopia’s Omo Valley; one of the most culturally rich tribal regions on the African continent. Inspired by their habitat of lush vegetation, colourful trees and exotic flowers the people use the bright yellows, startling whites and red clay soils to paint each other’s bodies to create stunningly photogenic body costumes which at festival times are a walking body of art. For millennia, these tribes have been sheltered from much of the modern world in a place that is still primeval, natural, and apparently ageless.

This photo tour will visit tribes on both sides of the Omo river, including spending several days visiting the Suri tribe, also know as the Surma.  The Suri are the most ornate tribe, and being the most remote tribe in the Omo they are one of the least visited, but the most desired tribe for us to photograph. This is one of a very few photo tours that go to both sides of the Omo River to photograph the Suri tribe.

We will spend sufficient time in each location to ensure a deeper experience, which always produces more intimate and compelling images. As we are fellow travellers/photographers in an amazing part of the world I have retained flexibility in the itinerary to ensure we can immerse ourselves in spontaneous photographic opportunities that arise. The time spent in each village will depend on what activities are taking place and the richness of the photography. It is likely we will also meet several other tribes en route. I wish to give you the opportunity to photographically document their daily lives, capture stunning portraits, and experience some of their timeless ceremonies – truly be an experience of a lifetime!

When larger groups visit remote tribal villages, the higher the probability your subject will be distracted, another photographer will shoot over or too close to you, other photographers take too long to shoot particularly special subjects and frequently another photographer will show up in your background. This tour is limited to only twelve (12) participants to ensure you come home with more intimate experiences, many memories, and much higher quality images.

The incredible photography available in Ethiopia captures a moment in time in the ancient world of people who live peacefully and close to nature in one of the most far flung, yet beautiful parts of the world. It is a special opportunity to photographically document their daily lives, capture enthralling portraits, photograph timeless ceremonies whilst feeling you are an integral part of a very special personal experience.
Why These Particular Destinations & Subjects?

Day 11 - 14 (16 - 19 February)

Buska Lodge, Ethiopia.    

After breakfast we will drive back to Addis for our connection flight to Arba Minch and a road transfer to Turmi and the Hammer tribe in the Omo Valley. We will use Turmi as the base for the next three days of photography, allowing us to be flexible and capitalize on all the photographic opportunities in the area.  During the stay in Turmi, we wilI  also visit and photograph the Erbore and Dassenech tribes.

Turmi is notably the home of the Hamar tribe. The Hamar women wear beautiful, colourful, beaded skins, ornate necklaces and metal bangles around their wrist and ankles. They are famous for their unique hairstyle, which is made up of a crown of long dread-lock braids covered in ocher.

Another tribe are the Dassenech which are a semi-nomadic tribe and they stretch across Sudan, Kenya and southern Ethiopia. They are known for their unique and ornate hair buns.  In the afternoon the guides will check if a bull jumping ceremony will be taking place – which if it is a spectacular affair that stuns the senses with its energy, smells and photographic appeal. You will be staying at the Buska Lodge for 3 nights.

 

  

 

Day 14 - 18 (19 - 23 February)

Kibish mobile tented camp, Ethiopia.    

An early morning drive to the Mursi village and afternoon fly to Mizan. We pass through Mago National park with a possibility to come across wildlife. The Mursi tribes are one of the most popular in Omo valley. The Mursi women paint their bodies and face in white. They and their counter cousins the Surma wear the lip plates. The larger the clay plate, the more the woman is worth before she gets married. Men of the Mursi also use white paint for their bodies and faces.

After our visit of the Mursi, we will drive back on the same road to catch our flight from the Kara land Murulle to Mizan. Then a drive about 4 hours will get us at Surma/Kibish, an upmarket mobile tented camp.

We have allowed three days with the Suri people and as the Suri are pastoralists they provide an opportunity to visit one of these traditional cattle camps for late afternoon light photography, shooting in a variety of locations in the area - villages, streams, town, cattle camps, and where ever we find a photographic opportunity.

Day 18 - 19 (23 - 24 February)

Radisson Blu Hotel, Ethiopia.    

If time allows, we will have one last early morning shoot before driving to Mizan to catch a private charter (there are no commercial flights to this area) back to Addis. This will save two very long days of driving over rough dirt roads. We will return to the same hotel as when we started, the Radisson Blu hotel for our final night in Ethiopia before heading home the following morning.

Day 19 (24 February)

Bole International Airport, Ethiopia.    

Following a leisurely breakfast you will transferred back to Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa.

