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Explore Afghanistan Photo Tour 2020

Join Stephen Dupont on this incredible photo tour in his favourite country, Afghanistan. You will be pleasantly surprised to discover a country steeped in rich culture, hospitality, and raw beauty. Accompanied by awe-inspiring landscapes that rival some of the best on the globe, sure to whet the appetite of any photographer.

Tour Overview

Afghanistan may evoke trepidation in some minds but this country astounds and rewards visitors with scenes of stunning mountain-scapes overlooking verdant valleys and remote villages, clear streams, ancient ruins, blue-tiled mosques, bustling bazaars still redolent of the ancient Silk Route trade and with friendly people keen to make your acquaintance and share age-old customs dominated by the importance of hospitality and respect for the visitor.

Our carefully researched tour will visit Afghanistan’s most important and fascinating destinations including Kabul, Bamiyan and the unforgettably dazzling blue lakes of Band-e-Amir, the western city of Herat, the Panjshir Valley and the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif where we will join in the festival of Nawruz (New Year) and attend a tournament of Buskashi, the thrilling national sport for fearless horsemen and their steeds.

Come join us as we explore a magical land that has for centuries, seen empires come and go, that has been a key destination for many travellers from the days of the ancient Silk Routes to the Hippy trail of more recent times.


12-24 March 2020




$11,995 AUD p/p

Join Stephen Dupont

for this once

in a lifetime experience

Stephen Dupont has traveled and photographed Afghanistan extensively and is looking forward to venturing out with a small group to unfold the beauty of this country and the generosity of its people.

Afghanistan Photography
Afghanistan Photography

Don’t miss a shot

Be in the right place

at the right time

Under the guidance of a passionate and highly experienced photojournalist, you are assured of being in the right place at the right time, to capture the multitude of sights and experiences you will encounter.

What to bring

  • A DSLR Camera with lens/lenses
  • Spare batteries, there will be a long days with plenty of shooting.
  • A sturdy tripod.
  • Remote shutter release.
  • Filters if you have them (Polarizer/Graduated/Neutral Density).
  • Good walking/hiking shoes.
  • Wet weather gear & a compact umbrella (rain will not hold us back).
  • Your creative brains.

What to wear

  • The average temperature in Afghanistan in March is approx. 12-17 degrees.
  • Warm, Comfortable but light breathable clothing is best.
  • Good supportive boots.  Waterproof would be best.

What you will photograph

  • Mountains
  • Remote Villages
  • Ancient Ruins and Mosques
  • Clear Streams and Verdant Valleys

Breakfast, lunch & dinner will be
provided each day.

Meeting place


Place secure deposit

Once you place your deposit through our secure booking platform your place will be reserved instantly. The team will then be in contact with you to provide you will all the information you will require and confirm your trip details. If you would prefer to make your booking with the team directly, please email

Want more information? Click below to get in touch.

Tour Mentors

Stephen Dupont

Stephen Dupont


Tour Overview

Day 1: Arrive in Kabul

After your transfer to and briefing at the hotel we will familiarise ourselves with Kabul and some of the important history of this region. If time permits, we will visit the Kabul National Museum. Its collection had been one of the most important in Central Asia. After major disruptions and looting, several international organisations have helped recover over 8,000 artefacts.

Overnight at Serena Hotel, Kabul.

Day 2: Kabul - Bamyan

Early in the morning we will fly to Bamyan in the centre of Afghanistan. Bamyan is the homeland of the Hazara people and the famous Buddha niches. The Buddhas of Bamyan were two 6th century monumental statues of standing Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the peaceful Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan.  In March 2001 they were destroyed by the Taliban leaving only the impressive niches and many monastic caves in the valley. Some caves are still occupied by local families.

We will visit the site of Shahr-e Gholghola (City of Screams) a 13th century city which was eventually conquered by Genghis Khan’s armies after a protracted siege. Nearby is Shahr-e Zuhak also known as The Red City another ancient city site that adds to the majesty and overwhelming scale of the region’s valleys and mountains.

Overnight at Gholghola Hotel, Bamyan.

Day 3: Bamyan - Band-e-Amir - Bamyan

Today we take a drive further west past vast landscapes to visit the stunning lakes of Band-e-Amir, a series of six deep-blue lakes separated by natural dams made of travertine. The name Band-e Amir literally means “Commander’s Dam” which is believed by some to be reference to Ali, the first Imam of Shia Muslims and the fourth Caliph of Islam (to Sunnis).

