Why Your Next Safari Should Be in Scotland

Mara Cuairt-Dànachd

(sea adventure in Scottish Gaelic)

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The word “safari” evokes images of elephants, lions, and giraffes roaming the savanna in Africa. It doesn’t really elicit thoughts of a picturesque Scottish castle, but Glenapp Castle wants to change that. They’ve just introduced the Hebridean Sea Safari in conjunction with the launch of the new Glenapp Castle Boat—and we’re wild about it. This adventure allows you the opportunity to explore the Scottish isles in a way few will ever experience. Over three days and two nights, a professional crew will take you to remote islands, coastal castles, and distant inns, as well as provide plenty of wildlife watching.  Expect 20-foot-long basking sharks, dolphins, minke whales, seals, and over 40,000 birds, including puffins, guillemots, gannets, and razorbills.

Roddy Leitch, the boat’s exuberant skipper and former harbormaster, offers his expertise on Scottish sea life. (He knows the area like the back of his hand.)

While viewing the diverse sea creatures is paramount, you’ll also be given a chance to go ashore to visit a hidden castle garden, an ancient monastery, an archaeological site, and an award-winning whiskey distillery. During these outings, the crew will go ahead to pitch luxury glamping tents (in remote settings) and cook up a feast, so it’s ready upon your arrival. The cozy tents are teepee-style, inspired by the classical African safari. They boast comfortable beds with downy duvets, Tartan rugs, and, most importantly, hot water for a relaxing shower. A private chef on board cooks up sumptuous feasts with ingredients such as lobster, oysters, racks of lamb, and mackerel. We recommend a pre-dinner dram under the stars for good measure.

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Tip: Invite Ripley the sea eagle to come along; she’s a seven-pound beauty trained to catch fish in the local waters. With an impressive wing span of seven feet, she is a formidable hunter and can easily take fish up to four pounds in weight. Ripley is of the many raptors who visit Glenapp through their partnership with Elite Falconry.