Radisson Blu Hotel

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa is located in the city center within walking distance of the United Nations Conference Center (UNCC). Our Addis Ababa hotel offers easy access to the city’s major businesses and organizations and is just a 15-minute drive from Bole International Airport. Tour popular nearby attractions like the National Museum and Holy Trinity Cathedral. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Addis Ababa includes 204 rooms and suites with premium amenities like a separate shower and bathtub and a mini-bar. Guests can order daily specials from an a la carte menu at our on site restaurant Verres en Vers, or drink refreshing cocktails at the hotel’s Signature Bar. Enjoy international specialities at our Super Breakfast Buffet. Pamper yourself at the Rainforest Day Spa after a full day of work or sight-seeing.

 

 

Simien Lodge

The lodge is located at the beginning of the escarpment, about 22km from Debarak, which is the ‘frontier town’ of the Simien Mountain National Park. There are 26 main rooms. They are semi-circular, essentially half a tukel. Each room has a bathroom. The rooms all have tiled floors, which are heated a few degrees by a solar system. In between the rows of tukels is a bank of forty square meters of solar panels. When there is sun, then hot water is automatically pumped through pipes under floor, heating the room by a few degrees. However this is not intended to be a full central heating system. The lodge is at 3300 metres altitude and of course it is cold at this height, especially at night. But the system is enough to take off the chill, making the lodge a comfortable way to visit the Simiens.

 

 

Goha Hotel

From stunning views to historical wonders of Ethiopia, Gondar with its mysterious castles, was the 17th century capital of king Fasiledes. Goha hotel in Gondar is ideally situated on the hills of the city and a short distance away from these royal enclosures. The hotel has over 82 rooms and suites that feature excellent amenities including free high-speed wireless Internet access and flat-screen televisions. Additional amenities such as swimming pool, free airport shuttle service, souvenir shop, restaurant, bar with campfire are also there to make your stay a comfortable one. Contact us anytime as we are always delighted to welcome you to the beautiful Goha Hotel.

 

 

Panoramic View Hotel

Each suite at Paradise Lodge offers guests the opportunity, experience and privacy of their own bamboo thatched hut built in the traditional Gamo style with the standard of comfort and amenities one can expect at a luxury hotel. All huts are built with a serene outdoor veranda with either a breath-taking view of the lakes or that are set in the lush gardens of the lodge grounds. Each hut is also equipped with a bathroom with shower, mosquito net, reading table and a minibar with a complimentary bottle of mineral water. Each hut is also richly furnished with handmade furniture and decorations that embody the cultures of the locals who built them.

 

 

 

Murrulle Omo Lodge

The Murulle Omo Lodge has a fabulous setting right on the banks of the Omo river, one of Ethiopia’s greatest rivers. The Murulle Omo lodge accommodates up to 16 guests in 8 simple, comfortable bungalows all with en-suite bathrooms. Each bungalow has a large airy verandah from where guests can enjoy the views over the Omo and hear the bird calls in the tree canopy above the lodge. Fish eagles, colobus monkeys and troops of baboons are often seen in and around the lodge. The lodge also has a well stocked garden and produces delicious fresh fruit and vegetables for the lodge kitchen. Meals are served in the main lodge with more uninterrupted views. Special arrangements can be made for guided nature walks on the mountains and plains, river fishing on the banks of the Omo, cultural village excursions and market visits.

 

 

Paradise Hotel

Each suite at Paradise Lodge offers guests the opportunity, experience and privacy of their own bamboo thatched hut built in the traditional Gamo style with the standard of comfort and amenities one can expect at a luxury hotel. All huts are built with a serene outdoor veranda with either a breath-taking view of the lakes or that are set in the lush gardens of the lodge grounds. Each hut is also equipped with a bathroom with shower, mosquito net, reading table and a mini bar with a complimentary bottle of mineral water. Each hut is also richly furnished with handmade furniture and decorations that embody the cultures of the locals who built them.

 

 

Mobile tent camps

Both the Luxury mobile tented camps on the Dus river bank and Kibish in the Omo Valley are spacious and have all the amendities that you would need on your photographic safari.

 


 

Buska Lodge

Situated in the heart of Southern Ethiopia in the Omo Valley, Buska is a simple, traditional yet very comfortable lodge. The area is home to the Hamer, Karo, Dassanech and many other local tribes making it a lovely low-key lodge from which you can explore the cultural side of Ethiopia and a rapidly disappearing way of life.

 

 

Omo Eco Lodge

Each suite at Paradise Lodge offers guests the opportunity, experience and privacy of their own bamboo thatched hut built in the traditional Gamo style with the standard of comfort and amenities one can expect at a luxury hotel. All huts are built with a serene outdoor veranda with either a breath-taking view of the lakes or that are set in the lush gardens of the lodge grounds. Each hut is also equipped with a bathroom with shower, mosquito net, reading table and a minibar with a complimentary bottle of mineral water. Each hut is also richly furnished with handmade furniture and decorations that embody the cultures of the locals who built them.


