2018 Southeast Ethiopia - Omo Valley Workshop
January 8th The Workshop begins officially after meeting up with everyone at 10:30am at the Aberminch airport. You will be flying from Addis Ababa to Aberminch the morning of January 8th.
PLAN YOUR AIRLINE RESERVATIOM TO ARRIVE AT ADDIS ABABA IN EARLY MORNING, 6-8AM, TRANSFER TO LOCAL FLIGHT FROM ADDIS ABBA TO THE TOWN OF ABERMINCH, ARRIVE IN ABERMINCH AROUND 10:30AM WHERE WE THEN DRIVE 20 MINUTES TO THE BEAUTIFUL PARADISE LODGE WHERE WE LODGE BOTH MONDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHTS. WE WILL SHOOT THAT MONDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING ON THE COLORFUL STREETS OF ABERMINCH.
Sunrise as seen from the outdoor restaurant deck at Paradise Lodge
Should you have any questions, ANY questions at all, please email Monique directly at
Streets of Arbaminch
JANUARY 9th- WE TAKE A BOAT RIDE ONTO LAKE CHAMO AND PHOTOGRAPH BIRDS, HIPPOS AND CROCODILES AND RERTURN FOR MORE AFTERNOON SHOOTING IN AND AROUND ARBAMINCH. THE PARADISE LODGE WEBSITE IS HERE IF YOU WANT TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE ACCOMODATIONS:
Birds and Hippos on the shore of Lake Chamo
FOLLOWING BREAKFAST AT THE PARADISE LODGE, WE CHECK OUT AND DRIVE TO THE TOWN OF JINKA, LODGE AT THE JINKA RESORT AND VISIT THE MURSI TRIBE AND DURING TWO HOUR DRIVE TO MURSI TRIBE WE PASS THROUGH ANOTHER WILDLIFE REFUGE AND SEE MANY BIRDS, POSSIBLY THE YELLOW MONKEY, BABOON, AND EVEN AN ELUSIVE ELEPHANT.
Woman from the Mursi Tribe
Young boy from the Mursi Tribe
The not so elusive Yellow Monkey
WE CHECK OUT OF JINKA LODGE JANUARY 11th, FOLLOWING BREAKFAST AND WE THEN DRIVE TO THE KARO TRIBAL VILLANGE THAT SITS HIGH ON A BLUFF OVERLOOKING THE OMO VALLEY AND RIVER. WE WILL ENJOY TWO FULL DAYS OF REALLY LIFE CAMPING. SETTING UP CAMP ATOP THE A BLUFF THAT OVERLOOKS THE OMO RIVER, WE ARE LIVING WITH THE KARO TRIBE FOR TWO DAYS, ARRIVING THE AFTERNOON OF DECEMBER 14TH WHERE WE WILL SHOOT THE TRIBAL PEOPLE AND THEIR WAY OF LIFE WELL INTO THE EVENING HOURS. FLASH LESSONS ABOUND! THROUGHOUT THE DAY OF THE 15TH, BEGINNIG EARLY MORNING, WE WILL SHOOT THE MANY TRIBAL PEOPLE, BOTH YOUNG AND OLD, AS WELL AS SOME WONDERFUL STAR TRAIL LANDSCAPES AND MILKYWAY COMPOSITION AGAINST A MOONLESS SKY AT NIGHT, including PORTRAITS OF TRIBAL MEMBERS AGAINST THAT SAME MILKY WAY SKY. THIS WILL PROVE TO BE A MAJOR HIGHLIGHT OF OUR TWO DAYS WITH THE KARO PEOPLE and A CHANCE TO REALLY EXPERIENCE THE SIMPLICTY OF SHOOTING PORTRAITS WITH FLASH AGAINST THE NIGHT SKY!!!
Two young brothers from the Karo Tribe
Young ‘warriors’ of the Karo Tribe overlooking the Omo River
Young woman just hanging out.
