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Experience the world

Documentary Photography Workshop
9 nights 10 days

into the wild


Omo Valley, Ethiopia

 Invigorate your passion for documentary and travel photography in a region considered to be a veritable “crossroads of culture,” having borne witness to the movement and migration of different cultures and ethnic groups for thousands of years. 

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  • Attend traditional ceremonies like bull jumping

  • Photograph the Ari, Benna, Hamer, Mursi and Arbore tribes

  • Experience the weekly markets at Key Afer and Turmi

  • Camp in tribal villages

  • Explore the natural wonders of the Great African Rift Valley

  • Visit a national park and a wildlife sanctuary


  • Camera settings

  • Portrait lighting techniques

  • Location lighting

  • Style & genre

  • How to tell a story with your images

  • Digital workflow & retouching

  • Workflow procedures & data management


December 1-10, 2019



$3950 USD



This 10-day photography workshop will provide beginners the opportunity to meet some of the most ancient and remote ethnic groups in the world, in particular the tribes living in and around the Omo River Valley in southwest Ethiopia.

This is an intensive and rigorous 10 days – working under the scorching sun, camping in the wild, and braving the elements as well as bone jarring commutes on dirt roads. There’s no resting post-breakfast or lunch, no checking up on your social media feeds or catching up with friends. It’s a hectic, full ten days of work. You will engage with the community at large, observe and photograph their ancient customs and everyday activities, revel in the stunning landscape, and return with renewed vigor to practice photography.     






Day 1
Drive from Addis Ababa - Arbaminch

  • Leave Addis Ababa in the morning and drive 315 Miles (7 to ­8 hours) to reach Arbaminch.

  • Stay at Arbaminch Paradise Lodge.

Day 2
Arbaminch to the Ari Tribe

  • Leave Arbaminch and enter Omo Valley after 4­ to 5 hours of driving. Our first stop will be with the Ari Tribe. We will photograph the tribe and stay the night (camping).


Day 3
Meet the Mursi Tribe

  • Continue with the Ari until leaving around noon. We will be passing through the amazing Mago National Park en route to the Mursi land. Have your fingers crossed and hope that we will see some animals!

  • We will meet the Mursi, photograph them, and camp with them that night.

Day 4
 Meet ­the Hamar Tribe

  • Eat breakfast with Mursi tribe

  • Arrive at the Hamar villages and meet the people in the fields and traditional water points (culturally significant meeting spaces).

  • Camp overnight with the Hamar tribe.


Day 5
Meet the Dassanech Tribe

  • Visit Dassanech tribes and their villages on both the eastern and western sides of the Omo river.

  • Visit a tribal Hamar market.

  • Overnight stay at Turmi Buska lodge. This is a nice break from camping! You can get hot water showers, massages, etc.


Day 6
 Meet the Karo tribe

  • Visit the Karo tribe at the Dus Village and camp with them.

Camping in Omo Valley, Ehiopia

Camping in Omo Valley, Ehiopia

Day 7
Meet the Benna tribes

  • Visit the Benna tribal Tuesday market at Alduba

  • Meet and stay with the Benna tribes. (This is a very unique experience because this is our guide and translator Emany’s village!

  • Overnight camping at Benna tribes village.

Day 8
Meet the Arbore tribe

  • Meet and stay with the Arbore tribe. This location offers particularly amazing landscapes.

Day 9
Leave Arbore tribe and go to­ Lake Chamo

  • Drive back to Arbaminch paradise lodge.

  • Take a boat and go to see hippos, crocodiles, and birds at Lake Chamo.

  • Overnight stay at Arbaminch Paradise Lodge.

Day 10
Drive from Arbaminch to ­Addis Ababa

  • Leave for Addis Ababa and reach by night!

  • Share a final meal together and unwind.

  • Stay overnight, and you leave the next day.





Photography modules: What will you learn?

Camera settings
Learn how to shoot in manual mode and take control of any lighting situation. 

