Our clients' opinions
happy customers, happy us
A good selection of testimonials from some of our clients satisfied with our tours to Doñana. If, like them, you enjoyed Doñana through us, why not sending us a few words to summarize your experience, other potential clients will thank you.
There were two dimensions to our visit in February 2020 - El Rocio, and a full day of birding with Jose.
While it all started in the interests of a day of birding with Jose; El Rocio was a total surprise. El Rocio is a small town with numerous rustic hotels and restaurants typical of small spanish communities. The service we received (we do not speak Spanish) was courteous and efficient and the food was very good.
The setting of El Rocio is a birdwatcher's paradise. In February 2020 we saw many individuals of many species including hundreds of glossy ibis, flamingo, spoon bill, waterfowl and waders in a huge wetland on El Rocio's doorstep. Birdwatching here is further facilitated by a grand promenade running the full length of the community's waterfront. In addition to all of this, the adjacent national park has a good boardwalk network connecting several well placed hides on shorelines of extensive wetlands.
Jose went over the top in our day of birding; we covered a lot of ground in the park and adjacent agricultural lands. It started at sunrise and ended at sundown with many bird sitings that I hoped for but did not expect - ie. little bittern, squacco, black stork, barn owl. Seeing hundreds of grey cranes in dozens of flocks was perhaps the highlight of the outing.
Jose is very knowledeable on the birds of the area and his intimate knowledge of the varied habitats - both natural and agicultural lands put a lot of birds in our binoculars. Jose is also a diligent, considerate and very professional host. Ours was a very memorable day of birding in S. Spain.
My wife and I took a full day private tour with Discovering Doñana on November 14th 2019. The private tour took us through the North of the Doñana national and natural parks. We were lucky that the weather was collaborative, but on the other hand, nature was very dry and many water birds were not there so we also went to visit the rice fields adjacent to the parks.
Our guide Jose is a real expert: he did not only spot birds from a remarkable distance, but also immediately identified them. In spite of the drought, we saw many interesting birds like the red-legged partridge, spotless starlings (I admit that I did not know it existed), hawfinch, Iberian shrike, several red kites and marsh harriers, black-shouldered kites, black-winged kites, black storks, common cranes, swamp hens, and lesser bustards, along with the expected white wagtails, white storks, spoonbills, serins, redstarts and buzzards, hoopoes, stone chats, meadow pipits, avocets, and all kinds of herons and of course gulls and terns, wrens and chaffinches as well as Iberian magpies. Jose also knew where and how to find owls - barn owls, short-eared owls, small owls - and when a large pink cloud appeared, he immediately ordered us to get out of the car and get ready for the landing of a flock of some 3000 flamingos. On top of that, Jose also knew were to stop for a good local meal or a coffee in a visitor park. We were not able to spot the lynx, but saw many red and grey deer and more birds than we describe herein. All in all, we felt very privileged after a full day of visiting Doñana, and we're already planning to go back soon when there is water in the marches. Thanks Jose! Erik and Annemie
Tuvimos la suerte de hacer un tour de día completo excelente, a pesar de no haber agua en las marismas, fuimos localizando animales, y al final un espectáculo en los arrozales miles de flamencos, anades, etc.
El guía buen conocedor del entorno.
We went on a shared tour of 5 hours duration with one other English visitor ably guided by Jose. The 6.30 start enabled us to hear and watch the forest and its animals waking up - a truly unique experience. Jose spoke perfect English and shared his wonderful knowledge of the park's birds, animals, trees and plants with us in a greateat spirit of enthusiasm. Binoculars were provided to all of us and Jose also set up a very powerful field telescope for us to observe particular birds and animals at key locations. This really was an unforgettable nature adventure in a very special area of Spain and we strongly advise readers to book a tour if you are in the area and have the opportunity. We stayed in Matalascañas for two nights in order to go on the tour and the starting place is in El Rocío, which is a very interesting town somewhat evocative of the 'Wild West'. It is also the focus for an annual religious pilgrimage at the time of Pentecost.
We hope that you derive as much enjoyment as we did and many thanks to Jose for making it possible.
Doñana National Park was worth getting up at 4 am for. José was phenomenal, identifying pretty much every bird we saw (Hoopoe, Spoonbill, Purple Swamp Hen and Squacco Heron to name some of the wackiest) or heard (including a Nightingale and the very noisy Great Reed Warbler). We hope to come again and maybe see a lynx!
We booked a half day morning tour on 10 May & were not disappointed. Jose picked us up before dawn & the 5 hour trip was unforgettable. He is so knowlegable & fluent in English.
We would not hesitate to recommend this morning tour, wonderfull experience & great value.
In dark and cold winter days in Holland, I booked our trip with Discovering Donana (DD), moths in advance. I viewed different companies on the internet and DD appeared the most genuine operator. Not a quick show to earn the money but truly caring about this beautiful environment and willing to share their knowledge with visitors .
I was surprised my mail was answered almost the same day, in English, no problem. Since we would travel with our 3 children (15, 18, 21) it would be important to have a English speaking guide. Everything was explained clearly in advance by mail and mobile phone. ,Our guide Sonia picked us up in El Rocío, outside the hotel, she handed out binoculars to all of us and off we went.
Her English is very good, her knowledge of the environment, the birds exceptional. She is warm hearted woman, we felt like we traveled with an old friend. She made a dozen stops, trying to show as as many different birds and environments as possible. She pointed out many things you wouldn't notice if you were travelling on your own. And she placed the telescope several times, so we would get a better look.
We would recommend DD highly, as a good and very Spanish, as in welcoming, organization. Ready to make you share this piece of paradise for a few hours and doing their utmost to let you understand this precious eco system.
Many thanks, José and Sonia, all the best
The unique wetland in Donana, in the SW of Spain, provides a very special habitat which attract many birds from Africa.
The Land Rover trip though the untamed landscape of the expansive wild life park provides a opportunity to learn about the unfamiliar birdlife or species that transit though every year.
The access allows views of birds, such as Stork, Egrets and many other birds happily flitting about apparently unaware of the viewing public. You learn and love in equal measure and visit of a few hours seems to flash past in minutes. A great and memorable and unique experience!
Tours to Donana, Sierra Pelada and Castro verde steppes April 21st, 22nd, 23rd 2019 with Jose, a very good guide who knew all species in the area and where to find which species. For someone interested in seeing much more than he/she would see on her own this is a "must" tour. We both enjoyed the different habitats and seeing so many different - mainly bird - species.
The service included also suggestions where to stay during the different trips and booking of accomodation as suggested. Everybody should at least take such a closer look at Donana, but with time left, add one or the other tour of the program. Best wishes to this great way to take a closer look at wildlife in one of Europe's very special places.
Dear José (and the rest of the crew),
Thank you for a lovely morning in the Doñana (15th of March). We fully enjoyed the expertise of José and his thorough knowledge of the environment. On our own, we should never have spotted the bittern, just to take one example. We can very strongly recommend a private half day tour in the Doñana, especially to people, like us, with a less developed flock instinct.
José, I realize that we shall never completely agree on the subject invasive species – so be it. By the way, the “nutria” I told you about, the one we saw in the Camargue, and once again in a canal in Colmar, Alsace, was a myocastor coypus. In Danish we call it a “sumpbæver” (literally translated a “swamp beaver”). If it ever comes to the Doñana, I have no doubt that it will appreciate the environment, even if you do not want it!
Anne and Axel Moos, Denmark