Join Us On:

Essential Morocco: November 27 - December 10, 2017

Overview

On this 14-day photographic journey through Morocco, we’ll cover most of the highlights of this beautiful country including vibrant Casablanca and dramatic Marrakesh, the gorgeous coastal town of Essaouira, and the colorful mountainside town of Chefchaouen. You’ll also take a camel ride into the desert and stay the night at a Berber camp. The trip is planned for late Autumn, when temperatures are still relatively low allowing you relaxed exploration of the country. 

 

Itinerary
Day 1:
(Nov 27)

Casablanca.  Guests arrive throughout the day and are met at the hotel by our trip leader that evening for dinner and introductions. Overnight in Casablanca.

Day 2:

After breakfast, we will have our first photography session at the Central Market, with its busy commerce (fish, meats, flowers, crafts) and bright colors. Next we will visit the King Hassan II Mosque, having an interior tour. North of the medina and rising up on a point above the Atlantic Ocean, the mosque is the largest religious monument in the world, after Mecca, and was entirely funded by citizen donations. It was completed in 1993, after 6,000 Moroccan craftsmen worked on it day and night for five years. The minaret is offset from the enormous rectangular twenty-two acre prayer hall; three times the size of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Rome. After lunch at a lovely restaurant, our group will have the option to photograph in Casablanca’s Medina, a bustling array of shops, vendors, and restaurants. In North Africa, only Cairo can compete with Casablanca in growth, verve and vibrancy, but it is this city facing out to the Atlantic that seems the more oriented to the international pattern of trade and sympathetic to Western influences. Overnight in Casablanca.

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Day 3:

Leaving Casablanca, we'll drive south along the breathtaking coast. We will travel to El Jadida, where we will photograph the ancient Portuguese fort and cistern. Lunch will be at a lovely oceanfront restaurant with incredible gardens. Our final destination is Essaouira, (pronounced Esa-weera), a charming place of white shops and houses, set against a clear blue sky. Over the centuries it has been home to Phoenicians, Romans, Portuguese, and a large Jewish population. We may have time in the evening for a leisurely stroll through the town or along the colorful harbor. Essaouira is the most popular of the coastal towns, with magnificent beaches and relaxed atmosphere. The fortifications of the old city are a mixture of Portuguese, French, and Berber military architecture, and their massiveness lends a powerful mystique. You’ll find narrow lanes, whitewashed houses with blue painted doors, tranquil squares, pleasant cafes, and artisans. Essaouira is full of the irresistible angles and picturesque sights that are so attractive to photographers. Overnight in Essaouira.

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Day 4:

We'll have a second day to explore all that Essaouira has to offer. We'll take part in activities that we weren't able to, yesterday. Overnight in Essaouira.

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Day 5:

After breakfast, we'll drive east to Marrakesh, the city of drama. In the late afternoon we’ll have our introduction to the famous Djemaa el-Fna Square. Perhaps the greatest open-air spectacle in the world, here one can see the colors and feel the pulse of Morocco. Drift with the smells and sounds of the souks, haggle passionately for carpets, or dine in some of the best restaurants in the country.

Marrakesh follows the beat of an African drum. This imperial city has been almost continually occupied since Neolithic times, and was once the Berber capital. Traveling back in time 2,000 years, we’ll see snake charmers, magicians, acrobats, and dancers, delighting children and adults alike. 

Time and facilities permitting, your photo leader will organize an image review and feedback session for participants so that he can gauge each person’s progress and help them to improve, if necessary, for the rest of the trip. Overnight in Marrakesh.

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Day 6:

We'll rise early to photograph the beautiful Majorelle Gardens, filled with brightly colored buildings and abundant plant life. We leave Marrakesh behind as we continue on to one of the most exotic and best-preserved Kasbahs in the whole Atlas region; it has been used for scenes in films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Jesus of Nazareth. We’ll eat lunch with the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou in view; UNESCO has designated this as a World Heritage Site.  Time permitting your photo leader will moderate a group photography critique this evening. Overnight in Ait Benhaddou.

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Day 7:

After an early breakfast, we will continue our explorations with a photography stop along the way. We travel to Erfoud, an oasis region at the edge of the Sahara. We will then travel a short distance by Land Rovers To Auberge de Sud in where  camels will be waiting to carry us to the Erg Chebbi, Morocco’s only genuine Saharan Erg – a huge, drifting expanse of sand dunes that typify much of the Algerian Sahara. The dunes themselves are fascinating, especially as the sun reaches the horizon and the colors change from pink to gold to red. This will be your most extraordinary and unforgettable desert experience. Imagine yourself spending a night in the Sahara desert, being awakened in the dark of the morning by a Berber tribesman, mounting a camel, and, overlooking the ancient dunes, welcoming in a breathtaking Saharan morning at first light. This is just one of the remarkable adventures awaiting you. Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit in your overnight bag. Overnight at a Berber camp in the dunes near Merzouga. 