WE BREAK CAMP AROUND 10AM AND THEN DRIVE TO THE SMALL TOWN OF TURMI AND GO TO A REALLY FUN MARKET WHERE LOCAL HANDI-CRAFTS ARE PLENTIFUL AND COLORFUL PEOPLE ABOUND SINCE THIS MARKET CATERS TO THREE DIFFEREENT TRIBES IN THE AREA. WE THAN CHECK-IN AT THE BUSKA LODGE AROUND 1PM AND WE WILL HAVE LUNCH AND THE REST OF THE AFTERNOON TO YOURSELF AS YOU WELCOME A CHANCE TO REST. BY EARLY EVENING, WE WILL MEET UP AT 6PM AND GO INTO THE SMALL TOWN OF TURMI AND SHOOT LOCAL ACTIVITIES INSIDE PEOPLES HOMES AS WELL AS THE ACTIVITY AT THE BARS AND POOL HALL. A CHANCE TO SEE JUST HOW MAGICAL YOUR IMAGES CAN BE WHEN SHOOTING AT HIGH ISO’S SUCH AS 32OO.
Inside a local bar in Turmi
WE ARISE FOR AN EARLY BREAKFAST AT THE BUSKA LODGE AND THEN DRIVE 10 MINUTES TO THE FIRST OF TWO HAMER TRIBE LOCATIONS FOR A MORNING SHOOT. WE RETURN TO THE LODGE BY 11AM AND CHECK OUT…AND THEN DRIVE ANOTHER 30 MINUTES TO A MOUNTAIN HILLTOP WHERE WE WILL ONCE AGAIN CAMP FOR TWO NIGHTS, (JANUARY 14th-15th), BUT THIS TIME WITH THE HAMER TRIBE. SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF BOTH SUNRISE AND SUNSETS AWAIT US FROM THIS PICTURESQUE MOUNTAIN TOP HAMER VILLAGE.
AGAIN WE WILL SHOOT SOME WONDERFUL STAR TRAIL LANDSCAPES AND MILKYWAY COMPOSITION AGAINST A MOONLESS SKY AT NIGHT, including PORTRAITS OF TRIBAL MEMBERS AGAINST THAT SAME MILKY WAY SKY. THIS WILL PROVE TO BE A MAJOR HIGHLIGHT OF OUR TWO DAYS WITH THE KARO PEOPLE and A CHANCE TO REALLY EXPERIENCE THE SIMPLICTY OF SHOOTING PORTRAITS WITH FLASH AGAINST THE NIGHT SKY!!!
Young woman from the Hamer Tribe
Older woman from Hamer Tribe outside her house
DAY TWO OF CAMPING HIGH ATOP THE MOUNTAIN WITH THE HAMER TRIBE. SHOOTING EARLY MORNING, LATE AFTERNOON OF HAMER PEOPLE PLUS AN OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE HAMMER ‘MONDAY MARKET’ WHERE NORMALLY ONLY THE HAMMER TRIBES PEOPLE ARE ALLOWED BUT WE HAVE MADE A SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT FOR US TO ATTEND THIS MARKET AS WELL INCLUDING THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE THE HANDI-CRAFTS AND JEWLERY MADE BY THE HAMER TRIBE.
WE BREAK CAMP BY 9AM AND DRIVE TO THE KANTA LODGE AND AFTER CHECKING IN, WE WILL HAVE LUNCH AND THEN SHOOT IN THE NEARBY VILLAGE OF THE KONSO TRIBE.
Young woman from the Konso Tribe
WE CHECK OUT EARLY AND DRIVE NORTH TO LAKE LANGANO, AND ARRIVE BY AROUND 5PM AT THE LODGE AT LAKE AGANNO WHERE SHORBIRDS ARE PLENTIFUL. ALONG THE WAY WE WILL STOP IN ONE IF NOT SEVERAL SMALL TOWNS FOR SOME MORE STREET PHOTOGRAPHY.
