Photo by: Karen Schulman
Location: Sahara Morocco
PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Magical Morocco

• Jemaa el Fna Square and the ancient city and souk of Marrakech
• Unique visits with our expert Moroccan guide
• The striking Kasbahs of Morocco
• Two evenings in the Sahara with a traditional camel ride
• The heart of Morocco, medina of Fes el-Bali
• Fortified harbor of Essaouira, with quaint whitewashed buildings and blue doors

Region

Africa

Destination

Morocco

Dates

October 6-19, 2023

Duration

13 days

$4995

per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 8 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 6-8 participants. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $695.

Tour Overview

We invite you, the inquisitive traveler, to join photography leaders Karen and Joel Schulman on this special tour of Morocco. You will have a cordial welcome in this country with its irresistible allure and warm hospitality. Combining the history and natural beauty of this rich and fascinating country with first-person encounters, you will visit native villages, ancient medinas, and craftsmen’s workshops, sharing experiences and sipping mint tea: symbolic of the warm, sincere Moroccan generosity....

We invite you, the inquisitive traveler, to join photography leaders Karen and Joel Schulman on this special tour of Morocco. You will have a cordial welcome in this country with its irresistible allure and warm hospitality. Combining the history and natural beauty of this rich and fascinating country with first-person encounters, you will visit native villages, ancient medinas, and craftsmen’s workshops, sharing experiences and sipping mint tea: symbolic of the warm, sincere Moroccan generosity. You will enjoy the sights in vibrant Marrakech and ancient Fes, rug shopping, palace visits, an unforgettable journey into the Sahara on camelback for sunrise, and much more. Hotels are comfortable, as is the private, air-conditioned coach for land transportation. An expert local Moroccan guide will add his unique touch to this extraordinary trip, sharing his insights into and his love of this exotic land. Travel to the exotic souks, the dramatic Sahara, photographing veiled women, laughing children, and the exquisite scenery.

Karen and Joel have been working in the photographic field for over 40 years and are both accomplished professional photographers. Karen is a skilled and sensitive photographic artist and educator and during our tour will share ideas and knowledge to help you create great travel photographs, whether you are using a DSLR or an iPhone! Joel is an expert in the digital imaging world and has done photographic printing for some of the most notable names in fine art photography. He will share his knowledge of both the technical and creative aspects of the photographic medium.

In addition, Karen and Joel will offer visual presentations and discussions highlighting the development of personal vision and awareness, and show how light, color, composition, gesture and ‘the moment’ contribute to the success of a photograph. There will also be opportunities to have photo reviews of your images, so everyone can share and learn from each other, or private photo reviews can be arranged. Both Karen and Joel are passionate iPhoneographers and during your tour will offer optional creative iPhoneography instruction. Our goal is to make this tour enjoyable and fun for both serious and casual photographers!

From Karen: “I encourage each person to give themselves permission to make mistakes, permission to create. The more you learn to ‘see’ with our mind, heart and spirit, the more of an adventure life becomes.” If you wish to review Joel’s work or contact him: www.photographicsart.com, [email protected], Karen www.focusadventures.com, [email protected]

I had the most wonderful trip (Magical Morocco) of my lifetime. It was fabulous. Karen is an inspiring and gifted teacher and your local guide is amazing. His knowledge and wisdom and heart cannot be overstated. Thank you for planning this fabulous experience. I’m definitely a Strabo fan.

— Jan Wetzel

I have good things to say about every aspect of the trip for which Strabo was responsible. Karen is to be congratulated on her enthusiasm for the country and her passion for sharing her photographic knowledge and skill with the participants. She was always up for a photo evaluation session or some iPhone photography instruction. I would certainly recommend a Schulman-led tour to other photographers.

— J.Langsner

Karen was certainly the highlight. I learned more from her on this trip than on all of the others I have attended. Ismail was also wonderful, a true gentleman and wonderful guide.This was the most congenial group that I have ever been with, it was a wonderful tour.
Karen gave me inspiration to actually do something with my work. When you work with Karen, she passes on the feeling that she really does care about helping you. She was really so much fun too. Love Her!

— Patty MacInnis

It was a delight to be on the trip with you and to “resonate” on photography, etc. Your range of photographic techniques and tools is quite amazing!  Your images are so redolent with your personality and life spirit.

— Jim Robbins

Karen is a wonderful person with an amazing amount of info regarding photography. It was a joy to be with her.

— C. Hirschfeld

Karen is inspiring. She works hard and provides plenty of individual attention. She is an excellent teacher. Your local guides are wonderful people and very professional and helpful.

— S. Connors

Tour Itinerary

October 6: Depart Home

Depart home on an overnight flight to Marrakech, arriving by 1PM* October 7. Please note: Flights will need to be booked multi city, Home-RAK/CMN-Home. *If your airline of choice lands later than 1PM you will need to depart home a day early, to be ready for the program as planned.

