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Impressions of Burma itinerary


Day 1: Yangon
Min Gala Ba! Welcome to Burma (Myanmar).

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting in the evening of Day 1.

You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting; please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Formerly named Rangoon, Yangon is the country's biggest city and was the capital from 1885, when the British conquered the north and the kingdom of Mandalay, until just a few years ago when the government moved the capital to Naypyidaw.

To get your bearings and a taste of this wonderful city, take a walk to Sule Paya, then perhaps down to the Victorian Strand Hotel to admire both the colonial architecture and the bargaining madness of Bogyoke Market. Or sample some of the great Indian food on offer.

Day 2: Yangon/Mandalay

This morning we set off for one of the great sites of Rangoon, indeed Burma, if not the world! The extraordinary Shwedagon Pagoda and its surrounding temples and edifices dominate all and provide an extraordinary mix of monks and pilgrims and worshippers and tourists. We will spend some time walking around the complex, learning of its history and spiritual devotions, and experiencing the ambience of this extraordinary place.

We then leave mid-morning for the airport (seeing a bit more of Rangoon along the way). At the airport your tour leader will coordinate the check-in for your flight to Mandalay, using a private airline. Flight time is usually a little over an hour and after landing it is a drive of about 45 minutes to the city and your hotel for the next three nights. The rest of the afternoon is free – you might enjoy a walk to one of the markets, where a great time can be had enjoying the hustle and bustle, taking photos or bargaining for local wares.


Day 3: Mandalay

We make our way down to the city’s lively waterfront which offers an interesting backdrop as we take a boat trip up-river to Mingun - the site of the world's largest pagoda (albeit unfinished!), the world’s largest unbroken bell, and temples dating back hundreds if not thousands of years. The river is effectively a major trading, communication and commuting highway and a wide range of different boats, barges and steamers can be viewed along the way. We return to Mandalay late morning: this city was a former capital of Burma; however the surrounding countryside contains many towns that could lay claim to that same title at some stage or another in the past. Later in the afternoon we embark on a tour visiting the remnants of one of these once-great cities, Amarapura. Weather permitting, we may also view a spectacular sunset over the 200-year-old, two-kilometre-long, U Bein wooden bridge, either from land or by boat.

This evening you may wish to dine at your hotel, or your tour leader will be able to recommend any one of a number of good local restaurants: the choice of meals and good places to eat is extensive throughout this trip.


Day 4: Maymyo (Pyin U Lwin)/Mandalay

After a drive up into the hills, Burma's most famous hill station, Maymyo (Pyin U Lwin), provides an escape from the heat of the plains. Established during the colonial era back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it is today a crossroad for traders coming over from China and this is reflected in its colourful market.

Take time to explore surroundings in a local horse-drawn carriage called a 'myin-lay'. English-style country mansions and Chinese temples dot the hillsides in a place rightly called the 'vegetable garden' of Burma. Later, we return to Mandalay where the rest of the day is spent visiting various temples, including Kuthodaw Pagoda that claims to house the world's largest 'book'.

Time permitting, it was once a challenging walk up Mandalay Hill (236 metres), but these days, if in operation, a series of large escalators will do most of the work for you on the way up!! If conditions oblige, the sunset views from the summit can be impressive and along the way there are many shrines of religious significance.


Day 5 & 6: Bagan

We depart early from our hotel for the waterfront to spend to an entire day on a ferry boat as we cruise down the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River.

Note: (Due to the unpredictable nature of water levels and ferry operations on the Irrawaddy River between February and May, it is possible that some services may be cancelled during that period. Some of these cancellations may take place at the last minute and often without warning. If this is the case it may be necessary to fly between Mandalay and Bagan. There will be no extra cost for this flight).

Along the way, we witness the idyllic way of life that epitomises parts of rural Burma in the form of the small fishing villages that lie along the riverbanks. And we pass dozens of boats of different size and utility, testament to the role which this mighty river plays in the life of so many.

There is a restaurant on board our ferry, and meals and drinks are readily available for purchase during the day. In the evening we arrive in Pagan (Bagan), one of the most impressive archaeological wonders of Asia, and are met and driven to our hotel. (Due to the unpredictable nature of water levels and ferry operations on the Irrawaddy River between February and May, it is possible that some services may be cancelled during that period. Some of these cancellations may take place at the last minute and often without warning. If this is the case it may be necessary to fly between Mandalay and Bagan. There will be no extra cost for this flight).

The sights of Bagan are explored from dawn to dusk. Nyaung U's lively market contrasts with the eerie silence of the plains littered with over 4000 structures, including Gawdawpalin, Thatbyinnyu, Ananda and Shwezigon - all names of temples and pagodas that bear testament to a glorious past. The area is also famous for producing lacquer-ware and sand-paintings that is available in the stalls amidst the ruins.

There is also a chance to do some of our exploration by horse and cart. Weather permitting, we may enjoy a breath-taking sunset view from one of the ruins.


Day 7: Day trip to Mt Popa/Bagan

Today we drive for an hour before arriving at Mount Popa, an extinct volcano that is home to the local spirits or deities known as 'nats'. For the energetic, there is a chance to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the hill. Returning to Pagan, we visit a local village to observe the lifestyle of the people and talk with some of the villagers. The afternoon is free to further explore this amazing area. You may hire a bicycle or take a horse carriage and enjoy your own exploration of the archaeological sites. This evening we return to Bagan for our last night.


Day 8: Flight to Heho, Inle Lake

We board a plane and fly to Heho, which is situated in the Shan Plateau. From here, we drive through picturesque countryside and rolling hills to our final destination, Khaungdaing, situated on Inle Lake not far from the main township, Nyaungshwe. This afternoon you may like to rent a canoe (for about one hour) and row in to Lin Kin village, famous for its floating garden in the lake. On our way back we may stop over at some of the village houses to see the process of making traditional snacks (optional and at extra cost). You will notice that the weather is rather cooler due to the high altitude.

