Private Expeditions & Workshops
Where will you go?
The best of summit. Catered to you.
Designed for those who wish to have the full Summit experience but in the close company of family or friends, our private workshops offer an amazing opportunity to dream and design the perfect trip, catered just for you. Our private workshops offer a variety of experiences ranging from personalized versions of our regular trips, to fully customized itineraries accompanied by members of our elite photography faculty. Do you want to explore the Scottish Highlands under the guidance of a National Geographic photographer? How about taking an African safari led by a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers? Or, perhaps an unforgettable family escape to trek amongst the Himalaya in Nepal? The Summit network is vast, and with it comes an incredible opportunity to see almost anywhere in the world under our guidance, and through your viewfinder. Let Summit create your trip of a lifetime.
Why choose a private experience?
Experience the best of Summit in the company of your family or friends
Enjoy maximum flexibility by designing a custom trip catered to your specific interests and travel style
Receive unmatched personalized instruction and guidance from some of the world’s leading photographers
Take your dream trip without the fuss. Let Summit take care of research, planning, and logistics so you can focus on the photography and fun
How it works.
- You will start by contacting our team with either a specific idea in mind, or to brainstorm possibilities based on your interests and budget. We can also explore whether you would like to be accompanied by one of our expert faculty, or would simply like Summit to handle the planning and logistics of a complex photography trip. In addition to traveling with local guides, all private workshops will be accompanied by one of our experienced Summit staff to ensure you receive the best possible experience.
- Once deciding on a location, we will work with you, our faculty, and local guide network to design the perfect itinerary for your workshop. This process can be as simple as personalizing one of our standard international workshops to your group, or dreaming big to plan the ultimate custom trip! At this point we will also present a finalized cost for the workshop.
- After solidifying your itinerary, we will present a few date ranges for the workshop based on the combined availability of you, our Summit Staff, local guides, and the expert faculty if you choose this option.
- Once dates are confirmed, we will finalize hotels and transportation before departing on the adventure of a lifetime!
Anywhere in the world.
For a private workshop with Summit, the world is at your fingertips. Our network of photographers and guides covers the globe so while we specialize in certain locations (see below), we have the flexibility and expertise to plan a custom trip nearly anywhere. Just ask! You can choose from one of our preexisting workshop itineraries (see the workshops tab at the top of this webpage), or work with us to design something custom. Not sure where you want to go? Not a problem, we are also here to brainstorm trips based on your individual interests and travel styles.
Venture into one of the Amazon Rainforest’s most remote and pristine corners. Staying in private eco-lodges we will travel from the high-elevation cloud forests of the Andes, up the Madre de Dios River, and into the core of Manu National Park, an area home to thousands of animal species, several uncontacted native communities, and one of the most preserved sections of the entire Amazon. This trip is unlike any other rainforest adventure and will transport you into a truly special and unforgettable world of wildlife, landscape, and culture.
8 – 14 Days (Mar – Nov)
Travel into the heart of Africa on a magical wildlife safari in search of lions, elephants, rhinos, and more. Kenya is one of the best places in Africa to see its famous wildlife, and our trips are designed to experience the full range of ecosystems and animal species the amazing country has to offer. Based out of luxurious lodges, this trip can be customized to include: Ol Pejeta, Lake Nakuru, Kakamega Forest, Masai Mara, and Samburu. Please see our regular Kenya Workshop page for details about these locations. A Kenya safari can also be combined with Tanzania or Uganda to maximize your time spent on this wondrous continent.
7 – 18 Days (Year Round)
From the colorful streets of Havana, the colonial architecture of Trinidad, to the historic tobacco fields of Viñales, Cuba is a place like no other. Our trip to this island country is designed to immerse you into its vibrant culture by exploring neighborhoods, boxing schools, and Hemmingway’s haunts in Havana, colonial towns along the southern Caribbean coast, and traditional tobacco farms and horse ranches in the rural West. Cuba is a photographer’s dream, and any amount of time spent here will be unforgettable.
5 – 12 Days (Year Round)
PAPUA NEW GUINEA BIRDS OF PARADISE
Have you ever wanted to see the spectacular birds-of-paradise perform their intricate courtship displays? How about from a luxury rainforest lodge located in the heart of Papua New Guinea’s jungle? Join us on an incredible trip into one of the world’s most pristine and least visited rainforests. From our private eco lodge in the mountainous rainforest we will be in a prime location to photograph hornbills, tree kangaroos, and up to a dozen species of birds-of-paradise. Take a step back in time as we visit the Mudmen of the Eastern Highlands, the Huli Wigmen of the Tari Valley, and witness a traditional Sing-sing ceremony in Papua New Guinea.
