*Early Bird Special! Prices discounted 15% for bookings before 30th September 2019. Save over £400!*
This fully guided photography and cultural tour of Rajasthan has been designed to teach you practical photography skills in the field while leading you through the highlights of authentic Rajasthan. The tour is led by award-winning photographer, Francisco de Souza. Originally from Zimbabwe, but now residing in India for the last 5 years, Francisco has been running tours through Rajasthan since 2012. You can read more about Francisco here.
Throughout this small group tour Francisco will work alongside you to help you understand particular technical challenges, provide artistic inspiration and most importantly, lead by example in the best ways of approaching local people. He teaches simple to implement tips to truly enhance your photography skills and really boost your confidence when taking photographs of people and places.
Starting in Jaipur you will criss-cross your way south to Udaipur, taking in some of the most famous highlights of Rajasthan on the way. Francisco will also show you the other side of this colourful state - the rural villages, out of the way temples, hidden lakes and spectacular hilltop forts - all the while providing you with comfortable and characterful accommodation in charming, heritage hotels, tents in the desert and family-run palaces. On this journey you will witness all the colour, culture and beauty of Rajasthan as well as stepping off the beaten track to experience the authentic ‘Land of the Maharajas’ and her people.
Much more than just a photography tour, this cultural experience provides a unique insight into Rajasthan from an insider’s perspective. All of the locations on the itinerary are engaging and interesting in their own right, so non-photographers and partners are welcome to join the tour and soak up the cultural experience. You don't need a fancy camera to join a photography tour, smartphones can also capture amazing photographs if you know the tricks and learn the right approach.
Explore and photograph UNESCO world heritage forts, palaces and temples in Jaisalmer, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ranakpur and Udaipur
Experience desert life during an overnight safari in the Thar desert, with sunrise camel ride and folk dancing
Photograph Jodhpur and Jaipur’s colourful & bustling backstreets and bazaars
Enjoy a 2 day safari in the Aravalli Ranges, with the opportunity to photograph leopards and other wildlife
Explore Udaipur’s winding alleyways and photograph the mystical Lake Palace at sunset
Stay in comfortable heritage hotels and family-run palaces and experience India’s celebrated hospitality
Experience the adventure of travelling by Indian Railways
Discover the amazing flavours of exotic North Indian cuisine
Get off the beaten track in rural Rajasthan as you visit villages and meet with local communities
March departure: celebrate the colourful festival of Holi in a family home in Jodhpur
Optional 3 day/2 night extension to Delhi & Agra, to admire the stunning Taj Mahal at sunrise
Privileged access to people, places and moments you'd never otherwise see
Step away with brilliant photos - this tour is custom-designed around maximising incredible opportunities for photography
Small groups for personal attention - maximum of 7 other photographers with one pro photographer
Great fun for beginner or experts while travelling with like-minded people.
A professional photographer and local experts to guide and inspire you
DAY 1: TOUR BEGINS IN JAIPUR
Day 1: Meet your tour guide at the airport and transfer to your heritage hotel. Take a wander around the hotel’s interesting surroundings or simply relax by the pool. We will meet for a welcome dinner with the tour group in the evening.
DAY 2: JAIPUR
Day 2: This morning Francisco will conduct a photography workshop at the hotel to discuss the plans for the forthcoming weeks, provide an overview of the basics of photography (light, composition, exposure etc) and to make sure that everyone is comfortable with using their cameras. He will also share some helpful tips and tricks for photographing people and places in India. In the afternoon we will visit the bustling wholesale flower and milk market for in the field people photography practice.
DAY 3: JAIPUR
Day 3: In the morning we will visit the famous Panna Meena stepwell, which provides fantastic opportunities for both people and architectural photography. We then explore the beautiful sandstone Amer Palace and take a walk around the local village. In the afternoon we will visit the 18th Century Monkey Temple “Galta Ji” and then drive back to Jaipur city to take sunset shots over Man Sagar Lake.
DAY 4: JAIPUR TO JODHPUR
Day 4: This morning we will take an early morning train 350km west across the desert from Jaipur to Jodhpur. In the afternoon we will take a photography walk through the Clock Tower market and explore the alleyways at the base of Mehrangarh Fort. For March departures you will also have the opportunity to celebrate the Holi festival of colours with a local family.
DAY 5: JODHPUR
Day 5: We will spend the early morning photographing in the wholesale fruit and vegetable market, to capture the trucks from far flung corners of Rajasthan unloading and selling their wares. Later on you can explore the majestic 15th Century Mehrangarh Fort which overlooks the city of Jodhpur. In the afternoon we will take a photography tour through the heart of the old blue city. Its bustling network of colourful alleyways, markets and traditional industries provide plenty of opportunities for working on your portraiture and street photography.
DAY 6: JODHPUR TO JAISALMER
Day 6: Today we will drive 5 hours further into the Thar Desert, stopping for lunch with a family in a remote desert community. After lunch you will have the opportunity to interact with children at a small village primary school. After arrival in Jaisalmer we will take a photography walk around the streets of the old city.
