In 2005 we went to Morocco/Agadir along the coast down to Goulmime and south against Tan-Tan. This is not to difficult to drive and finding your way in a hired car, easy roads and lots of birding trip reports about the good localities. Since we were 5 persons on this trip to Atlas mountains and the desert Erg Chebbi etc. we choose a guide/driver because these localities a much more difficult , and only a little moore expensive considering the problems of finding the right tracks in the deserts, without loosing to much time at the wrong places. Brahim from Gayuin Birding Tours met us in the airport, had a car ready, and had arranged all hotels, including all meels. He`s knowledge about esp. the desert regions saved us a lot of time about finding the best localities and we got “Full House” finding all the target birds and subspecies we hoped for that were possible on this time of the year.
Anders Søgaard, Anders Hammergart, Jim Christensen, Steffen S. Nielsen and Paul Nilsson from Danemark
Between us, we had made eight previous visits to Morocco and this was easily the best.
Our Moroccan host Brahim, supported by driver Hamid, laid on a tour that was organised to perfection.
All our target birds were seen, including 60 Crimson-winged Finch, 4 Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, 2 roosting Egyptian Nightjar, 10+ Thick-Billed Lark, 20 Bald Ibis and two Barbary Falcons.We also were impressed with the wide range of migrants that we saw.
Brahim is a first class local expert with excellent command of English, French, Arabic, Berber and Spanish. He had alternative sites for most scarce species.This was highlighted by magnificent close range views of Spotted and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse based on local knowledge.
The hotels we stayed in were clean, made us welcome and we enjoyed the Moroccan cuisine.
Upon our return to Marrakech, we would have happily repeated the tour, starting the next day!
Mark Hollingworth, Martin Casemore and Christopher Philpott from UK
Dear Brahim, Thank you so much for a wonderful birding tour in Morocco, which you had organized for us! Your tour was really a big highlight for all of us! I hope you had a good journey home and that your business continues to go well. With many thanks and best wishes,
Ciao! abbiamo fatto un tour di 1 settimane con Gayuin Birding Tours. La vacanza è stata organizzata in maniera splendida. Brahim si è rivelato una guida esperta, simpatica e disponibilissima. Grazie a lui abbiamo vissuto a pieno un Marocco fuori dalle solite rotte turistiche! Ci ha reso una vacanza un'avventura splendida, il resto lo ha fatto il Marocco con le sue uccelli ed i suoi paesaggio.
Lo consiglio a tutti quelli che vogliono una vacanza perfetta! Grazie Brahim!
Fui a encontrarme con un guía de aves y terminé con un amigo. No solo me impresionó su conocimiento de las aves del desierto y su localización sino el conocimiento de las gentes y costumbres de los habitantes de aquellas regiones que hacen que recuerde ese viaje por algo mas que los pajaros que ví. Muchas gracias Brahim
Three of us just returned from an amazing 8 day birding adventure in western Morocco. Our guide, Brahim planned an outstanding itinerary that enabled us to explore a great variety of habitats and over 160 species of birds. Brahim is a true professional, with great expertise in bird identification, both by sight and by call. He has a delightful personality and is also very knowledgeable about Moroccan customs and culture. We highly recommend Gayuin Birding Tours.
During last february, from 12 to 23 , I visited Morocco with three friends of mine, having Brahim as a guide and Otman as a driver (www.gayuin.com). The places visited were the High Atlas, the south-east desert and the coast close to Agadir. I must say that the trip was perfect in every aspect, with all the birds searched found, most of them in ideal conditions to be photographed. Brahim showed a keen knowledge of the places and of the birds to be found. Rarities such as the Levaillant woodpecker, Houbara bustard, two species of sandgrouses, the Maghreb wheatear, egyptian nightjar plus a pletora of larks, warblers and wheatears were all spotted in the magnificent landscape of the moroccan desert. Along the coast we were gratified by the view of hundreds of bald ibises, of the tchagra and an unexpected (for the season) barbary falcon. The accomodations were all satisfactory and the moroccan food good, sometimes delicious. I heartly recommend such an experience for every birder interested in North African birds.
