MOROCCO

october 1-15, 2016

$5,995 (per person, based on double occupancy)

ITINERARY

DAY 1 - Marrakech

After an introduction meeting, we will explore one of the most interesting cities in Morocco: Marrakech. The highlights will include some architectural interesting sites such as the Koutoubia Mosque and the Bahia Palace, but the main focus will be the lively medina (old town), with its colorful shops and souks (markets), followed by the famous place Djemaa el’Fna which entails snake charmers, acrobats and storytellers. At sunset, we will enjoy the view from a rooftop restaurant for sunset images. Hotel accommodation in Marrakech. 

DAY 2 - Marrakech - Ouarzazate

After breakfast, we will begin our photographic adventure to the Sahara Desert. We will leave Marrakech and drive south across the High Atlas Mountains and the Col of Tizi-n-Tichka. We will stop for pictures along the way to enjoy the panoramic view and capture these majestic mountains. In the afternoon, we will continue to one of the most impressive and well-preserved kasbahs and UNESCO world heritage site, the Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. We will visit this picturesque fortified village, which has been used as a film location in numerous famous films such as Gladiator, Alexander, The Mummy, Kundun, The Jewel of the Nile and many more. It is an exciting place to explore and photograph. Hotel accommodation in Ouarzazate. 

DAY 3 - Ouarzazate - M’hamid

After breakfast, we will leave Ouarzazate, driving through mountainous wild landscapes, until we reach the first town in the Draa Valley called Agdez. We continue through the Draa Valley along the life-giving Draa River with its huge date palm oases. The Draa Valley once served as a link between the Sahara and the North of Morocco for the trading caravan routes that passed by the river for centuries. This part of Morocco is still much preserved in terms of traditional customs and way of life. Passing Zagora, the landscapes become more and more deserted and arid. After the small village of Tagounite, we will drive off-road to reach the windswept dunes of Erg Lihoudi. There will be enough time to explore the dunes with its very special sand patterns that offer unique photo opportunities. Hotel accommodation in M’hamid or a bivouac in Erg Lihoudi. 

DAY 4 - M’hamid - Chagaga Dunes

Early morning, you can enjoy a sunrise and the soft morning light in the dunes. After breakfast, we will leave for M’hamid. In M’hamid the paved road ends and from here, we start an adventure of 60km / 37mi off-road. The route passes different features of the desert: erg (sand dunes), reg (rocky desert), hammada (stony desert) and oases. The Chagaga sand dunes are far away from any civilization. It’s a mesmerizing place, where you can really feel the overwhelming tranquillity and expanse of the desert. The Chagaga sand dunes area is the largest in Morocco. Accommodation in a bivouac near the Chagaga dunes. 

DAY 5 - Chagaga Dunes - M’hamid

Early risers can watch the sunrise from a high dune and experience the soft light of the new day. In the course of the morning, we will leave the bivouac, driving again off-road over stony desert, back to M’hamid. In the afternoon, we will explore the little village and photograph in the evening some small beautiful dunes nearby. Accommodation in a hotel in M’hamid. 

DAY 6 - M’hamid - Merzouga

In the morning, we will leave for a new desert adventure to Merzouga. First, we will drive to Zagora and the Draa Valley that is famous for its dates. While we drive along the Draa River, you will see huge date palm oases and small, cultivated fields. We will leave the Draa Valley in Tansikht and drive through dry desert landscapes, dotted with acacia trees and small Berber villages, until we reach Rissani, and later Merzouga. After arriving at the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, we will have time to explore the beautiful sand dunes, with its deep shadows during the “golden hour.” Accommodation in a hotel near the Sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. 

DAY 7 - Merzouga

Early risers can experience the sunrise and the wonderful soft morning light in “the sea of sand.” After breakfast, we will drive to Rissani and visit the Sunday market with the famous donkey “parking place.” It is a colorful, authentic and rural market where the farmers come on their donkeys from afar to buy and sell their goods. Before sunset, you will enjoy a camel ride into the sand dunes. Accommodation near the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi. 

DAY 8 - Merzouga - Fès

After saying “goodbye” to the magnificent sand dunes, we will drive to Erfoud that is famous for its dates and fossils. We will then continue, via the Ziz Valley, to Midelt, with views of the Middle Atlas Mountains. In the afternoon, we will cross the Middle Atlas Mountains, heading east via Ifrane to Fès. Ifrane is often called “The Moroccan Switzerland.” On the way, we will hopefully be able to see and photograph some Berber monkeys in a forest. At the end of the day, we arrive in Fès, which is the oldest of the four imperial cities. Fès is also called the cultural, intellectual and spiritual capital of Morocco. Accommodation in a hotel in Fès. 

