Tuesday, 13 November 2018

The Magic of Winter in Highland Perthshire

We love our amazing Highland Perthshire environment all year round! Here, amongst the forests, lochs and mountains, the changing seasons are so visible.

This time of year though, as Christmas approaches, there are many special opportunities to take advantage of – let us share with you here five magical things to do in Winter!

1) Enjoy one of our superb WinterWatch Safaris where you can travel in comfort and safety in one of our 4X4’s to a sub arctic world, seeking out the arctic hare, the Golden Eagle and the elusive Red Deer. Marvel at the sparkling mountain vistas as you enjoy a reviving Dram in one of our cosy Mountain Bothies!

2) Visit Dewars World of Whisky nearby, one of the most popular Distilleries in the area, and a consistent winner of Best Visitor Attraction Awards!  Learn more about how the Water of Life is made!

3) The newly opened Grandtully Hotel in the hamlet of Grandtully just outside Aberfeldy is attracting acclaim, and is well worth a visit. Run by the team behind Ballintaggart Farm, it’s a showcase for locally sourced produce.

4) If you’re feeling energetic in the crisp air, or perhaps to walk off a big breakfast, why not walk the legendary Birks of Aberfeldy, immortalised by Robert Burns in one of his most famous poems!

5) And finally come and meet our Red Deer, Britain’s largest land mammal, and a truly beautiful creature to get up close and personal with. In our Red Deer Centre, you can feed, photograph and stroke them, learning more about their fascinating life cycle. Top it all off with a warming Hot Chocolate by our roaring peat fire! #cooriein

To purchase a Highland Safaris gift voucher, an ideal festive gift, click here

To book a Winterwatch Safari, click here

To book the Red Deer Centre at Highland Safaris click here

Thursday, 2 August 2018

A Safari Into The Blooming Heather

Watching the hills turn from shades of green and brown to a rich, vivid purple is one of the great joys of the Highland summer. The heather blooms for a few weeks from July into August, and the wild hill landscape comes into its own.

Guests on our hilltop Safaris at this time of year have a unique experience. The hill hums from dawn to dusk with honey bees hard at work, making the most of their short season. We are very fortunate to be at the heart of Perthshire, one of Scotland’s premier areas for pure heather honey production. We have recently learned that most honeys such as Manuka are often a mixed bag of various plants, but that Heather Honey is pure, and we can certainly testify that its wonderful strength and aroma is the essence of the Scottish Moors.

These images, captured by our award winning Safari Ranger George McDonald, show the heather at its peak, and a rare find of white heather that a keeper or walker would traditionally stick in his cap for luck.

George and his fellow award-winning Safari Rangers are celebrated for their knowledge and comprehensive commentary on the seasonal wildlife and landscape features of the hills, as well as relating the history, heritage, geology and geography of the area. The spectacular views over Strathappin change weekly, and the precious weeks of blooming heather are an annual favourite among Rangers and guests.

Book a 5 star Land Rover Hilltop Safari with options for guided walks, photography and gourmet picnics - or give one as a Gift

Monday, 19 March 2018

Visit The Highland Safari This Year With MyHotelBreak

At myhotelbreak, we have decades of knowledge in giving our customers the perfect hotel experience. Whether that’s for a night away or for a city break, we have the experts on hand to give you the best possible advice and opportunities. With that said, a fantastic getaway is more memorable with must see attractions nearby.

One of the must see attractions is the Highland Safaris in the North of Scotland. The Highland Safaris is a five star, multi award winning visitor attraction and an exceptional destination. With 25 years of experience the safari tours access the natural beauty of Scotland on private land reaching heights of nearly 3000 feet in the company of knowledgeable kilted Safari Rangers. Marvel at the scenery in a land steeped in history exploring one of Europe’s last wildernesses.

