J. & D. Van Ginkle
“We enjoyed this trip immensely! Scotland is lovely, with so much to recommend to it: history, geology, birds and beautiful scenery, with fantastic variation north to south.”
"Our guides were both excellent and very knowledgeable about the history as well as the natural things that we saw. They tried very hard to accommodate everyone. It is very difficult to pick the "most liked" because it was all so wonderful, but I think our time and side trips on Harris and Lewis were my favorite part. Also going to the blind where we saw the badgers and pine marten was a treat. We saw more of Scotland than I ever expected on this trip. I left wishing that we could have spent even more time there. I very much appreciate that even before we left they had asked what we would like to see."
"Another great trip! The guides were great and the concept of the trip as a different view of Scotland than usual was probably the key thing. I can't really complain about anything. The strong thing about the guides was their flexibility. Scotland in general and the islands in particular aren't places where you can go in with fixed expectations on activity, and they adapted to conditions wonderfully. When somebody in the group wanted to see something that was sort of in the route if not on the agenda, they added it in. They worked through differences in people's physical capabilities and interests too."
“This trip was well organized and surpassed my expectations, and the guides couldn’t have been better.”
"Our guides, Steve and Carron, made the trip! They were fantastic! Full of information while also making us laugh--I really appreciated this balance. I can't imagine a Scotland trip without them! By the end of the trip, I was sad to say good bye to both of them--a sure sign that they did a great job!"
“I am not sure I can find the right words to express how exceptional the guides are. Their depth of knowledge is amazing. We learned so much about Scottish history, deep ecology and the birds and mammals we saw. I don't know how Steve and Eric can look way up in the sky and tell what bird is flying, its Latin name and how it is or isn't related to birds in the USA. Steve not only knew where main attractions are located but also where the peregrine falcon is nesting."
“The sights, natural history, and wildlife were extraordinary, and I really had an excellent time!”
"I enjoyed the varied landscape that we got to experience in Scotland. We went from south to north, were on 8 islands and took 8 boat trips. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the birds but also the other animals too. I felt our experience was very balanced."
“Our guides displayed an incredible knowledge of the natural world and its beasties, from the native charismatic megafauna to the most fragile insect...nothing escaped their notice or regard. As I review the variety of activities we managed to fit in, in the allotted time, I am amazed! We saw so much--and still, it was never rushed, or frantic--and still, there was time to appreciate the unanticipated gifts. Having a few early-morning walks was a great idea. It is very hard to choose what I loved best, but I guess it's a tossup between the Red Kite Center and being in the hide watching the pine martens and badgers. Or maybe striding along the machair in the wind. Or when the puffins landed right next to me. Or the chance to hold a baby swallow, and an Ebony Jewelwing. Oh my. Broad category: watching and being up close and personal with wildlife.”
“Both leaders were outstanding and their acquaintance with the local people we met personalized our experience. The last evening Malcolm wore his kilt to dinner and explained the significance of the tartan pattern. His pride in his heritage and dignity touched my heart. Tim was always patient, cheerful, and had positive anecdotes about the people we met on our travels. Wonderful men, wonderful guides. The activities were well planned to encompass all levels of ability. Well planned!”