This photography tour of Nepal has an exhilarating and action packed itinerary, crammed full of excursions and photography projects- including the Shivaratri Festival in Kathmandu. This is also the easiest of all the Nepal Photography Tours we have ever done, allowing all to experience the legendary Nepalese hospitality, without any physical exertion!
Nepal is the perfect place for the enthusiastic photographer with unrivalled photographic opportunities. During this photography tour we will explore temples, markets, streets, experience a Himalayan sunrise, photograph village life, visit small manufacturing industries and local artisans to photograph the local craftsmen as they work, experience an elephant wildlife safari through the jungles of Chitwan National Park and visit a Tharu tribal village to photograph the local people, their way of life and culture.
All this with guidance and tuition throughout from professional photographer Simon Watkinson. Simon is a well known professional photographer who loves to teach and share his passion for photography. Simon will provide one to one instruction, formal lectures, critiques and set individual assignments- plus he will always be on hand to help and advise.
There will be nightly group dinners with image sharing and on at least 2 of the evenings, an instructional lecture. On the last night we will share images between the group during our end of tour celebration dinner. You can expect to experience and learn so much on this tour, that you will be blown away by the whole experience and want to do it right over again!
Kathmandu Valley – comprises the three ancient cities of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, which were once independent states ruled by the Malla kings from the 12th to the 18th centuries. The valley is home to seven UNESCO World Heritage shrines and hundreds of other exquisite monuments, sculptures, artistic temples and magnificent art – reminders of the golden era in Nepal’s architecture.
The towns of the Kathmandu Valley are ideal locations with unrivalled photographic opportunities. We will explore and photograph the Valley’s amazing cultural and artistic heritage. Discover hidden temples overflowing with marigolds, courtyards full of drying chillis and rice, and tiny hobbit-sized workshops largely unchanged since the Middle Ages.
Pokhara – is the capital of west Nepal in the heart of the Annapurna mountain range and is blessed with stunning panoramic views of the Annapurna range which forms its backdrop. The mesmerising Machhapuchhre also called Mt. Fishtail dominates the scenery because of its proximity to the valley and can be seen from anywhere in Pokhara.
Pokhara owes its popularity to the enchanting Phewa Lake and we will enjoy and photograph the classic views of the lake and the mountains capturing the magnificent scene by day and by sunset. We also plan to visit Sarangkot, located on a mountainside ridge at an altitude of 1600m, providing superb panoramic Himalayan views, magical at sunrise.
Chitwan National Park – is located in the lowlands of Nepal, an area known as the Terai. Here wildlife thrives and we will enjoy safaris into the jungle on elephant back, providing different opportunities for photography. We will also spend some time visiting the surrounding Tharu tribal villages by foot or bullock cart which is one of the best ways to experience rural Nepali life and absorb the simplicity of a farming community, not to mention some amazing photographic encounters.
Day 2: 10th February – Kathmandu (1527 metres).
Arrive Kathmandu. Flying into Kathmandu along the northern border of Nepal on a clear day is in itself an unforgettable experience, with the entire Nepalese Himalaya sprawling out below you. After customs, you will pass out of the restricted area and into the passenger pick-up area outside the building. Our staff will be waiting to welcome you to Nepal.
After transferring to your hotel, you will be given a chance to catch your breath. At dinner you will get to meet your tour leader and other members of the group and then be given a slide presentation by Simon Watkinson who will also explain the planned itinerary. Overnight hotel. (D)
Days 3, 4 & 5: 22nd, 23rd, 24th February – Kathmandu.
Three days for photography and sightseeing. Three major towns are located in the valley, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, each having a great artistic and architectural tradition. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in the country. Patan, the second largest is separated from Kathmandu by a river. Bhaktapur, the third largest, is towards the eastern end of the valley and its relative isolation is reflected in its slower pace and more distinctly mediaeval atmosphere. In the Valley the landscape is dramatically sculpted by the contours of the paddy fields. The towns and villages are alive with the colours of farm produce, ranging from pyramids of golden grain to the vivid reds of chilli peppers laid out on mats to dry in the sun. In the streets and towns there is a constant bustle of activity, especially in the bazaars and markets where the farmers sell their vegetables and fruit.
During our time in Kathmandu we will visit and photograph the main Buddhist and Hindu sights of the Kathmandu Valley. This includes the Buddhist shrine of Swayambhu, (set on a hill top overlooking the city) and the massive Buddhist Stupa (temple) at Bodhnath, (the religious centre for Nepal’s large population of Tibetans). Here are a number of thriving monasteries and many small shops selling Tibetan artefacts. We will also visit the Durbar (palace) squares of Kathmandu and Patan and the magnificent Hindu temples of Bhaktapur.