8 – 21 Days (Apr – Nov)
From the bustling temples of Kathmandu to traditional villages clinging to the slopes of the world’s tallest mountains, Nepal is a place that everyone should experience at least once in their life. While many people are lured to Nepal by the towering Himalaya, many visitors say that it was the people and culture who brought them back. Our Nepal trip will take you through the streets, markets, and temples of Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, trekking between villages amongst the Annapurna Massif, and searching for tigers and leopards in the Terai, a tropical region in the south that is infrequently seen by most visitors. While we love this itinerary, Nepal is vast and we are happy to adapt it to fit your interests.
12 – 18 days (Jul – Nov)
Wyoming Backcountry Trip
Experience the stunning wilderness of Wyoming on a luxury style horse-supported pack trip. With the help of cowboys and your trusty steed, this one-of-a-kind adventure will take you deep into one of Wyoming’s remote and stunning mountain ranges. As a true glamping experience, horses allow you to travel further and carry more equipment than backpacking, and your wilderness camp will include a cook, kitchen, and shower tent. This is camping unlike you have experienced before, and an amazing way to explore and photograph some of the West’s most scenic and remote terrain. Backcountry trips can be scheduled in the Teton Range, Gros Ventre Mountains, Wind River Range, and Absaroka Range. Each place has its own charm and we are happy to tell you about each one.
4 – 8 days (Jul – Oct)
The mountains of northern Colombia are a newly emerging destination for nature photography, and we are excited to offer an exceptional way to explore this beautiful and little-known place. Our Colombia itinerary will take you from the color filled streets of Cartagena, deep into the tropical rainforests of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and to Isla Salamanca, a wildlife photographer’s paradise located in the Magdalena River. Based out of five-star eco-lodges, our Colombia trip will take you through some of the best birding locations on the planet and will provide endless opportunities to observe and photograph hundreds of tropical animal species.
8 – 12 days (Dec – Mar)
Known as the Galapagos of Africa, Madagascar offers one of the best destinations for wildlife and travel photography in the entire world. Staying in private eco-lodges we will travel through the various ecosystems on the island learning about and photographing the incredible animal species and people who make this place their home. We will even have the opportunity to stay in a private wildlife park (reserved just for us) that is only accessible by chartered plane. Beyond witnessing an astounding number of species, Madagascar is also unique in that many animals, including lemurs, are easily photographed in close proximity.
10 – 21 days (Apr – Oct)
A Grecian Adventure
From whitewashed island villages to the ancient temples of Athens, Greece is one of the most charismatic and diverse countries on the Mediterranean. While the country is most well known for its 2,000+ island (which are all worth visiting!), Greece also boasts an incredible array of world class experiences ranging from exploring mountainside stone villages, visiting with monks in remote monasteries, to sampling endless amounts of delicious food. Are you interested in island hopping between the Cyclades? Photographing medieval walled villages in the seldom visited Peloponnese? How about trekking from village to village beneath Mount Olympus? Our staff has personal expertise in Greece and we are excited to offer unique itineraries that will introduce you to this wonderful country, and expose you to places not typically seen by most tourists.
8 – 14 days (Apr – Oct)
Do you fancy photographing polar bears from your private balcony on the deck of an icebreaker? Camping with nomadic reindeer herders beneath the northern lights? Or how about sampling traditional local cuisine while hunting for snow covered waterfalls? A photography trip north of the Arctic Circle is a true experience of a lifetime. Using a variety of small travel providers, we have crafted a body of exceptional trips to Greeland, Iceland, Svalbard, Norway, Finland, and Sweden. Each of these locations offer their own unique glimpse into the snowy realm of the north and depending on your interests we can cater a special trip centered around wildlife, culture, landscapes, and travel.
8 – 21 days (Year Round)
Egypt & Jordan
Egypt and Jordan are lands of stunning desert landscapes, vibrant traditional cultures, and world-class archaeological ruins. While each country boasts unique destinations, a trip combining the two offers an incredible way to see some of the best sights in North Africa and the Middle East. While all of our trips will include highlights like photographing the markets and pyramids of Cairo, wittnessing the history of Ancient Egypt from the deck of a Nile cruise, camping with the Bedouin in Wadi Rum, and exploring the otherworldly ruins of Petra, we have the flexibility to include other spectacular locations not visited by most people. Some of our favorites include exploring the remote oases in Egypt’s Western Desert, snorkeling in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula, and photographing remote desert castles in eastern Jordan.
