Ethiopia, Africa

Mountain Marvels

In the geographically diverse Africa is a country of great wildlife variety and natural contrasts. Where modern humans took baby steps through a fertile mosaic of jungles, rivers and a deathless legacy of human settlement towards the rest of the world. We know it as Ethiopia.

Allow us now to connect you to it, so you may reconnect to your origins.


13 to 20 March 2018


Sachin Rai

Why go on a Toehold Tour?

Planned to maximise

photo opportunities

Led by ace


Over 100 years'

collective experience

Hands-on assistance

on and off the field

Image reviews

and presentations

Photography gear

on rent

Tour Highlights

  • An exhilarating seven-night/eight-day adventure in the ancient areas of wilderness of Africa
  • A unique opportunity to photograph some of the vulnerable and endangered species
  • Possibility of photographing the Ethiopian wolf, the gelada baboon and the walya ibex
  • Extensive on- and off-field assistance
  • A treasure of learning on photography and natural history under the tutelage of Sachin Rai

How is it?

Vast highland complex of mountains and dissected plateaus home to rare, endemic wildlife.

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What you will see and photograph

About 31 endemic species of mammals and over 856 species of birds.

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About your Skipper

Sachin Rai

An uncompromising reverence for nature and an unfailing eye for unique perspectives underline Sachin's journey as an ace naturalist and eminent wildlife photographer with over a decade's experience in excellence.

For a nature lover seeking solace in the wilderness,dreams galore, expectations are very high. For him the itenary running at pace, guidance, information on field, the whole experience of being one with nature matters a lot. - Dilip Prashanth, Bengaluru
In the last one year that i have picked up a camera..and travelled with a couple of groups, the instant bond that created with the participants was magical. We felt a bond with toehold ... as we parted .. and im sure many of us will be there for more trips in future. - Neelu Bhatt, Bengaluru

Since participants of this Wildlife Photography Tour travel from various destinations, the Tour commences at Addis Ababa on 13 March 2018 and ends at the same place on 20 March. You may either take a flight that reaches Addis Ababa the same morning, or fly in the previous day and stay overnight in the capital (in which case, the cost of accommodation will be additional). Please also note that flight costs are not included in the Tour fee, except for the domestic flight to Gondar on Day 2.

DAY 1   13 March 2018, Tuesday:   Arrival and Overnight in Addis Ababa

We arrive in the capital city of Ethiopia and relax at our hotel so that we can begin our Tour the day after we have rested well. The group of participants will also have enough time to get well-acquainted with one another.

DAY 2   14 March, Wednesday:   Arrival in Gondar; Overnight in Simien Mountains

At 7 a.m., we take a domestic flight to Gondar. After checking in and preparing for our first day out in the wild, we spend an entire memorable day in the breathtaking Simien Mountains exploring the animals and avian wonders and photographing them.

You will get acquainted with the African landscape in this part of the continent as you wander about with your piqued curiosity and making art.

DAY 3   15 March, Thursday:   Full day in Simien Mountains National Park; Overnight in Simien Mountains

We spend yet another full day in the mountains. By then you would be fairly familiar with the National Park and can make the most of your time on the second day there. We are likely to photograph the Ethiopian wolf, the walya ibex and the gelada baboon.

The gorgeous backdrop of the mountains will render itself as stunning frames as you capture them with awe.

DAY 4   16 March, Friday:   Return to and Overnight in Addis Ababa

We fly back to Addis Ababa after making memorable pictures in the Simien Mountains National Park. We take the day off to rest, and by this time, we will be eagerly looking forward to our journey to the Bale Mountains National Park on the days to follow.

DAY 5   17 March, Saturday:   Drive to and Overnight in Bale Mountains

We set out on the seven-hour drive from Addis Ababa to Bale. Cutting through the winds and watching the changing Ethiopian landscape throughout the journey, we arrive in Bale and stay at the hotel that night.

DAY 6   18 March, Sunday:   Full day in Bale Mountains National Park; Overnight in Bale Mountains

We spend the whole day in the wilderness of the Bale Mountains National Park. We are likely to see and photograph the wonderful mountain nyala and birds including the bearded vulture, the thick-billed raven and the tawny eagle among others.

DAY 7   19 March, Monday:   Full day in Bale Mountains National Park; Overnight in Bale Mountains

Another day in Bale is sure to bring us more unforgettable moments in the wild. We make the best of our time there as the Photo Tour comes to its last leg. We get back to our hotel for overnight's stay after spending the whole day in the National Park.

