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Wildlife Safari Trips around Fort William

Scottish wildlife indigenous to the Fort Wiliam and Lochaber area include golden eagle, minke whale, basking sharks, red deer and red squirrel.

Lochaber Wildlife
The Fort William and Lochaber district is well established as the Outdoor Capital of the UK and known for both adventure sports and it’s spectacular scenery. However, for the wildlife enthusiast, this is one of Scotland’s hidden gems, on the edge of Europe’s last true wilderness.

For a long time, For William and Lochaber has remained in the shadow of it’s better known neighbours Mull and Speyside. But all the wildlife for which these areas are known, with the exception of the capercaille, can be found here. Scotland’s “Big Five” of golden eagle, red deer, otter, harbour seal and red squirrel can all be found in Lochaber and with the help of a knowledgeable local guide it is possible to see them all in a single day.

For the avid birdwatcher there is an endless variety of species, including some of the UK’s rarest birds. Black and red throated divers nest on a number of local lochs. A healthy breeding population of common scoter can be found in the Great Glen. The Scottish crossbill, the UK’s only endemic species can be found in the pine forests. Ospreys and sea eagles are now sighted regularly and numbers are increasing. And few of our remote glens are without a pair of our most iconic birds, the golden eagle.

For lepidopterists, the chequered skipper butterfly is found within 30 miles of Fort William and nowhere else in the UK and pearl bordered fritillaries can be found at a number of locations throughout the region.

Around the coast dolphins, porpoise and minke whales are regularly sighted. In summer, as the water warms and plankton blooms spread north, basking sharks follow this summer feeding bonanza. And our resident pod of orca are seen occasionally around the Small Isles

Lochaber is also home to a population of Scottish wildcat, a species of feline more seriously endangered than the siberian tiger.  The Ardnamurchan peninsula has been declared a wildcat sanctuary with special conservation measures introduced to bring the species back from the verge of extinction, and whilst nationally a very rare mammal, pine marten populations locally are very healthy. Add to this some of the wildest and most spectacular scenery to be found in Europe and you have the perfect recipe for the wildlife holiday of a lifetime.

If you are looking for a new adventure during your visit to the Fort William area, we recommend contacting WildWest Safaris who provide excellent guided wildlife safari trips in the area.

