Photo Tour

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22 February – 1 March 2020:
€2200 per person

8 nights/9 days
Price based on twin occupancy

*Single occupancy, extra Eur €250

Accommodations
  • 1 night Marrakech riad
  • 1 night lodge Draa Valley
  • 2 nights Berber desert camp
  • 1 night wilderness camp
  • 1 night hotel nr. Ait Ben Haddou
  • 2 nights Essaouira riad
Inclusions
  • Experienced English-speaking tutor
  • Airport transfer days 1 and 9
  • 4×4 vehicles with drivers daily (max. 3 participants per car)
  • Desert guide 3 days
  • Accommodations 8 nights (*drinks at hotels excluded)
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 7 evening meals
  • 2 lunches
  • Camel trek
Tutor

Michael Breitung is an established landscape photographer from Germany. He is a keen explorer and an avid fan of Morocco, in particular the desert wilderness. While he has photographed extensively across continents, he instantly fell in love with the tranquility of the Moroccan landscapes.

View some of Michael’s photography on the image reel and below –

www.mibreit-photo.com

www.instagram.com/mibreitphoto/

The Colours of Morocco, from desert to coast

Click on the images to enlarge / © Images are copyright Michael Breitung

Itinerary – photo tours in Morocco

Day 1 - Arrival to Marrakech, overnight in the Medina

After meeting at our Riad in the Medina of Marrakech, we head straight out to explore the various areas of the colourful Medina. Through the narrow alleyways we make our way to the Museum of Photography to get some inspiration for our trip. Then we head up to the rooftop to photograph the Marrakech skyline with the Atlas Mountains in the distance.

At sunset we spend time around the Jmaa el Fna square. Then we return to our Riad for a typical Moroccan dinner and debrief before tomorrow’s journey.

Day 2 - Travel from Marrakech across the High Atlas to Agdz (via Telouet Kasbah)

Aim to depart from Marrakech by 08:30am. Driving hours approx. 6 hours (excluding visits en-route).

We drive from Marrakech over the High Atlas Mountains towards the Draa Valley. En-route we make stops to photograph the various views of the mountains. A telephoto lens will be helpful in capturing the layers of the mountains as they are lit by the sun.

Around noon we visit the Telouet Kasbah and explore its interior. We photograph the different architectural styles intermixed in this Kasbah before heading down the unspoilt Ounila Valley to Ait Ben Haddou.

This time it’s only a short visit to this picturesque Ksar. We have lunch and do some scouting for when we return on Day 6.

Our destination today is the beautiful Hara Oasis Lodge, which is located in the midst of a vast palm oasis bordering the Draa Valley. It’s a magical place and great to relax after our long drive.

The Hara Oasis provides some unique viewpoints from within its compounds. With a telephoto lens we can photograph both sunset and sunrise directly from the lodge. More viewpoints are down at the riverside.

Day 3 - Travel to the Erg Chigaga and the Berber desert camp

Today we have a long drive ahead of us (approx. 5 hours excluding stops en-route) to reach the highlight of our tour, the Erg Chigaga dunes. We stay for two nights in a remote Berber desert camp in the midst of the erg. This location offers endless opportunities to photograph the Erg Chigaga. We climb different dunes to get great views of the surrounding sea of sand.

The first evening we head to the highest dune in the area. Here we can photograph in all directions as the sun sets behind the horizon and the colours of the desert transform from gold, to red, to blue.

Day 4 - Day at leisure in the dunes of Erg Chigaga, with option to visit a nomad family

Optional time in the car approx. 1 hour.

We head out 2.5 hours before sunrise to photograph the Milky Way rising over the dunes, then watch as the morning light slowly transforms the desert. A wide-angle lens will be our tool of choice to capture as many stars as possible.

During the day we have the option to visit a nomad family and learn about their way of life in the desert. In the afternoon, we start to prepare for our second sunset shoot in the Sahara desert.

We will have the chance to photograph dromedaries in the dunes before riding back on them for our final dinner at the desert camp.

Day 5 - Travel to the Canyon landscape near Foum Zguid

With time allocated for photographing the mountains near Lake Iriqui, the Jebel Bani and Madouar, driving hours will be approx. 2.5 hours from the Erg Chigaga dunes.

Another morning shoot concludes our unforgettable stay in the Erg Chigaga dunes. Afterwards we have some additional time to enjoy the silence of the Sahara desert until we head towards the mountainous landscape near Foum Zguid. These spectacular cliffs and mountains have rarely been photographed. By wild camping close by, we will have the opportunity to get some unique photos during both sunset and sunrise.

