I have recently returned from a wonderful solo birding trip to Ethiopia. It is always my preference to use local guides, thus avoiding many of the frustrations of mass birding with the international companies, gaining much greater and closer insight into local culture and also ensuring that my birding dollar goes directly into the local economy. I discovered Girum Tewelde through the “birding pals” website and after some correspondence made the decision to use him for this trip. Girum proved to be an excellent bird guide. He has a thorough knowledge of species and where to find them. He is patient and committed to finding the bird. Unlike many guides Girum is particularly careful to ensure minimum impact, using bird calls with real discretion and avoiding intrusive approach. In a country where infrastructure is often minimal, Girum’s excellent organisation ensured that our time was smooth and problem free and he kept a close eye on safety and well-being. I was particularly impressed too with his choice of driver who negotiated the difficult roads with great skill. When you spend 16 days birding with someone you have to get on! Girum is a very likable, easy going bloke and excellent company. This was one of the most memorable trips I have done. Thanks to Girum I saw all my target species (except the Ankober serin where fog made birding impossible). An exceptional guide who I highly recommend.