October 7-8: Marrakech - Essaouira

Arrive in Marrakech today, where the group will depart for your first destination, Essaouira (you will need to land by 1PM). A charming place of white shops and houses, set against a clear blue sky. You will have time in the evening for a leisurely stroll through the town or along the colorful harbor.

Enjoy another full day in this lovely waterfront city. Essaouira (pronounced Esa-youera) 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 in tiny workshops carving away at fragrant thuya wood. You will spend the day exploring this delightful place, with time to absorb the unique flavor of the old town, the harbor, and the friendly people. Essaouira is full of the irresistible angles and picturesque sights that are so attractive to photographers. Overnight ESSAOUIRA. (D; B, L)

October 9-10: Marrakech

After breakfast this morning you will return to Marrakech with a stop along the way to visit the women at an Argan Oil cooperative. You will learn about their trade, photograph them at work cracking the nuts as they are pounded between two stones. The oil is an excellent source of vitamins C&E, used in skin and hair products as well as culinary purposes in Morocco. The women are benefitting not only financially but through improved social position in a male-dominated society. Your local guide will then introduce you to the wonders of Marrakech.

This imperial city has been almost continually occupied since Neolithic times and was once the Berber capital. Marrakech follows the beat of the African drum. One evening at dusk you will have an introduction to the famous Djemaa el-Fna Square, perhaps the greatest open-air spectacle in the world, where one can see the colors and feel the pulse of Morocco. Drift with the smells and sounds of the souks. Traveling back in time 2,000 years, you’ll see snake charmers, magicians, acrobats, and dancers, delighting children and adults alike.

The next morning you will gain early access (if permitted) to Majorelle Gardens, part of the former residence of French artist Louis Majorelle, beautifully renovated by the late couturier Yves St. Laurent. In among the floral smorgasbord is what was Majorelle’s deep-blue villa, which is simply breathtaking. The afternoon will be spent exploring more of Marrakech and its fabulous souk (market), home to a maze of Berber rug vendors, dried fruit and spice stalls, leather, and ironworkers’ shops. You’ll capture a glimpse of daily life, as you stroll the narrow streets; perhaps you’ll see a young boy taking his family’s bread to the community bakery, veiled women carrying bags of food for the next meal, or children playing in the streets. Overnight MARRAKECH. (B, D; B, L)

October 11-12: Skoura

This morning drive south from Marrakech, crossing the High Atlas Mountains at 7,400 feet, with panoramic views of arid mountains and lush oases shadowing the rivers far below. Given time you will photograph the ruins of an abandoned Kasbah, with unique mosaic tiles, and beautiful arches. Our destination for tonight, a renovated Kasbah hotel provides an ideal location for private photography in the early morning and late afternoon. You will have another day in this region, and there will be time this afternoon or evening for a photography review/discussion with Karen. Overnight SKOURA. (B, L, D both days)

October 13-14: Erfoud - Merzouga

A drive along the “Valley of the Thousand Kasbahs” will take you through stony desert landscapes with many villages and Kasbahs. Turning off the main road this morning, you will enter the stunning Dades Gorge, filled with unusual red rock formations and fascinating villages and Kasbahs. On the way you may see Berbers tending their camels or sheep, women swathed in dark haik, embroidered with vivid colors, or children playing soccer in a stony desert field. Continue to Erfoud, an oasis region at the edge of the Sahara.

You will travel by Land Rovers to your Berber tents in the desert. You are invited to enjoy Sudanese music and dance at Khmlia, where you learn about life in the Sahara. A camel ride awaits you at sunset, or sunrise, taking you into 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. Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit in your overnight bag. Overnight SAHARA. (Accommodations are in luxury Berber tents with bedding, and indoor bathroom. (B, L, D both days)

October 15-17: Fes

After breakfast you begin your drive to Fes. This will be a long day of driving, but there will be photographic stops along the way. You climb into the Middle Atlas, the moorlands, and granite outcroppings; brooding skies and sheep pastures may remind you of the British Isles. You may have time to stop in the quaint village of Ifrane, where you’ll have to remind yourself, you are in Morocco. The French built it in the 1930’s as an alpine resort. Your final destination is Fes, the most completely Islamic medieval city in the world. You will have your first introduction to this vibrant city late this afternoon.

You will enjoy two additional days in 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 you. During a visit to a tannery you can watch the tanners as they work in the varied colors of this land. After lunch in the medina, you’ll continue your explorations, with time to shop for beautiful crafts and caftans. Overnight FEZ (B, L; B, B)

October 18: Casablanca

This morning you depart early for the Capital City of Rabat, and then on to Casablanca. There will be time for a photography shoot at either the Oudaia Kasbah in Rabat, or the King Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. There will be time to freshen up, re-pack, before enjoying your farewell dinner. Overnight CASABLANCA (B, L, D)

October 19: Casablanca - Home

You will be transferred to CMN airport today in time for your flight departure. (B)