Blessed with good and beautiful landscapes, rare animals and many things that you cannot see anywhere else in the world besides Ethiopia, the country has become a top destination for many photographers. Photo tours can be done at any time of the day in Ethiopia but you will need good lighting and good equipment in order for you to capture some of the best moments while on your trip. As you prepare for your photo tour to Ethiopia the different equipment that you will need for the trip includes:
- A telephoto zoom lens
- A mirrorless camera for light.
- A bean bag that help in bracing the cameras especially during the wet season.
Photo tours as earlier on said can be done at any time of the day but there are seasons that it can be carried out without going through too much trouble. The best and worst time to carry out a phot tour to Ethiopia has been written down below so that you can get to know when to visit and when to avoid Ethiopia for all photography lovers. And for as long as you have all the necessary equipment, you will enjoy your photo trip to Ethiopia as long you start planning early.
The dry season
The dry season is the best time for one to visit Ethiopia for a photo safari especially after the rainy season. during this time most of the photography destinations can easily be accessed, there is no disturbance with rain and the landscapes are all filled with green vegetation which adds on the beautiful scenery that is found in the country.
The wet season
The wet season is not the best time for one to visit the country as most of the tourist destinations will be cut off due to the heavy rains which cause flooding and the some roads also become inaccessible because of the mud.
A photo tour to safari can be arranged to the different destinations that one go to and enjoy perfect photo sessions but this does not mean that only those who can take photos are allowed. Even if you do not know how to handle most of the camera equipment, we have a professional photographer at hand who will help you with the major basics on how to take good photos before heading out for the tour.
There are numerous destinations in Ethiopia where one can go for a photo tour and we have listed a few of them down so that you are able to plan accordingly before you even set foot in Ethiopia.
A photo safari to Lalibela
Lalibela is commonly known for its rock hewn churches that were built uniquely many centuries ago. The churches in Lalibela are separated into three that is the southern churches and the Northern churches and not forgetting the saint George church which is a standalone church. These were constructed from stone and are one of the best top destinations for a photo safari.
- The Southern churches
The southern churches that are found in the Lalibela region include the church of Libanos, the Gabriel-Rufael church, the Church of Emmanuel and the church of Merkorios.
- The Northern churches
The northern churches include the church of the savior of the world, the church of virgins, the church of Mount Sinai- Saint Michael and many more others.
All the above churches and the St George church are worth your trip to Lalibela as you will get to see both the inside and outside part of the churches through the lens and also visit the villages and take some photos.
A photo safari to the national parks
Ethiopia has many National parks where photo tours can take place and the best time to visit these parks is during the dry season. Some of the National Parks that you can visit include the Mago National Park, the Simiens National Park, the Bale Mountain National park and many more others. These have a variety of wild life that can be seen and these include lions, monkeys, elephants, buffalos and baboons.
Some of the bird species that you will find include black headed siskin, the Abyssinian ground thrush, the chestnut naped francolin, the crane pallid Harrier, the Abyssinian wood pecker and the best time to go for a birding photo safari in all the National Parks in Ethiopia is in the morning because of the good lighting during that time.
A photo trip to Axum city
Axum is the old city of the Axumites and it is where most of the emperors that have ever ruled Ethiopia lived. The landscapes that are found in the area, the church of the Ark of the Covenant, Queen Sheba’s palace, the Queen Sheba birth and the culture that is practiced by the locals through festivals are some of the few things that will make your photo trip to the historical place worthwhile.
A photo tour to the Harar city
The Harar city is the fourth largest holy city in the world having the largest Islamic population in Ethiopia. The city is mostly famous for its stone walls and gates that are believed to have been constructed in the 16th century. You will need a tour guide who will take you through the Harar city as there are many streets and you might end up being confused and lost and the tour guide will also help with translation because many people in the city do not speak English. Some of the places and activities that you can capture through the lens include:
- The feeding of the hyenas in the Harar city which is done at night.
- A photo of the huge old gates that guard the old city and its stone walls.
- A photo of the Jamia mosque which is the largest mosque in the city and a photo of the St Mary’s Catholic Church which were all constructed uniquely.
- Photos of the numerous birds especially the kite that can be seen at the bird feeding area known as the Girdir Magala.
- Photos of the different locals in their respective villages although you need to first ask for permission before you take photos of the people.
A photo trip to the Lake Tana monasteries
The Lake Tana which can also be found in the neighboring country of Kenya is one of the top photo destinations in the country. The Lake Tana is a home to many bird species but the most common one is the pink lesser flamingo which can mostly be seen during the wet season and other aqua animals in the area. The Lake has many islands that are attached to it and these are homes to the many stone built monasteries in the country. A photo safari to the monasteries that amount to a recorded number of 11 will not only leave you with basic knowledge of how they were constructed and their history which is both cultural and religious.
But before you head out to visit the monasteries you should be aware that some women are not allowed to enter some of the monasteries because of the old Jewish law where women were supposed to pray in separate rooms from the men. Therefore you will need to first find out which ones are okay for both sexes to enter and which ones are forbidden.
A photo safari to the Omo valley
The Omo valley is known for the numerous and indigenous tribes that live in the valley. Since Ethiopia was not colonized, the Omo valley has some of the best indigenous and ancient tribes in the country. After getting permission from the locals themselves, you can easily take photos of the festivals that they keep on organizing, their cultures, the food and the daily activities that they carry out. Some of the tribes that can be seen in the Omo valley include the Harmer tribe, the Dorze tribe, the Konso tribe, the Daasanach tribe and the Mursi people.
You can also extend your photo trip from the locals to the Langano lake where you will be able to see the different bird species which have made the Lake their habitat, explore and take photos in the Jinka market where you will find fresh food straight from the gardens being sold cheaply and not forgetting other products like clothes and all you will need is a tour guide who will help you with bargaining and translation while in the market.
A photo trip to the Tigray churches
The Tigray churches were made UNESCO heritage sites due to their uniqueness and have now become one of the best top photo tour destinations in the country. The two main churches are the Maryam and Daniel Korkor church and the Abuna Yemata all which need a lot of trekking before you can get access to them. And as you trek to the churches, you can spare a few moments and take photos of the good scenery that is provided by the rocky nature in the region.