DAY 8   20 March, Tuesday:   Return to Addis Ababa

After a treasured exploration, photographing adventure in the Ethiopian wilderness for about a week, we head back to Addis Ababa with a lot of memories and photographs for keepsake. We then catch our homebound flights, bidding Africa farewell.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the requisites to participate in this Tour? Apart from interest, a valid visa and related documents, and a minimum level of fitness are essential. Visa assistance will be provided.
  • How do you apply for the visa? Ethiopian visa is applied for and issued online. Assistance in visa application will be provided once you sign up for the Tour.
  • I am a newbie in nature photography. Am I eligible? Absolutely! This Tour is meant for fledgling as well as experienced photographers. Beginners get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from Toehold's eminent Skipper. In fact, if you are a newbie, you should jump on this terrific learning opportunity and sign up right away! However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend that you be familiar with photography fundamentals. If you're not, we suggest you join our Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.
  • By what mode or modes will we explore Ethiopia? What is the level of physical fitness required on this Photo Tour? We will travel between the destinations by road, but most of the photography will be done on foot, which is why a moderate level of physical fitness is required. Please talk to us to know more.
  • How sure are you about photographing wildlife on this Tour? Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tours and the local expertise we leverage, we believe that it would be extremely unfortunate if our sightings and photography were unsatisfactory. Ethiopia is a country blessed with the greatest biodiversity, and the destinations we'll be visiting are teeming with wildlife, but since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do not claim that sightings of specific species are guaranteed.
  • Are rains predicted during the Tour? The weather in the Ethiopian March is dry but with slight chances of raining. So please carry adequate rain protection for yourself as well as your camera equipment.
  • Is vaccination against yellow fever and polio mandatory? Yes; the vaccination is mandatory in many countries including India. Please talk to us for advice on how to get one.
  • Are earlier yellow fever and polio vaccinations valid? Yellow fever vaccination is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of administration, but polio vaccination is valid for only a year. Please check your vaccination cards to verify validity. Please note that the vaccination must be valid as on the date of your return to your country after the Tour.
  • What equipment do you suggest on this Tour? For birds, a lens with a focal length of around 400mm is essential. For mammals, a telephoto zoom lens in the range of 100 to 400mm works very well, but a longer lens is fine too. A wide-angle or normal zoom to capture landscapes or creative perspectives of wildlife is a must. However, if you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras, lenses and accessories for hire, so you can always hire what you need. Click here to see what we offer.
  • How different are your Photo Tours from ordinary tours? Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven't experienced themselves, our Photo Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of a professional photographer. The common ingredients in all our Photo Tours are fun and a lot of learning and knowledge-sharing. Besides, most or all of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focused.
USD 3,600 *
Couples ††
USD 7,100 *
USD 3,500 *

* 5% GST Extra

Per Person on Twin Shared Accommodation

†† Per Couple on Twin Shared Accommodation

Toehold Patrons: Customers who have participated in at least three previous Toehold Photo Tours
  • Twin-sharing accommodation in comfortable lodges
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All transfers within Ethiopia
  • Guide and Photography Skipper services
  • Entrance fees for all listed activities (please see itinerary)
  • All airfare
  • Airport departure tax
  • Camera fees (please see the FAQ section for payable amount)
  • Any extra accommodation availed of
  • Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, extra meals and beverages ordered
  • Insurance, laundry and phone calls
  • Bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Vaccination, visa and insurance expenses
  • All applicable taxes
  • Anything that is not included in the inclusions list
  • USD 1500 booking amount (non-refundable)
  • 100% on or before 5 January 2018
  • USD 1500 on or before 9 January 2018
  • 100% on or after 10 January 2018

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Participants who have a medical history of blood pressure, heart-related problems or asthma are advised to seek medical advice before enrolling for this Tour.
  2. Fitness to complete the Tour is the only criterion for participation.
  3. Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. shall not be responsible for injuries, damages, or losses caused to any traveller in connection with terrorist activities, social or labour unrest, mechanical or construction failures or difficulties, diseases, local laws, climatic conditions, abnormal conditions or developments, or any other actions, omissions, or conditions outside the travel partner's control.
  4. All clients travelling with Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. must complete and sign a reservation form and the " Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk & Arbitration Agreement" form.
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