Ettori, Patrizia, Mariza and Giancarlo from Bologna, Italy
We are 3 British birdwatchers who went on a private trip with Brahim and Otman from 26th March to 3rd April in 2014 visiting the Atlas and the eastern deserts. We had a really excellent trip seeing all the birds we had hoped for, and a few extras (there will be a trip report on Surfbirds). These included Dupont's and Hoopoe Lark, Desert Sparrow, Desert, Scrub and Tristram's Warbler, Lanner and Barbary Falcon, Seebohm's , Maghreb and Red-rumped Wheatear, Crowned, Spotted and Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Pharaohs Eagle Owl and Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. This success was due in the main part to the expertise of Brahim whose knowledge of the birds and places of Morocco is excellent. Coupled with the good humour, sharp eyes and driving of Otman we had an all round fabulous time. Brahim had managed all our hotel bookings and itinerary which worked well. The hotels were good (given the remote spots we got to and the variable Moroccan plumbing skills!) and in one case excellent. Brahim and Otman were always keen to ensure we maximised our time with the birds and the use of the 4x4 vehicle (essential for many birds) meant that we were always able to get to the right places. We had asked for a non-stop birding trip and that was what we got with an itinerary which was very good for non-stop birding; this involved early starts, picnic lunches, no culture stops/sightseeing and return to/arrival at hotels often after dusk. The weather was very varied in late March/early April; hot 30C in the desert to snow 0C in the high arid plains; often quite windy; so go prepared for variable weather! Brahim is multi-lingual, his English is not his strongest language however, so it's always worth checking his level of understanding but it didn't cause us any serious problems.
Ken Chamberlain, Martin Pearce and Peter Williams from Leicester, UK
In May 2014 I visited Morocco with the main intention of finding one of my most sought-after birds, Egyptian Nightjar. I knew that this would be a very tricky proposition on my own and after carefully searching the internet it became apparent that my best chance of finding this often-elusive species would be by employing Gayuin Bird Tours.
On the allotted morning Brahim and Otman promptly picked us up in a luxurious 4X4 and we set off expectantly into the desert. And what a morning it proved to be! Brahim and Otman proved to be both excellent company and superb field birders. They were also extremely well organised and knew precisely where to look for the relevant desert birds. Although I had only expressed an interest in seeing Egyptian Nightjar, the boys pulled African Desert Warbler, Fulvous Babbler, Hoopoe Lark and Bar-tailed Lark out of the bag en route, with no effort whatsoever! The Egyptian Nightjar experience itself was unforgettable, with a nomad ‘nightjar shepherd’ guiding us to a spot in the depths of the desert where we enjoyed outstanding photographic views of this exquisite bird, in the early morning light.
I would not hesitate to recommend Gayuin Bird Tours to any future visitors to Morocco, as I am confident that their professional and personal approach will provide an unforgettable trip to the finest birding destination in the Western Palearctic.
Tour indimenticabile a dicembre in Marocco..un viaggio alla scoperta di un Marocco insolito, dedicato alla natura, specialmente all'avifauna , alla scoperta di paesaggi fantastici , alla conoscenza di altre culture...in compagnia di Brahim, validissima guida, ho anche potuto godere della squisita ospitalità della gente berbera!! ho potuto inoltre osservare, oltre al fennec, anche le volpi del deserto e molti uccelli...monachella del deserto, grandule el Senegal, passero del deserto, silvia nana, allodola del deserto, allodola del deserto codafasciata, allodola beccocurvo, codirosso algerino, bigia del deserto, trombettiere, corvo collobruno, monachella nera testabianca, garrulo fulvo, averla maggiore meridionale, lo splendido gufo reale del deserto e la civetta del deserto...
