Ethiopia- South Omo Valley 2021




11 Day Workshop, $4695** – Limited to 6 Students

February 16-26, 2021

Meet and Greet on February 16 in Jimma  

**Includes lodging, camping, food, ground transportation and park entrance fees 

This workshop continues to be one of the most popular and memorable for every student who has participated in prior years. The price of this workshop is all inclusive of meals, lodging and ground transportation. Workshop participants will be responsible for ‘model fees’ that each photographer pays to photograph the tribal people you will meet and camp with. As a general rule, each person you photograph expects payment for their photo, usually about 10-20 Ethiopian Birr (30-60 US cents) per person, depending on the tribe and/or person(s) in your shot. Generally, each student will spend at most $20 to photograph 40+ people each day.

Workshop participants will be responsible for their transportation to and from the capital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as well as a one-way flight from Addis Ababa to the town of Jimma (on the afternoon of February 16) and another one-way flight from the town of Dire Dawa to Addis Ababa (on the afternoon of February 26). Both of these flights are available on Ethiopian Airlines and preferred flight information is provided below. Feel free to arrive Addis Ababa earlier than February 16 if you wish to see the city or just get acclimated to the time zone change. If you elect to arrive on February 16 from the USA, Europe or the Middle East, your flight will in all likelihood arrive in the morning between 6 am – 9 am, so you will have no trouble making the afternoon flight on that same day, February 16, to Jimma from Addis Ababa.

Temperatures in Ethiopia in February are a very pleasant 85-95 degrees but with very low humidity and often a light wind. Pack your shorts, short sleeve shirts, sunscreen and a hat. A comfortable pair of flip flops or tennis shoes will be suitable footwear for this workshop. Hiking boots are NOT necessary as you will be walking for the most part on sandy ground. Check the latest guidance for vaccinations required to travel abroad at  As of late 2019, the Yellow Fever vaccine is no longer required for entrance into Ethiopia.

We eat very well while lodging in the hotels but we eat even better when camping!  Three meals a day are catered with breakfast, lunch and dinner served up by a 5-Star Chef.  Many prior students have commented “the meals served up while camping rivaled many 4 and 5-star restaurants!”

The full itinerary is provided below and is subject to minor changes depending on unexpected yet welcomed opportunities that arise, such as a bull jumping ceremony, a tribal marriage or the desire of the group to stay in a given location longer.


February 16:  Take mid-day flight Addis Ababa to Jimma. I will pick you up at the airport and transport you to the hotel.  Meet and Greet that afternoon at the hotel in Jimma.

February 17:  Following a morning shoot on the streets of Jimma, we will drive to the first of many tribes the Surmi Tribe and it is here where we will set up camp for one night.

February 18:  We break camp and head out that afternoon for Turmi and lodge at the Buska Lodge. Another day with Karo tribes and an afternoon shoot with the nearby Kangaten tribe.

February 19-20:  Arising early, we drive to the Karo Tribe and set up camp for two nights and in addition to spending time with the Karo tribe we also spend a few hours with the Kangaten Tribe, about one hour away. That evening we will shoot the very dark night sky of a billion stars.

February 21:  Depart from the Karo tribe, and head out mid-morning for the drive to the Arbore Tribe where we will camp for one night and shoot that afternoon and into the evening and shoot star trails again.

February 22:  Break camp in the morning and head for Konso where we spend several hours with the Konso tribe and then depart for the town of Arba Minch and lodge for two nights at the 5-star Haile Resort

February 23:  Spend the morning with the Dorze tribes and that afternoon we will be shooting both hippos, beautiful tropical birds and crocodiles on Lake Chamo and then return after sunset to the hotel for a much-welcomed buffet dinner.

February 24:  Check out of the Haile Hotel and head for Lake Langano and lodge in the Lake Langano Resort after spending much of the day with the Oromo Tribes.

February 25:  Check out in the morning from Lake Langano Resort and head for Harar, shooting that afternoon in the very colorful 2,000-year-old walled city of Old Harar. That evening we will venture out into the wilds and feed the wild Hyenas with the aid of a local tribesman.

February 26:  Early morning shoot in Harar, followed by breakfast then we check out of hotel by 12pm and take the shuttle to the airport to catch our afternoon flight from the airport in the nearby city of Dire Dawa, and fly back to Addis Ababa where you will arrive that afternoon, in plenty of time to make your connection that evening to your international flights, assuming you are planning on returning to USA or Europe that evening.



Flight information for Addis Ababa to Jimma on February 16:

Ethiopian Airlines Flight #131, departs Addis at 11:40am and arrives Jimma 12:35pm

Flight information for Dire Dawa to Addis Ababa on February 26:

Ethiopian Air flight #205, departs Dire Dawa at 4:00 pm, arrives Addis at 5:00 pm


To sign up for this workshop or ask to be on the waitlist, send an email to Lisa Phillips at [email protected].