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Day 8:

After breakfast we begin our drive to Fes. This will be the longest day of driving and your guides will take in to account the interests of the group, stopping for photographic locations along the way. After lunch, we climb into the Middle Atlas, the moorlands, and granite outcroppings; brooding skies and sheep pastures that are reminiscent of the British Isles. Overnight in Fes.

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Day 9:

Today we will enjoy a full day guided tour of Fes, Morocco’s oldest imperial city and the center of culture and religious learning. Fes is arguably the symbolic heart of Morocco, as all the great dynasties have left their mark on the city; it has, however, retained its Arab identity. 

The medina, Fes el-Bali, is one of the largest living medieval cities in the world. Its narrow winding alleys and covered bazaars are intricate in their design and are awash of brilliant colors – a veritable assault on the senses as you squeeze past recalcitrant donkeys and submit to the sounds and smells of this jostling city. The dye makers, hills of spices, vats of tanners, and palaces of merchants will beckon us. During a visit to a tannery we can watch the tanners as they work in the varied colors of this land. There is another day to return to the medina for your favorite photo locations, relax, shop or work on your images at the hotel. You can also have an optional hammam break (bath house). Time permitting, Jeremy will moderate another image review and discussion at the hotel. 

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Day 10:

This will be a free day to explore and capture Fes with your camera. Whether you visit the potters, King’s palace, or just wander for candid photos, Fes is worth the extra day.  In the afternoon, we will arrange a photo shoot with some traditionally dressed men and women. Overnight in Fes.

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Day 11:

Today we'll travel from Fes to the Rif region of Northern Morocco and arrive late in the afternoon in the town of Chefchaouen (shef-shau-en), which is built into the mountainside. The town was founded in 1492 by Moorish exiles from Spain, often called Chaouen by Moroccans. Chefchaouen was known as the hashish capital of Morocco and has been a favorite haunt of backpackers for years. 

Our accommodations are set in the hillside just above the town, away from the hustle and bustle of the medina, yet walking distance to the areas we will be photographing.  In the medina, people sell all sorts of vegetables and fruits amid the narrow cobbled alleyways of whitewashed walls and blue doors. Chefchaouen offers many native handicrafts that are not available elsewhere in Morocco, such as wool garments and woven blankets. The local goat cheese is also popular. Pack mules are still led throughout the streets carrying many of the handcrafted goods and supplies as they have for centuries. The eager merchants are more than willing to discuss their merchandise and engage in the time- honored art of negotiation.   

The open-air market is one of the oldest and most charming, with steep narrow streets, paved with stones that have been polished by countless feet over the centuries. The homes are painted white, azure blue, indigo, and purple and have blue shutters and elaborately decorated doorways. Overnight in Chefchaouen. 

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Day 12:

We'll have a second day to explore all that Chefchaouen has to offer. We'll take part in activities that we weren't able to, yesterday. Overnight in Chefchaouen.

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Day 13:

This morning we'll venture south returning to Casablanca. There will be photographic stops and lunch along the way. You will have time to relax at the hotel before meeting for the group farewell dinner. Overnight in Casablanca.

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Day 14:

After breakfast, guests will be transported to the airport to catch their flights home. 


Leaders

Jeremy Woodhouse

Jeremy Woodhouse

As the owner of Pixelchrome, Inc Jeremy has enjoyed a roller coaster ride pursuing the American Dream. Since his early days as a graphic designer, his dream was to become a stock photographer. Riding the wave of the internet revolution in the mid 90s, he got involved with Getty Images and went on to build a successful business traveling the world and taking stock pictures. By 2005, he had started collaborating with nature photographer Nancy Rotenberg, and was instrumental in setting up frequent international trips to Italy and to Mexico. He went on to lead trips to Guatemala and Costa Rica.

As the developer of the Dreamteam photo tour concept, recent collaborations have included tours to Mexico, Guatemala and Colombia with co-leaders Nevada Wier, Brenda Tharp, photojournalist Alison Wright and Guatemalan-born Holly Wilmeth.  The years 2013 and 2014 were his busiest years so far with 25 completed international trips and 2015 is proving to be the same with sold out tours for most of the year.  Jeremy used to describe himself as a nature and outdoor photographer, but since necessity is the mother of invention, he has re-branded himself several times over the past decade. He has travelled widely photographing many of the world's most important city skylines. In 2006 he became part-owner of a Lifestyle Stock Photography Company, Blend Images, and now he is indulging his passion of photographing people in developing nations.  At least once a year he makes a nature trip and that is usually with a group to photograph wildlife in the wintery wilds of Japan.

Jeremy's photos have appeared in print all  over the world. He has received numerous international awards in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, and he was overall winner of the 2002 Nature's Best International Photography Awards. His images have been included in exhibitions at the Smithsonian in Washington DC, the Dallas Museum of Natural History, and the Natural History Museum in London. His website is www.pixelchrome.com


E-mail:  jeremy@pixelchrome.com
Phone: 
Mob. phone: 

Tonya Colson

Tonya Colson

Tonya Colson is a photographer/traveler/teacher originally from Oregon. She spent 15 years teaching at Oregon State University before her passion for photography took over her life. For the past 9 years Tonya has been based out of Dubai, where she divides her time between taking photos, teaching photography, traveling, and riding motorcycles. She has wandered through over 50 countries with her camera, and shows no signs of slowing down.