A blue throated bee eater near the shore of Lake Aganno
Vermillion-Throated Bee Eater
WE CHECK OUT OF THE LODGE AT LAKE AGANNO EARLY AND DRIVE STRAIGHT TO ADDIS ABBA, ARRIVING BY 12PM. A FAREWELL LUNCH IN ADDIS AT A VERY GOOD INDIAN RESTAURATNT INSIDE THE HARMONY HOTEL. I RECOMMEND THE HARMONY HOTEL AS YOUR CHOICE FOR LODGING THE EVENING OF JANUARY 18th, UNLESS OF COURSE YOU HAVE A FLIGHT PLANNED FOR EARELY EVENING ON THE 18th of JANUARY. . (Most participants find it ‘easier’ to plan their return on the 19th of January, allowing some welcomed down time.)
- When you say ‘camping’ how primitive is it? Everyone has their very own DOME style tent complete with a comfortable foam mattress and bedding. There is more then enough room inside your tent to dress/undress and have available your luggage. An outdoor modern style toilet is available at a moderate distance from the tents and a portable, private and warm shower is available near the tents.
- Do I have to set up my own tent? No, the guides who accompany us, both the set up and the take down of the campsite, do all this for you. Your only responsibility is to relax and shoot and enjoy the amazing views and people that surround you.
- Are we camping near wildlife? No, we are camping in both the villages of the Karo Tribe and the Hamer Tribe, both far removed from any wildlife. For sure you will hear the morning ‘screams’ of the Baboons who arise near dawn when you camp at the Karo Village, but the Baboons are down in the nearby valley and across the OMO River.
- What kind of vehicles is used for traveling around Ethiopia and what are the seating arrangements? We will be traveling in Land Rovers and there will be no more than 4 people per vehicle, the driver and three passengers. Everyone is guaranteed a window seat.
- How many participants will be in each of the workshops? A maximum of six people will be in each workshop.
- What is the recommended amount of luggage that is permitted? One check bag and one carry on is the ideal set up. (The carry on should be your camera gear.)
- Is there power available at both the lodges and while camping? Yes, all of the lodges have 220V electricity so make sure and bring battery chargers that are dual voltage along with the round two-prong European style plug. In addition we will have a generator available that we will fire up when we are out camping.
- Should I bring a laptop? Yes, if you want to do any post-processing during the workshop and you should also bring a portable storage device along with no less than 25GB of CF Cards and/or SD Cards. You will be shooting far more on this workshop than any other workshop you have attended-promise. At the end of each day, if possible you should download your results to your portable hard-drive.
- When we camp, who prepares the meals? All of our meals, when camping are prepared by a hired cook and all of the food is ‘safe’ food; daily meals while camping include, pancakes, omelet’s soups, roasted chicken, beans, pasta’s, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, coffee’s, teas, beer and bottled water.
- What kind of weather should we expect in December and January? Daytime highs can be as much as 90 degree’s but more likely in the low to mid-80’s and nighttime temperatures can be somewhat cool, around 70-75 degree’s with hardly a chance for any rain. Sunscreen is recommended as well as a lightweight jacket or sweater for the evenings.
- What health pre-cautions are required? You must get a Yellow Fever vaccination plus get a prescription for Malaria pills. At no point during the first workshop did anyone get a mosquito bite and this had much to do with the environment we were traveling in; hardly ever near still and stagnant water and almost too dry of an area for much mosquito activity.
- What about snakes? We did not see a single snake in any of our travels and wanderings nor did we see any kind of threatening animals and for sure at not time did any of us feel threatened by any of the people during our travels. I found the Ethiopian people to be some of the nicest and caring and giving people I have ever come across in all of my travels.
- What about ‘paying’ some of the people to take their photographs? Your fee includes ALL photography fees, including compensation to those tribal people who expect to be paid. Our guides will pay the tribal people.
What to bring