Explore these featured listings

Vertical Descents
Ranked as Fort William's No. 1 outdoor activity attraction on Tripadvisor in 2014, we work hard to make our activities the highlight of your holiday! Find us on the A82 between Glencoe and Fort William. We specialise in White Water Rafting and Canyoning, not to mention River Bugging, Via Ferrata and Fun Yakking, all in half day and full day packages.  WHITEWATER RAFTING  THE RIVER GARRY DAM RELEASED WHITE WATER ALL SUMMER £55pp  Our White Water Rafting will allow you to visit and experience some of Scotland’s wildest rivers. It will enable you to discover landscapes out of reach by normal means and is a must for lovers of adrenaline and teamwork. Vertical Descents operates WWR from easy class 2 rivers up to more technical and challenging class 5 rivers. Please click here for more info CANYONING Starts at £55pp group and family discounts available  Canyoning is jumping, abseiling down waterfalls and sliding down natural water flumes. Suitable for people with no prior experience or seasoned canyoneers alike we have a range of sessions available and trips can be tailored to suit. Canyoning is exhilarating, adventurous and fun and is a brilliant activity both on a sunny day, or as a fill-in on a rainy one to. VIA FERRATA £65 Discounted to £55 (2015 promo)  Built by Vertical Descents in 2013 we have a fantastic 400m awe inspiring journey up the side of one of Scotland largest waterfalls, Via Ferrata is made of metal staples glued up the cliff a safety cable follows the ladder.  This Guided tour takes around 2hrs,  and is situated in Kinlochleven Please click here for more info.  With 15 years of experience in the Outdoor Industry, we guide school groups, Scouts, families on holiday, the RAF, the Royal Marines, the Army, stag and hen dos, international tourists, adventure seekers and anyone else interested in an amazing experience. Our guides speak German, French and Danish.
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Active Highs
Ranked as the No. 1 outdoor activity attraction in our area on Tripadvisor in 2015, Our staff ensure that your activity is a fun and memorable holiday experience that you and your family will remember for life! We are based in the heart of the Great Glen on Loch Oich and the Caledonian Canal in between Fort William and Fort Augustus. Active Highs is a modern Outdoor Activity and Adventure Company with a team of friendly and highly professional instructors and guides that love what they do! White Water Rafting On The River Garry - Grade 3& 4 Dam Release Water, March to October! Our white water rafting trips on the River Garry are the best guaranteed white water rafting in the U.K. due to the weekly releases of water from the dam when all other rivers can be low or even dry. The River Garry offers grade 3 & 4 white water which is suitable for first time rafters, families and also seasoned adventure lovers, Age 8 +. Book Online Here River Rafting Safari Trips £45 pp A fun way to enjoy a river journey for those with younger children or anyone looking for a more gentle introduction to rafting. We normally raft the River Oich on this trip which takes us on a 5 mile journey over half a day taking in the scenery and finishing in Loch Ness at Fort Augustus. Book Online Here  White Water Funyakking £50 pp Experience the rapids in a more up close and personal way in our 2 man inflatable funyaks! Navigate the river and negotiate the rapids with your partner under instruction form your river guide - Book Online Here  Half Day Canyoning Trips From £55 pp Canyoning is a fast growing adventure sport that involves jumping from rocks and cliffs, sliding down natural water flumes and abseiling over waterfalls. If you are looking for a real adventure and something different then canyoning is for you! Active Highs have canyoning trips that are suitable for people with no experience or seasoned canyoneers. We have a range of trips available and all equipment is provided including wetsuits and all safety equipment. Age 12+ Book Online Here Gorge Walking Adventures £45 pp A step down from canyoning but equally as fun, gorge walking involves scrambling up and down small waterfalls, wading and swimming through the gorge, exploring the water course and river bed with the option of some smaller jumps into deep pools. A great activity for families and groups, Age 8+ Book Online Here Canoe Trips From £30pp Being based on Loch Oich which is part of the Caledonian Canal system, we have access to some of the most spectacular pieces of water in the UK! We have a great range of canoe trips available that are suitable for anyone from beginners looking to try out canoeing to experts looking to challenge themselves on water or traverse the Great Glen. Check out our trips here! Kayak Trips From £30 pp At Active Highs we have over 25 years of kayaking experience and can offer anything from fun come and try it sessions on the loch to full day sea kayak trips or introduction to white water and river trips. We have a fleet of general purpose and white water kayaks as well as a fleet of specialist touring and sea kayaks. 
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Loch Shiel Cruises