Day 6 - Travel from the Sahara to Ait Ben Haddou UNESCO

Driving hours approx. 3 hours (excluding stops en-route).

After photographing sunrise in the wilderness of Morocco we head to Ait Ben Haddou.

Here we have some time to relax in our beautiful hotel and then explore the interior of the Ksar itself. We meet up to photograph sunset down at the river to get the iconic photo of Ait Ben Haddou.

Day 7 - Travel to Essaouira via the High Atlas mountains

Driving hours approx. 7 hours (excluding stops en-route).

We head to the viewpoint we scouted on day 2 to photograph sunrise and get yet another iconic photo of Ait Ben Haddou.

Then after breakfast we have a long, yet varied, drive ahead of us to finally reach the Atlantic Coast.

We spend the evening in Essaouira, its Medina and remparts, and photograph the beautiful coastline into blue hour.

Day 8 - Day at leisure in Essaouira

We have different options to photograph sunrise. Then after breakfast it’s time to explore the beautiful alleyways of Essaouira and dip into some street photography. Unlike Marrakech, Essaouira is much more relaxed and an easier place to practise street photography.

We enjoy a final sunset shoot before heading to dinner in Essaouira.

Day 9 - Travel to Marrakech airport or Medina

Driving hours approx. 3 hours.

We conclude our trip with a final breakfast before we head back to Marrakech airport.

We drop participants at the Marrakech airport, or in the Medina (for those not departing today).

Photography equipment

  • DSLR or Mirrorless camera;
  • To get the most out of the tour, participants should bring both a wide-angle and a tele lens. The long lens will be particularly important in the Sahara desert. Good focal lengths for the long lens are 70-200, 70-300 or 100-400;
  • To photograph the night sky in the Sahara desert, a fast wide-angle lens is necessary. Recommended are f/2.8 or faster – note: there will be plenty of other photo opportunities where no fast lens is necessary;
  • A tripod is considered mandatory;
  • Several spare batteries for our two days in the Erg Chigaga dunes, since we will not be able to recharge batteries;
  • Flashlights for our hikes in the Sahara desert;
  • Notebooks are optional for participants who want image critique and post processing tips during our tour.

Who is this tour designed for?

The tour is designed for landscape photographers who love to explore and enjoy getting off the beaten track. While we will certainly visit some well known and iconic places in Morocco (Marrakech, Essaouira, Ait Ben Haddou UNESCO site, the Sahara), the major part of the tour will be spent in less-visited but equally, if not more, beautiful areas. 

By travelling in Winter, we won’t share those places with many other visitors, which will make the photography even more enjoyable. 

For those interested in night/astro photography, we have made sure to plan the tour around a new moon, so we can experience and photograph beautiful night skies in the Sahara desert (Erg Chigaga dunes). This location is 60km away from the nearest light pollution.

If you would like to join the tour, a good knowledge of your photography equipment is recommended. This way we can focus more on the creative part of photography and take full advantage of the unique landscapes and cities we visit.

You should expect to wake early to photograph sunrise – in February sunrise is as late as 8am and the Milky Way will appear around 6am.

During our time in the desert we will hike and climb various dunes around the desert camp. The hikes can take between 1-2 hours and a good level of mobility is recommended as we may do several hikes a day. There is enough flexibility to skip some of the longer hikes and photograph closer to camp instead. 

Your experienced local guides and tutor Michael, who has scouted all locations in advance, will ensure that you’ll be completely taken care of during the tour. While the focus of the tour is to get you to the right place at the right time to take beautiful photographs, you will also receive tuition about landscape and cityscape photography techniques, such as usage of filters, focus stacking or night photography, and get tips on composition, if needed. Beyond that Michael always has an open ear for questions and is glad to share his knowledge.

About your tutor

Michael Breitung is an established landscape photographer from Germany. In the last 10 years he has visited and photographed more than 20 countries around the world. A selection of his images may be viewed on his homepage www.mibreit-photo.com .
Michael is also a keen explorer and Morocco very quickly drew him in. He instantly fell in love with the tranquility of the Moroccan landscapes and wants to share his passion for those same places with you. Michael will be guiding you to some of his favourite locations, a large part of which are off the beaten track.

Additional information

This will be an opportune time of year to participate in the photography tour. We will have a new Moon while out camping in the Erg Chigaga dunes, and clear night skies to see and photograph the stars. The Erg Chigaga is one of the best places in Morocco to photograph the stars, being 60km away from the nearest light pollution. Coupled with the new Moon, we will see most stars and experience true desert nights in relative isolation.

Please contact us to reserve your place or for further details.