8 – 14 days (Year Round)
here are few places on the entire planet that are as wild and vast as Mongolia. A trip here offers an exceptional journey into the amazing history of Central Asia, and a unique chance to see a place that has changed very little over time. All of our trips will begin in Ulaanbatar from where we will venture out into the great steppe to camp in yurts with nomadic families, learn about traditional customs such as eagle hunting and horsemanship, and explore the stunning landscapes of the Gobi Desert and Altai Mountains. For the intrepid, we can also travel to the very remote western corner of the country to search for snow leopards, bactrian camels, and saiga antelope.
10 – 18 days (Jun – Oct)
The Highlands and Isles of northern Scotland are a land draped in mist, heather, and tartan. Castles loom over stormy lochs, and every footpath, trail, and glen possesses an untold story of history, warfare, and whisky. Beginning in Inverness, we will travel deep into the highlands of Cairngorms National Park. We will stay in a historic inn and will have the chance to photograph a private estate and learn about conservation efforts in the region. From the highlands, we will travel west to the Isle of Skye, and eventually to the Outer Hebrides on Lewis and Harris. We will stay in historic seaside hotels and private country inns. Our days will be spent exploring the otherworldly landscape of Scotland, visiting distilleries, fishing villages, and standing stones along the rugged Atlantic coast. Do you favor the sea in place of the road? Much of this itinerary can also be done by private boat, traveling from island to island.
8 – 14 days (Jun – Sep)
The island archipelago of Indonesia offers one of the most diverse and incomparable destinations on the planet. From exploring rainforest-covered temples on Bali, to photographing the dragons of Komodo Island, and trekking with wild orangutans on Sumatra, a trip to Indonesia is like venturing into another world. Delicious food and five-star accommodations throughout the country allow for nature and culture-themed trips to have a flair of luxury. Why not relax in your private pool villa after an exciting day exploring nearby rainforests and village markets? While we favor Bali, Sumatra, Komodo, Sulawesi, and Borneo, the possibilities across Indonesia are nearly endless and we will be happy to design the perfect itinerary based on your interests.
8 – 21 days (Year Round)
mountain gorillas and chimpanzees of Uganda
Uganda is one of the best places in the world to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees in the wild. Spending days trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga National Park, and Kibale National Park, we will maximize your time spent amongst the largest diversity of primates in all of Africa. In addition to its famous gorillas, Uganda offers an exceptional safari experience that is comparable but less known than other destinations like Kenya or Tanzania. A photography trip to Uganda will provide an exceptional experience loaded with wildlife, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture.
8 – 14 days (Year Round)
Great Bear Rainforest
In our minds, the Great Bear Rainforest is one of North America’s most unique and special environments. Staying in a private lodge that is owned and operated by the local First Nations community, time spent in the Great Bear Rainforest will be spent exploring the wild on foot and by boat in search of bears, wolves, eagles, whales, and the many other animals who call this magical place their home. Depending on the time of year you visit, we may have an opportunity to observe and photograph the elusive white spirit bear who can only be found here.
8 – 14 days (Jun – Oct)
Frequently asked questions
No! While we specialize in certain locations, our vast photographer and guide network can plan a workshop for you in many locations across the globe. Want to search for snow leopards in Ladakh? Photograph pyramids in Egypt? Just ask! If you are interested in a location that we do not specialize in, we will collaborate with one of our many local or regional travel providers to craft the perfect trip.
Summit Workshops is the longest running photography workshop company in the United States, and is recognized for its outstanding programming and personal service. Whether you want to have an educational experience or simply take a memorable trip, a private workshop will allow you to take advantage of the full Summit experience anywhere in the world and catered to your personal preferences. We aim for superlative experiences and by combining our world class faculty, staff, and travel resources we pride ourselves in offering the best possible combination of photography and travel.
It depends on the availability of our staff, local guides, and hotels. Some trips can be run on very short notice while others may take more planning and time to prepare. Please ask about short notice trips, but plan on most being at least a few months from initial communication to wheels up.
If you are interested in having one of Summit’s expert faculty join your private workshop, please ask in your initial inquiry. We will then check with them about availability and propose date options to you. Please note that why we will try to accommodate all requests, our faculty have busy schedules and are often on assignment for various publications for much of the year. See our ‘expert instructors’ page in the ‘About Us’ section for possible faculty options.
Our minimum number for private workshops is 2 people. Please note however that small group sizes will be more expensive per person than larger ones.
The cost of your private workshop will be determined by the size of your group, the time of year we travel, hotel preferences, and whether or not your trip will be accompanied by an expert faculty.
Once we settle on a location and theme, a $300 planning fee is due before finalizing the itinerary. The deposit for your trip is due once we confirm dates, and the final payment is due 60 days prior to your trip’s departure date. Please see our FAQ page for Summit’s terms and cancelation policies.