Day 9: Inle Lake Boat Trip
A full day is spent on the lake exploring the floating gardens and catching a glimpse of the local Intha fishermen who are famous for their unique 'leg-rowing' technique. These people are different from the Shans and they originate from the south of the country. The lake is also home to a wide array of bird-life including egrets, cranes, ducks, storks and birds of prey. Visits may be made to some of the local villages and our stay may coincide with one of the market days: always exciting with much of the commuting being done by local people using the ubiquitous long-tail boats.

Day 10: Short Trek
After breakfast at our hotel we transfer to Indein ruins complex (about 45 minutes by long-tail boat). On disembarking we find a pagoda and stupas built in the 8th century. We can also enjoy browsing through the rows of shops along the corridor uphill or just marvel at the surroundings. After spending some time we will start our walk towards to Yankin, Pa O and Taung Yoe tribe village (1.5 km, approx 45 minutes).

Along the way we explore the mystery of more than 300 ancient stupas around the village and then continue towards (1 km, approx 30 minutes) to a Buddhist monastery and head north to Naydaw (1.5 km, approx 45 minutes) to Taung Yoe ethnic tribe village through farm land and bamboo forest. From here turn to South-West (5 km, approx 3 hours) through the valley ups and downs to west Taung Mauk, Pa O village from here another 20 minute walk would get you to east Taung Mauk village. Finally we turn east through valley to Indein (3 km, approx 45 minutes) where we will meet our boat and return back to hotel. This evening we enjoy a traditional Shan dinner and get to sample some of the local style culinary specialties.

Note: the amount of walking advisable today will depend on individual and group fitness and wishes, and also the time of year.

Day 11: Fly to Yangon, Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock)
We transfer to Heho Airport for the flight back to Rangoon in the morning, on arrival you will be met and drive for the 5 hour (approx.) transfer to Kyaikthiyo. One of Myanmar’s major landmarks, famous for its precarious position and religious importance, Kyaikthiyo the “Golden Rock” is a huge boulder completely covered by gold leaf and delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff.

We arrive at the base camp of Kinpun and continue up to the Golden Rock by open truck, about an hour’s mountain drive. A further light trek to the summit we will have time to have enjoy the sunset from the top of the hill. Descending back down, we spend the night at our hotel in Kyaikhtiyo.


Day 12: Yangon
After breakfast this morning, we walk for 30mins to reach Kyee Kan Pa Sat (Crow's mouth Cave); an important place of worship for the local people. On the way we will pass by some local handicraft stalls selling local produce.

Midmorning we will return Yangon via Bago through rice fields and small towns. When we arrive in Bago we will visit the local market, Kanbawza Thardi Palace built by King Bayinnaung, the Kalayani Sima (Ordination Hall), Shwemawdaw Pagoda, and Shwethalyaung Pagoda - home to what many say is the world’s most beautiful reclining Buddha. We then return to Yangon.

The rest of the afternoon is free in Rangoon and you can visit Sule Pagoda, which marks the centre of town and the nearby Bogyoke (Scott) Market that sells a wide array of local goods and handicrafts. There is also time explore a fascinating city full of dilapidated colonial edifices, to perhaps take High Tea at the historic colonial hotel, The Strand, and take a stroll through vibrant Chinatown market area as the afternoon cools (these are optional excursions and at your own expense).


Day 13: Yangon
The tour ends after breakfast, and you are free to depart at any time, or spend longer in Yangon at your own expense.


Please note: One of the main things about the trips that I run is flexibility.This is especially needed in Burma, where flights and sometimes even hotel arrangements can change at short notice. We will do our best to achieve everything on the itinerary, but it is important to realise that mass travel in Burma is in its infancy and so changes can occur.

Printable version of itinerary

Land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, who have many years experience in running small group adventures.

Bookings are made through the Intrepid Private Groups in the UK not the Intrepid website or Stores. Use this link for more information

Included in the trip price

9 nights hotel or riad accommodation

1 night in desert camp

• 1 night in guesthouse

• 8 breakfasts

2 dinners

All transport as per itinerary

• Todra Gorge 4WD safari

• Camel ride to desert camp

Walking tour of Marrakech

Taxi to main square & dinner

Transport to Majorelle Gardens

Majorelle Gardens entrance

Cooking class, Ait Benhaddou

• Essaouria walking tour

• Pre-trip Facebook group

• Experienced Intrepid leader

Expert photographic tuition

Impressions of Morocco itinerary


Day 1: Travel day/Arrival in Ouarzazate
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco.

Our adventure officially starts in the desert town of Ouarzazate. but the official group flight is the Easyjet flight to Marrakech from London Gatwick, which arrives on the morning of the 12 April. We will be met from the airport, and transferred to Ouarzazate by private bus. The cost for this has been built into the airfare if bought from Intrepid (which is currently a shade under 260 including booking fee, transfer and baggage costs). If buying separately transfer cost will be 15.

Our drive takes us across the atmospheric 2260 metre Tizi n'Tichka Pass, and through some stunning scenery.

Hotel: 1 night, breakfast included

Day 2: Erg Chebbi

Welcome meeting in the hotel reception at 9 am. This morning you will explore the town of Ouarzazate and visit the hundred year old Taourirt Kasbah. A potent symbol of the Glaoui clan’s power, the kasbah gives a glimpse of how these feudal lords lived. You will then have the chance to buy an essential piece of desert kit – a shesh. This is a long piece of cloth a bit like a scarf that is wrapped around the head to keep the sun off and the loose end can be pulled across the face to keep out the sand.

Take a stunning drive towards the mighty Sahara Desert (approx 7hrs). We have many opportunities to stop and admire and take photos of the panoramic views of the Kasbahs and palmeries (valleys lush with date palms, fields and orchards) en route, since we have the convenience of our own private minivan (there are not many options for public transport in these parts). We can pause in some of the frontier towns such as Erfoud and Rissani before we reach the end of the road and the small Saharan settlement of Merzouga.

