Berber hospitality

Yefren in spring

One of the aims of this web site is to encourage interest in birding in Libya.  I hope to give information to make bird watching easier and more attractive.  I am featuring here some options whether you are travelling independently or you are a tour company.

My friend Ibrahim is a berber from Jebel Nafusa. He speaks Arabic, Mazighe (berber language sometimes called Nafusi) and excellent English.  He is my birding companion and driver when I am in Tripoltania. He knows the best places to guarentee Nafusa birds such as house bunting and black wheatear, the best migrant traps on passage and good places to seek winter birds such as Moussiers redstart. He is not a full blown bird identifier (though he knows many) but he has a sharper eye than me.

Hill with Eslyien House and cave

His family (the Madi's) have lived in the hills for generations. They have converted two homes near Yefren. One is the old family home called Eslyien House and the other is the cave (probably inhabited by even older generations) below it on a hillside. Both places are truely beautiful and make a superb base to bird the inland plain, the Jebel Nafusa and even the northern edges of the Sahara.

I have stayed in Eslyien House with two birding friends who said it was the best part of their whole trip.  You wake up to house buntings and if you are lucky you can see barbary partridge in the fields - all before breakfast.

renovated cave house

Everything is so beautiful and tranquil. The only danger to getting a good night's sleep is the calling of the local scop's owls.

The cave conversion is very recent and if anything is more tastefully done than the house renovation.

bedroom in Eslyien house

There are three single and one double bed rooms in Eslyien House but more bedding can be improvised.

double bedroom in Eslyien House

The cave conversion has one permanent double bedroom but once again more bedding can be added temporarily if requested.

room in renovated cave house

The peak season is early spring so bird watchers should try to give themselves the best chance by reserving early.

another room in renovated cave house

The family make a wonderful breakfast. They will prepare it the night before if you want an early bird start. This is part of the price for the room. We had packed lunches and an evening meal too.

This is not a commercial website so if you want to use the Madi family homes as a base or  drive with Ibrahim or both then email him direct at or phone +218 (0) 92 6134228