$13 850.00 per person sharing

$16 700.00 per single supplement

30% deposit confirms your booking
MAXIMUM OF TWELVE (12) PARTICIPANTS AND A MINIMUM OF EIGHT (8) PARTICIPANTS IS REQUIRED FOR THE TOUR TO PROCEED. THERE IS A MAXIMUM OF THREE UNSHARED ROOMS/TENTS AVAILABLE.

1. A minimum of eight (8) registrations is required for the tour to proceed with the two tour leaders, Denis Glennon & Shem Compion.
2. If there is a minimum number of five (5) and less than eight (8) registrations, the tour will still proceed with one tour leader, Shem Compion.


All-inclusive tour: Includes all accommodation, local road and flight transfer, all meals and drinks (excluding
premium brands) and accommodation, daily park entrance fees and private safari drives.
Not included: International flights, visas, purchases of a personal nature, items not included in the itinerary.

 

The above costs include

  • Accommodations as listed on the itinerary.
  • Meals as stated on the itinerary B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner.
  • Bottled water in transport vehicles and during meals.
  • Private ground transportation.
  • Park and Ranger fees.
  • National English speaking escort guide and local tribal guides.
  • Local guide fees.

 

The above costs don't include

  • International airfare and/or between your home and Addis Abba.
  • Domestic flights.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal purchases (including shopping, spirits, laundry, telephone calls, etc.).
  • Gratuities for guides and drivers.
  • Optional extra activities not included on the itinerary.
  • Pre- and Post- expeditions tours.
  • Meals or accommodations before or after the tour (except as noted in the detailed itinerary).
  • Meals and beverages on the day of arrival, this is considered a travel day.
  • Dinner on the last day, this is considered a travel day.


Day 1: (6 February)

Arrive Addis Ababa Airport, Ethiopia. You will be met by a C4 representative and transferred to your hotel for 1 nights stay.

Day 2: (7 February)

Next morning you will be transfer via flight to Simien Mountain Park. You will be staying at the Simien Lodge for 2 nights.

Day 4: (9 February)

You will be transferred via road to Goha Hotel, Gondar for 1 nights accommodation there.

Day 5: (10 February)

A flight transfer will take you to Lalibela for 2 nights stay at Panoramic View Hotel.

Day 7: (12 February)

A flight transfer through Addis Ababa to Arba Minch. 1 night stay at Paradise Hotel.

Day 8: (13 February)

Road transfer to Jinka, Omo Valley for two nights at the Omo Eco Lodge.

Day 9: (14 February)

Road transfer to Dus on banks of Omo River. You will be staying in Murelle Lodge for 3 nights.

Day 11: (16 February)

A flight transfer through Addis Ababa to Arba Minch with a road transfer to Turmi, Omo Valley. 3 nights in Buska Lodge.

Day 14: (19 February)

Charter flight to Mizan and a road transfer to Kibish, Omo Valley. You will be staying in Luxury mobile tented camps for 4 nights.

Day 18: (23 February)

A Charter flight to Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, where you will then be transferred to  the Radisson Blu Hotel for 1 night.

Day 19: (24 February)
Your last morning you will be transferred back to Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa for your International flights back home. This is the en of the safari.

 
Thank you for your Testimonial, it's much appreciated!

Ethiopia Photo Tour 2017

"Ethiopia was exceptional for many reasons. It was extremely diverse. The Simien Mts were spectacular with grand canyon type scenery and the Gelada monkeys who seemed undisturbed by our presence as they fed around us. No need for long lenses here. Lalibela was a place I have wanted to visit for sometime and it didn’t disappoint. The monolithic churches were quite extraordinary not only for their age but the simple feat of building them. Very special. Then down to the Omo Valley where even flying in and out of Mizan on a charter plane was an experience. We became the photographed as the locals whipped out their mobiles and took photos of us. The remote tribes were very special and I have come away with some fantastic photos. But it was not only about the photos. I now have a greater understanding of their way of life and culture thanks to Robel and our local guides. I have to say security was an issue for me before we left but took comfort from the fact that I have done a number of trips with with Denis and Shem and felt that every detail would have been taken care of and it was without exception. I felt safer in Ethiopia than I have in a number of other countries. With the 2018 tour including the Bale Mts on the itinerary I might have to go again. If there is one criticism of this trip it is that we didn’t get the opportunity to photograph the Ethiopian wolf, the most endanger carnivore in the world. A huge thank you to Denis, Shem and Robel."