We'll store our main baggage before saddling up our day packs and mounting camels to head off into the sunset for a memorable night in our Sahara camp (approx 1 hour each way).

The Erg Chebbi dunes are the most stunning in the country and an experience essential of any visit to Morocco. An erg is a vast sea of shifting wind-swept sand that's formed into picturesque undulating crests and valleys, and the Erg Chebbi is one of the world's classic landscapes of towering dunes, up to heights of over 150 metres. Located at the end of the sealed road and just 20 kilometres from the Algerian border this is wonderful frontier country.

The camp is a simple affair with bedding and basic toilet facilities provided. Our local friends will prepare a hearty feast so all you need to do is soak up the experience. Our camp does provide blankets which are sufficient for most travellers between April and October.

In the night we will have our first chance to photograph star trails, at our desert camp.

Optional lunch in Tinghir.

Included Activities

• Camel ride in desert

• Dinner at camp

• 4WD to camp

Accommodation: Desert camp (1 night) No single supplement is available for this night stop


Day 3: Dades Gorge

For the early risers the morning begins with a sunrise over the majestic dunes before breakfast. It's another classic drive with dramatic changes of landscape to Dades Gorge (approx 4 hrs).

Stop en route in a small town called Tinejdad (approx 2 hrs from the desert) and where we have the option to visit the interesting Museum El Khorbat, which has a great collection of rural and historical Berber artefacts, clothing, jewellery and tools. It's housed in three restored homes of a Ksar and provides a wealth of information about Berber people living in the area.

After lunch, we head to our hotel in the Dades area that has a very pleasant pool. After two long driving days the group can relax and take the afternoon off.

Flanked on both sides by high limestone cliffs, Dades Valley features bizarre rock formations with picturesque kasbahs dotted amongst the crops and palms.

Accommodation: Hotel (2 nights)


Day 4: 4WD safari to Todra Gorge

After two long driving days we have a day with very little driving as we stay local and explore the equally spectacular Dades Gorge. We travel by 4 wheel drive on this excursion (please note that if conditions are very wet it is too dangerous due to flash flooding, if this is the case we will use the main highway instead.

Todra Gorge is a spectacular canyon with sheer rock walls up to 300 m high, now gaining fame as a rock-climbing destination. We plan to have a meal in a guesthouse in Todra, and also have the time to explore the Palmeries in the verdant lower gorge, before returning to our hotel in the Dades Gorge for the night.


Day 5: Ait Benhaddhou

Say goodbye to the Gorges region and travel further south towards Ait Benhaddou (approx 3 hrs). This scenic drive offers a glimpse of times gone by via the ruins of ancient kasbahs, former colonial military outposts, austere mountains, wide-open spaces, and valleys of palm trees and irrigated fields. En route we can pause for lunch in Ouarzazate.

The film capital of Morocco, Ouarzazate is the location where productions such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Sheltering Sky and Black Hawk Down were filmed.

Time permitting, you can take an optional tour of the Atlas Movie Studios.

We also have the chance to make a short visit to Project Handicapped Horizon, an organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation, health and empowerment of people with disabilities. Some of the amazing services they provide include the building and fitting of prosthetic limbs, custom-made wheelchairs, and physio and social therapy for sufferers of accidents and illness. They also operate an artisans workshop which trains local people in trades such as pottery, weaving, metal work and jewellery making. This is a wonderful visit and we're very proud to support this project through The Intrepid Foundation.

Centuries ago, Ait Benhaddou was an important stop for the caravans passing through as they carried salt across the Sahara, returning with gold, ivory and slaves. Today, its grand kasbah is still one of the most beautiful in all of Morocco and a World Heritage site. This fortified village is a fine example of clay architecture and is also famous for its role on the silver screen, featuring in numerous films such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Jewel of the Nile and Gladiator.

This evening will be our second chance to practice shooting star-trails - from the roof of our guesthouse!

Included Activities

• Cooking class and dinner

Accommodation: Guesthouse (1 night) No single supplement is available for this night stop


Day 6: Taroudant

Rejoin our minivan and continue towards Taroudant (approx 5 hrs). This drive takes us through more superb desert scenery and along a route that's a reserve for the indigenous argan trees - if we're lucky we might come across the famous image of goats climbing these trees in search of their tasty nuts.

Please note that this is a long travel day and we won't arrive at our accommodation until late afternoon/early evening. Our riad is centrally located which will allow us to walk around the atmospheric main square of the town, which comes along as the heat of the sun starts to fade away.

Accommodation: Central Riad (1 night)


Day 7: Drive to Essaouria

In the morning we will have time to explore Taroudant before continuing on to Essaouira on the coast. Taroudant is a vibrant market town located in the fertile Souss plains. With an energetic, bustling city centre this is a great opportunity to see an untouched traditional Berber lifestyle. The souqs of the medina teem with sights, sound and colour, with terrific bargains to be found.

We leave the valleys of the magical High Atlas Mountains behind and head towards the windswept Atlantic Coast and Essaouira (approx 4.5 hrs), we will use the coastal road with a brief stop in Agadir en-route.

Accommodation: Central riad (2 nights)

Day 8: Essaouria

The name Essaouira means image, which is appropriate since it's such a picturesque town. Its charm is undeniable - within the stone ramparts you'll find whitewashed houses with bright blue shutters, art galleries and wood workshops. This laid-back artists' town is a former Portuguese trading colony and was once home to sizeable British and Jewish populations. The town faces a group of rocky islands - called the Mogador - and is surrounded by an expanse of sandy beaches and dunes.

It's still a busy fishing port and it’s pretty harbour is filled with tiny colourful boats which go out early every morning for the day's catch. Visitors who have been seduced by its charms include Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix, who (according to local legend) spent much of his time here in the 1960s. More recently, filmmaker Ridley Scott chose the ramparts as an important location for his film, Kingdom of Heaven.

