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Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5

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Price from: £1,275

Next trip: 2nd May

Duration: 6 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: Multi-Location

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 2

2 review(s)
  • Dolphin-watching on an exciting boat trip
  • Finding Scotland’s largest birds of prey – sea eagles, golden eagles and ospreys
  • Sea kayaking with seals in the West Highlands
  • Seeking out the elusive wildcat on an evening excursion

 

Green Graded Wildlife Holidays 1-3

All of our wildlife trips are graded Green and involve straightforward hiking with no major ascents, as well as other activities which are pitched at novice level. You can expect to be active for around 5 hours each day so you will need a reasonable level of fitness. Please note that there may be some early starts and late nights as we seek to maximise our chances of finding wildlife, although you can always opt out of activities if you prefer an early night or long lie in the morning!

So to help you decide if you are fit enough for this kind of trip, ask yourself:

  1. Are you generally active and, for example, happy to hike for 6 miles (10km), including some ascent, with rough ground in places?
  2. Are you up for a challenge and trying new activities such as sea kayaking or boat trips?
  3. Are you looking for a wildlife trip which involves more than simply sitting in a hide?

We spend 3 nights in and around the Cairngorms National Park. Our base here is at the beautiful 4-star Boat Hotel, located in a sleepy Highland village called Boat of Garten.

The Boat Hotel offers the highest standards of customer care and service, all set in a stylish and relaxing environment. Evenings will be remembered for the wonderful meals, topped of with a local malt whisky served from the wide range available in the bar.

In Ardnamurchan, we stay at a small, family-run, Highland guest house which has one of the best panoramic loch and mountain views in Scotland. The hotel has was renovated in 2008 and offers comfortable rooms with free wi-fi. The meals here are a delight, with a strong focus on locally sourced produce.

Single guests willing to share will be accommodated in a twin room with a member of the same sex. For this itinerary, a supplement of £150 per person will be payable where a single, en-suite room is required. This is subject to availability as per our booking terms and conditions.

You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at the fixed seating area in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 1400 on Day 1 of your trip. Most people choose to stay in Inverness before the trip. For full details on how to get to Inverness, please see our website: Travel to Scotland section.

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5 star 2

4 star 0

3 star 0

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Edward Taylor 20/05/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I appreciated the recommendations for accomodation ahead of the trip in Inverness. The itinerary and detailed equipment lists were very useful.
Trip Comments
It was a fantastic mix of experiences. The sea kayaking was great fun and the time spent looking at ospreys, sea otters etc. was magical. It was good to spend enough time in one place looking at wildlife and the schedule was flexible enough to make the most of unexpected sightings. The atmosphere and enthusiasm in the group was great. I think a lot of this was down to our guide, Malcolm who made everyone feel included.
Accommodation and Food
I appreciated the recommendations for accomodation ahead of the trip in Inverness. The itinerary and detailed equipment lists were very useful.
Your Guide
Malcolm our guide went the extra mile to ensure that everyone had a great time and felt comfortable on the trip. He has an amazing knowledge of wildlife (especially birdsong!) and his ability to spot things at distance meant we had a lot of spantaneous sightings along the way, which we might otherwise have missed. He conveyed amazing enthusiasm and humour throughout.
The Bottom Line
This trip was a great mix, both of animals and landscapes. I felt the walking was challenging enough, and matched the description in the notes. Some guests felt there was a lot of driving on some days. Maybe we needed an extra day to cover the itinerary.. My best time was staying on the Ardnamurchan peninsular and just the incredible peaceful feeling there.

by Ann Paton 15/05/2014

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
I booked late (3 weeks before the trip) as I saw on the web that a place had become available through a cancellation. Craig Little was very helpful in taking and finalising my booking.
Trip Comments
The trip was Scotland's Big 5. High points were seeing osprey (Boat of Garten and Kincraig); dolphin (Cromarty in the Moray Firth); ptarmigan in Choire an Lochan, Cairngorm; kayaking and seeing seals off Arisaig; seeing eagles and otters from Grass Point on Mull. But there were many other special moments.
Accommodation and Food
I booked late (3 weeks before the trip) as I saw on the web that a place had become available through a cancellation. Craig Little was very helpful in taking and finalising my booking.
Your Guide
Malcolm O'Reilly was outstanding as a guide. Very knowledgeable about the area and the wildlife, enthusiastic about each day's programme, carrying out a lot of administration and driving, socialising in the evenings etc.
The Bottom Line
Great to be able to enjoy wonderful scenery and wildlife without having to worry about where to go and what to do. Size of group also very good (socialising, but not too much).

Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
2nd May - 8th May 2015
£1,275
6 place(s) left
6th Jun - 12th Jun 2015
£1,275
Places available

Trip Details

This wildlife holiday in Scotland is a fresh way to experience the fantastic and diverse wildlife of the Scottish Highlands.

Rather than being a list-ticking trip, it’s designed to be a fun and informative multi-activity trip across the Highlands.

Led by our expert guides, we’ll seek out species such as dolphins, red deer, golden eagles and even the Scottish wildcat as we explore Scotland’s wild places. And while we will visit a hide or two, most of the wildlife will be encountered as we enjoy activities such as boat trips, walks and even some sea kayaking. All activities will be conducted at an easy pace, so are suitable for everyone to enjoy.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Ospreys and Red Squirrels
Meeting in Inverness, a short transfer takes us to the Cairngorms National Park. After checking into the hotel, we visit a nearby nature reserve where we should be able to see ospreys, red squirrels and a number of other species which inhabit this beautiful ancient Scots Pine Forest.

Day 2 – Dolphins and Dunes
Show-casing the diversity of the Scottish Highlands, a short transfer from our hotel in the mountains takes us to the coast where we hop onto a boat for a dolphin-spotting excursion in the Moray Firth, one of the best places in Scotland to see these playful creatures. Back on dry land, we’ll enjoy a beautiful coastal walk, exploring the sand dunes and nature of this often overlooked coastline.

Day 3 – Mountain Species of the Cairngorms
In contrast to yesterday’s maritime activities, today we explore the wildlife of the Cairngorm mountains. Accessing the mountains from a high level car park at 2000 feet, we enjoy an easy hike into the Northern Corries, where we hope to see Scotland’s only herd of reindeer. We’ll also look out for red deer, mountain hares, ptarmigan and golden eagles – as well as enjoying the spectacular scenery.

Day 4 – West Coast Wildcats
Today we transfer west to the beautiful Ardnamurchan Peninsula. On the way, we stop at the RSPB Reserve at Insh Marshes and then take a short walk at the Creag Meagaidh Nature Reserve, which is home to several rare mountain plants.After checking into our accommodation, we venture out on an evening visit to try and find Scotland’s most elusive animal – the Scottish Wildcat.

Day 5 – Sea Kayaking with Seals
We visit a wildlife hide in the morning where we hope to see otters. After lunch, we enjoy an afternoon of sea kayaking in the sheltered waters of the Arisaig skerries. This will allow us to enjoy close encounters with seals, and perhaps even otters or porpoises. No experience is needed to enjoy the sea kayaking and you’ll be looked after by suitably qualified, expert guides.

Day 6 – Isle of Mull Eagles and Otters
From our hotel, it’s a short transfer to the pier where we jump on the ferry for the 15 minute crossing to the Isle of Mull. We’ll go in search of its famous sea eagles and golden eagles, as well as spending time on the coast looking for otters. Even the ferry journey offers the chance to look for dolphins, whales and basking sharks!

Day 7 – Loch Ness and Return to Inverness
Leaving the hotel after breakfast, we make our way back to Inverness. On the way, we stop at Loch Ness and visit Urquhart Castle, the spectacular ruined castle on the banks of the loch. Rumour has it that Nessie resides in a subaqua cave beneath the castle, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled and may end this wildlife trip with a sighting of the most elusive creature of all!

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Prices and Departures

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
2nd May - 8th May 2015
£1,275
6 place(s) left
6th Jun - 12th Jun 2015
£1,275
Places available

Trip Photos

Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5
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Trip reviews

100% Unedited Reviews
This trip was a great mix, both of animals and landscapes. I felt the walking was challenging enough, and matched the description in the notes. Some guests felt there was a lot of driving on some days. Maybe we needed an extra day to cover the itinerary.. My best time was staying on the Ardnamurchan peninsular and just the incredible peaceful feeling there.

Edward Taylor
20/05/2014

5

Great to be able to enjoy wonderful scenery and wildlife without having to worry about where to go and what to do. Size of group also very good (socialising, but not too much).

Ann Paton
15/05/2014

5

Rated 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 review(s) of Wildlife Adventures – Scotland’s Big 5

5 star 2

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