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National Geographic - Best Adventure Travel Companies

Ali McGhee

Ali McGeeMe in 3 – Passionate | enthusiastic | informative

Place to Play – The far north west of Scotland – Assynt (including the summer isles) – Incomparable variety of sea kayaking, climbing and walking. In my opinion this is the most stark and somewhat unique places I have ever been. The people in this part of Scotland are captivating and very welcoming. My home from home!

Not a lot of people know this – I recently did a 4 month trip to South America, spending a month in Ecuador and a month in Peru. For the last 2 months however we ended up in South East Asia including Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Mini Bio – Outside of work I go mountain biking and skiing with my wife and friends. I live in a town called Aberfeldy which is an established outdoor community in the heart of Scotland where there are many likeminded people to get out and about with. I enjoy riding local (unmarked) trails as well as visiting the various established riding centres in Scotland.

I studied sports coaching and development of sport in Glasgow for 3 years before volunteering in Argyll for a year. I then progressed to Glenmore Lodge, the National Outdoor Centre for Scotland where I gained further experience in administrative and maintenance skills, as well as expert coaching and qualification in walking and canoe sport. The majority of my work is in a sea kayak. It is my mission to paddle the length of the Scottish coast line by sea kayak. My passion is to share Scotland’s unrivaled diversity, variety and beauty with anyone who will follow me.

Adventurer's Stories about Ali

Ali was a fabulous guide. He was knowable about history, geography, wild life, plants, and all the rocks! He was always interesting to listen to.
Karen Balsen
Ali was very patient and gave confidence to novices. He was always on top of what needed doing and made the group feel involved in what was happening.
Robert Ridgwell
Ali made the trip for me. He worked ceaselessly to ensure everyone was included in every aspect of the trip whatever their skill level. His local knowledge of the area and its wildlife was so interesting and I learnt a lot as well as paddling skills. Thank you
John Piper
Ali was perfect as a guide. He introduced and demonstrated sea kayaking equipment & techniques in a very clear way, easy to put into practice. He was always ready to interact with the group and very often gave us various options before deciding on the day's itinerary. Besides, he proved to be extremely knowledgeable on many subjects (wildlife, flora, local & national history, etc.) thus making the trip even more enjoyable.
Elisabeth Griffin
I fealt lke I was in safe hands.Ali & Dave were friendly with an easy going manner
Keith Double
As already mentioned above, I really appreciated the extra information provided by Ali on the natural surroundings - it really helped get the most out of the trip. He is a natural when it comes to explaining - even if I didn't get everything right the first time; this was down to me, not him. The assistant, Dave, was a continual source of reassurance and encouragement. Both were an absolute pleasure to be around.
Douglas Griffin
The guides were brilliant; supportive, knowledgeable. and fun. There was very good organisation, communication and leadership.- it saved a lot of time - our equipment was always ready, we knew what we had to do individually and as a team and what to expect and this built a strong sense of cohesion in the team. On the water, the teaching skills were great the guides built confidence, were supportive and there was a sense of having progressed by the end of each day.
Meeta Doshi
Ali and Dave were great guides. Kayaking was explained to us step by step so everyone could come along. Ali and Dave also told us a lot about wildlife and Scotland in general. These guides took very good care of us also with food&drinks!
Carien Aalbers
Both guides took a good care of us; teaching new techniques, encouraging and challenging us to improve. Ali and Sarah were both very enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and hard working to make our trip the best it could be. Thank you.
Tatyana Chshyolkova
I have done guided paddle trips in a variety of locations in the western hemisphere and Ali and Sarah are probably my favorite guides.
Larry Lubbers
Ali and Sarah were amazing.
Jennifer Spurrell
Focused on client safety and needs. Good understanding of weather conditions. Very personable?, especially Ali. Sarah was a tireless force
Louise Lawrence
Excellent staff with Ali and Becky. Very knowledgeable and very nice way of leading and instructing the group!
Ruud van der Steeg
Ali was a really excellent guide in all ways. He is a warm and friendly man and I felt very relaxed and safe under his capable leadership. He is a skilful kayaking teacher and was able to support each of us individually and keep the group together. He paced things really well, giving a good balance of offering technique skills to learn alongside time to journey and take in the landscape. He has a wealth of knowledge about nature which he generously shares. He has a confident and relaxed manner which inspires confidence. It was a real pleasure to spend these days being guided by him. I would also like to add the Becky was a really great guide.... really friendly and supportive. She was up early every morning making breakfast for everyone and was always available and willing to help. On our trips kayaking she was often at the back keeping company with the slower paddlers - quite often I was amongst them!... and was generally just great and lovely to be around!
Rosey Cole
Excellent tutoring from Ali and Becky, safety first along with technical tips and feedback.
Catriona Maccallum
Ali did a great job keeping finding locations to suit the weather and the group abilities. He also did a great job keeping people of different abilities occupied. Ali's annecdotes on nature etc were interesting.

