Nepalese New Year Photography Tour

10 Days, from AU $3,099

Nepal is one of the most incredible and fascinating places to visit on earth. This breathtaking country offers a uniquely diverse landscape with the Himalayan Mountains and hills in the north and flat expansive plains to the south. From deep gorges to towering mountains, vibrant culture and charismatic people, Nepal is the ideal travel destination. For the photographer, it’s even more spectacular.

Our 10-day trip offers you a chance to combine an amazing travel with a wonderful creative learning experience. Nepal is a photographer's paradise. Enjoy photography lessons and learn from a professional photographer.

Your Photographic Guide is Luke Ballard. A veteran travel photographer for over 20 years, Luke has travelled to over 100 countries with a camera and has taught and spoken about travel photography around the world.

Unlike many photography tours, which are essentially photographers going on holiday and taking students so the trip is affordable for themselves, Luke won’t run a tour that he has not thoroughly travelled beforehand. Luke has been to Nepal, travelled through the country and knows where to go and when so you can capture those amazing photos you only see in magazines.

It’s not just the times and locations … Luke will teach you all aspects of the photographic process. Whether you’re a working professional, an advanced enthusiast or you just got your first camera for Christmas, there’s no better place or way to master your skills than on a Nepalese Photography Tour.

Nepal is a fantastic destination to get some extra special experiences through photography. You will step into the shoes of a professional street photographer, capturing the fascinating city of Kathmandu, a genuine melting pot of ethnicities and cultures and witness the Nepali New Year festivities.  You will spend time as a professional wildlife photographer in the famed Chitwan National Park and get up close to iconic native animals like wild elephants, buffalo, hyenas, rhinos and maybe even a tiger. As a travel photographer you will explore Pokhara, a beautiful lakeside hub with amazing Himalayan views.

You will take home wonderful images and also amazing memories that truly last a lifetime.

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Kathmandu

Welcome to Kathmandu!

Kathmandu is by far Nepal’s largest and most diverse city, a genuine melting pot of ethnicities and cultures and a haven for travellers since its rise to popularity as part of the ‘hippie trail’ in the 60s and 70s. Once described as having more temples than houses, this exhilarating and complex capital is rapidly changing, but the half-hidden temples, chilli-growing courtyards and tiny craft workshops of its narrow lanes and alleyways reveal a city that has not yet abandoned its fascinating traditional cultural identity.

You will meet your guide at the airport and travel together to your hotel for check-in where Luke, your photographic leader will be waiting. Later in the afternoon, you will head to Swoyambhunath (Monkey temple), perched on a pedestal high on the hilltop. Swoyambhunath is acclaimed as the oldest stupa in the world and is influenced by both the Nepalese and Tibetan forms of Buddhism, which attracts constant stream of pilgrims from all around Nepal.

The evening sunset hue will provide perfect opportunity for the shutterbugs to take some great photographs of the stupa, the surrounds, the devotees, the practicing monks and the Kathmandu city from the hilltop.

Here we will be working with both long exposures for those beautiful sunset photographs, as well as some faster shutter speeds as we capture the monkeys at play.

On return, prior to/ after dinner, you will visit the cosmopolitan and vibrant tourist hub of Thamel for some street photography.

Day 2: Kathmandu

In the morning, enjoy your photography lesson at one of the holiest temples for Hindus all around the world- Pashupatinath. Your guide will then take you through the spiritual journey with the engrossing explanation about the Hindu religion, the cycle of birth and death and the story behind the Sadhus- Hindu Holy Men, who renounce their hedonistic social life to devote their life to Shiva (Hindu God of Destruction) to whom the temple is dedicated. Witness one of many cremations along the banks of Bagmati river and on the sanctimonious grounds of temple. 

As well as being an amazing educational experience, the photographs here are spectacular and one of Luke’s favourite photo locations in the world.

Spiritually stimulated, travel on for around 15 mins to reach the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal (disputably, in the world) – Bodhnath (featured in 1000 things to see before you die). It’s definitely one of the photographs you need to take.  Luke and your guide will take you to a special rooftop area so you can capture Bodhnath in a unique and spectacular way.

If you want to, you can follow the pilgrims around the stupa spinning the prayer wheels and offer your prayers to Lord Buddha lighting a traditional butter lamp at the main entry way to the stupa. 

Lunch at a roof-top restaurant that commands an enticing view of the stupa where you will capture more images as eat.

Later in the day, continue to Patan - Although these days it is part of the sprawl of the urban Kathmandu, it has a history of its own not least as the centre of Sanskrit learning and thus its oft used Sanskrit name of Lalitpur (City of Living Arts). This is another opportunity to capture some stunning street landscapes.

Day 3: Optional extra charter helicopter flight to Everest region or Everest view flight in the morning.

OPTION 1 (additional cost applies): Private “Everest by Helicopter”: (3hrs approx.) (flight subject to weather conditions)

Surely the ultimate and most exciting way to get up close and personal with mighty Everest!

Your helicopter will land you by the famous Everest View Hotel, which is situated above Namche Bazaar at an altitude of 3880m. As the name suggests, from here there are uninterrupted views up the valley towards Everest as it rises above the Nuptse Ridge, plus Lhotse and Ama Dablam too. In fact you’re looking down on much of the main Everest Base Camp trekking route. From the terrace of the Everest View Hotel, we reckon that as you’ll be taking breakfast here, it will be a memorable one. There are few locations in the world as spectacular as this to have a hotel breakfast.

Note - The helicopter cabin is not pressurised and does not have supplemental oxygen for passengers. The pilot only has supplemental oxygen. This flight can and does reach extremely high altitudes, and very quickly too. Whilst only a few minutes are (and can) be spent at the more extreme altitudes, you may experience undesirable physical effects (headache, nausea, shallow breathing) as a result, but usually these ease as the flight quickly returns to lower altitudes. However, this excursion is not at all suitable for anyone with a pre-existing medical condition such as conditions related to heart, chest, cardio-vascular, brain, blood pressure or pregnant. 