For a unique cruise through one of Scotland’s most remote, beautiful and unspoilt landscapes, take a trip to Glenfinnan. Join local skipper Jim Michie on his lovingly restored 1940 ex-naval harbour launch, who will guide you along this magnificent loch while keeping a close eye out for Golden & Sea Eagles, Red Deer and a variety of Rare Wildlife.   A variety of cruises operate on the Loch. A morning 2 hour run takes you to majestic Glenaladale, former homeland of a notable branch of the Clan MacDonald who were prominent in there support of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s attempt to regain the throne of Britain for his father, the exiled King James. A superb view of the “Jacobite” steam train crossing MacAlpine’s famous 21 arch viaduct can be seen on this cruise.   A 1 hour cruise to the Prince’s Bay will give a you taste of the Loch and its stunning surrounding landscape.   An afternoon 2.5 hour cruise visits Gaskan, where the writer and naturalist Mike Tomkies found the perfect seclusion to study and record the wide variety of his beloved wildlife.   For a great day out go on the Wednesday Loch Cruise which takes you the full length of the Loch to the crofting community of Acharacle where you can have lunch before returning home. This cruise passes the “Green Isle”, ancient sanctuary of St Finan and burial ground for over 1500 years.   Sileas is available  for private charter, be it for weddings, birthdays, corporate or group outings.   Further details on the cruises & timetable can be found on our website.   Don’t miss the boat, this is not just a cruise but an unforgettable experience!   Timetabled Cruises operate on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday Only. Private Charter Available 7 Days/Week April to November. ADVANCE BOOKING ADVISABLE.
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Atlas Mountaineering | Ben Nevis Mountain Guide
Come join us at Atlas Mountaineering for a special experience on the UK's highest mountain. Being based in Fort William, the Outdoor Capital of the UK, at the foot of Ben Nevis, we are available on short notice for private or group mountain guiding and have great knowledge of the mountain its self. Atlas Mountaineering is now accredited by Visit Scotland and the Scottish tourism board as a four star activity provider! 5 Stars on TripAdvisor! Climb Ben Nevis now for only £69.00  PRIVATE VIA FERRATA GUIDING. BRAND NEW TO SCOTLAND AND BY FAR THE UK’S BEST VIA FERRATA.  TRIPS STARTING JUNE 2014!  BOOK NOW TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT! THIS WINTER! Ben Nevis trips, Winter skills training, Ice climbing and Winter walking! No experience needed! Whilst making a mountain out of a molehill is acceptable behaviour if you’re a bit of a drama queen, we can’t help but think it was a waste of time to bring our walking boots.Go bigger with the UK’s biggest mountain, Ben Nevis, and enjoy a guided tour with Atlas Mountaineering for only £69.00 Vital information• Guided tours of Ben Nevis and the surrounding area  • Private and public tours available • Rated 5 stars on Trip Advisor • Rated  4 stars by Visit Scotland • UK’s highest mountain • Suitable for ages 8+ Expert guides Even before you arrive, Atlas Mountaineering’s guides will be providing handy information by letting you know exactly what clothing and kit you should be bringing on the day. Once you arrive, you and your group will get ready to tackle the mountain. The guides know every twist and turn of Ben Nevis and have scooped a 5 star Trip Advisor rating as well as being rated 4 stars by the Scottish Tourist Board. Ben Nevis The UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, stands at 1,344 metres above sea level at the western end of the Grampian mountains. As you climb, you’ll take in the stunning scenery of the peaks and greenery around you, along with bursts of Scottish heather. Suitable for kids from age 8, today’s deal is the perfect family adventure. Loved by Trip Advisor "Thank goodness we had a guide and Atlas Mountaineering to tell us to hire all the right equipment, otherwise we would have had to turn back and not reach the summit like so many other people had to do.” "Atlas and Connor provided an excellent organised trip with a top guide for the day in Rich …he was patient / informative / educational / humorous and allowed us all to enjoy a very challenging but rewarding day." "We had a brilliant time with Connor and Hannah, learning about how to be safe in the hills in winter. We learnt about winter navigation, route planning, basic Avalanche awareness, crampons and ice axes, along with getting some great hiking in! We will definitely be back and can't recommend Connor and Hannah enough as guides!" Walking the Wild Side  A very special way to see what Lochaber has to offer. One of our most popular experiences is our day and a half walk from Glen Nevis. We will set off at around 3pm and walk through the Steall Meadows and catch a glimpse of the famous Steall falls, from here we will walk up into the watershed of Ben Nevis and camp for the evening. As you watch the sun set around the surrounding mountains and wilderness you will begin to experience one of the UK’s true dark zones, this means that there is no light pollution! The stars are truly amazing here and it is not uncommon to see the odd shooting star, meteor shower or the aurora borealis. You don’t need to worry about dinner as it’s included in the price and we will fill you full of hot chocolate as you get ready to settle in for the most peaceful night’s sleep you will ever have. In the morning we will wake up, eat some breakfast and break camp. From there we will walk up on to the summit of Carn Mor Dearg our first Munro of the day and on to the Carn Mor Dearg arête. This arête is described by Walk Highlands as “the finest way to see Ben Nevis” and they are not wrong, the spectacular arête gives fine airy views of the 600m north face and it is not unusual to not see a soul until we reach the summit of Ben Nevis. It truly is the wild side! Once we have climbed Ben Nevis we will walk down to the Ben Nevis Inn and relax for the rest of the afternoon while you can look back on what we have managed over the past two days.  Rock Climbing this Summer Haven't tried it before, but always fancied it?  We run private rock climbing guiding for all abilities, only in small groups, perfect if you haven't tried before.  If you are looking at something more mountainous, how about the infamous Tower Ridge or some more classic rock climbing in Glen Coe? 
