Lalibela, Ethiopia

Dates: January 3-10, 2018

Begin & End: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADD)

Leaders: Jeffrey Chapman & Winslow Lockhart

Maximum Participants: 10

Tuition: $3,900
(including 2 domestic flights*)

Accommodation: Included
(optional single supplement: $900)

Meals: Included

Payment Policy: 3 Installments
     • $500 deposit to confirm participation
     • 50% due by June 1, 2017
     • Balance due by October 1, 2017

This photographic adventure begins and ends in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tuition includes hotels (based on double occupancy; single occupancy is available with payment of a single-occupancy supplement), meals, driver and guide tips, two domestic flights (*cost of included domestic flights is based on current rates for those using Ethiopian Airlines for their international flights; for those using other international airlines there is an additional $280 surcharge for domestic flights), and local group transportation for the duration of the adventure. It does not include visa, souvenirs, bar beverages, laundry, insurance (travel, medical, cancellation), nor any personal expenses.

This adventure is suitable for all levels of photographic experience. Participants must be in good health and able to spend each day walking and carrying their own equipment.

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Lalibela Within The Frame Photographic Adventure

Lalibela Within The Frame Itinerary

The Lalibela Within The Frame photographic adventure will take place in the incredible rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, set high in the mountains of Lasta, during the week of Orthodox Christmas celebrations. These medieval monolithic churches, some in excess of 10 meters tall, are carved of stone below ground level and are connected to one another by a maze of tunnels and passages. The thirteen churches were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978.

Thousands of pilgrims arrive in Lalibela from all over Ethiopia. Some walk for days and weeks to arrive in Lalibela in time to celebrate Orthodox Christmas. There are candlelight prayers, open-air sermons, priests blessing pilgrims, pilgrims cooking meals over open fires in their make-shift camps under trees. This all unfolds in a seemingly biblical setting, with people who are kind, generous, and willing to embrace us as photographers in their midsts.

This is not going to be a rushed adventure, running from church to church and market to market to capture a few quick photographs as simple proof that we were there. We’re going to go slow, linger, absorb, take the time necessary to wait for the excitement of the new and exotic to blend with an understanding and appreciation of our surroundings, to find our visions. We’ll photograph in the early mornings and evenings, spend mid-days talking, discussing, learning and working to develop our photography.

This photographic adventure is about the passionate discovery and photography of people, place, and culture, with emphasis given to going deep not wide, and pursuing that most elusive of photographic necessities — our vision. It is appropriate for photographers of all levels, and you will be free to photograph independently or always with the assistance of one of the leaders.

This will be the third Within The Frame adventure in Lalibela during Orthodox Christmas.

Addis Ababa (Day One – Two)

We will arrive in Addis Ababa in time for a meet-and-greet dinner and orientation to discuss our itinerary and events for our shared photographic adventure.

For the first and last nights, the group will stay at the luxurious Hilton Addis Ababa, which is set on 15 acres of lush foliage in the heart of Addis Ababa. It’s an oasis.

Lalibela (Day Two – Seven)

This morning we will fly to Lalibela and begin sharing this incredible location and experience with the pilgrims who will be beginning to arrive — some with their families and some with their livestock.

Intended by King (and Saint) Lalibela to be “the new Jerusalem” when Jerusalem was captured by Muslims in 1187, Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities with a population that is almost entirely Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christian, a religion dating to the 4th century and one of the few pre-colonial Christian religions in Sub-Saharan Africa.

So impressed with the rock-hewn structures, one of the first Europeans to see Lalibela’s monolithic churches, Portuguese priest Francisco Álvares wrote “I weary of writing more about these buildings, because it seems to me that I shall not be believed if I write more … I swear by God, in Whose power I am, that all I have written is the truth”.

Home to approximately 15,000 residents, the pilgrims who arrive to celebrate Orthodox Christmas while we are there will swell the population by more than 50,000. Some pilgrims will hike for days or weeks to get there.

Celebrations will include open-air sermons by monks, candlelight prayer, singing and dancing. At midnight on January 7th, there will be a large candlelight celebration, in a seemingly biblical setting, to greet they day of Christ’s birth.

We will arrive in Lalibela several days before Orthodox Christmas in order to witness and photograph the arrival of pilgrims and the early celebrations leading up to January 7th, and then we will remain to capture the unwinding of this spectacular event.

In Lalibela, the group will stay at the lovely new Maribela Hotel. The spacious and modern rooms have breath-taking views of the Ethiopian Highlands.

Addis Ababa (Day Seven – Eight)

We will fly back to Addis Ababa for one last afternoon and evening in the capital before concluding our photographic adventure the following morning, enjoying the company of new friends, and planning our next adventures before saying our goodbyes and heading home.

Although this represents the photographic adventure’s planned itinerary, it is subject to change at the discretion of the adventure leaders.

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