Join our local guide for a walking tour through the old Medina, Jewish mellah, port and skala (sea wall). You have some free time to soak up the romantic ambience.

Everything in the small centre is within walking distance and the beach is clean. Wander the harbour and its adjacent fish markets where you can witness the daily auction. A freshly-cooked plate of the day's catch is highly recommended. Browse the plentiful shops and intriguing art galleries that make this little town a particularly pleasant place to unwind for a few days. It has a growing reputation for its unique art and is becoming even more famous for its burled Thuya wood - delicately formed and inlaid in tiny shops, which are built into the thick walls of the Portuguese ramparts. The scent from the oils used to polish the richly coloured wood permeates the air and makes walking down the streets incredibly pleasant.

Essaouira is a world-famous windsurfing destination. Give it go or you may like to try your hand at the increasingly popular sport of kite surfing.

Don't miss the opportunity to go to a hammam or local-style bath to be spoilt with a good scrub, a mud pack and a relaxing massage with argan oil.

Included Activities

• Walking tour

Day 9: Travel to Marrakech
On day 9 the morning is free for further exploration around Essaouria. In the early afternoon we will catch a comfortable local bus to Marrakech (approx 3 hrs), where we will check in to our riad.

Day 10 & 11: Marrakech
Even today, the name conjures up images of scenes from the Arabian Nights: alleyways, souks, stalls and markets. This remarkable city, dating from the 11th century, never fails to satisfy the curiosity of adventurous travellers. It has everything from the graceful architecture of the renowned Koutoubia Minaret, which dominates the skyline, to the wonderful throbbing atmosphere of a medieval fair in the great open square, the Djemaa el-Fna, at the heart of the medina.

We have two days to explore and photograph this famous city. On day 10 a 2 hour guided tour is included. This will take us down to the leather pits, where leather is cured and dyed in the traditional way, as it has been for generations.


Day 12: Tour ends
The tour ends after breakfast, and you are free to leave at any time, or contact Intrepid to arrange an extra night or two in this fascinating and entrancing city.


Notes on the tour

Any tour is a balance between seeing as much as possible, and also having enough time to explore and take pictures. I believe that we have struck the best balance with this itinerary. There are many times where we will have free time, so you are free to explore and photograph on your own. I try to keep compulsory sunrises to a minimum, but there will be plenty of chances for those who are keen to make an early start!

I have tried to ensure that we manage to have the chance of a sunrise or sunset in all of the most important places, but sometimes we will have to photograph things during the day - at the wrong times. This is mainly the case when we are in transit. This is just a part of trying to see so much: if we were to photograph everything at the optimum times, then the trip would have to be about three or four times longer!

Portraits in Morocco:
It is worth bearing in mind that Morocco is not as easy a place to shoot portraits as it used to be. People can be quite paranoid about being photographed - especially if you don't ask permission. You are advised not to try to 'steal' pictures and to ask people. Not only is this a courtesy, that I believe will help you to secure better, more engaged pictures, it can avoid unpleasantness.

It is perfectly possible to shoot some amazing portraits in Morocco, and I will be on hand to advise as to when and how to ask. Very soon in the trip, I will hold an illustrated talk showing my technique for approaching people and how to get the best shots.


Throughout the trip I will hold a series of illustrated talks and group review sessions to try to help people to learn as much as possible on the trip, and also to come away with the best pictures possible. We will have some group sessions - notably on exposure and also on shooting star trails. I am always available if anyone has a question about photography and am always happy to look at pictures if you want a personal review. Please be aware that you will generally get out of this trip what you are prepared to put into it, especially with the review sessions.


Single supplement:
The single supplement is not available in the Ait Benhaddhou guesthouse, or in the desert camp. This means that people will have to share a room on these nights. Please also note that sometimes the single rooms are smaller than double rooms - especially in riads when many of the rooms will vary in size and quality. In general, we will try to balance everything out wherever possible, but sometimes the best rooms in the riads have double beds: twin and single rooms might not be as luxurious.

Printable version of itinerary

Included in the trip price

1 night on night train

3 nights desert camp

• 9 nights in hotel/guesthouse

13 breakfasts

• 5 dinners

• 4 lunches

All transport as per itinerary

Old Delhi tour

• Mehrangarh Fort visit

Udaipur City Palace visit

Bundi Palace & step wells

• Chittorgarh fort visit

• Ranakpur Jain Temples visit

Pushkar Camel ride

• Pre-trip Facebook group to meet other group members

• Experienced Intrepid leader

Expert photographic tuition

Impressions of Rajasthan itinerary


Day 1: Delhi
Welcome to Delhi!

We don't spend long in Delhi, so if you haven't been here before why not consider flying out a couple of days early so that you can explore.

There are plenty of things to see and do in free time. Visit the World Heritage-listed Mughal masterpiece of Humayun's Tomb. This was the first garden tomb in India, built way back in 1570. Wonder at the tall brick minaret of Qutub Minar, which was started back in the 1100s. Explore the mighty Red Fort of Delhi. Part palace and part fort, it plays an integral part in the history of the city with former residents ranging from royal families to British soldiers.

If you flight arrives early enough, join your group leader on an excursion into the sights and sounds of Old Delhi! Get a taste of India's famed public transport with a cycle rickshaw ride through chaotic streets, such as the famous Chandni Chowk. Make a visit to the Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest mosque and one of its most impressive buildings, then visit the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion.

We leave on a night train, in the evening on our way to the city of Jodhpur.

Inclusions – Old Delhi visit

Day 2: Jodhpur
Jodhpur is known for its antique shops and the best lassi in India. And yes, it is where those famous trousers come from.

Explore the colossal Mehrangarh Fort and take in the great views from its ramparts, which dominate the city's skyline.

You might also choose to visit India's last great palace, the Umaid Bhawan Palace, which was constructed between 1929 and 1944. Named after the late Maharaja Umaid Singhji, the palace is still the residence of his successors.