In 2009, Band-e Amir was declared Afghanistan’s first national park. The lakes and surrounding moonscape are a photographer’s dream with a vibrant palette of shades of blue set against cliffs of earthy tones. After exploring the lakes, we return to Bamyan.

Overnight at Gholghola Hotel, Bamyan.

Day 4: Bamyan and surrounds

We will visit the Bud Bacha (little Bhuddha) in Kakrak Valley and natural landscapes of the Darre Ajdaha (Dragon valley).

Overnight at Gholghola Hotel, Bamyan.

Day 5: Bamyan - Kabul - Herat

After a short and early flight back to Kabul, we will explore the city including the famous travellers’ bazaar, Chicken Street. An afternoon flight will take us to the western city of Herat, close to the border with Iran.

Overnight at ARG Hotel, Herat.

Day 6: Herat

We visit the iconic Masjidi Jami (Friday Mosque), begun by the Ghurid ruler Ghiyas ad Din Ghori in 1200 and completed by his brother and successor Muhammad of Ghor. After a visit to the tile factory of Herat proceed to the Herat citadel which dates back to 330 BC and the arrival of the armies of Alexander the Great. Many subsequent empires have used it as a base over the following two millennia. We will also explore Herat’s bazaar in the afternoon.

Overnight at ARG Hotel, Herat.

Day 7: Herat - Kabul

We visit the Tomb of Goharshad and Minarets of Herat and the Mosque and Madrassa of Gawharshad. These great monuments were once dynamited by the British Indian Army in 1885, to prevent its use as a by any Russian army trying to invade British India. Luckily, the Tomb and minarets are still standing. In the afternoon we will proceed to Guzargah Mosque and Puli Malaan, the impressive old 22-arched bridge, believed to have been constructed by the Seljuk Turks in the early 12th century. Local prefer to believe it was built by two sisters named Bibi Hur and Bibi Noor.  We then fly back to Kabul in the late afternoon.

Overnight at Serena Hotel, Kabul

Day 8: Kabul - Panjshir Valley

Today we journey north to Panjshir and the tomb of Ahmad Shah Masood a national hero who was assassinated in 2001. Panjshir literally meaning “Five Lions” and refers to five Wali (literally, protectors), spiritual brothers who were centered in the valley. Local legend has it that the five brothers built a dam for Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznawi in the early 11th century. More recently, this region was the site of the Panjshir conflicts fought between the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviets against the Mujahidin during the Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1980 to 1985. The valley again witnessed renewed fighting during the civil war in Afghanistan (1996-2001) between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance. The latter was under the command of Ahmad Shah Masood whose name and image are still widely venerated. After a river-side lunch we drive back to Kabul.

Overnight at Serena Hotel, Kabul.

Day 9: Kabul - Mazar-e-Sharif

We take a morning flight north to Mazar-e-Sharif and drive to Balkh an ancient centre of Buddhism,

Sufism and Zoroastrianism. While in Balkh, we visit the Haji Piyada Mosque (the walking pilgrim) and the Tomb of Rabia Balkhi; a legendary figure of Persian literature and was possibly the first woman poet in the history of New Persian poetry. We will also see the Khoja Parsa Mosque and Bala Hisar, the ancient citadel build by Alexander the Great when he destroyed the Kurush (Persian empire),  crossed Amu Darya (Auxus River) in early 330 BC and then married Rukhshana (Ruxana) in Bactria (Balkh).

In the afternoon we visit the visually captivating blue-tiled Mosque of Ali in Mazar-e-Sharif.

Overnight at Qishlaq Hotel, Mazar-e-Sharif.

Day 10: Jahenda Bala and Buzkashi Tournament

Jahenda Bala is celebrated on the first day of the Nawruz (New year) and is attended by

many high-ranking government officials. A specific religious ceremony is performed in the Blue Mosque of Mazar at what is believed to be the site of the tomb of Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad.

Along with other celebratory customs, a Buzkashi tournament is held in the afternoon. Buzkashi is the national equestrian sport fiercely and courageously played by well- trained horsemen from the north of Afghanistan. Photographers will be treated not only to unique action but also wonderful images of the spectators and day’s events.