For participants in this option, Luke will be travelling with this group for an additional landscape photography lesson of the Everest Valley.

OPTION 2 (additional cost applies): Everest Experience Flight: (flight duration - 45mins approx.) (flight subject to weather conditions)

Flight takes off from Kathmandu airport (window seats for all the passengers) and flies parallel to the majestic Himalayan range, evoking a heavenly feel as some of the highest peaks in the world, in the including Everest, are sighted. This is an incredible opportunity to photograph the tallest mountain in the world!

The remainder of the day is at leisure for self-exploration or visit to Kathmandu Durbar Square. Explore the old part of the town famed many centuries of  ancient temples, market squares, Living Goddess and it’s myths, legends and stories and  ‘Hippie’ haven of Freak Street. At the end of the tour, take an interesting walk through the vibrant and chaotic backstreets and the spice market.

There will be quick photography competition that afternoon – so have your camera with you and in the evening, following dinner, we will all look through images together while Luke provides feedback and critique on the afternoons photography.

Day 4: Flight to Pokhara (25mins approx.)

Fly to Pokhara, a popular lakeside tourist hub. Pokhara boasts of an array of cafés, restaurants and souvenir shops, and beach town like ambience.

As a group we will have a quick stroll through the town, and work on some reflection photographs of the Mountains mirrored in the lake.

Then take some free time to stroll around the Lakeside area, boating in Fewa Lake and to the vantage point of World Peace Pagoda. Then enjoy another  photography lesson  along the Lake at sunset, feasting your eyes on the beauty of the lake and mountains soaring above it. Phewa Lake offers the chance of canoe trips.

Day 5: Pokhara – Sarangkot

Pre-dawn drive to Sarangkot for the spectacular sunrise over the Himalayas which is a photographers dream. Here we will also be working on long exposures, capturing the spectacular sunrise over the breathtaking Himalayan Mountain Range.

Enjoy free time for the rest of the day.

Day 6: Pokhara – Chitwan

Morning/ early afternoon flight to Chitwan. A dramatic change from the hilly terrain of Pokhara to the flat lowlands and warmer climes of 'Terai' leading to the edges of the famed Chitwan National Park.

The Park is regarded as one of the finest national parks in Asia with multitude of wildlife - rhinos, deer, monkeys and a wide array of birdlife; even the elusive Royal Bengal Tiger, though the odds are very high of catching sight of it.

For the wildlife photographer, this is the true Garden of Eden and Luke will be working with you to capture as many animals in photographs as you can.

The Lodge is similar to an African luxury lodge with amazing service and wonderful food and activities!

Day 7: Chitwan

Today enjoy a canoe trip in the Rapti river. Admire ‘mugger’ crocodiles and unique long-nosed ‘gharial’ crocodiles

Later embark on a jungle safari across Chitwan National Park. Traipsing through rippling grassland which grows up to 20 feet in places, get up close to hyenas, buffalo, deer and wild elephants, always keeping one eye peeled for the majestic Bengal tiger creeping through the overgrowth like a shadow.

Day 8: Chitwan – Kathmandu

Recap the photographs of the safaris and editing lesson.

Enjoy free time for the rest of the day.

Day 9: Kathmandu – Bhaktapur

Today, we'll whisk you away from the chaotic and modern self of Kathmandu uptown to the medieval town of Bhaktapur (30mins approx.) - to the magnificently preserved old self of Kathmandu valley - it's old world charm, centuries old marvel of craftsmanship evident in temples and squares, and its people fiercely devotional  to its ancestral ways of life and faith. Truly spellbinding. 

A very special day - Nepali New Year festivities (entering the year 2076 - yes, we live in future!) and to top it up, you’ll be witnessing probably the most spectacular festival of the many in the ‘City of Devotees’. The town on this day will be choc-a-block with the locals, the visitors, the mask dances, peculiar rituals and the chariot procession (caution advised - some untoward incidents and accidents do happen every year during this festival. Your guide will be on hand to ensure you are always at a safe distance and Luke will be pointing out safe but amazing vantage points for you to capture images).

This is definitely a great way to wrap up your photography tour.

Day 10: Kathmandu

 On your last day, enjoy free time until leaving for the airport for your departure flight.

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Luke Ballard has been a professional photographer since 1993. While starting in the wedding industry back in the good old film days, Luke soon discovered a love of travel photography and as been a camera carrying nomad ever since. A sought after speaker on the subject of Travel Photography, Luke is a regular judge, commentator and contributor in the travel photography industry.  As a tour leader, Luke is experienced in taking groups of travellers to amazing destinations and is highly reviewed as a Photography Tour Leader, with his tours to Nepal, India and South America being the most popular. Luke’s website is www.lukeballard.com

Travel Styles

All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.

Superior:from AU $3,099

All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!

Important Information

Accommodation:

Hotels and Lodges. All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us.

Inclusions:

- accommodation facilities as indicated in the itinerary
- meals as indicated in the itinerary
- activities/ tours/ visits as indicated in the itinerary
- Private  transport for airport transfers, included activities and destination transfers
- flights: Kathmandu - Pokhara, Pokhara - Jomsom - Pokhara, Pokhara - Chitwan, Chitwan - Kathmandu
- services of English speaking local guides in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Jomsom-Kagbeni visit, Bhaktapur
- applicable entry fees/ permits, Annapurna Conservation Area fees
- boating in Fewa Lake

Notes:

Minimum 6 people to run 

Single supplement $990.00 AUD 

Price Dependent:

Depends on availability and season

Trip Information

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