There will be excursions to local industries and artisans for shots with a difference and also offering a greater insight into the daily life of the Nepalese people. It will be a great time to learn some different shooting techniques, such as shooting in low light or long exposures for great effect. In the streets and towns there is a constant bustle of activity, especially in the bazaars and markets where the farmers sell their vegetables and fruit which gives plenty of opportunity for street photography and candid shots.
Whilst in Kathmandu your photography skills will be challenged and improved. There will be times set for formal lectures from Simon to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of your camera and how your camera operates to enable you to take creative control of your camera in the image capturing process. Simon will also take you through post processing to demonstrate how beautiful images are created, from start to finish.
We have also timed our tour to coincide with the Hindu Shiva Ratri festival – literally the night of Shiva. The temple of Pashupatinath in Kathmandu is considered one of the holiest shrines and pilgrims travel from all over Nepal and India to be there for Shiva Ratri. We will visit Pashupatinath during our time in Kathmandu to witness and photograph the colourful Sadhus and Holy men.
Nights at hotel. (BLD)
On arrival transfer to Fishtail Lodge Hotel. This is a first class hotel, superbly landscaped with magnificent tropical gardens, swimming pool and fantastic views of the snow-capped Himalaya. Pokhara is an area of great natural beauty with the Himalayan Mountains looming over the horizon. The Pokhara Valley has three large lakes, the largest being Phewa Tal on which our hotel is situated. The wonderful Annapurna mountain panorama forms a wonderful backdrop for our photography, particularly splendid at sunset. Overnight Fishtail Lodge hotel. (BLD)
Day 7: 26th February – Sarangkot for Sunrise (1600 metres). Return to Pokhara.
An early start for the 30 minute drive to Sarangkot, which is located on a mountainside ridge at an altitude of 1,600 metres and provides wonderful panoramic Himalayan views. The highest point is about 30 minutes walk above the village but well worth the effort for one of the best sunrise views in Nepal. The light is magical during the first light of morning. The wonderful mountain scene will enable us to practice our panorama photography techniques which Simon will explain and provide a helping hand.
The views are amazing. Terraced fields dotted with small villages behind which the magnificent snow capped Annapurna Himalayan range rise. The panoramic sweep of Himalayan peaks include Dhaulagiri (8167m, the world’s 7th highest mountain), Annapurna South (7219m), Annapurna I (8091m, the world’s 10th highest mountain), Hiunchuli (6441m), Machhapuchhare (6997m, the “Fishtail” and holy mountain), Annapurna III (7555m), Annapurna IV (7525m) and Annapurna II (7937m) and Lamjung Himal (6983m), from west to east.
We return to Pokhara late morning / early afternoon and continue our explorations.
Overnight Fishtail Lodge hotel. (BLD)
After breakfast we drive (4 hours) to Chitwan National Park in the Terai lowlands of Nepal. Along the way we witness local Nepalese life, terraced fields and even stop at local tea shops. On arrival at Chitwan we check into our wildlife lodge and after lunch experience our first jungle safari by elephant.
Chitwan is one of the best wildlife areas in Asia and its fauna includes more than 50 species of mammals and over 450 species of birds. Deer, wild boar, monkey, rhino and crocodile are commonly seen and, if you are lucky you may even see tiger, leopard or bear.
Overnight Wildlife Lodge (BLD)
Days 9 & 10: 28th February, 1st March – Chitwan National Park.
We will explore the jungle by elephant and even dug out canoe.
We will also spend time visiting the surrounding Tharu tribal villages by foot or bullock cart which is one of the best ways to experience rural Nepali life. The Tharu people live in villages in houses plastered inside and out with mud and cow dung. They make almost everything they use themselves, with a touch of art in everything. Their houses are large and communal; a family group lives together, and the women cook together, care jointly for their children and pass on their culture and traditions to the next generation. Their clothes are colourful and beautifully embroidered. They wear beautiful jewellery. They make their own clay pots cook stoves, woven baskets and fishing nets that look like butterfly wings. Rice is their staple crop; they also grow corn. The men plough, plant and weave the nets that the women use to fish. The women plaster their houses and make the pots and baskets.
We will spend time in a village and with a family giving time to absorb the simplicity of a farming community, not to mention some amazing photographic encounters.
Overnight Wildlife Lodge. (BLD)
Day 11: 2nd March – Morning Wildlife activity. Fly to Kathmandu.
In the morning, perhaps an elephant safari. Return to the lodge for breakfast. Mid-morning, we will fly to Kathmandu. Upon arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to the hotel. You can spend the remainder of the day photographing, shopping, resting, or just exploring Nepal’s capital city.