Overnight at Qishlaq Hotel, Mazar-e-Sharif.

Day 11: Mazar-e-Sharif and Samangan

We visit the Takht-i Rustam (Haibak), literal meaning the throne of Rustam, named after Rustam, a king in Persian mythology.  This hilltop settlement is a well-known archaeological site in Afghanistan with adjacent Buddhist caves and stupas situated north of mountain passes in the Hindu Kush Range. Caves were hewn out of rocks and inhabited by Buddhists and a mound-like stupa was constructed. They represent the earliest link to the evolution of Buddhist architecture in Afghanistan.

Overnight at Qishlaq Hotel, Mazar-e-Sharif

Day 12: Mazar-e-Sharif - Kabul

After returning to Kabul we visit the Shah Do Shamshira (the king with two swords) Mosque at the heart of Kabul city built by King Amanullah Khan in the memory of the Arab King who forced Kabul residents to Islam in early 683 AD, with his two swords.

In the afternoon we drive to the Gardens of Babur, locally called Bagh-e Babur. This historic park is the last resting-place of the first Mughal emperor Babur. The gardens are thought to have been developed around 1528 when Babur gave orders for the construction of an ‘avenue garden’ in Kabul, described in some detail in his memoirs, the Baburnama. We will then climb the Bibi Mahro Hills for the best overview of Kabul city.

Overnight at Serena Hotel, Kabul.

Day 13: Homeward Bound

Today we say ‘farewell’ to Afghanistan and take stock of the images captured and also the new and pleasant thoughts that will be evoked by mention of this ancient and vibrant land.


The itinerary and hotels have been carefully chosen with your safety and security as a priority. Our hosts are members of the Afghanistan NGO Security Organization (ANSO) that monitors security issues around Afghanistan. Information is regularly being updated and any alerts are conveyed in a timely manner. Our itinerary avoids the problematic regions in the south of Afghanistan and of course we have the ability to vary our plans it ever be required.

Included in Explore Afghanistan Photo Tour 2020 cost:

All accommodation and transport. Carefully chosen with your safety, comfort and interests in mind. English speaking local guides. All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Water and soft drinks. Round trip domestic flights i.e. Kabul-Bamyan/ Kabul-Herat/ Kabul- Mazar-e-Sharif. All site entries. All transfers. All tips and gratuities. There will be an Afghan English speaking escort during the whole tour plus one Fotoworkshop mentor.

Not Included in Explore Afghanistan Photo Tour 2020 cost:

International airfares, visas, extra drinks & alcohol, laundry, travel Insurance (compulsory), items of a personal nature.

*Tour itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of Fotoworkshops. Please read our Terms & Conditions for more information.

Why choose our Landscape Photography Tours?

Imagine combining a dream holiday with your passion for photography. You will explore secret locations and gain new expertise in one of the greatest art forms ever created. With Fotoworkshops, you will be personally mentored by some of the most highly regarded professionals in the industry. A truly immersive experience that is sure to check off on the bucket list. Our itineraries and experience in handpicked locations will ensure you never miss an opportunity, you can capture everything from breath-taking waterfalls, wild bears, quiet and serene sandy beaches, snow-capped mountains, volcanoes, diverse and wonderful local people, streetscapes and ancient cultures – the list is endless.

Gift Card

Give some one you know a personalised gift towards any of our Photo Tours, Landscape Photography Workshops or Personalised Photography Tours. Vouchers are available in any amount from $100.


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Fitness Level

All of our Photo Tours require a moderate level of fitness. There are no major walks but where possible we would like our guests to be able to walk for about an hour if needed. Check with your tour guide before leaving and we can give you a better idea of any special fitness requirements you may need to complete the Tour.

Private Guided Tours

If groups are not for you and you would prefer to travel by yourself or with a group of friends and family then we can accommodate your needs by customizing a Photography Tour to suit your individual needs, schedule, budget and interests.

We also offer private one or two day photo tours and workshops in many of our locations. Please or email us for rates and information.

Travel Insurance

Keep in mind travel insurance is a compulsory part of booking any of our Landscape Photography Workshops

How To Book

Once you place your deposit through our secure booking platform your place will be reserved instantly. The team will then be in contact with you to provide you will all the information you will require and confirm your trip details. If you would prefer to make your booking with the team directly, please email

Want More Information?


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