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waorani amazon photo tour

Ecuador – Waorani Tribe Amazon Photo Expedition 2021

Ecuador – Waorani Tribe Amazon Photo Expedition 2021

US$8,795 per person sharing

Spaces Available

Please note that costs for 2021 tours are subject to change (as not all our partner properties and local airlines have released their rates) – should we need to revise costs, we will endeavour to keep fees as close to original cost.

01 April 2021 – 07 April 2021

The Waorani people exude a mystique that few tribes on earth possess – they live in an area that is a biological treasure trove, close to the Equator and in arguably the most biodiverse place on Earth; this is a tough place to live, deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon where survival is difficult and where only the most proficient hunters persist. The Waorani are remarkably skilled hunters and have a warlike reputation based on their willingness to fight off intruders and retain the land that is rightfully theirs, and they have for a large portion of the 21st century remained relatively untouched by the outside world. There has been a large shift in the latter half of the 21st century after the discovery of oil in the Oriente area of Ecuador, and people that were previously “uncontacted” have received a significant amount of pressure to “westernize” as various organizations vie for the toxic “black gold” that lies beneath the surface of the earth. Some bands of Waorani still cling to an existence that is in many ways still traditional, and it is in one incredibly special area that we intend to showcase these special peoples as they go about their lives in the deep jungle.


Join ORYX Photo Tours on a cultural adventure of a lifetime as we gain access to a remote piece of rainforest inhabited by the mystical Waorani people, observing them as they go about their daily lives, and get to soak in all the rainforest magic that comes with it!

Why this Photo Tour is for You

Destination Allure

The Amazon is the most biodiverse destination on earth, this wilderness area is the ideal setting for our private camp along the river.

Remote Cultures

Our tour invites you to explore a location deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon to the most remote of the contacted Waorani communities where very few others have had the privilege of visiting.

Before it's too late

The Waorani tribe’s cultural identity, and indeed very way of life, is being placed under increasing pressure from the outside world, and it really is a case of “explore and photograph while you can.”

Small Group Departures

Travel on this Ecuador photo tour in group size no bigger than 6 participants with fellow like-minded individuals for a cultural experience like no other!

Guided experience

Local knowledge of the region coupled with a strong relationship with the ground team, ensure the ultimate photography tour experience.

Kirsten Frost

Kirsten Frost

7 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
  • Destination
  • Departure
  • per person sharing
  • Photographic Highlights
    The Waorani tribe of the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, fauna & flora of the Amazon Rainforest
  • Guide

Day 1: Arrival in Quito

Today is set aside as an arrival day in Quito for your Ecuador photography tour. Upon arriving at the airport, you will be transferred to your hotel for the evening, where you will meet up with your tour leader and discuss your Amazon safari in more detail.

Day 2: Fly Quito to Coca, charter flight into Waorani territory

This morning our Amazon photo tourcommences as we will depart Quito on the first flight out to Coca, which is just under 1 hour. We will then take a short charter flight into Waorani territory, where we land at a small village comprising of about 80 people, where their chief, Otobo and his crew, will meet us upon arriving at the airstrip. We will spend some time with the Waorani, capturing portraits and possibly also meeting the senior Jaguar Shaman, Kemperi. After exploring the village, meeting some of the local people and having lunch, we will board Otobo´s canoe and cruise for one hour until we reach our small camp on the banks of the Rio Cononaco. We will settle in our accommodations and enjoy dinner together.

Day 3 to Day 6: Life with the Waorani

*Over the next 4 days we do not have a fixed schedule but will assess on a day to day basis according to what is happening in the community and photographic requirements. The Waorani people are some of the world’s last hunter-gatherers, and although their roots remain uncertain, it is thought they have inhabited this area for around 6,000 years. The name Waorani is said to translate to “the people” or “human beings”, and they were contacted by the outside world as recently as the 1950s. Their name for outsiders is cowode, which means “non-humans”. They are scattered through an area of roughly 20,000 square kilometres, however their land is under constant threat from outsiders. Numbering only between 1,500 and 3,000 people in total, they inhabitat an area of the western Amazon characterised by small rivers and generally undulating terrain – an area now known by scientists to be most biodiverse on the planet, with staggering plant, insect and vertebrate species numbers.

Day 7: Depart the jungle, fly to Coca and fly Coca to Quito

After breakfast, we will say our goodbyes and take a boat ride back to the main village. While waiting for our charter plane back to Coca, we will visit with the locals here and perhaps capture one last portrait or two. We will fly to Coca and catch our domestic flight to Quito, where our Amazon safari will sadly comes to an end.
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