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Lochaber Guides
At Lochaber Guides we pride ourselves in offering our clients a unique and unforgettable experience in the Scottish Mountains. From meeting you at the start of your trip to taking the final few steps, our highly experienced, professional and qualified guides will be there to look after you and give you a trip to remember! We specialise in guided ascents of Ben Nevis: For those wishing to take a walking route to the summit, we can guide you on the Mountain Track or the more challenging but spectacular Carn Mor Dearg Arete. We also offer guiding on some of the classic mountaineering/scrambling routes on Ben Nevis such as Ledge Route and the outstanding Tower Ridge ! For those wishing to do some rock climbing on the UK’s highest mountain, North East Buttress  and Observatory Ridge are fantastic routes to the summit. In nearby Glencoe, the spiritual home of Scottish Mountaineering, we can offer guiding on some of the areas classic scrambles such as Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor or the (in)famous Aonach Eagach Ridge! As well as these technical routes, we can guide you on walks in Glencoe to suit all levels of experience. We run courses in Hill skills, for those taking their first steps into the hills, as well as courses in scrambling, for the walkers who wish to become mountaineers! We also offer courses in Rock Climbing for all levels, ranging form beginners, to those wishing to lead multi-pitch climbs.   Further afield, we can guide you on the mighty Cuillin Ridge on Skye with days ranging from bagging the Munros, some classic scrambles or the full Cuillin Ridge Traverse. Winter We offer a full range of winter courses, from Winter Walking to Winter Mountaineering and Winter Climbing. -Guided Ice and Winter Climbing and well as instructed courses -The popular Ben Nevis in Winter trip -Guided Munro walking -Winter Skills Courses- 1 day or 2 day or tailor made -Ben Nevis Winter Weekend- a day of skills followed by a day climbing the UK's Highest Peak in Winter! Lochaber Guides is run by Dave Anderson. Dave holds the WMCI (Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor) Mountain Training UK's highest qualification. More importantly though, he is super friendly and has a true passion for the mountains and his enthusiasm shines through. Whether you are new to the mountains or experienced we are here to help you fulfil your goals in a safe, friendly and professional way. Adventure Awaits... www.lochaber-guides.co.uk     
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Free Spirit Boat Hire
Free Spirit hire boats are neat clean silent-running electric powered motor boats that are easy to drive and a perfect opportunity to enjoy the peaceful, scenic Caledonian Canal for an hour or two. Couples, car-loads and coach-fulls of all ages are catered for with safety equipment supplied by us.  We are proud members of  Neptune's Staircase Activity Hub, established by Scottish Canals to open the Caledonian Canal up to many more users than ever before. Free Spirit electric boats are the first of their kind on the Scottish Canal network.   SOMETHING TO REFLECT UPON! The opportunities for a day out at Neptune's Staircase are extensive. -A self-drive boating adventure with Free Spirit.  -Refreshments at the Moorings Hotel, at the canal side next to the car park. -Kayak and bike hire from Rockhopper, half way up the lock flight. -Harry Potters Steam Train, from Fort William to Mallaig. A day out in itself. -Or, twenty minutes drive from Free Spirit Boat Hire you could be watching the steam train glide over the now well know Harry Potter flying car bridge atGlenfinnan. (A perfect spot to view from above can be reached via the short path up the hillside to the left and behind the visitor centre there. The monument on the beach across the road is also a must-see.  Before or after all that you might ride the Gondola up to the Golden Goose Cafe at Nevis Ski Range. To mention but a few! Boat Capacity 3 large adults, 4 medium sized adults, family of 5. One adult with 4 to 5 children depending on ages.   We encourage youngsters to steer the boats so they gain valuable experience while on the water. They will enjoy receiving their "I've Been a Free Spirit" badge to mark their achievement.   From wildlife spotting to counting the jumping trout (which you can fish for by the way), steering and navigating, there is an abundance of memorable moments to be enjoyed and taken home.   Couples can share a unique experience together. Families, often three generations in one boat can spend magical moments amid the mountains. Groups of friends always come back in our boats pleasantly surprised at how nippy they are. Were they racing!?   Group bookings attract discounted hourly rates. We offer children's birthday party and school trip packages.    Directions Heading north out of Fort William on the A82, turn left at the Ben Nevis Distillery, onto the A830 Mallaig road. One mile down, cross the Caledonian Canal and turn first right into Banavie to find ample parking. Free Spirit boats launch from the pontoon just beyond Top Lock, 2 minutes walk from the car park. Just follow our signs.    Opening Hours 10:00-17:00 7 days a week during school summer holidays. Otherwise weekends; and at any other time by arrangement. Telephone bookings are easy to make. If we can we will!  Read more about: Terms and conditions can be read here  Reviews  Up to date Facebook 
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