Inclusions – Mehrangarh fort visit

Day 3: Jodhpur
Today we visit Sadar Bazaar, one of the oldest markets in India. Built around a clock tower amid spice and vegetable markets, juice sellers and sari materials, Sadar Bazaar also has numerous vendors with carts selling everything from Bollywood soundtracks to armfuls of sparkling bangles.

We then take a tour of the nearby Bishnoi villages. The Bishnoi are a peaceful nature-loving community and no trip to this region is complete without experiencing the fascinating traditions of the tribespeople of rural Rajasthan.

Inclusions – Bishnoi Village visit

Day 4 - 6: Pushkar
Drive to Pushkar in around 5 hours.

Pushkar is one of the India's holiest places. It's also a market centre for many of the local village people and a great place to sit back and relax.

We have timed our visit for the annual Pushkar Mela, which attracts camel sellars and pilgrims from miles around. The camel trading tends to happen at the beginning of the festival - the bathing at the end of the festival under the full moon. The problem with the bathing is that photography is banned by the holy lake, where the bathing happens. This is why we are coinciding with the beginning of the festival, and leaving for a different mela to see the bathing there.

We will be staying at a desert camp, and will have plenty of time to explore the mela and photograph to our heart's content!

Head out to explore Pushkar's main bazaar and many side streets - some great bargains can be had, as some of the cheapest clothes and jewellery in northern India can be found here. Walk around the lake, with its bustling ghats and temples, to watch the devout as they worship at the holy waters. Visit the only Brahma Temple in India.

Early risers can make the sunrise hike up the hill to the Savitri Temple for magical views over the town. There could also be a wonderful steaming glass of chai waiting for you if the chai man is there - certainly well worth the trek.

If you are keen, take a camel ride out into the local desert area. For those who don't want to ride a camel, there's a camel cart option.

Inclusions – Camel ride

Day 7 & 8: Udaipur
We drive to Udaipur via the beautiful hamlet of Ranakpur (approx 3 hrs), home to a host of intricately carved white marble Jain temples.

Explore the incredible complex of Jain temples - the main reason why Ranakpur is one of the most important pilgrim destinations for Jains in India.

Udaipur undoubtedly lives up to its reputation as India's most romantic city. Rolling hills, white marble palaces and lakes come together appealingly and it's a centre for artists, dancers and musicians. The shopping is also superb, with miniature paintings being the speciality.

On arrival in Udaipur, take a walk around town to help gather your bearings. Explore Udaipur's twisting alleys filled with silver, shoes, bags, leather goods and miniature paintings.

Visit City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India, and check out the unbelievable treasures within - from vivid murals to antiques and royal utensils.

Enjoy a half hour boat ride on the famous Lake Pichola and see marvels like Lake Palace and Jag Mandir Island (seasonal depending on the water level in the lake).

Be part of a musical concert combining seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances.

Inclusions – Ranakpur Jain Temples; Udaipur City Palace visit

Day 9: Chittorgarh
Drive to Chittorgarh in around 4 hours.

Chittorgarh is the largest fort in India and the grandest in the state ofRajasthan. It is a World Heritage Site. The fort, plainly known as Chittor, was the capital of Mewar and is today situated inChittorgarh City. It was initially ruled by Guhilot and later by Sisodias, the Suryavanshi clans of Chattari Rajputs, from the 7th century, until it was finally abandoned in 1568 after the siege by Emperor Akbar in 1567. It sprawls majestically over a hill 180 metres in height spread over an area of 280 ha (691.9 acres) above the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River. The fort precinct with an evocative history is studded with a series of historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemoration towers. These monumental ruins have inspired the imagination of tourists and writers for centuries.

Inclusions – Chittorgarh fort visit

Day 10-11: Jhalawar
Drive to Jhalawar in around 5-6 hours.

Every year, The Chandrabhaga Fair in Rajasthan welcomes thousands of visitors and participants from all over the nation. It is held at Jhalrapatan, situated at a distance of about six kilometers from Jhalawar, in the month of Kartik (the full moon night).

The government of Rajasthan is taking several measures to promote tourism towards this unexplored state. The indomitable forts, magnificent palaces, charming wildlife, traditional fairs and festivals and peaceful lakes are some of the things that form the goodwill of this place. Chandrabhaga Fair, Jhalawar is one such splendid sight that truly deserves the attention of the tourists. This fair acquaints all travelers, pilgrims and explorers alike, with the rituals and traditions practiced in this region of the nation.

The ancient city of Jhalrapatan has an exceptionally large number of temples. It is also referred to as 'the City of Bells'. Amongst the old temples, about four or five still remain and the most famous amongst them is the Sitalesvara Mahadeva Temple which is also considered as one of the most remarkable specimens of architecture in India. A lot of pilgrims assemble into Jhalawar on the banks of river Chandrabhaga during the Chandrabhaga Fair in Rajasthan and take part in this gala event. The festival is named after the river Chandrabhaga itself and is considered very sacred by the people of Rajasthan.

We have timed our visit to fit in the the main bathing day of the mela on the Kartik Poornima full moon.

Please note: we are staying a few miles away from the mela ground, and so will have to travel to see the festival. Often traffic will be banned on the main bathing day, so the chances are that we will have to walk some way through crowds of pilgrims. Flexibility will be the key!

Day 12: Bundi
Drive to Bundi in around 5-6 hours, via Gagron Fort.

Just 12 Kms away from Jhalawar, the foundation of this magnificent, impregnable renowned fort was laid in the 7th century and the fort was completed in the 14th century. Gagron Fort is perched on a low ridge at the confluence of the rivers Ahu and Kali Sindh whose water surround it on three sides. On the fourth side there used to be a deep moat completing its defenses. It is surrounded by forests and has behind it the Mukundarrah range of hills.

A delightful town teeming with Rajasthani life, Bundi's narrow streets are packed with shops of all kinds and the downtown market is an interesting spot to mingle with the local people.

This is a fantastic place to explore on foot and there's plenty of time to visit the baoris (step-wells) and experience local street life down in the bazaars.