Non posso tralasciare l'emozione e la magia che trasmette il paesaggio...il deserto....la mia camera si apriva direttamente sulle dune..
ecco se volete un viaggio particolare, anche personalizzato, come è stato il mio, la persona giusta da contattare è Brahim !! organizza tours in tutto il Marocco...se volete visitare il suo sito http://www.gayuin.com/
Ciao Brahim!!! ci vediamo presto!! grazie e un abbraccione!!
I've just finished an 8 day private bird tour of the Atlas Mountains and Edge of Sahara Desert with Ibrahim from Gayuin Birding Tours. Where possible I try to use local guides rather than big companies. Not only does this put money directly into the local economy but also helps connection with the local people and culture. I certainly made the right choice here. Ibrahim along with his highly skilled driver Otman (and you certainly need a skilled driver on Moroccan roads!), proved to be exceptional. When not leading a tour, Ibrahim spends his time researching and searching for new places for birds. He therefore has a thorough and up to the minute knowledge of where to find target species. Anyone contemplating birding in the Sahara will realize that generally you are looking for small tawny brown birds in a huge tawny brown space. Without Ibrahim's tireless and expert guiding I would have seen very few birds indeed. As it was I came back with a list to be envied and of the 30 plus target species, only one was missed. Additionally both Ibrahim and Otman were delightful company and this together with the use of quality, local flavor, hotels and restaurants further enhanced a wonderful birding trip. Considering that I had the services of 2 expert people, a 4 wheel drive car, excellent food and accommodation and up to 10 or 12 hours birding a day, this trip was exceptional value and I cannot recommend these people highly enough.
Brahim Mezane, owner of Gayuin Birding Tours and tour leader of our recent Ornitour “High Atlas & Sahara Desert” in Morocco, deserves the fame he gained as “guru” of Moroccan birdwatching. Thanks to an intimate knowledge of his land and a net of local contacts, he knows where the birds are, how to identify them, both by eye and by ear. Brahim simply doesn’t take you to look for the birds of a given area: he just leads you to see those birds! Excellent example of that is the Egyptian Nightjar seen in daytime at its roosting place and the African Desert Warbler and Hoopoe Lark seen side by side in a nowhere place in the Sahara. In this tour we saw all the specialties of Morocco and participants who has never been to North Africa before packed a bag with some 30 lifers! Brahim takes care of everything: hotels were good, even if rather simple (but we birders need just a clean bedroom to spend those few hours without binos), transportation was comfortable with two good jeeps the excellent drivers of which, Otman & Omar, proved to be skilful, both driving and birding! All the above plus the good humour of Brahim, Otman and Omar, good food and the lovely Moroccan people have resulted in one of the best Ornitour of the recent years. I highly recommend Brahim to anyone who wants to go birding the wonderful country of Morocco.
I took an 11 day tour with Gayuin Birding Tours visiting virtually the Atlas Mountains, Sahara Deserts and the Atlantic Coast. I checked off every wanted bird except one-the Scrub Warbler. I tallied about 120 species, with 27 new species including Pharaoh Eagle Owl, Tristam's Warbler (a beautiful bird), Crimson Winged Finch, Spotted Sandgrouse, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Levaillant's Woodpecker, Trumpeter Finch, Moussier's Redstart (another fantastic bird), Dessert Sparrow, Dessert Warbler, Egyptian Nightjar, Maghreb Wheatear, and last but not least 300+ Northern Bald Ibises.
Thank you again Brahim and I highly recommend Gayuin Birding Tours to anyone who wants to go birding in Morocco.