Helen Newnham
21 March 2017


Ethiopia Photo Tour 2017

"Our recent trip to Ethiopia will surely top my list of best holiday destinations so far. This is a truly remarkable country and we traversed it from North to South. The Simien mountains were spectacular in the early morning light as the sun stole across the landscape highlighting the diverse colours of the trees, grasses and wild flowers. Then to come across a troop of Gelada monkeys quietly feeding, totally unfazed by our presence, to be able to spend time in this setting photographing at our leisure was a truly numinous experience. To contrast this we then went to Gondar where we photographed the noisy, drum beating, chanting, colourful, clad participants in the procession following the replica of the Ark of the Covenant through the town to celebrate the Epiphany. Next was the hewn churches at Lalibela. This world heritage listed site provided ample opportunities for great photography. The highlight of the trip for me was the various tribes of the Omo Valley. In all we visited five different tribes. We were welcomed into all the villages and allowed to photograph at our leisure. The body adornments and painting were spectacular and the resulting photographs exceeded all my expectations. Having completed the trip I now realize what a logistical feat this was to put all this together in one package. The distances between destinations, the state of the roads, the paucity of good accommodation, were all major hurdles to overcome, not to mention gaining access to all the tribes. Yet we travelled in comfort and were rarely aware of the hard work going on behind the scenes to make it all possible. Thank you Denis, Shem and Robel. I feel very privileged indeed to have experienced this remarkable country before it becomes overtaken by western influences."

Una Glennon
19 March 2017


Ethiopia Photo Tour 2017

"It is difficult to describe how I feel about my trip to Ethiopia. It was an overwhelmingly fantastic experience where I was constantly pinching myself. I had long wanted to see the crosses and churches of Lalibela, but it was the peoples of the Omo Valley who took my heart. As a keen photographer who clings to their little digital because I always like to have it in my bag to take almost daily photos, I was hesitant about joining a photographic tour expecting everyone to be better equipped and more experienced than I am. But I quickly learned that this was irrelevant. The patience, support and knowledge given generously by Denis and Shem were fantastic. And I now have the most amazing photos to swoon over daily….. and I am. Ably assisted by our local guide Robel, we gained access to the tribes people I could never have imagined possible. Not only did all the group (from 4 continents) get on well together, but their shared knowledge of both photography and travels was also appreciated…and a valuable resource for the future. There were times when the going was rough and tough, but I wouldn’t have missed a moment of it. The only downside is that I think it may have spoilt all my future travel (ad)ventures. Thank you again to Denis, Shem and Robel."

Chris Fitzpatrick
18 March 2017


Ethiopia Photo Tour 2017

"I knew when I read the itinerary for the Iconic Images/C4 photo tour to Ethiopia encompassing the best of north and south Ethiopia that this was going to be an intricate logistical and organisational exercise. Having travelled with you and Shem on three other occasions including Antarctica and Namibia I had no doubt that you would have the organisational skills to make such a trip feasible. Let me say quite simply that despite the challenges travelling in such remote areas can bring, this trip was an unqualified success. The quality of the photo opportunities was outstanding. The interaction, through Robel as intermediary, with the local people, particularly in the Omo Valley, meant that the ability to capture intimate portraits was far beyond what I had hoped to achieve. Please thank Robel for his excellent on the ground skills and particularly his negotiating skills with the locals who all seem to know him! I thoroughly enjoyed every day of this trip, creating what I consider to be some of my best images. It is very difficult to pick the highlights of the trip as there were so many but I will certainly always remember the superb photography of Gelada monkeys in soft backlit light on the cliff edge in the Simien mountains and the first time we met and photographed the Suri tribe in the remote lower Omo valley. On behalf of Penny, Felicity and myself once again thank you Denis, Shem and Robel for this superb photo tour of Ethiopia."

Tony Lawrence
13 March 2017


Ethiopia Photo Tour 2017

"The just concluded photographic odyssey in Ethiopia was an outstanding success. The Northern tour was a full trip in itself, with the beautiful Simien Mountains, Gelada monkeys, the highest Lodge in Africa. This was followed by the colourful spectacle of the Timket parade to celebrate the Epiphany in Gondar and the next morning by the dawn service and baptisms at the Queen Mentewab pool. This was topped by the magnificent granite Churches in Lalibela. I felt privileged to be included in your small group to experience these special events and places. Nonetheless, all this was finessed by the magnificent Southern tour. Despite all the logistical hurdles you shepherded us over rough terrain to visit five tribes spread across a large area in Southern Ethiopia. I doubt that many people are able to achieve such a comprehensive viewing of these tribes in one trip. Of course, we have Robel to thank for the on ground arrangements that made such a tour possible, and we are all in his debt for the part he played in pulling it all together. He is a fantastic guide and wonderful companion. Denis, you and Shem were endlessly helpful and tolerant, and I feel that my photography has continued to improve under your tutelage. It is through these special photographic tours that I discover what is possible with a camera, and without doubt you have once again expanded my photographic horizons. What were the highlights for me? I could say they are too numerous to mention, but I feel that I could never have witnessed the unique tribal scenes and beautiful body adornments without participating in this Iconic Images and C4 Photo Safaris tour and for this I am ever in your debt. Thank you."

Graeme Allan
27 February 2017








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