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Malcolm O'Reilly

An avid northern adventurer, Malcolm delights in sharing the natural wonders of Greenland with Nat Hab guests. His passion for nature began early. As a child, Malcolm reveled in escapades in the local countryside, the company of his many pets, and a bedroom full of bones, fossils, feathers and old bird nests. Though he was raised in Essex (a flat county in England near London), thanks to school trips to the Lake District National Park and the influence of an outdoorsy Scottish grandad and an indoorsy Irish dad, Malcolm came to realize that he wanted to pursue a calling to teach people about nature while leading them through wilderness areas in Britain and beyond.

He completed a degree with honors in Animal Biology at Bangor University in North Wales where he studied octopus behavior, learned to climb and ski in the mountains, and took up kayaking on the Welsh west coast. Subsequently, he arrived in the Scottish Highlands in 1996 with a large rucksack and bank overdraft, determined to work outdoors with people and wildlife. He taught courses at outdoor centers throughout the Highlands, earned numerous certifications as a guide and instructor, and holds several professional awards for instructing mountain and paddle sports. He has recently expanded his guiding terrain to Greenland.

Much of Malcolm's career has been spent in Scotland's wild Cairngorms National Park, where he has made his home for more than 15 years. He often guides wildlife- and bird-focused groups but also instructs classes in summer and winter mountaineering, skiing, sea kayaking and mountain biking. He has worked as an educator developing in-depth osprey and capercaillie conservation projects with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and has been a seasonal ranger in Scotland's Abernethy Forest National Nature Reserve. Malcolm is passionate about helping both guests and guides discover more about the wildlife and natural history of wilderness areas. When he's not exploring the field with guests, he is busy being a husband, dad, artist, builder, Bible teacher and chocolate taster. For practical reasons, he has had to swap his preoccupation with octopi for a collie.

Upcoming adventures with Malcolm:
Discover Greenland: The Natural Habitat Experience


Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

A. Martin
"Malcolm was a wonderful guide. He explained the activities clearly and the time frames. We always knew what we were going to be doing and when. He did, however allow for group preferances especally when it came to time. We were never hustled into the van before we had completed our experience. Malcolm was very well informed about the history of the areas we visited, the birds, animals and land forms. He has a fine sense of humor that kept the atmosphere fun and relaxed. Malcolm was at all times attentive to the needs of our group and offered good options to those who couldn't walk as far as the activity required. In my case, he was careful to let the restaurant staff know about my dietary needs. Then he checked back with me to make sure my meal was satisfactory. Malcolm gave us leave when appropriate to explore the area on our own. He gave us the information about what we could experience and then backed off. I always felt very safe with Malcolm. Aware that many of us have a hearing loss, Malcolm was mindful to speaking with appropriate volume and diction."

R. Smith

"This young man is a winner! He knows the birds, the bird calls, the flowers, the GEOLOGY (few leaders do), the trees, the clouds, the mammals, the shells, and he is a VERY safe driver. Nat Hab should have him as a full time guide! He was VERY helpful to me on any walks which included irregular surfaces, slippery rocks, etc. He is personable and friendly."

J. Heidelberg
"Malcolm did a great job. We got a great amount of information on the natural history, birding, geology, culture and history."

E. McCrea
"Malcolm was the reason that I would rate this trip a huge success. He was unfailingly friendly and helpful. Both guides were both quite knowledgeable on the history, natural history, and cultural of the areas we were in. Good depth on just about any aspect of natural history, but I appreciated Malcolm's superior knowledge on birds. Since my traveling companion was a bit unsteady on her feet and had low endurance, he went out of his way to be helpful without neglecting the others in the group. From minor experience as a small tour organizer and leader, I know how much time he must have spent in the evenings and nights taking care of details and ensuring that the next day would go smoothly. The workload never showed and resulted in an extremely smooth and well planned program. His flexibility and willingness to accommodate interests and preferences were much appreciated. He seemed to tune in to my interests quite quickly and ensure that anything we saw along those lines was pointed out to me. Nice job all around."

T. Nolle
“Fantastic guide! We had asked him if it would be possible to see The Falkirk Wheel in Scotland and as it turned out, it was on our way. It is a really interesting feat of engineering. So glad that he could accommodate that request."
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