Explore Bundi Palace and its famous murals. Built during the 16th and 17th centuries, it's a classic piece of Rajasthani architecture.

Inclusions – Step wells; Bundi palace; Gagron Fort

Day 13: Jaipur

Drive to Jaipur for our farewell dinner.

Day 14: Tour ends
As many people have already visited Jaipur (and indeed Agra) we have taken the decision to end the trip here without any sight-seeing. You have a number of options though. Many international flights (including Jet Airways, Virgin and BA) can include a connecting leg from Jaipur to Delhi, giving you the option of flying into Delhi and flying out from Jaipur.

You also have the option of spending a bit of time in Jaipur, or joining the optional extension that spends a day in Jaipur, before driving to Agra to view the Taj Mahal via Fatehpur Sikri. This excursions finishes in Delhi. We will be posting further details of this extension in due course.

Printable version of itinerary

Included in the trip price

11 nights comfort hotel & 2 nights lodge accommodation

12 breakfasts

4 lunches & 3 dinners

All transport as per itinerary

• All domestic flights as per itinerary

Boat trip to Mingun

• Full day Inle Lake boat excursion

Short village Trek at Inle Lake

• 4WD excursion to Chin Hills

Entrance fees as per itinerary

• Group photo-tip kitty ($450)

• Pre-trip Facebook group to meet other group members

• Experienced Local leader

Expert photographic tuition

Included in the trip price

13 nights hotel accommodation

• 1 night on train

• 13 breakfasts*

All transport as per itinerary

• Night train to Varanasi

• Varanasi sunrise boat trip

• Jaipur tour and entrances

• Amber Fort entrances

• Orchha tour and entrances

• Bharatpur entrance

• Taj Mahal entrance

• Gwalior tour and entrances

• Entrance fees as per itinerary

• Pre-trip Facebook group

• Experienced Intrepid leader

Expert photographic tuition

Printable version of itinerary

This tour is organised and led by Steve Davey | The land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, but the tours don't appear on the Intrepid Travel website | The only way to book is through this site!

Highlights of this trip

Dead Vlei sunrise

• Kolmanskop ghost town

• Cape Cross Seal colony

• Relaxed Swakopmund

Etosha National Park

Extensive photographic tuition

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Included in the trip price

5 nights hotel accommodation

9 nights lodge accommodation

14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 10 dinners

Private overland vehicle

• Quiver Tree forest tour

• Fish River Canyon entrance

• Kolmanskop Ghost Town Tour

• Dead Vlei 4WD sunrise safari

• Full day Swakopmund excursion

• Cape Cross Seal Colony

• Twyfelfontein entrance

• Himba village visit

• Damaraland elephant safari

• Etosha entrance & game drives

• Pre-trip Facebook group

• Experienced local leader

Expert photographic tuition

Website, Images and text Steve Davey/ 1990 - 2019

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Contact us &

There are two departures:

Start:23 Sept. 2020
7 October 2020
Code: NA201

Tour led by Steve Davey

Min 8, max 12 people
Places left: 5
Trip to be confirmed


Start:14 Oct. 2020
28 Oct. 2020
Code: NA202

Tour led by Jamie Marshall

Min 8, max 12 people
Places left: 5
Trip to be confirmed


Price for either trip:
3995 pp
excl. international flights, based on

Optional single supplement: 450

Estimated international
flight cost 750


We have two departures for this tour - each led by a different photographer. Each will be identical, although we have had to use a couple of different properties due to availability. The more flexible you can be over dates, the more likely you are to get a place on this great trip.

Land arrangements are sub-contracted to Intrepid Travel, who have many years experience in running small group adventures.

Bookings are made through the Intrepid Special Groups Dept. in the UK not the Intrepid website or Stores. Use this link for more information

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Impressions of Namibia Itinerary

Day 1: Windhoek
Day 2: Keetmanshoop
Day 3: Fish River Canyon
Day 4: Luderitz
Day 5: Sossusvlei
Day 6: Sossusvlei
Day 7: Swakopmund
Day 8: Swakopmund
Day 9: Twyfelfontein
Day 10: Damaraland
Day 11: Damaraland
Day 12: Etosha
Day 13:
Day 14: Windhoek
Day 15: Tour ends

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Impressions of Namibia itinerary


Day 1: Arrival in Windhoek
On arrival at Windhoek International Airport, the group will be met by the Tour Leader and transferred to the first nights’ accommodation in Windhoek.

Please meet your Tour Leader in the reception area of the hotel at 18:00 for your pre-trip meeting.

Included Activities:
Group arrival transfer

Accommodation: Roof of Africa, or similar


Day 2: Keetmanshoop
After an early rise, we hit the long road South towards Keetmanshoop. It is a fairly long drive, but through atmospheric scenery, and we might start to catch a glimpse of wildlife along the road.

We over night at Quivertree Forest Rest Camp. Accommodation is somewhat basic, however the owners of the camp have two great sites on their land: the Quivertree Forest, and the Giant's Playground. Staying at the camp gives us unique access to both. The camp also has a number of resident rescued cheetahs, and depending on when we arrive in the afternoon, we should be able to see them being fed!

Adjacent to the camp is the Quiver Tree Forest - a National Namibian Monument. This is a collection of around 250 endemic Quiver trees (Aloidendron dichotomum), so called because because bushmen traditionally used its branches to make quivers. The largest trees are as much as three centuries old. We will head to the forest in the late afternoon, as the setting sun casts golden light across the trees, and the many rock hyrax come out to bask in the last rays of the day.

Weather permitting, we have the option to return to the forest after dinner to attempt to shoot star trails. If you want to take part, you will need a tripod, and some sort of locking cable release! Even if you are not shooting, walking around by the light of the moon and stars is an amazing experience!