Becky was a cheerful assistant guide who helped to make everyone feel 'at home'.
Bruce Martin
We could not have asked for more from Ali who is absolutely the best guide of any holiday I have done. His knowledge of wildlife and flora and fauna was second to none. That couple with his passion for preservation was truly inspiring.
Marie di-Mambro
Knowledge of the guide regarding local wildlife, history of the area etc was excellent, which greatly enhanced our experience of the trip
Lloyd Best
Ali looked after us exceptionally well. His enthusiasm for his job shine through. We learned so much about sea kayaking, how to be safe at sea, the local area, local wildlife, and how to make coffee on a beach. Excellent!
Jane Wilson
Ali McGhee, our guide, shared his amazingly wide knowledge of the history, geology & wildlife on this trip as well as making us feel completely safe on the water. He constantly updated us on how the day and the trip would run with reference to the tides, weather and what the group's preferences were, all delivered in his relaxed and friendly style. Advice & technique improvement was given: always in a fun & positive way.
Giles Wilson
Excellent guide
Karen Best
Both Tim and Ali couldn't have been better at their jobs. They were friendly, informative and very professional through out, and dealt with some eclectic and demanding clients while balancing the needs of the many and the demands of the few.
Tom Proudfoot
The first and everlasting impression was that both guides were well experienced, thoughtful and safe. They were a well co-ordinated duo and had no difficulty in accepting who was ultimately in charge, which is reassuring.
Alistair Brown
The guides made the holiday work.
I thought their rapport together enthused everyone. You are never too old to do a trip like this. Their enthusiasm to have a go at birdwatching etc was great.
Margaret Maxted
As I said in the trip section, the guides Ali and Tim made the event, they were superb. Great ambassadors for Scotland, knowledgeable regarding wildlife and the environment, superb instructors: focusing on individual needs and developing confidence while increasing the level of difficulty and exposure to more demanding kayaking. They managed the changeable weather conditions and kept us within a safe operating envelope while injecting just a trace of Adrenalin. It was a brilliant balance and a fantastic double-act and their sheer positivity was an example to us all. Ali's driving was exemplary and he made driving a large minibus with an equally large trailer look a walk in the park, I am in awe.
Ken Maxted
Excellent guide who was great company throughout. Good communication about what was planned each day. Tackled the fact that we were old enough to be his parents v well and found a lot in common.
Robert Hargreaves
Ali was great. he adjusted the plans acording to the weather and requests by the group. Very proficient in driving the truck and getting us on and off the water. Great adjustements based on weather and wind conditions. A+ score!
Jacques Bergman
Ali was professional and a wonderful ambassador for Wilderness Scotland. He was extremely knowledgeable about all things 'west coast'! History, flora, sea life, waves, wind, geology...and more. A really safe guide attending to the group, noticing when we were enthusiastic for more....and also when we were tired. Stretching us just enough - and supporting us when we needed it. Sarah was fun, good company, calm and a very safe guide. Sarah's enthusiasm for her work with Wilderness Scotland was very evident and she really conveyed such a glowing picture of the organisation and the teams.
Jo Birch
AMAZING!!! Alli and Sarah were knowledgeable, caring, intuitive, humorous, easy going, non stressed, flexible, accommodating, brilliant teachers
Heather Smith
Ali shone out in his lead role with his steady, evident expertise exuding confidence without a hint of arrogance or showmanship. He has an amazing ability not only to read the needs, energy and abilities of the indiividuals in the group but to meet and match them. He is a gentle presence with a rare and remarkable capacity to inspire, enable and engage everyone. He kept us interested and encouraged with his expansive knowledge of the activity, the nature around us and the historical context. Sarah brought a sense of fun and was a solid, responsible number two demonstrating her determination and dedication to supporting and enhancing our whole experience. She was open and responsive and they both worked really well together.
Louie Gardiner
Ali and Jonny were very good indeed. Both friendly, cheerful, organised etc, and made it an excellent trp.
Belinda Physick
Both Ali and Johnny were excellent. They were friendly, knowledgeable, and sympathetic to the abilities of the individuals in the group.
James Geldard
Guides were both amazing. Inspired confidence, handled group dynamics well, enabled everyone to have a brilliant trip. Fountains of knowledge, oodles of patience, and highly entertaining throughout. I would trust them to take me on a kayking trip again anytime.... Thank you lots!
Megan Smith
No need to say that Ali McGhee is very experienced and high-skilled in sea kayaking. Moreover he is friendly and relaxed, always approachable, an expert eye to spot any form of wildlife around, well-versed in history and landscape, considerate towards everyone. He made the whole trip a wonderful experience for each member of the group, right from the beginning at Inverness train station, throughout all the paddling, organizing and driving till the last minute back to Inverness. Excellent!
Petra Grell
As said, excellent - kayaking, paddling skills, history and biology.
Peter Roslander
Guide was extremely knowledgeable of everything on the trip. His detailed knowledge of the history and the area was superb. Could have used more support launching -help pushing off. He was up 30 minutes late when we were meeting in Inverness..
Kristin Herrmann
They were great company, very skilled, good jokes! - and we always felt that we were in safe hands.
Grith Hansen
Both Ally and Malcom were really excellent in every way. Their cooking was great, their instruction was clear and always patient and cheery and their local knowledge of the flora and fauna was outstanding. Well done to Ally who got us sights of birds, seals and otters every day.
Morag Donaldson
Ali and Malcolm were excellent guides. They were very friendly and looked after us extremely well at all times. They spent a lot of time choosing the trips and telling us about all the surrounding wildlife. They taught us well and supported us extremely well fed/during the trips. Very professional, polite and kept us safe.
Edile Murdoch
Can't fault then, they have the patients of saints
Karen Maltby
Ali is a very fun and outgoing person. His trip planning was excellent and he know's what he is talking about. Maybe it would have been helpful to elaborate a bit more on the paddling technique and check with the invidiual guests if they are ok. Keeping the group a bit closer together, e.g. waiting for people who are not as quick as the rest, would have made things a bit easier as catching up is not easy especially for beginners and when one has finally managed the explanation was already finished.
Denise Nuessle
Don't change a thing. They were both delightful as well as clearly excellent at what they do.
Rachael Tedd
They were very good and consider us, the clients all the time. Felt in very safe hands and they provided an appropriate level of instruction and good humour.
Jo Whitehead
Really excellent guides/instructors. I had a fabulous time and felt really well looked after. I felt like a learnt a lot for the guides I had on the trip. Excellent, Excellent, Excellent. Can't praise them enough!
Katie Donaldson
I thought the guides were great at getting the best out of every day. Obviously the weather was quite varied, and a couple of days were a bit stormy. But we still got out on the water and were taught skills. It was great being taken out into the waves individually to get a chance at some of the bigger waves in a very supervised way.
Roberta Hewitt
Both our guides (Ali and Martin) were fantastic - very friendly and professional, and really keen to push the team as far as they wanted to go while also making sure everyone was still(ish) within their comfort zone. And still being friendly and sociable right to the end of the trip.

