A few weeks ago, we were kindly invited to Highland Safaris HQ, just outside of Aberfeldy, to find out about the amazing projects they have been up to recently.

If you haven’t heard about Highland Safaris, please allow me to give you a quick introduction. Highland safaris is a 5-star visitor attraction based in Highland Perthshire that shows you rural Perthshire like you have never seen it before. They offer a variety of tours of the local area through their fleet of Land Rovers and also have some great attractions including the red deer centre, gold panning and a delicious little cafe.

Having been born and bred in rural Perthshire, I naively thought there I wasn’t going to see much that would surprise me. How wrong I was. The whole trip was an unforgettable experience from start to finish, packed with new and interesting activities.

Here’s a little insight into our Highland adventure!

Mountian Safari

The first order of the day was to take one of their legendary safari trips to explore rural Perthshire. There are a variety of safari packages available at Highland Safaris including:
– Mountain Safari
– Forest Safari
– Mountain Safari Trek
– Biking Safaris
– Walking Safaris
– 4x4 Off Road Driving
– Special Interest Safaris
– Seasonal Safaris
We opted for the Mountian Safari, as we were hoping to see some Autumnal views of Perthshire.

The trip started with meeting Colin, our amazing safari guide. He gathered us around a map of 3D map to show us the route for the adventure we were about to embark on, as well as pointing out a few key features on the map including Schehallion and the idyllic Loch Tummel.

Once Colin had finished briefing us on the adventure we were about to undertake, he showed us to his Land Rover. We all climbed in and set off on our Safari trip. As we made our way along the road, Colin shared his vast knowledge of the local eco-system and history with the group. He explained the dark colour of the Falls of Keltney was due to the peat-lands the water passes through upstream, he also told us of the ‘woodland corridor’ initiatives that were being taken to help support and encourage indigenous wildlife to settle and freely move around Scotland’s National Parks.

It wasn’t long until the country roads disappeared and we were climbing a dirt track. As we made our way up the dirt road surrounded by towering pine trees, Colin took the opportunity to tell us about the woodland and how many of the trees we see today in Perthshire are not indigenous to our region but were rather man made to help keep up with demand following the Second World War.

When we reached the top of Farragon Hill we were rewarded with some of the most stunning views of Perthshire I have ever seen. With the bitter wind blowing straight through us, we took shelter in the nearby shelter Highland Safaris hand built for its visitors and passing hillwalkers. It wasn’t long before the fire was on and Colin revealed some Kenmore shortbread biscuits (which were delicious!) and of course a wee dram of Dewars Whisky.

Before we knew it, our time was up on the mountain and we were back in the Land Rover heading back to Highland Safaris HQ.

Red Deer Centre

Once we arrived back at Highland Safaris HQ, we were ushered into the Red Deer Centre. The Red Deer Centre is home to Highland Safaris’ very own heard of red deer, where visitors can get up close and admire Britain’s largest native land mammal.

George, the deer expert in charge of the centre that day, started the experience with a short introduction to red deer, how the seasons affect their behavior and their reproductive cycle.
Once he had shared his knowledge with us, we were ready to meet the animals. Armed with a cup of pellets, we were lead to the back of the centre to what looked like a raised decking. Geroge let out a roar, at which point a small heard of deer appeared from around the corner and trotted towards where we were waiting. The deer knew exactly what was about to unfold and as they lined up along the fence waiting to be fed.

Soon enough the food was eaten and we were all lead back into the centre. There was one more surprise install for us. George disappeared into another room for a moment or two and quickly emerged with a beautiful Barn Owl! We were introduced to, Ossian, the very sweet bird that was sitting on George’s gloved arm. George and Ossian were like a well-rehearsed double act, with George explaining some of the unique features of these amazing birds of prey and Ossian demonstrating on queue.

 

Whilst you’re here…

After a long day exploring rural Perthshire, the Highland Safaris cafe is the perfect place to put your feet up and a bite to eat. Or if a safaris trip isn’t your thing, why not try your hand at gold panning or even a Loch Tay safari?

Gold Panning

Armed with your own pan & bucket of dirt, scoop & swirl in Scotland’s Only Gold and Gem Panning Centre.

> Find out More <

Highland Safaris Cafe

The Highland Safaris Cafe is the perfect place to relax with a cuppa and reflect on an unforgettable day.

> Find out More <

Loch Tay Safaris

Experience this unique boat trip, bringing the heritage and history of Loch Tay to life!

> Find out More <

One fact (amongst many) that has stayed with me since our highland adventure is a passing comment Colin made on our way back from the mountain safari. He told me that the word safari originated from the Arabic word ‘safar‘ which means ‘to make a journey’. Highland Safari certainly take the true meaning of the word to heart, as all their activities are created to not only take its visitors on a physical journey but also an emotional and educational journey too.

The day was an unforgettable adventure and should definitely be experienced by both visitors and locals alike. Find out more about Highland Safaris or book your adventure at highlandsafaris.com

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