DAY 9 - Fès

Today, we will enjoy a day tour of Fès, considered the Athens of Africa. It is famous for its historical monuments, rich heritage and handicraft. We will discover the mysterious medina called Fès El Bali (UNESCO World heritage site), with its narrow alleyways and lanes with shops, medersas, mosques and residences. Highlights of the city tour will include: the Borj Sued and Borj Nord, the Bouanania Medersa, the tanneries and the gates of the Royal Palace. Fès is an interesting place for people who enjoy street photography. Accommodation in a hotel in Fès. 

DAY 10 - Fès - Chefchaouen

After breakfast, we will leave Fès, heading eastwards to Chefchaouen. We will drive through green mountains, covered with trees, until we reach the blue city of Chefchaouen. The small, charming mountain-city Chefchaouen is a photographer’s paradise. The blue and white painted houses and the small colorful medina invite you to explore and photograph this peaceful place hidden away in the mountains. Accommodation in a hotel in Chefchaouen. 

DAY 11 - Chefchaouen

Today, we will visit the Kasbah of Chefchaouen, followed by a walk through the narrow lanes of the medina. We will enjoy photographing old, blue painted houses, street cats on their search for food, and the plenty tiny shops, offering special handicraft of the region. The medina invites you to get creative and enjoy wonderful
street photography. Accommodation in a hotel in Chefchaouen. 

DAY 12 - Chefchaouen - El Jadida

After breakfast, we will leave for Casablanca, where we will be able to photograph the exterior of the beautiful mosque Hassan II. It is the largest mosque in Africa and has the world’s tallest minaret (210m / 690ft). After the visit we will continue to El Jadida. Accommodation in a hotel in El Jadida. 

DAY 13 - El Jadida - Essaouira

Early morning, we will visit the Portuguese cistern and the fortress, before we leave for the charming coastal town Essaouira – another paradise for photographers. We will explore Essaouira and photograph during sunset the coast with its fishermen and countless hungry seagulls. Accommodation in a hotel in Essaouira. 

DAY 14 - Essaouira

The whole day will be a joyful exploration of this interesting city (the city of wind). We will photograph the Sqalas, harbour and the lively medina. Accommodation in a hotel in Essaouira. 

DAY 15 - Essaouira - Marrakech - Departure

In the morning, we will still have time to explore Essaouira in the soft morning light and watch the fishermen bring in the fresh fish from the sea, surrounded by seagulls and hungry cats. After lunch, we will leave for Marrakech. On the way we will see the famous Argan trees. The vitamin-rich Argan oil, made from its nuts, can be used variously, i.e. for culinary use, as cosmetics or medicine. Back in Marrakech, we will have a last discussion and a farewell dinner. Accommodation in a hotel in Marrakech. 


PRICE: $5,995

  • Per person in double occupancy room

  • $650 additional for single room accommodation

price includes

  • Airport transfer upon arrival and departure
  • Private transport in 4x4 vehicles (3 ppl per vehicle)
  • 16 nights in hotels or bivouacs in desert
  • All meals and water
  • Camel rides in desert
  • Local guides
  • Two expert photographers' guidance

price does not include

  • International airfare to and from Morocco
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • What is not mentioned as included

 

tour overview:

  • Dates: October 1-15, 2016
  • Price: $5,995 (per person, based on double occupancy)
  • Price includes: Hotel accommodations, all meals, all national park entrance fees, private transportation within Morocco, expert photography guidance and lessons, local guides, transportation from arrival and departure airport
  • Location: Morocco
  • Education: field instruction, class instruction and one-on-one critiques
  • Points of interest: Marrakech, the medina, Djemaa el’Fna, High Atlas Mountains, small Berber villages, ksar Ait Ben Haddou, Draa Valley and Draa River, oases, sand dunes of Erg Lihoudi, Desert landscapes, Chagaga sand dunes, market of Rissani, sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, desert life, date palm oases, kasbahs, Fès, Chefchaouen, Mosque Hassan II in Casablanca, cistern and fortress of El Jadida, coastal town Essaouira, beach, harbour, and medina. 
  • Places: Marrakech, Ouarzazate, High Atlas Mountains, Small Berber villages, Ksar Ait Ben Haddou, Draa Valley and Draa River, sand dunes of Erg Lihoudi, Chagaga sand dunes and the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi, market of Rissani, Fès, Chefchaouen, El Jadida, Essaouira

Photography instructor: Tim Vollmer

Photography instructor: Dean Tatooles

Photography instructor: Dean Tatooles

Tim has everything. He has the knowledge, the eye, the patience. He is an amazing photographer, one of the best I know. A great person and professional photographer. Highly recommended him - he is just amazing.
— Sharon Hahn
One part Indiana Jones, one part Ansel Adams - Dean Tatooles is steadily circling the globe and capturing it on film. I own a limited edition print of [Dean’s photograph] “Moraine Lake” and am still awed by its brilliance.”
— Kevin Kenyon