Tonya is continually shooting images that she uses for teaching her photography students. Her enthusiasm for developing technical and artistic photography skills is contagious. She thoroughly enjoys helping people improve their photography, and she is well known for her positive and encouraging teaching style.

For the past four years, Tonya has been sneaking out of the classroom and taking photographers on photo tours around the world. It’s the perfect combination of travel, photography, teaching and fun. Her fellow travelers end up as personal friends, often returning to travel together multiple times.


E-mail:  tonya@tonyacolson.com
Phone: 
Mob. phone: 

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T&Cs

Cost includes:  Accommodations for 13 nights in hotels, Riads and camp as noted in the itinerary, 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners; local taxes, english speaking guide (Jeremy) and a local guide (at times), camel ride in erg chebbi, ground transportation, mineral water during transport and with meals.

Cost does not include: international flights, passport & visas fees, travel insurance, vaccinations and medical cover/treatment, meals not specified, tips to locals (guides, porters, cameleers, drivers or bellboys), any drink outside of water, personal expenses such internet access fees, laundry fees, etc. 

Deposit and Final Payment

A deposit of $800 per person is required at time of booking. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

Cancellation

On cancellations more than 120 days prior to departure, all monies are refunded less a $275 administrative fee.

  • Less than 120 but at least 90 days prior, total deposit amount is forfeited.
  • Less than 90 but at least 75 days prior, 50% of trip price is forfeited.
  • Less than 75 days prior to departure, 100% is forfeited.

Notification by phone or email is acceptable, but please follow with written notice. In the unlikely event we have to cancel a tour, a full refund will be given.

RESPONSIBILITY

Jim Cline Photo Tours LLC and their agents act only in the capacity as agents in all matters pertaining to hotel accommodations, sightseeing tours, and transportation, and are not responsible for any loss, damage, theft, or injury to person or property resulting from a defect in any vehicle, or the actions of any persons who provide services for this tour or for the action or inaction of any third party. Baggage is at the owner’s risk entirely. The tour operator reserves the right to withdraw the tour at any time, to decline any person as a member of the tour for any cause at any time. All prices are based on current rates of exchange and, while every effort will be made to hold them firm, they are subject to change. All participants are required to submit a signed Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability form prior to the tour’s departure.

HEALTH

It is the responsibility of each tour member to inform the tour operator of any possible health problems or handicaps upon registration. By forwarding a signed reservation form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements.

TRIP INSURANCE

To allow for any unexpected contingencies, all participants are strongly urged to purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

ITINERARY

While Jim Cline Photo Tours LLC endeavors to make the itinerary as accurate as possible, it should be considered as an approximate schedule of activities rather than a rigid schedule of events. Trip itineraries are subject to revision due to weather, ocean or trail conditions, government restrictions, and other reasons beyond our control. The tour leader has the right to make changes in the published itinerary whenever in his sole judgment conditions warrant, or if he deems it necessary for the comfort or safety of the tour.

Country Info

Morocco

Morocco

Health Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the infectious diseases section of the World Health Organization (WHO) website.  The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.

Money: Moroccan currency is called dirhamsCurrency exchange rates

Internet Access is widely available, though not always consistently, throughout populated cities in Morocco.  

Electricity: Converters & Adapters required

ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS for US Citizens:  Participants must have a valid passport with at least one blank page.  Visas are not required for visits lasting less than 90 days.

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Testimonials

We take pride in our trip testimonials. We hope you’ll take a moment to read those below written by previous participants of a Japan photo tour led by the same guide (J. Woodhouse).  

 

"Our trip to Japan with Jeremy as our guide/advisor to see the Snow Monkeys on Honshu and the Sea Eagles in Hokkaido was really great. Everything was organized and the whole trip went exactly as planned. We still have lots of great memories of the time we spent with him. My wife was not into photography but wanted to come just to see everything — she loved it all too. We both highly recommend this journey with Jeremy as great adventure with lots of fun."  -Glenn & Reimin B.

 

"I’ve traveled with Jeremy numerous times and always with great pleasure. His winter trip to Japan is so special that I’ve gone with him twice. I would not have thought of Japan as a location for bird photography but it is spectacular. And that’s not all; the scenery is lovely and of course there are the monkeys. This is a trip not to be missed!"  -Sandy F. 

 

"Jeremy knows the areas he takes people to like the back of his hand. When we were in Japan he had us at the perfect locations at the perfect times! He is such an experienced tour leader that nothing fazes him and he is proactive in creating the best photography opportunities. I have seen him go above and beyond to meet his clients needs many times! On top of that he genuinely cares for the people, culture and wildlife of the areas he takes people to, and would do anything to help improve their quality of life. Jeremy is an inspiration to travel with on many levels!" -Daniel L.

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