Ethiopia’s landscapes are dramatic. The mountainous country in eastern Africa holds a vibrancy that captivates and enchants. It has more UNESCO-listed sights than any other country on the continent. The lush mountains with its jagged spiers and magnificent views hide animals and birds seen nowhere else on earth and the lowlands are home to some of Africa’s most fascinating tribes. It is the only country on the African continent that has not been a colony. It is authentic, intoxicating and truly a photographer’s dream.
Christian Nørgaard is the founder and CEO of Better Moments. For years he has photographed and traveled extensively in Asia and has received wide acclaim for his unique photographic talent. In recent years he has also collaborated with Steve McCurry and other National Geographic’s leading photographers for exhibitions and events. His workshops in Ethiopia, Tibet and the Faroe Islands are unique opportunities for any photographer to combine adventure, travel and reportage photography and to work with one of the best in the field.
Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, you will be picked up at the airport and taken to our hotel. Those who have the time and spirit can spend their first day exploring the capital, Addis Ababa. Ethiopia’s sprawling capital is located in the highlands bordering the Great Rift Valley, serving as the country’s commercial and cultural hub. Its National Museum exhibits Ethiopian art, traditional crafts and prehistoric fossils, representing a rich history dating all the way back to the earliest known hominid, “Lucy.” The burial place of the 20th-century emperor Haile Selassie, the copper-domed Holy Trinity Cathedral, is a neo-Baroque architectural landmark of particular interest. After dinner, Christian Nørgaard will introduce the workshop and present his work from previous trips to Ethiopia, to prepare you for the adventure ahead. This will be followed by a workshop on how to capture great portraits and how to approach the people along our way.
We spend our morning at Addis Mercato, known as Africa’s largest market. A truly visual experience with craft shops, cattle, spice stalls filling the narrow alleyways, providing many fascinating and colourful photo opportunities. This is uniquely intriguing place to get lost with your camera and immerse yourself in the beautiful chaos.
After Addis Mercato we fly south to Jinka, the “capital” for the Mursi people.
After settling in, we will join each other for an enjoyable outside dinner with a nice view of the nearby river.
We spend the day exploring the stunning Mago National Park, located on the east bank of the Omo River. The park is 1,343 square miles and its highest point is Moun Mago. We will have an opportunity meet the Mursi, a community that inhabit Mago National Park, known for the lip plates worn by the women. During the day there will be hands-on sessions with Christian, and you will receive an individual review of your images so far, as well as personal tips and advice to help optimize your photography. We stay at a tent camp (each guest has their own tent) in the heart of a local Mursi village. Here we will melt in with the tribe and photograph the many everyday tasks the tribe performs. Among the many activities to photograph, one of the highlights is when the tribe gather the cattle home from the savannah evening.
In the early morning, we walk around the village and explore how the Mursi take their cattle out on the fields and how they cook on an open fire. This experience is unique and an great opportunity to learn about their culture, in a spirit of authenticity and mutual respect. After breakfast, drive to the market town of Turmi in southwestern Ethiopia. Here we will visit a number of surrounding villages and tribes, such as the Tsemay, Erbore and Konso, who decorate themselves with beads, feathers and elaborate body paint, priding themselves on ancient traditions. During the day there will be many unique opportunities to practice shooting scenes of everyday village village life, as well as portraits of women, men and children, including some intriguing initiation rites.
We will use the day to meet the Hamer Bena, Tsemay, Beshada, Karo and the Ari people – enjoying a busy and a fascinating day together with tribes and local people. Christian Nørgaard will assist, guide and teach how to approach people and how to find locations, and there will be great opportunities to practice some more landscape and portrait photography in some of worlds most stunning locations.
Early in the morning we drive to a Karo village that is located on a hill top overlooking the Omo river. We will set up our equipment in the nice and soft morning light and spend the rest of the morning capturing every detail in the village. The Karo is undoubtedly the most fascinating tribe with regard to their personal decoration. The tribespeople paint their bodies from toe to face white expressive patterns – truly an amazing sight and a magnificent location. In the evening we hold a workshop with constructive feedback on your best shots of the day.
Today we will drive to Konso and visit the market in Key Afer where we will meet tribes such as the Ari, Bena, Tsemay, Hamer. The market in Key Afer is a wonderful mix of local crafts, cattle sales and small hostels where local men meet. Another day full of adventure with our cameras – shooting everything from great landscape photography to fantastic opportunities for unique portrait photography. Tonight we all meet after dinner to work on our images. Christian will support one to one with his point of view in regards to framing and basic photoshop workflow.
Many tribes live around Konso, which is located on a mountain top, and there are many small isolated villages scatters on the surrounding hillsides. We will spend most of the day in a village that is one of the most beautiful in the area. Here we will photograph the daily life where men and women are working in their clay houses together with their kids and cattle. A farewell dinner and a thorough review of some of your best workshop photos will by led by Christian Nørgaard.
On the final day, we will all take a cruise on Lake Chamo, where you will find a great variety of birds, hippos, crocodiles and other wildlife. After lunch return, we will return by plane to Addis Ababa International Airport for your return flight home.
Thanks for choosing Better Moments for your workshop.
Number of guests: 8-12
Local transport: 4×4 bus is included
Exertion level: Moderate
Accommodation: Hotels are included
Meals: All meals are included
Travel to and from the workshop destination: Not included
Visa and taxes: Not included
Alcoholic beverages: Not included
Travel insurance: Not included
€ 4,545 in shared double room
€ 4,945 in single room.