The Highland Safari offers individuals, families and groups a unique and authentic experience adding a taste of the wilderness on these small personalised Safaris. As winners of the ‘Best Visitor Experience’ in Scotland Highland Safaris combines the new Red Deer Centre with the exhilarating land rover safaris, inspiring walking and biking activities and Perthshire’s only Gold and Gem Panning Centre.

We encourage you discover the Highlands of Perthshire  through an invigorating walk where you can discover what the area is all about and the natural beauty in which it beholds. Learn about geology and the history of the area and no doubt you’ll discover some of the Red Deer in the wilderness as well.

Relax and enjoy the Highland Safaris Café and Shop set in a unique and stunning location. In 2017, they launched Loch Tay Safaris - taking their expertise on to the beautiful waters of Loch Tay, Perthshire’s largest most beautiful and mystical loch. Highland Safaris is open all year round.

Whether you’re staying at The Moness Resort or elsewhere in the area make sure you take a day at the Highland Safaris for an unbelievable experience for all the family.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

A Winter's Tale

A Winter's Tale

January has given us everything we love about a Highland Winter. For 2 weeks the Dawn chorus was framed by crystal clear skies and the rolling Perthshire Mountains were standing proud in all their snow laden beauty.

In these conditions our Safaris are exceptional.

Our Kilted Safari Rangers are all highly trained to cope with the winter conditions and teamed up with a Land rover they can traverse the mountainous terrain so you can see for yourself the magic that winter brings to the wild lands surrounding Highland Safaris. Of course the adventure would not be complete without relaxing in one of our Mountain Bothies. Stepping into these havens of warmth and comfort, you will be transported to another time where people lived in the most remote reaches of Scotland. Our Rangers will regale you with tales of the area whilst you enjoy a warm cup of tea, a slice of shortbread and a wee dram of local Dewars Whisky, the perfect winter warmer!

Of course, you don't have to travel in a Landrover to see the delights of Highland Perthsire. Highland Safaris is nestled within the heart of this glorious land and we are always delighted to welcome visitors into our cafe and shop. Venture out to the Red Deer Centre and feed our herd of majestic Red Deer, walk round the discovery trail to take in the views or simply nestle next to our peat fire and indulge in our home baked cakes.

For all the information you need you can visit our website - www.highlandsafaris.net or get in contact by sending an email to info@highlandsafaris.net or calling 0187 820071.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The Summer Safari

Summer is a special season at Highland Safaris. We love the atmosphere summer brings with happy people gathering in our grounds to go on Safari, enjoy lunch in the sun or to visit our Red Deer Centre; there is a real buzz!
But what is the best way to experience summer in Highland Perthshire? We have selected 3 exceptional experiences for you, so no matter what you are after –
stunning scenery, relaxing on
holiday or a bit of adrenaline – you will not be disappointed!
The Sundowner Safari
Our flagship seasonal safari will leave you speechless..
Nothing can prepare you for the beauty, peace and tranquillity of our hills and glens on our Highland Perthshire Estates at dusk; the fading light offering amazing photo opportunities. Seeing the evening light from a remote spot 3000' up is the highlight of our very special Sundowner Safari. In the company of an experienced Safari Ranger, this mountain environment offers a chance to witness amazing highland wildlife.
The serenity and sheer magnificence of this vista will become an everlasting memory.

Loch Tay Safaris
This year we launched Loch Tay Safaris, a unique and exceptional cruise on Loch Tay that combines the history and heritage of the area with the natural beauty of Highland Perthshire.
Our brand new boat, Iolaire, is a great way to see Perthshire from another perspective, our live commentary will thrill you as you pass by ancient settlements, forested shores and some of the largest mountains in the UK. Iolaire is a fast and comfortable cabin RIB making her warm and dry to travel in no matter what the weather brings!