They also had great knowledge of the local area and it was great to see how keen they were to share this, even though they must have to do the same thing lots of times over again for
Emily Robinson
I thought Ali and Martin were really good and struck the right balance between ensuring the safety of the group whilst allowing us to push our boundaries. They also struck exactly the right "tone" with the group. Ali's local knowledge and insights also added a lot to the trip - particularly in understanding the flora and forna.
David Johnson
Ali was very professional. His knowledge about the wildlife, landscape and plants was impressive and added very much to making the trip so interesting and enjoyable.
Philip Scarles
Ali and Martin were absolutely brilliant. Calm, good humoured, professional, generous of spirit, always helpful, and positive. They balanced perfectly between letting you explore and find your own way and guiding you. My kayaking has improved no end, but their excellence was off the water as well as on it. A fantastic team. They made the holiday the first class experience it was.
Sally Champion
Excellent guides and leaders (Ali and Martin) good sense of humour and flexibility.They really do work very hard.
Brett Webster
Very experienced and able to coach the group when needed. It was realy great how much they knew about the local situation and used that to get the most out of the trip.
Wilco Schilthuis
Ali was great - informative, fun and efficient.
Tat Small
Ali was quite simply superb. Not only was he guide, but companion, concierge and driver. He would be a major reason for us to repeat such a holiday. His passion for the mountains and nature were infectious as was his lovely sense of humour. He also ensured we were safe and properly attired wherever we walked.
Steve Small

Ali's Photo and Video Gallery

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© Ali McGhee / Wilderness Scotland

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