Iconic Ethiopia 2017 - Tour 2 - another exclusive small group tour for discerning photographers
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 and are hidden beyond the cities and towns of modern life. This is a true photographic adventure into the remote region of southern Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. Expect stunningly photogenic body painting and 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.
We will visit tribes on both sides of the Omo river, including spending several days visiting the Suri tribe, the most ornate tribe, and being the most remote tribes 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.
We will spend sufficient time in each location to ensure a deeper experience, to produce more intimate and compelling images. We are fellow travellers/photographers in an amazing part of the world and 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. I wish to give you the opportunity to photographically document the daily lives of each tribe, capture stunning portraits, and experience some of their timeless ceremonies – truly 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.
Dates & Summary Itinerary
The 19-day photo tour commences at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Monday 6 February 2017 and finishes at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Friday 24 February 2017.
Direct links to the accommodation are provided in the table below.
|6 Feb||Arrive Addis Ababa Airport, Ethiopia & transfer to hotel||Radisson Blu Hotel – 1 night|
|7 Feb||Air transfer to Simien Mountain National Park (SMNP)||Simien Lodge – 2 nights|
|9 Feb||Road transfer to Gondor||Goha Hotel – 1 night|
|10 Feb||Air transfer to Lalibela||Panoramic View Hotel – 2 nights|
|12 Feb||Air transfer to Arba Minch via Addis ababa||Paradise Lodge – 1 night|
|13 Feb||Road transfer to Jinka, Omo Valley||Omo Eco Lodge -1 night|
|14 Feb||Road transfer to Dus, on banks of Omo River||Murelle Lodge – 2 nights|
|16 Feb||Road transfer to Turmi, Omo Valley||Buska Lodge – 3 nights|
|19 Feb||Air transfer to Mizan + road transfer to Kibish, Omo Valley||Mobile Tent Camp – 4 nights|
|23 Feb||Air transfer to Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa||Radisson Blu Hotel – 1 night|
|24 Feb||Road transfer to Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa||N/A|
You can download the more comprehensive itinerary by clicking the DOWNLOAD ITINERARY button in the sidebar.
What is the accommodation like in these remote locations in Ethiopia?
The accommodation we have selected is the best available in the various locations in which we will be photographing and consists of hotels, lodges and mobile tented camps.
The mobile tent camps are functional and comfortable.
For those who have travelled with me previously and experienced the high standard of safari lodges in southern and east Africa, please be aware the accommodation in some of the destinations in Ethiopia will be a lesser standard.
Accommodation Pre & Post the Photo Tour
Should you wish to arrive in Addis Ababa a day or so earlier than 6th February 2017 or stay a few days after the photo tour finishes on 24th February, I strongly recommend you use the Radisson Blu Hotel , i.e. the same hotel we are using on the nights of 6th and 23th February 2017; see the itinerary above.
There are so many; here is my selection:
- 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.
- Witnessing and photographing Timkat, – the largest and most colourful festival of Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia and one of the most photogenic festivals in Africa.
- 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.
THE PHOTO TOUR IS CONFINED TO A MAXIMUM OF TWELVE (12) PARTICIPANTS AND A MINIMUM OF EIGHT (8) PARTICIPANTS IS REQUIRED FOR THE TOUR TO PROCEED. THERE IS A MAXIMUM OF TWO UNSHARED ROOMS/TENTS AVAILABLE.
Costs, Terms of Payment, How to Register & International Flights
Iconic Images is obligated to pay the costs of the photo tour in US dollars.
The cost is US$13,850.00 per person, twin share, (or the equivalent in AU$ at the time of making the final payment).
A single supplement of US$2,850.00 per person (or the equivalent in AU$ at the time of making payment) for unshared accommodation applies, if specifically requested.
This single supplement is to be paid at the time of registration. There are only two single supplement/unshared accommodation places available.
For your convenience and to minimize currency exchange risks, payments should only be made to the US dollar bank account of the travel agent, Our World Travel.
Payment by credit cards is acceptable and attracts an OWT fee of 2%; please check with Janet or Nick Missikos on how best to pay by credit card.
- A non-refundable 25% deposit together with a completed Registration Form, on or before Friday 27 May 2016.
- A second non-refundable payment of 25% on or before Friday 26 August 2016.
- A final payment of the remaining 50%, on or before Friday 28 October 2016.
How to Register
Click the “REGISTRATION FORM” button in the sidebar, download the form, complete it and follow the instructions for return to Our World Travel.