I've just returned from a week of birding in Morocco with Brahim and Omar from Gayuin Birding Tours. It was superb. I gave Brahim a list of species I wanted to see and he did a great job finding them, as well as many other species I had not seen in many years (this was my third trip to this fantastic country). We covered many miles and the driving was very skilful, especially crossing sandy areas in the desert. Brahim's knowledge of the sites was outstanding and his contacts found a stunning Egyptian Nightjar roosting on the ground near Merzouga. Pharaoh Eagle Owl was one of my main targets and we found a total of 7, including single chicks at two sites. His local knowledge was extremely useful when looking for Saharan Olivaceous Warbler, because there was a terrific sand storm in the desert which made birding impossible - sand was coming in through the doors and windows of the hotel! Brahim knew a place that would be more sheltered and sure enough we found a few birds singing in some large tamarisks. It was still very windy, but there was no sand being blown in our eyes. I felt very well looked after during my trip and thought it was excellent value too. Everything went exactly to plan - pick up and drop off at the airport were on time and they were always ready to go at the specified time in the morning. So if you are planning a birding trip to Morocco you will do very well if you use Brahim as your guide - I would not hesitate to use him again (and I hope so).
We booked Brahim of Gayuin Birding Tours, as our bird guide for a desert day tour from our accommodation at "Auberge la Source" in Merzouga, and he arrived promptly with our 4x4 jeep and driver.
Brahim proved himself to be a very competent birder, with excellent local knowledge and contacts. Without him we would not have seen many of the species we did, many of which are now difficult in the area.
For example, Desert Sparrow is no longer available near reliable driving tracks to hotels such as "Yasmina", so a 4x4 seems to be essential, and Desert Warbler is also tricky without local knowledge (Sadly, Gosney`s guide is now a little out-dated.)
Brahim used his contacts to try to re-locate an early returning Egyptian, which we dipped on after a long search of its roosting site..However, he came up trumps with news of a Houbara Bustard- which we were extremely lucky to find here.
We were very surprised again, and honored to be invited into the winter home of a Berber friend of his, for some food and drink. This is, apparently, an unusual event, and we shalll never forget the kind and gracious hospitality we received.
After having seen most of our target species , and not to disappoint us, we finished off with good views of "Pharoh Eagle Owl", at the well known site near Rissani. However, without Brahim, we would not have been able to find the bird ourselves as it was so well hidden in the rocks.
This was a truly memorable day for us, and, I can highly recommend Brahim`s tour to maximize your chances of seeing the special desert birds of this part of Morocco.
We booked the desert day trip during our birdwatching trip to Morocco since, unfortunately, we did not have a lot of time around Merzouga. During the well-organised tour Hamid of Gayuin Birding Tours was able to show as all "key bird species" as well as many more and we enjoyed a fantastic day in wonderful company. Thanks again!
Peter Zeller and Nicolas Martinez from Switzerland
Bob Stamp and I contacted with Brahim the owner of Gayuin Birding Tours Company for a two-night Erg Chebbi birding tour in December, 2015. Everything was delivered as promised. We had a driver and high clearance vehicle for a full day as we drove over great areas of the desert in search of specialty birds. Our guide, Hamid was able to show us several species which we would not have found on our own. The hotel room and meals and view of Erg Chebbi were all excellent. Great value and highly recommended.
Wir waren kürzlich vom 31. Oktober bis 11. November 2016 mit Brahim Mezane von Gayuin Birding im südlichen Marokko unterwegs.
Es war eine wirklich phantastische Tour: Alle Wunscharten gut bis perfekt gesehen (bis auf die Rennvogel, die aber zu der Jahreszeit offenbar weiter im Süden sind), erstklassiges Guiding (Brahim weo, worauf es ankommt), sichere Fahrten mit einem Kleinbus, schone Unterkünfte, wunderbare Küche - es passte einfach alles!
Wer Marokko und seine aufregenden Vogel erleben will, dem kann man Gayuin Birding Tours nur wormstens ans Herz legen:www.gayuin.com.