Late afternoon meet with Simon for critique and image selection. The evening is our last nights dinner and time to share images. Overnight hotel. (BLD)
Day 12: 3rd March – Depart Kathmandu.
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (B)
The day-to-day schedule should be taken only as a general guide. A variety of factors, including adverse weather conditions, difficulty with transportation and politics can lead to enforced changes. Because of this it is not possible to guarantee that any of our holidays will run exactly according to the planned itinerary. The trip leader will make any changes, which are necessary.
B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner
Tour land cost for 2017: £2450 based upon minimum of 4 paying participants. All our programme prices are based on twin share / double occupancy.
* Hotel accommodation on a twin share basis (unless single has been requested) for the nights listed in the itinerary: 5 nights Kathmandu, 2 nights Pokhara and 3 nights Chitwan.
* All meals from dinner on day 2 (arrival day in Kathmandu) to breakfast on day 12 (departure day from Kathmandu).
* Airport – Hotel – Airport Transfers.
* All internal transport as the itinerary.
* Local English speaking guides.
* Photographic tuition and tutoring throughout the trip.
* International flights to Nepal.
* Airport taxes.
* Visa fees.
* Travel Insurance.
* Medical examination (if required) & vaccination costs.
* Personal expenditure, bar bills, laundry, telephone calls, etc.
* Porters, guides & other tips.
* Meals not specified.
* Personal clothing & equipment.
* Optional trips.
* Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond Classic Journeys control.
* Anything not specified in the Cost Includes section.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: £695.00
If you are a single person booking this holiday you do not have to pay single supplements, if you are happy to share. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another single client of the same gender. However your booking is accepted only on the understanding that if no roommate is available then you accept a single supplement will be levied. Single supplements are payable if you specifically request to have a room to yourself. If you have requested single accommodation we will do our best to secure this although this may not always be possible.
Fish Tail Lodge. This is a first class hotel, superbly landscaped with magnificent tropical gardens with a swimming pool and fantastic views of the snow-capped Himalaya. Please note that sometimes the mentioned accommodation is fully booked in which case we will use similar standard accommodation.
All meals included as specified.
Most hotel and lodge restaurants usually provide both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, continental, Nepalese and traditional cuisine. Please ask the staff if you have any specific request, especially regarding flavours and spices, as they will do their best to adjust menus accordingly and cater for your tastes.
Three major towns are located in the Kathmandu Valley, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, each having a great artistic and architectural tradition. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city in the country. Patan, the second largest is separated from Kathmandu by a river. Bhaktapur, the third largest, is towards the eastern end of the valley and its relative isolation is reflected in its slower pace and more distinctly mediaeval atmosphere. In the Valley the landscape is dramatically sculpted by the contours of the paddy fields. The towns and villages are alive with the colours of farm produce, ranging from pyramids of golden grain to the vivid reds of chilli peppers laid out on mats to dry in the sun. In the streets and towns there is a constant bustle of activity, especially in the bazaars and markets where the farmers sell their vegetables and fruit.
There are many photographic opportunities in and around Kathmandu including the main Buddhist and Hindu sights of the Kathmandu Valley, the Buddhist shrine of Swayambunath, (set on a hill top overlooking the city) and the massive Buddhist Stupa (temple) at Bodhnath, (the religious centre for Nepal’s large population of Tibetans). Here are a number of thriving monasteries and many small shops selling Tibetan artefacts. Also of interest are the Durbar (palace) squares of Kathmandu and Patan and the magnificent Hindu temples of Bhaktapur and Pashupatinath (the latter being on the banks of the holiest river in Nepal, the Bagmati River).
Nepal is still largely without roads, long established trails and ancient trading routes connect isolated villages. Here life has changed little over the years and it is by trekking in Nepal that one can discover the true magnetism of the country.
Nepal has two seasons the dry season from October to May and the rainy, monsoon season from June to September. Daytime temperatures at lower altitudes (Kathmandu) will range between highs of 20°C (December to February) to up 30°C (May to October). The best time to visit the Annapurna region is from October to early April when the weather is good for trekking and relatively dry. Early spring (Late February to April) will be ideal to see the rhododendrons in flower, with temperatures between 20°C to 30°C. Late autumn (October and November) offers crisp skies and often the clearest mountain views; temperatures are similar (20°C to 30°C). Winter starts from December to February, when the mornings and evenings can be quite cold but warming up in the afternoon to become warm and sunny, the temperature ranges from 6°C to 20°C. The summer months of June to August can be too hot for general travel with monsoon rains. Pokhara remains favourable all the year round, neither too warm nor too cold.