Portrait Lighting techniques
Hands-on training in portrait lighting using single and multiple artificial lights. Location photography using professional lighting equipment as well as natural light. 

Style & genre
Exposure to different genres of photography, ranging from documentary and street to landscape and portraiture.

Professional equipment training
Work with equipment from industry leaders like Profoto, Nikon/Canon, and grips from industry leaders like Manfrotto to develop your style with the highest calibre of tools.

Post-production & retouching
Basic training on post-production procedures using Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Camera RAW, and Bridge.

Workflow procedures & data management
Learn how to work with hard drives and memory cards, to effectively manage and store data, and archive your photographs. 







When and where does the workshop take place?

  • The photography workshop in Omo Valley, Ethiopia is scheduled to take place July 15-25, 2019 (10-days, excluding travel from your city to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia).

Who can apply for this workshop?

  • A photography enthusiast with a DSLR camera, dedicated and passionate about furthering their knowledge of photography and sensitive about different cultures and people. However, please be warned, this is not a vacation, but a 10-day intensive workshop. We are restricting the group to a maximum of 6 participants.

What about travel arrangements, VISA and local permits?

  • This trip is done in a private, 5-seater land cruiser. Road conditions in the south of Ethiopia are generally very poor, especially during the rainy season, and during dry seasons the roads turn quite dusty.
  • Participants are required to book their international flight tickets from their city of residence to Addis Ababa, where you will meet Trupal Pandya. In case you are flying from New York, you can coordinate with Trupal to travel together. We will take care of pickup and drop off from the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and the campsite.
  • Tourist visas can be issued for three months upon arrival at Bole International Airport for nationals and residents of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Democratic people's Republic of Korea (northern Korea), Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (south Korea), the Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.
  • Please confirm your VISA eligibility prior to applying for the workshop by checking out the Ethiopian embassy website.



Stay, daily meals, sleeping arrangements & toilets

  • Accommodation in the lower Omo Valley is very basic. Hotels are rare and generally of a very rustic standard. In many places the only option is to camp (equipment provided). Where possible we will be staying in simple eco lodges.
  • At all times we will have enough packed water stored in the cars.
  • Meals: Mostly local restaurants. Part of the trip experience is trying local dishes. I have been to the area many times and have eaten without any problems. Food is normally prepared from fresh local produce. Meals will usually be hot but may occasionally be something light, such as a sandwich.
  • Toilets are very basic and might not be at western standards. Please carry your own roll of toilet paper. You will have to go do your business in the wild if we are camping. 
  • We recommended you consult your doctor and carry vaccines for travel to Ethiopia. Check link for more details.

weather conditions

  • Light rains and humid. 

What gear must participants bring and carry?

  • Mandatory: DSLR Camera, lenses, tripod, extra batteries, memory cards & card readers, laptop to transfer data, external hard drive for backup.
  • Other essentials: Flashlight, dust/rain protection for your cameras and bags, ziplocks, bug repellant spray or cream, hand/face wipes, basic medical supplies and first aid kit, good shoes, light cloths.
  • You will have to restrict your luggage to 2 bags max. 1 for your equipment and second for clothes/other supplies. 

How do we communicate with the tribal communities?

  • We have a guide/translator who has been taking us to the tribes for years. He is a local and has grown up with the tribes. It's home for him! 



omo valley, ethiopia
dec 1-10 2019


cost per person


based on double occupancy



  • Photography workshop by Trupal Pandya

  • Local guides and drivers

  • All meals (typically in local restaurants where viable)

  • Packed drinking water

  • 10-night accommodation (4 nights in hotels, 3 nights in camps and 3 nights in various lodges)

  • Airport pickup/dropoff

  • All domestic transportation (4WD land cruiser throughout)

  • Photography lighting equipment



  • International flights and visa fees

  • Personal purchases

  • Gratuity for guides and locals

  • Baggage and personal insurance.


Video by Sam Wood