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Highland Wildlife Trips




Wildlife flourishes in the Scottish Highlands, and it is great fun to get out and see some in its natural habitat.  Scotland is home to over 90,000 species, so bring your camera and see what you record.  Like most places in the world, Scotland’s Highlands have experienced changes in climate and intrusions by mankind which have been detrimental to wildlife.  The good news is that there are many conservation trusts working in harmony to protect the wildlife of the Scottish Highlands and see it not only survive but prosper.  This is your chance to get out and see all kinds of seabirds and marine life, like puffins, dolphins, seals and whales.  You can head inland and spy red deer, pine martens, and Scottish wildcats.  For bird-watchers, there are many ideal locations for adding sightings to your logbook.  If you enjoy the outdoors and all that the natural world has to offer, a wildlife trip into the Scottish Highlands is a must-do while you’re up on holiday.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust hosts a variety of talks, walks, and events to help you get out and observe different species.  They are especially good if you are hoping to see pine martens and red squirrels.  According to Wildlife Scotland, a part of Scotland’s tourism organization VisitScotland, every wildlife watcher should try to spot the following six species:  Atlantic salmon, bottlenosed dolphin, osprey, puffins, red squirrels, and red deer.  You can spot these and many more species by taking a Highland wildlife trip or tour.  Book a wildlife trip, safari, or boat trip for a couple of hours, a half day, a full day, or longer and get out into the wilderness of Scotland to enjoy the scenery and see spectacular wildlife in its natural surroundings. 

The Aigas Field Centre in Beauly, Inverness-shire, is an all-round experience for those keen on getting to know the true wild Scottish Highlands.  Based in a Victorian sporting lodge, you are given accommodation, excellent food, and wildlife tours all in one.  Aigas is a home to wildlife including badgers, pine martens, beavers, red squirrels, red and roe deer, and sometimes ospreys, otters, red kite, and even wild cats.  Aigas is open from April through November, and offers holidays generally by theme.  Programs are usually a week long, although they also offer day-long workshops from time to time, and they are all-inclusive.  Stay in style and take daily wildlife trips and tours through Aigas Field Centre.

Braemar Highland Safaris will take you out on hill tracks in a 4 x 4 vehicle, giving you an opportunity to get into some of the more remote Highland areas to view wildlife.  An experienced guide will explain about nature and land management, and you can take this wildlife trip, tailored to your needs, for up to 4 hours.  EcoVentures is a wildlife watching boat trip into the Moray Firth.  On the other coast, you can head out of Gairloch and view the wildlife of the western coastline with Hebridean Whale Cruises and Sea Life Glass Bottom Boat cruises.  Glenloy Wildlife offers trips, tours, and complete holiday packages to explore the abundant wildlife around Lochaber.  International Otter Survival Fund runs holiday trips on the Isle of Skye.  These trips are generally four or five days, and they are a fantastic way to learn both about the wildlife and conservation.  Great Glen Wild Life Tours also organizes great short breaks and wildlife watching holidays.  They operate out of Orkney, but cover all of the Scottish Highlands

Speyside Wildlife has a number of wildlife watching packages and will offer wildlife trips and tours tailor-made to suit your expectations.  Speyside Wildlife is based in the Cairngorms National Park here in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.  They have been at it for over 20 years now and know all the best places to seek out the special wildlife of the beautiful Highlands of Scotland.  Whatever your level of experience, you’re guaranteed to have a terrific time on your wildlife watching adventure with Speyside Wildlife.  This organization offers such wildlife tours and holidays as Easter trips, wildlife for beginners, walking and wildlife, Speyside spring birds, summer wildlife bonanza, and more.  Speyside Wildlife holidays are all-inclusive and provide you with everything you need to have a spectacular wildlife watching experience.  They also offer day trips with an experienced guide in the Cairngorms National Park. 

Highland Wildlife and Birdwatch Safaris operate out of Aviemore.  They offer mini-bus trips for a full or half day guided wildlife watching excursion.  This is your chance to see Golden Eagles, Osprey, Red Deer and myriad other wildlife species on this great wildlife watching trip which can be added as just a part of your Highland holiday.   Rua Reidh Lighthouse in Wester Ross provides guided walks and wildlife trips, walking holidays, rock climbing expeditions, and great accommodation.  The location is stunning and you are sure to see some spectacular wildlife sights when you visit Rua Reidh.  Wildshots in Kingussie offers wildlife photo tours all over the Scottish Highlands and farther afield, as well.  They can organize self-catering accommodation, wildlife hide rentals, and workshops.  If you are a wildlife photography buff, this is an excellent option for you.  Enjoy the magnificent Scottish Highlands and hone your photography skills in the wild.   Wild Outdoors in Birnam, also part of the Birnam Guesthouse, runs wildlife watching holidays and trips throughout the year.  They will take you on tour all throughout the Scottish Highlands, and offer a different range of trips and tours each year.  They also operate running tours for those who want to sprint their way through the Scottish Highlands!  Corrour Walks are operated on Corrour Estate near Fort William, and are excellent wildlife watching venues.  They have a number of walks and hikes at a wide variety of skill levels.  Corrour offers other outdoor pursuits and accommodation, as well.  Contact the estate directly to find out what they have going at the time.    

Sea Harris runs day trips from April through September to the magical island of St Kilda, as well as the Shiant Islands.  You will travel aboard the Enchanted Isle, which is a purpose-built motor cruise accommodating up to 12 passengers.  For anyone interested in nature, ecology, and preservation, this trip is a must.  The Shiant Islands and St Kilda are world renowned for their seabird colonies.  You may even see the Soay Sheep and Bororay Sheep of St Kilda when you take this wildlife trip.

Whatever you fancy, there are myriad wildlife watching trips to choose from here in the Scottish Highlands.  Birds, marine life, and mammals will thrill you when you see them up close in their own natural habitats.  You can spend a week or more touring the Highlands on a wildlife watching holiday, or you can choose to take a variety of smaller trips both by land and by sea.  The many islands that surround the coastline of the Scottish Highlands are home to diverse wildlife colonies.  The waters are teeming with huge varieties of fish, sponges, corals, and crustaceans; dolphins, porpoises, and whales also make their home here, as do the grey and common seals.  Red deer roam the craggy mountains and rugged moors.  Red squirrels and pine martens thrive in the forests.  Even wild cats can be found in the Highlands of Scotland.  On your next holiday to the Highlands, book a wildlife trip for a day or longer and immerse yourself in the wilds of the Scottish Highlands.