EASY CULTURAL TOURING: Most of this tour involves overland travel in comfortable vehicles. Some of the roads in Nepal are poorly maintained and sections will have potholes. Be prepared for some early mornings.
HEALTH & FITNESS REQUIREMENTS
The pace is considered easy and should enable anyone in good health to participate. While there are no specific physical requirements, it is important that travellers are in good health, have a positive attitude, a sense of humour and a spirit of adventure. Tours can consist of early starts, some long days or climbing into vehicles. Be prepared for some lengthy journeys, bumpy dirt roads or the occasional delay. The amount of walking involved in this trip varies.
Most of the sightseeing and exploring the cities will be on foot in order to take photographs. We carry a basic first aid kit but recommend that each person carry their own personal first aid kit including any prescription medication they require; a suggested contents list will be provided on booking in the country information dossier. We also provide details of the recommended vaccinations needed.
You will need a Digital SLR with lenses offering a focal length from wide (24mm or wider) to telephoto (70 – 200mm or longer), a laptop computer loaded with Adobe Lightroom. Additionally we strongly recommend a back-up device such as an external hard drive.
Suggested Camera Body: A 35mm SLR camera system with interchangeable lens will allow you to get the best shots in most conditions.
Suggested Lenses: A wide angle (16 – 35 mm or 24 – 105 mm or similar) and a telephoto (70 – 200mm or 100-300mm or similar) are very useful. Skylight / UV filters protect your lens.
Filters: A polarising filter is essential for landscapes. Optional ND filters x 4 and x 8.
Batteries, Memory & Storage: Bring spare batteries (2 or 3), battery charger, travel adapter, sufficient memory cards and an external digital storage device.
Camera bag: Preferably a backpack type.
Lightweight tripod: of a professional quality.
Miscellaneous: A brush for cleaning your lens and air blower are important and your camera and lens need to be in protective cases. Shutter release cable.
Laptop Computer loaded with Adobe Lightroom: if you wish to process images on tour.
Casual clothing is the order of the day. Hard wearing, easy to wash travel clothes are ideal. You may wish to pack one set of slightly smarter clothes to wear at the hotels. Laundry service will be available at all the places we stay. During the day you will need a wide brimmed sun hat and sunglasses. Lightweight, comfortable walking shoes are advised for throughout the holiday and for sightseeing.
PASSPORT & VISA REQUIREMENTS
You will require a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Nepal. British Nationals also require a Nepalese entry visa.
Visas can be obtained here – eVisa for Nepal >> and printed out. There are no online applications currently and visas can be obtained before travel, which currently takes about 4 weeks; or on entry into Nepal at Tribhubhan International Airport (TIA), Kathmandu. The visa costs £35 for a 30 day Visa. The costs of the visa are not included in this tour.
Other nationalities should check with the Nepalese embassy to see if a visa is required.
Insurance is essential and is a condition of booking that you have adequate travel insurance cover. It is very important that you obtain insurance cover against the usual risks associated with travel, from the time of booking your holiday until the time you return home. Please ensure that your insurance provides adequate protection against the two major concerns: medical/repatriation expenses while abroad and cancellation/curtailment charges in the event that you, a travelling companion or a close relative fall ill either before or during the tour. For trekking holidays your travel insurance must contain evidence of satisfactory cover for repatriation and helicopter rescue.
World In Focus and Classic Journeys do not provide any advice on travel insurance. Classic Journeys is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd. who are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Campbell Irvine is a specialist travel insurance broker. The comprehensive policy they issue provides 24-hour medical emergency assistance and covers altitude and all adventurous activities undertaken on our holidays. For single-trip policies, the insurance provides cover for both UK and worldwide residents at very competitive rates. In addition an annual policy is available to United Kingdom residents.
To obtain insurance cover visit the insurance section of the Classic Journeys website and follow the links to the Campbell Irvine Ltd. website. Alternatively contact the Classic Journeys office and they will send you details and an application form.
We require confirmation of your insurance, the policy number and 24-hour emergency telephone number who ever you take insurance with.
For this tour Classic Journeys are dealing with the bookings process.
All World In Focus clients will be required to complete a Classic Journeys Booking Form and booking will be subject to acceptance of the Classic Journeys Booking Conditions.
Please click here to access the Classic Journeys online booking form >>
For more information please email Tammy >> at the World In Focus office and she will arrange for Classic Journeys to get back to you. Otherwise you can also call Ann of Classic Journeys directly on 07858 410677 or email Ann >>
We look forwards to welcoming you in Nepal!
Please book early to avoid disappointment.
Itinerary = 9th - 20th February 2018