Groups sign-up a group of 4+ participants and receive a group discount.
All prices are per person.
Better Moments is a member of the Travel Guarantee Fund, your guarantee that traveling with Better Moments is a safe experience.
Fly to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, where we meet and pick you up at the airport.
The Ethiopian embassy in your home country is the best source of up-to-date information.
Ethiopia has about 200 dialects but many speak English.
Ethiopia’s currency is the Birr. It’s divided into 100 cents in one, five, 10, 25 and 50 cent coins as well as a one Birr coin, and there are one, five, 10, 50 and 100 Birr notes.
Top things to do in Addis Ababa:
Basis of rates:
All prices are quoted in Euro (€). The prices are based on current tariffs and are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, if it is necessary to levy a surcharge, we reserve the right to do so, and notification will be given at the time of final invoicing.
A deposit of €1000 is required at the time of booking. Final payment is due no later than 150 days prior to departure. For reservations made within 150 days of the departure date, full payment is required when the reservation is accepted. In order to participate in a Better Moments workshop the participant must have made full payment prior to the start of the workshop.
The payment terms can be stricter when the workshop includes chartered ships or planes, and any variation will be communicated clearly on the invoice.
Cancellations and refunds:
All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective on the date, which the letter is received by Better Moments. There is no cancellation charge until 150 days before departure, however we will deduct an administration fee of €300 from the repayment of the deposit. The cancellation charge between 150 and 120 days before departure is €1000 (i.e. the deposit). Cancellation charges less than 120 days before departure are expressed as a percentage of the total price, and are as follows: 119 – 90 days before departure 25%; 89 – 60 days before departure 50%; 59 – 30 days before departure 75%; 29 days or less before departure 100%. This policy also applies to pre- and post-trip extensions. Any airline tickets issued are subject to the carrier’s refund policy. Leaving a workshop in progress, for any reason whatsoever, will not result in a refund, and no refunds will be made for any unused portions of a workshop.
We reserve the right to cancel a workshop because of inadequate enrollment that makes the trip economically infeasible to operate, or because of good-faith concerns with respect to the safety, health, or welfare of the participants. If a workshop is cancelled prior to departure, you will have a choice between a full refund or a credit towards a future Better Moments workshop equivalent to amount paid. If we cancel the trip in progress, you will receive a pro-rata refund based on the number of days. We are not responsible for any refund for airline tickets, hotel accommodation, etc. purchased by the participant. In the event of the specified photo expert being unable to attend due to illness or other circumstances beyond our control, a photo expert of the same standard will be provided. If this is not possible, then the workshop will be cancelled and the provisions above will come into effect.
In order to participate in a workshop you are required to have comprehensive insurance coverage for personal accident and injury, medical and repatriation costs during the workshop. In addition we strongly recommend that you arrange cancellation and travel insurance covering the loss, expenses and damages arising from, including but not limited to, the cancellation of the holiday (whether in whole or in part), loss of baggage and personal money and belongings, as well as flight cancellations and delays.
The itineraries and staff presented in this catalogue are subject to modification and change by the Better Moments workshop or its designated tour operator. Every reasonable effort will be made to operate programs as planned, but alterations may still occur after final itineraries are sent.
You must be in good physical and mental health. Any physical condition or treatment requiring special attention must be reported in writing at the time of booking. By registering for a Better Moments workshop, the participant certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. Better Moments and its designated tour operator reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant on a Better Moments workshop and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of the participants.
If you have special requests, e.g. dietary, cabin number, bedding type, airline seat or other requests, you should inform us of these at the time of booking. We will advise the relevant supplier of your requirements, but we cannot guarantee that such requests will be met, and will have no liability to you if such requests are not met.
We reserve the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any workshop or part thereof and to use the resulting photography, videos, or recordings for promotional or commercial use. If the participant prefers that his/her likeness not to be used, he/she must notify us in writing prior to departure.
Better Moments and its designated tour operator and tour administrator shall not be held liable for (a) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, watercraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider; and (b) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against Better Moments and/or its designated tour operator and tour administrator for any such loss, damage, injury, or death.
Better Moments and its designated tour operator and tour administrator shall not be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable ticket to or from the participant’s Better Moments workshop departure city. It is the sole responsibility of the participants to organize their own transportation to and from the meeting point as described in the workshop itinerary, e.g. airport, hotel, and to ensure timely arrival. The participant should not book flights and/or hotel accommodation until Better Moments have issued final confirmation for the workshop. In the event of late arrival it is the responsibility of the participant to join the workshop, and to carry all associated expenses. Better Moments is not liable if the participant misses any portion of, or the entire workshop as a result of the delay. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the responsibility of the participant.
Other terms and conditions may apply to some workshops, and details will always be provided with pre-trip mailings. By making the deposit payment, the participant agrees to the terms and conditions and the responsibility statements herein on behalf of all the individuals included in the booking.
Brian has been a life-long world traveler, and photography is a way for him to experience other cultures and share experiences with friends and family. He especially loves making environmental portraits.
“The Ethiopia workshop was a wonderful way to hone my craft with a portrait master like Steve McCurry. It was also wonderful to spend time to other photographers who share my passion for making art through travel.”
Brian Cruickshank, USA, who participated in the Ethiopia workshop in 2016.