Included Activities:
Quiver tree forest and Giant’s Playground photography tour
Star Trails shooting

Accommodation: Quivertree Forest Rest Camp or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 3: Fish River Canyon
In the morning, there is the option of getting up early, to photograph the Quiver trees at sunrise. After breakfast, we will head off to photograph the Giant's Playground nearby. This is an fantastical collection of atmospheric dolerite rock formations.

We then head off to Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world. Compared to the Grand Canyon in the USA, Fish River Canyon is all but completed undeveloped. There is next to nothing here, except for a massive canyon, eroded by the river over millenia. We spend the late afternoon photographing as the sun settles below the horizon, casting atmospheric shadows across this vast landscape. After last light, we return to the lodge for dinner!

Included Activities:
Quiver tree forest at Sunrise
Fish River Canyon at Sunset

Accommodation: Canyon Village or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 4: Luderitz
We return to the canyon to photograph the sunrise. It might be obvious, but the light is completely different compared to the sunset. We return to the lodge for breakfast, and then head out on the long drive
to the pleasant coastal town of Luderitz: estimated travelling time is approximately 6 hours (406km). We will have time to explore, and photograph some of the colonial era architecture, before dinner.

Included Activities:
Fish River Canyon at Sunrise

Accommodation: Luderitz Nest Hotel or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast


Day 5: Sossusvlei
This morning we explore the exploring the ghost town of Kolmanskop. This is one of the highlights of the entire trip. In the early 1900s, diamonds were discovered in this area, and a rich town grew up, with a hospital, school and even a music hall. At the time, Namibia was under German colonial rule, and the architecture is decidely Germanic! Many of the buildings were remarkably rich and ornate. In the 1930s, the area started to decline as the diamonds ran out, and many of the town's inhabitants moved down to South Africa. The town was finally deserted in the 1950s, and since then, the sands have overtaken the town, filling many of the buidlings as they are slowly swallowed up by the desert. We will get to the site as it opens, and will have plenty of time to photograph, as the light changes.

After some lunch, we make our way South-west travelling through some stunning scenery on our way to one of the most visited sites in Namibia, Sossusvlei. We will also have the chance of seeing some wild horses en route: descended from animals released by German settlers. We enter Sossusvlei in the afternoon, we spend the afternoon and capture the sunset in the park at the parks dunes.

We spend two nights at Sossus Dune Lodge. Built in an environmentally sensitive manner, primarily from wood, canvas and thatch, in an attractive 'afro-village' style, Sossus Dune Lodge offers guests an evocative and life changing experience. It is, admittedly a very expensive place to stay, and represents a significant percentage of the cost of the trip. However, as it is situated within the park, guests benefit from being able to reach Sossusvlei before sunrise, and stay until after sunset!

This is vital for getting to the atmospheric Dead Vlei to photograph the sunrise! When we relax in the lodge, between photographic missions, you will be able to relax in the tranquility and splendour of the Namib Desert, under the spectacular African sky. The lodge even has a swimming pool, and it is possible to swim, whilst desert birds swoop down to the pool to drink!

Included Activities:
Kolmanskop Ghost Town Tour (Including Photography Permits)

Accommodation: Sossus Dune Lodge or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast & Dinner


Day 6: Sossusvlei
Today is an early rise as we head out at dawn on a private 4x4 trip to Elim Dune, Dune 45 and Dead Vlei. We start at Dead Vlei, a vast and parched dry lake bed, dotted with ancient camelthorn trees. This is one of the most iconic places in the country, and staying at the lodge allows us to beet the crowds. If you are feeling energetic, it is possible to clim to the top of the adjacent Big Daddy dune, one of the highest in the world for incomparable views.

The 4WD safari also includes a glorious alfresco breakfast, and we will have plenty of time to explore before heading back to the lodge to recover from our early start!

This afternoon we take a visit to Sesriem Canyon, and small but atospherically eroded canyon, before heading back to Dune 45 to photograph the sunset. There is always the chance of encountering desert Oryx, and so you should always be prepared to photograph them. Again, if you have the energy, you can climb dune the dune, or simply explore the local area and save the dune climb for the following morning!

Included Activities:
Private Dead Vlei 4WD Sunrise Tour with Local Guide including a packed breakfast

Accommodation: Sossus Dune Lodge or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 7: Swakopmund
This morning we have the chance to head back into the park for sunrise, and will most likely attempt to climb Dune 45 to photograph the sunrise. This is an amazing, although rather exhausting experience. After returning to the lodge for breakfast, we d
epart and travel across the Namib Desert today to Swakopmund (280km, approximately 6hrs), a trip culminating in the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean coastline. The drive goes through a beautiful, diverse, colourful landscape. You'll see the awesome Kuiseb Canyon along the way, before arriving at the beachside town of Swakopmund, located on the Skeleton Coast.

The rest of the afternoon and evening is at leisure.

Accommodation: Prost Hotel or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast


Day 8: Swakopmund
Today we explore the area which offers wonderful marine, bird and wildlife such as birds in flight and head into the Namib Desert and attempt to find and photograph desert animals such as Palmato Gecko’s, Namaqua / Desert Chameleons, Side Winder Snakes and more. Afternoons will be spent either at Pelican point photographing the 40,000+ seals playing in the surf or we can photograph the thousands of Flamingos along the Walvisbay marine area.

Included Activities:
Full Day exploring Namib Desert, Swakopmund and Walvisbay

Accommodation: Prost Hotel or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast


Day 9: Twyfelfontein
Today we truly get off the beaten track, and head north along the atmospheric Skeleton coast. This earned its name from the large number of shipwrecks and washed up whale bones that can be found along this harsh and barren coastline. We will stop to photograph one of the more recent shipwrecks, before heading to the Cape Cross Seal Colony. This is a vast (and somewhat stinky) gathering of thousands of garralous fur seals. There is a walkway for tourists, but usually this is swamped by the seals, who can be approached to a few feet away.

The male seals are huge, and often fighting with each other for territory, and you have a good chance of seeing jackals, and if you are very lucky, hyenas, who scavange any dead, or dying seals.