DAY 7: JAISALMER – DESERT CAMP
Day 7: In the morning we will visit 800 year old Jaisalmer Fort, one of the very few "living forts" in the world. At midday we will drive into the Thar Desert and check into a Desert Safari Camp and have lunch. In the afternoon we will drive further into the desert to a small village where you can meet the local villagers and see how they live, cook and eat in this remote landscape. In the evening you will enjoy a buffet dinner back at camp while locals play traditional music and perform Rajasthani folk dancing. You will spend the night in a tent under the stars.
DAY 8: DESERT CAMP - JODHPUR
Day 8: In the early morning we will take camel carts to a remote location deep in the Thar Desert, with the opportunity to take photos of camels at sunrise. We will ride camels across the sand dunes before returning for breakfast back at the camp. At midday we will drive back to Jodhpur.
DAY 9: JODHPUR - RANAKPUR
Day 9: In the morning we will travel west through the desert to a traditional Bishnoi community. We will spend some time in a village home, visit a traditional pottery works and get a demonstration of local pots and other eco-friendly items being made. We will enjoy lunch at the village, and in the afternoon we will drive on to Ranakpur (3 hours).
DAY 10: RANAKPUR - ARAVALI RANGES SAFARI
Day 10: Around lunchtime we will visit the 15th century Jain temples at Ranakpur for a guided tour of the ancient temple complex and a traditional Jain thali lunch. The temple is a great spot to capture some images of the saffron-adorned Jain pilgrims against the white marble pillars of the temple. In the early afternoon we will depart for our 2 day safari in the Aravalli ranges, staying at a small family-run palace. In the early evening you will enjoy a guided safari to spot leopard and other wild life, like hyenas and nilgai, in the mystic country side of Bera.
DAY 11: ARAVALI RANGES SAFARI
Day 11: In the early morning we will depart for a wild life safari to spot crocodiles and migratory birds, with morning tea at Jawai Dam. After breakfast there is free time to explore and photograph the local area. In the afternoon our hosts will take us on a tour of the local village, with a visit to local temples in the surrounding areas.
DAY 12: ARAVALLI RANGES SAFARI - UDAIPUR
Day 12: After breakfast we will drive 100km towards Udaipur, stopping at farming communities and small villages for photography along the way. In the early evening in Udaipur we will visit the shores of Lake Pichola for sunset photography of the Floating Palace and the ghats (steps) which surround the lake. Later in the evening you can enjoy a fast-moving traditional Rajasthani pot dancing and puppet show.
DAY 13: UDAIPUR
Day 13: Early this morning we will spend some time working on sunrise photography from picturesque vantage points around the lake. Later on we will explore the streets and alleyways of Udaipur, which have abundant opportunities for capturing some amazing street photography. Before sunset we will drive up to 18th Century Monsoon Palace and explore the palace ruins. From here you can capture some great panoramic images of Udaipur city and the lakes below.
DAY 14: UDAIPUR
Day 14: Early this morning we will visit Udaipur’s vibrant wholesale markets and photograph the colourful merchant stalls and vendors. In the afternoon there is an opportunity to visit the majestic City Palace complex, once the seat of Maharajas, which overlooks the beautiful lake and floating palace below. In the evening we will have a photo-sharing and debrief session at the hotel, before our farewell dinner.
DAY 15: UDAIPUR – HOME
Day 15: This morning you can photograph aerial views of Udaipur’s old city from the ropeway cable car.
At any time today you can depart Udaipur for your home country, or another destination in India. For those electing to take the Agra Taj Mahal extension we will fly to Delhi in the afternoon and stay overnight in Delhi.
DAY 16: DELHI & AGRA (OPTIONAL EXTENSION)
Day 16: This morning we will wander through the old city of Delhi and photograph the bustling markets. Around midday we will depart for Agra, stopping for photography opportunities en route. We will arrive in Agra in time for sunset photographs over The Taj Mahal.
DAY 17: AGRA (OPTIONAL EXTENSION)
Day 17: To ensure the best shots possible, we will get up early to be amongst the first to enter the Taj Mahal complex at 6am. You are free to wander through the grounds photographing the Taj Mahal as long as you like. Afterwards you can elect to visit the nearby Red Fort, or join me taking reflection photographs of the Taj Mahal from other vantage points in the surrounding area. In the early afternoon we will drive back to Delhi from where you can depart for your home country, or another destination in India.
What is included in the tour
Full services of an award winning travel photographer, a support guide and assistance from a network of local guides and drivers
Real-time feedback on your photography and guidance for improvement
14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 14 dinners
All transport (minibuses, rickshaws, one train journey) including airport pickup and drop off in India
14 nights' accommodation (in family-run guesthouses, heritage hotels, old palaces and a desert camp tent)
All entrance fees, sightseeing, excursions and activities as per the itinerary
Optional Agra extension: 2 nights accommodation, 2 breakfasts, return transfers between Delhi and Agra, entrance to the Taj Mahal and one domestic flight from Udaipur to Delhi
What is NOT included in the tour
- International or internal flights unless specified
- Airport transfers in your home country, airline taxes and excess baggage charges
- Meals & drinks other than those specified in the itinerary
- Visa and passport fees
- Travel insurance
- Vaccinations and medical care
- Activities not listed in the tour itinerary
- Your own personal shopping