Photograph Ethiopia, one of the world’s most exotic and captivating destinations

©CollinsWe first travel to the remote Lower Omo Valley, home to a variety of semi -nomadic tribes. Isolated from the rest of the world for centuries, these tribes have maintained their unique culture, dress, language and customs. The Mursi women are known for inserting clay plates in their lips, the Hamer women wear thick copper necklaces and the Karo people paint their bodies with white chalk.  To gain special access to the tribes we spend one night camping near a village. From our camp you will have plenty of time to photograph the tribe’s daily life, their traditional farming practices and rituals, and concentrate on creating intimate environmental portraits.

We then travel north to the holy city of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, know for its monolithic rock carved churches.  These churches are exceptional examples of a long established Ethiopian building tradition of rock-cut architecture. The eleven medieval cave churches are clustered in groups, of which the Northern Group, Bet Medhane Alem, home to the Lalibela Cross is believed to be the largest monolithic church in the world.

This workshop offers unique opportunities to photograph Ethiopia’s many diverse & vibrant tribes, the Rift Valley’s rich landscape and the remarkable architecture of Lalibela’s rock churches.  Learn to perfect your portrait, landscape and architecture photography, and your video storytelling skills. 

Who Should Attend

This workshop is for the serious amateur and professional photographer or videographer, who has a working knowledge of their camera and who wants to combine advancing their photography skills with a great travel experience. Participants are encouraged to shoot still images and/or video throughout this workshop. Participants should be motivated, technically self-sufficient, and capable of navigating in foreign cultures and physically fit. We spend one night camping with no modern conveniences, no running water and no electricity

Required Equipment

Participants should bring their camera(s), lenses, extra camera battery, plenty of memory cards, all chargers, all instruction manuals, flash light for working at night, notebook and writing utensil, and optional but highly recommended is a flash unit and tripod. You may bring your laptop computer for back up and critiques. Most of our lodges should have sufficient power. 

Workshop Fee

The workshop fee is $8,750.00 and includes share accommodation, all regional transportation, all regional flights, private touring, a private full time English speaking guide and local guides, most meals, camping gear and some photography fees. A $1,500.00 deposit must accompany your registration forms to secure your place in this workshop. Final Payment is due by March 1, 2012. 

Not included are international flights, airport taxes, visas, and gratuities for our guides and drivers, personal expenses, personal photography fees when photographing individuals in the villages, some meals and beverages. The single supplement charge is $950.00. Trip cancellation and interruption insurance is strongly recommended. 

Your Deposit is payable directly to the Maine Media Workshops.  Thee balance of the workshop cost and registration is completedwith Arlene Collins Photography, LLC at 


Participants are responsibly for obtaining their own Ethiopia visa, 


You are encouraged to bring a companion, however there is no fee reduction. 

For more information contact Arlene Collins:


Day 1    depart the U.S
Mon. June 18

Day 2   arrive in Addis Ababa
Tue. June 19   Hotel Hilton Addis Ababa
   Evening orientation meeting & welcome dinner at a local restaurant (D)
Day 3  Addis Ababa - Arba Minch        Kanta Lodge
Wed. June 20  Transfer to the airport for our Ethiopian Airline flight to Arbaminch where our    jeeps await our arrival and transports us for a 2 hour drive to the town of     Konso, where we will process our regional permits and then check in to our    hotel. After lunch we will visit a traditional Konso village. The Konso have     UNESCO World Heritage status and are know for their unique carved     wooden grave markers. (B, L & D)

Day 4   Lower Omo Valley –     Jinka Resort
Thu. June 21   after breakfast we visit the King of the Konso tribe to photograph his life - we then drive 160 km to the town of Jinka, stopping on route at Key Afar for the Ari, Bana and Hammer tribes market. Jinka is 1490 meters above sea level located in the hills north of the Tama Plains. (B, L & D)


Day 5   Lower Omo Valley –     Jinka Resort
Fri. June 22  after breakfast we travel 65 kms thru the bush to visit a Mursi tribe - the     women are know for wearing lip plates. The larger the plate a woman can     wear the greater her value when she is married! Time permitting on our     drive back to Jinka we will stop at an Ari Village.  (B, L & D)
Day 6   Lower Omo Valley –      Murulle Lodge
Sat. June 23  This morning we photograph the Dimeka market where the      tribes gather to buy and sell items such as grain, butter, their local alcoholic    brew, animals and pottery. After the market we then drive 160 km to a     Korcho village to photograph the Karo people, known for body scarification    and painting. Their faces and bodies are painted with white chalk to prepare    for a ceremony. The men's scars represent an enemy or a dangerous animal    killed. Korcho village is a short 7 km from the Murulle Lodge. (B, L & D)

Day 7   Lower Omo Valley -    Buska Lodge
Sun. June 24 Today we drive 18 km from Murulle to Kangaten to photograph the Nyangatom tribe, who are known as cattle riders and for the men's elaborate hair dressing. After spending the day at the village we have a 3 - 4 hour drive to our lodge. (B, L & D)
Day 8   Omo Valley – Turmi        Buska Lodge
Mon. June 25  Late morning we visit the local Hammar, Bena and Karo       tribe's market in Turmi. In the late afternoon we will visit a Hammar village    where the women are ornately dressed in heavy metal bracelets and sheep or    goatskin clothes. Men decorate their hair with ostrich feathers and wear a     small wooden chair, which is used as a chair or a pillow.  (B, L & D)