We head up furtherup the coast through stunning scenery until we reach our lodge.

Included Activities:
Cape Cross Nature Reserve – Cape Cross Sea Colony

Accommodation trip one: Twyfelfontein Country Lodge or similar

Accommodation trip two: Brandberg White Lady Lodge or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 10: Damaraland
After breakfast and checking out we visit the Twyfelfontein Heritage Site and the Petrified Forest. Twyfelfontein has one of the largest concentrations of ancient rock engraving in southern Africa and is a fascinating insight into the past. The Petrified Forest looks back into nature’s history, where 280-million-year-old fossilised tree trunks lie.

We then continue onto our next lodge. The estimated travelling time is 3 hours.

The ancient landscapes of the Kunene Region are ruggedly spectacular, awesome sunsets and night skies filled with a multitude of dazzling stars await you. This part of Namibia is also known as Damaraland, as it is the ancestral home land of the enigmatic Damara people whose exact origins remain unclear. Also, home to the small population of hardy desert adapted elephant as well as a host of other unique flora

This afternoon we take a visit to a Himba Village, Himba Tribe nomadic indigenous people. Mostly found in the Northern Namibia. The men of the tribe move around a lot looking for water. Women and Children usually stay behind in the villages. Estimated population is around 50,000 people. They farm maize and millet and keep livestock for milk and meal and chickens for eggs. They make their villages from red clay soil and cow manure. Himba people cover themselves with a past which is a mixture of animal fat and hydrated iron rock, which protect them from the harsh environment.

The Himbas are one of the only living Nomadic Tribes left in Southern Africa that live a traditional life and have not converted to Westernised living. Although they do use mobile phones. When we visit the Tribes your local guide from the lodge will bring them some non-perishables to visit the village. There is no money exchange at all. The Himba Tribe don’t speak English; however, they will come over and chat to your local guide and your local guide will translate their stories to the group. They don’t mind being photographed and take lot of pride in their culture. The women of the tribe do sell hand crafted items for a small rate. The set up for their village is completely authentic and traditional to their community. There are no entrance fees to enter.

Included Activities:
Twyfelfontein Heritage Site and the Petrified Forest
Himba Village visit

Accommodation trip one: Khowarib Lodge or similar

Accommodation trip two: Fort Sesfontien Lodge or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast & Dinner


Day 11: Damaraland
Today we spend the day searching for the Desert Elephant in the Hoanib river area. This essentially involves a full day safari, where we attempt to see some of the animals that are uniquely adapted to this harsh desert area.

Although not a seperate species, the desert elephants have adapted to the environment with smaller bodies, longer legs and bigger feet than savannah elephants, making it easier for them to walk on sandy ground. There are only two distinct populations of desert elephants in Africa: in Mali, and this region of Namibia. Finding them is a truly special and unique experience.We should also see other animals, such ad giraffe, and many species of birds. There are also Rhinos here, although seeing them is very unlikely. There is a picnic lunch which is included in the tour.

Included Activities:
Full Day Desert Elephant Drive including lunch

Accommodation trip one: Khowarib Lodge or similar

Accommodation trip two: Fort Sesfontien Lodge or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 12: Etosha National Park
As we leave Damaraland and we make our way to Etosha National Park (220km approximately 5hrs). Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching, so there are large herds of elephants, antelope and other herbivores. Ethosha is also one of the best places in the world to see the endangered Black Rhino.

We spend two nights at Okaukuejo Rest Camp, which is deservedly famous for its floodlit waterhole. After sunset floodlights illuminate the waterhole. This is the best time and place to see the endangered black rhino. This archaic mammal can often be seen drinking alongside lion and elephant. This is truly one of the most increible places to view wildlife in the entire world, and we have deliberately chosen to have two nights here to maximise the experience!

Etosha is a vast dry lake bed, dotted with a number of waterholes. We have timed this trip for the dry season, where vast numbers of animals congregate at the waterholes, making spotting and photographing them much easier. This is a completely different landscape, and wildlife experience to the plains of East Africa, but a great opportunity to see some of the most rare and incredible species on the continent!

Accommodation: Okaukuejo Rest Camp or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 13: Etosha National Park
njoy a full day of game viewing in the truck!

Keep your eyes peeled for elephants, which you might be lucky enough to come across, depending on the season. There's also the black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik, all of which you have the chance to spot during game drives. Game viewing in the park is relatively easy due to the man-made waterholes and the large, sparsely vegetated pans. The bushland surrounding the pans is hard to see through, but there are enough clearings, pans and waterholes to allow for some sightings.

We head back to the lodge in the evening., where you might like to finish up the day by taking a refreshing dip in the pool or enjoying a drink with your travellers to reflect on the day's adventure or spend another evening by the waterhole!

Included Activities:
Full Day Game Drive in Safari Truck

Accommodation: Okaukuejo Rest Camp or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 14: Windhoek
From Etosha National Park you will head to Windhoek, an old German colonial town, now a cosmopolitan centre (400km approximately 6hrs). The Germanic colonial architecture of this city contributes to its charming feel. You'll arrive in the late afternoon or early evening.

This evening we head out for our last dinner as a group to Joe's Beer House, one of Windhoek’s most famous German restaurants.

Accommodation: Roof of Africa, or similar

Meal plan: Breakfast & Dinner


Day 15: Windhoek
Sadly, your tour comes to an end. There are no activities planned for the final day and the tour officially finishes after breakfast! If you would like a later checkout, or to spend an extra night in the hotel, please contact Intrepid Travel.

Meal plan: Breakfast


Please note: although certain breakfasts are included in the itinerary, this is through the hotel on a Bed and Breakfast basis. As we are a photography tour, we may at times need to make an early start before breakfast is available at the hotel. In this case, an included breakfast may not be possible and we will have to make our own arrangements.

We will be travelling in a 24 seat overland vehicle, which means that we will have plenty of room for all of our photographic equipment, and also good access to windows for the game viewing.

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