Biking at Highland Safaris
Highland Perthshire has exceptional cycling to offer, with routes to suite everybody’s ability. It is a fantastic way to get around the countryside and you can often end up in special places that nobody else goes, making relaxation and connecting to nature effortless!
For those of you who would like the rush of adrenaline on your holidays we also have our Biketrax skills loop which is perfect for all ages. You can also take out one of our excellent hire bikes and explore the local area at your leisure. For the more adventurous biker you can go on one of our Biking Safaris - get transported to the high tops in one of our landrovers and get “dropped at the top”!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Spring Watch - The Dawn Patrol Safari

Spring suddenly feels like it has sprung here in Highland Perthshire. The trees are turning lush green, the Red Squirrels are darting about and the skies are beginning to fill with Swallows.

Every Safari up the mountains seems to reveal something new, a couple of weeks ago the stags cast their antlers, the week after that purple saxifrage broke through the tundra and last week we were amazed by meadows awash with bluebells. Spring really is a time for freshness and new things and we at Highland Safaris love sharing these amazing discoveries with everybody who comes and visits us.

The best way to experience Spring in all its glory is out on one of our amazing Dawn Patrol Safaris. An early departure in a Land Rover ensures you witness the magic and drama of a Dawn Chorus, catching Highland Perthshire’s nature as it wakes up and comes to life for the day. Soak up the beautiful vistas offered up by the mountains and relax as your Safari Ranger guides you on this unforgettable experience. 

After your Safari what better way to round off the morning than a fresh homemade breakfast and coffee back at Highland Safaris? Unwind in our warm and cosy cafe and regale us with stories of you early morning adventure.

We look forwards to seeing you soon!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

What do pine martens look like?

By Donald Riddell, Director, Highland Safaris

In response to several requests for information about pine martens, here is our expert opinion on the agile, tree-climbing mammal that is once again becoming more widespread in Scotland. 

What do pine martens look like?

Belonging to the mustelid family, which includes mink, otter, badger, wolverine and weasel, the European pine marten (Martes martes) is native to northern Europe. With plush, silky fur – which grows longer and silkier during the winter months - ranging in colour from light to chocolate brown, they sport a creamy yellow throat ‘bib’. Their small, rounded ears are highly sensitive and they are the only member of the weasel family to have semi-retractable claws, which enable them to climb and cling to tree branches. The male is slightly larger than the female, on average weighing around 1.5kg (the equivalent of three bags of sugar) to 2kg. A pine marten’s body is around 50cm long, with a bushy tail stretching a further 25cm. An adult pine marten can be bigger than most domestic cats.  

Where to look for pine martens

As a result of widespread decline in the 19th century – due to the clearance of native woodlands, trapping for fur, and gamekeepers controlling numbers – by 1915 pine martens existed only in remote pockets in the north-west Highlands. However, they have since spread into Sutherland and Caithness, and can also be found in Moray, Aberdeenshire, Perthshire, Tayside and Stirlingshire, as well as the Kintyre and Cowal peninsulas. They are occasionally spotted on Highland Safaris land, although more often than not we find their droppings, which are quite distinctive and often have berries in them.

When and what to look for

You can see pine martens year round, but as with much wildlife, you are more likely to see signs of a pine marten than the animal itself. They are crepuscular creatures, which means they are mainly active at dusk and night. Naturally shy, the pine marten tends to be scattered in small numbers, making them tricky to spot. Territorial animals – with territories of 5-15 square kilometres for females and as much as double that for males - they mark their ground by leaving droppings in particular locations.

What habitat do pine martens prefer?

The elusive pine marten prefers native woodlands with plenty of cover, although it can also survive in conifer plantations and on rocky hillsides. They feed on small rodents, birds, eggs, insects and fruit, and can be problematic for red squirrels as they are particularly agile in trees and much more ferocious. They can also be a problem for any farmer with hen houses.

During the mating season, pine martens make shrill, cat-like calls. In the spring, they have litters of 3-5 young, which are ready to go it alone by the time summer comes round and can live up to ten years.

Although they are occasionally preyed upon by golden eagles and foxes, humans are the greatest threat to pine martens. In the UK, pine martens and their dens are offered full protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and the Environmental Protection Act.