Patrick Kretz, Kai Kruse, Eckhard Moller, Stefanie Pfefferli, Tobias Rautenberg, Jorn Tupay, Barbara Zimmermeyer
We – two Finnish/British couples – were on a slow & civilized two-week birding trip in Morocco in the latter half of October, 2016 (Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert & Atlantic coast). Thanks to Brahim (guide) and Hamid (driver) we managed to see almost all Moroccan endemics & specialties available there in October.
Everything went smoothly. Accommodation, arrangements, guiding, birding, etc. were excellent. Brahim & Hamid are reliable, honest, considerate, nice and humorous young men who get along with older people. And most importantly: they respect women. In addition to birds, they know other wildlife, culture, history of the country, best shopping places etc.
We can highly recommend Gayuin Birding Tours as your guide in Morocco!
Prof. Antero Jarvinen & Leena Jarvinen from Helsinki, Finland!
Four of us toured Southern Morocco with Gayuin Birding Tours from 28 January to 7 February 2017, starting and finishing at Marrakesh. Before the tour Brahim had telephoned me in the UK to discuss the itinerary and this, together with the emails that he sent, gave me confidence to book the tour. Brahim arranged to pick us up at the Riad where we stayed in Marrakesh and he arrived promptly at 08 00. He had visited the Riad a couple of days before to ensure that the pick-up would be straight forward and throughout the tour the attention to detail by him made for a very smooth trip. We quickly established a great relationship with him and his driver Hamid and this contributed hugely to a fabulous holiday. We had explained that we were not ‘hard core’ birders and wished to see the scenery, take photographs and learn something about the culture of Morocco as well as seeing some birds of course. Brahim arranged this brilliantly and our expectations were more than satisfied. We visited the High Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert and the coastal area around Agadir as well as lots of places in between. The scenery was superb, particularly in the mountains and in the desert and each day we were able to see the target birds that Brahim had identified. Many of these were at close range and Brahim was always very patient and everything was relaxed – just like a holiday should be! His knowledge of the birds and where to find them is first class. I think that by the end of the holiday we had seen just about every single bird that was on the tour guide that Brahim had provided for each of us and I was able to obtain good photographs of most of them. One advantage of going at this time of the year is that the light is very good and, although a bit cold at night, the temperature in the desert was perfect during the day. We had lunch one day at the fossil shop owned by Brahim’s father. We were also very honoured and privileged to be invited into Brahim’s home and to meet his mother who treated us to cups of Moroccan tea and cakes. We all just loved this never having experienced anything quite like it, even though we have all travelled to many countries. The hotels were picked in the best places to see the birds but they were all of good quality and all en suite. The food we had was very enjoyable and the staff at each of the hotels were so friendly, making us feel really welcome. This was also true of the staff at the restaurants we stopped at for lunch. Hamid is an excellent driver and we always felt perfectly safe which is important when covering such long distances. We cannot recommend Gayuin Birding Tours highly enough. Brahim loves his country, loves the birds and loves showing them to his clients. If after reading this you decide to book a tour we feel sure that you will enjoy all the things that we did and have many life-long memories of Morocco.
Gayuin Birding Tours gave us an excellent and productive tour of mountain, desert and Atlantic coastal habitats. The knowledge and experise of our guide Brahim in finding target birds was impressive. Together with Brahim and driver Hamid we covered the different locations in an atmosphere of friendliness brought about by Berber humour and attention to our needs. Soon into the 12 day tour we felt friends. But birding was the purpose of our trip and in this the trip excelled. Brahim began the tour by outlining our target birds and always had a back up plan to avoid disappointment. Our group of two couples with an average age of about 64 found the tour physically easy. Hamid is a considerate and careful driver. We were picked up at the airport and delivered there for our departure. Gayuin Birding Tours took care of everything in between. Accommodation mostly had great locations. The star ratings on the net don't mean too much as one lowly ranked 2 star hotel was we felt the best. We can fulsomely recommend Gayuin Birding Tours.
Leslie Hyde & Merja Talvela from Helsinki, Finland!