If this photo tour is not for you, perhaps you might consider forwarding the information to a friend, who may like to know about it.
Minimum Numbers For Tour To Proceed
- A minimum of eight (8) registrations is required for the tour to proceed with the two tour leaders, Denis Glennon & Shem Compion.
- If there is a minimum number of five (5) and less than eight (8) registrations, the tour will proceed with one tour leader, Shem Compion.
Flights & Insurance Enquiries
For all flight and insurance enquiries, please contact the sole booking agent, Our World Travel (OWT), Shop 1/113 Royal Street, East Perth WA 6004 and request to speak to Mr Nick Missikos. His telephone number is +61 8 9221 9977 or email him @ email@example.com
Should you require help with flight bookings &/or travel insurance for this photo tour, Nick has offered his assistance to all participants, to ensure they get best available/most cost-effective flights for their desired routing. If you intend booking flights yourself, using your frequent flyer points or other means, Nick will also help you. Travel insurance is mandatory and OWT has much experience in helping travellers obtain the most suitable policy.
Itinerary & Other Tour Enquiries
If you would like to discuss any aspect of the itinerary or the photo tour itself, before making a decision to join us, please contact Denis Glennon AO on +61 418 923 103 or email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Ensure you download the comprehensive itinerary PDF containing most of the information you will initially need, by clicking on “DOWNLOAD ITINERARY’ in the sidebar.
Government Advice on Travelling to Ethiopia
The itinerary has been developed to avoid Ethiopia’s reported “trouble spots” and areas of any reported recent political disturbances.
The advice on travel to and within Ethiopia , published by the Australian and other governments, is updated intermittently.
Prior to registering for the tour please check these updates.
Also, we suggest you check with your insurance company as to whether the cover provided under your travel insurance policy, may, in the event of a claim, be negated to any extent, by the travel advice published by the government issuing your passport, at the time of your registration for the tour.
I continually monitor latest travel advice issued by the Australian government but stress it is your responsibility to check the advice published by the government of the country issuing your passport and the status of your travel insurance vis-a-vis that advice.
Australian and US citizens require a visa for entry to Ethiopia . Other passport holders should ensure they check if they require visas.
I encourage you to obtain your visas at the relevant consulate or embassy in your home country before departure rather than waiting until you arrive in Africa.
Trying to obtain a visa on arrival can frequently be “a hassle” and time-consuming. The queues can be long and very slow-moving; this is not the best way to commence your photo tour after a long and tiring international flight.
For helpful information on whether you require a visa and how to obtain one, please click on this link:
Yellow Fever Certificate
I strongly advise you to check the latest requirements for holding a current yellow fever certificate for entry to/departure from Ethiopia.
If you plan to enter South Africa from Ethiopia (e.g. from Addis Ababa International Airport) it is very likely you will not be allowed to board the flight to Johannesburg unless you can produce a current yellow fever certificate. You may be asked to produce the certificate on arrival in Johannesburg; requests appear to be made on a random basis.
Additionally, please check the requirements for re-entering your home country. As a precaution, I always travel with a current certificate. In 25+ years of re-entering Australia from Africa I have been required to produce a current yellow fever certificate on three occasions; again requests appear to be made on a random basis.
Predeparture Information & Checklist
To assist you prepare for this photo tour I have compiled a comprehensive, downloadable and printable PDF. It contains helpful information on:
- Travelling with and looking after photographic equipment in Africa.
- Downloading and backing-up images every day.
- Power supply in Ethiopia for charging batteries, laptop, mobile phone, etc.
- Vehicle etiquette and consideration for fellow passengers and photographers.
- Keeping healthy in Africa.
- Money Matters in Ethiopia.
- Immigration and Customs at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- Arrangements to meet you on arrival at Bole International Airport.
- Travel documents, personal items & clothing checklist
- Personal medical items checklist – a layperson’s checklist.
- Camera equipment checklist – this is a comprehensive list and you should not be overwhelmed by its contents.
- Summary itinerary.
- Guide to paying gratuities on this photo tour.
- My choice of lenses and other camera equipment for this photo safari.
The information in this PDF will help you to remember to pack your selection of camera equipment and other essential items so that you return home with a great collection of iconic images, and many magnificent memories.
A copy of this Predeparture Information & Checklist will be forwarded to registered participants, approximately forty five days before commencement of the photo tour.