Day 9   Omorate      Camping
Tue. June 26  after an early morning breakfast we leave for a 75 km drive south of Turmi to    visit the Dassanech tribe. We then travel to a Hammer village for a Bulling    Jumping ceremony. There are two purposes for this ritual: one is a boy's     passage to manhood and the other is when boys and girls adorn themselves    in a courting ceremony. (B, L & D)

Day 10   Arba Minch             Swaynes Hotel
Wed. June 27  Today we have a long 285 kms drive to Arbaminch. On the way we stop at an    Erbore tribe's village. The Erbore build their huts in an oval shape and are    known for their body mutilation of raised dots on the chest and abdomen. 
   (B, L & D)

Day 11   Lake Chamo & Lake Langano         Sabana Lodge
Thu. June 28  after breakfast enjoy a cruise on Lake Chamo home to Africa's largest     crocodile. We then drive 260 km to Lake Langano where you can relax by    Lake Langano. (B, L & D)      


Day 12   Return to Addis Ababa   Hilton Hotel
Fri. June 29   today we drive 200 kms returning to Addis Ababa. On route we stop at     Bishoftu for lunch.  (B & L)

Day 13   Addis Ababa – Lalibela          Mountainview Hotel
Sat. June 30  at 5:00 am transfer to the airport for our 7:40 am light to Lalibela.  After    checking into our hotel we will visit our first group of churches.  (B)

Day 14   Lalibela     Mountainview Hotel (B)
Sun. July 1  we spend the day photographing the rock churches.

Day 15   Lalibela - Addis Ababa   Hilton Hotel
Mon. July 2  11:55 am depart Lalibela and arrive at 13:55 in AA.
   This is a free day in AA with day rooms at the Hilton
   Farewell dinner and transfer to the airport.
Day 16   On route to the US
Tues. July 3



Terms and Conditions for Destinations Workshops

1. Reservations & Payments

A deposit as indicated on the registration page is required to confirm your reservation for the workshop.  Final payment in full is due 45 days prior  to the date of departure for your workshop.  Maine Media Workshops + College (“Maine Media”) reserves the right to cancel a reservation if full payment has not been received by the due date.

2. Cancellations

All cancellation notices must be received in writing and will become effective as of the date of the postmark, or upon receipt of an email providing notice of cancellation. If you provide written notice of cancellation  60 days or more prior to the departure date for your workshop, your deposit, and any additional payment, will be refunded in full, less an administration fee of $55.00. If you provide written notice of cancellation less than 60 days prior to the departure date for your workshop, your full deposit will be forfeited; any additional funds paid to Maine Media for the workshop will be refunded.  No refunds of any amount will be made to persons who (i) fail to provide written notice of cancellation, or who (ii) begin a workshop, but fail to complete the workshop.

3. Basis of Rates

All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars; all payments must be made in U.S. dollars.

4. Insurance

It is strongly advised that you purchase Trip Cancellation, Baggage, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and/or Accident and Sickness Insurance Protection. Camera equipment, computers, and baggage are carried entirely at the owner’s risk. Maine Media shall have no responsibility for any lost, damaged, or delayed property, or for an individual student’s medical needs, accidents, injuries or illnesses.

5. Itinerary Changes

The itinerary for your workshop is subject to change without prior notification.

6.  Passports and Visas

A valid passport is required for all travel. You are required to notify Maine Media as to the nationality under which your passport is registered. If you are a U.S. citizen, Maine Media will notify you if your destination requires a visa.  Non-U.S. citizens are required to contact the appropriate consular office for entry requirements for their workshop. Participants are responsible for obtaining their passports and visas. To participate in the workshop, you must have a passport that is valid until at least six months after the date on which your trip is scheduled to be completed.

7. Medical Issues

All participants must be in good health.   You must advise Maine Media of any health condition, physical condition, or emotional or mental condition that may require special attention or that may adversely impact the other participants in your workshop. All students are required to complete a “Waiver of Liability” form and submit it at the time of registration.  This document may be found on the course description page.

8. Liability Waiver

Every participant is required to sign Maine Media’s Waiver of Liability before departure for their workshop.   Click here to download.

9. Responsibility & Photography

To ensure a safe photographic experience, you are required to obey local customs and be considerate when photographing people or sensitive locations.  The faculty member for your workshop has the right to expel any person from the workshop for behavior that is in violation of the law; that is disruptive; or that compromises the group’s safety or enjoyment.  No refunds will be made to any person expelled from a workshop. Maine Media shall have no obligation to pay any costs incurred by a person as a result of that person being expelled from a workshop. 

Sign and Return Waiver Form


Course Dates

This course is not offered at this time.
Check our full workshop listing for other alternatives.

Please email us or call 1-877-577-7700 with any questions.




Class Size