Shetland nature Safari
On the 5th of May 2019 I disembarked the ferry which took me from Orkney to Shetland Island and met Martha Smith, my tour leader of the amazing Shetland Mainland – Sight Seeing & Safari Tour.Jeetees
Shetland Nature has been providing exceptional and authentic tours since 2006, focusing only on the island and its natural sights; they are the only ones doing so. Each of their tour leaders are enormously skilled in showcasing the island wildlife and they’re wholeheartedly committed to share with us their passion while remaining environmentally responsible.
Martha, for example, studied zoology and behavioural ecology at Edinburgh before starting to explore the highlands and Scottish islands.
I chose to contact Shetland Nature for their sensitivity and authenticity. I didn’t get the slightest impression that this company was based on touristic or economic values but more on respecting the cultural and natural heritage of the island. As part of their generosity, I was able to hop in Martha’s car and had her show me how proud she was to live there now and show me each and every wonder Shetland has to offer.
We started by driving to the Southern spot of Shetland’s mainland: Sumburgh Head and Stevenson’s lighthouse.
Martha was constantly searching for bird species, spotting them even the furthest away and lending me her binoculars so I could appreciate them better. She is passionate and it was an honour to share that with her.
The view from there was stunning and so much more was to see on this sunny day. From there we headed North towards RSPB’s Loch of Spiggie reserve surrounded by “some of the most fertile agricultural land in Shetland”.
North from there was St Ninians Isle where we spotted seals sun bathing together. It was amazing to observe Nature being Nature, simply existing and us simply spectating.
While leaving the South Mainland and making our way to the West side, Martha decided to take a scenic detour through Tingwall valley, allowing me to admire Scalloway, Shetland’s former capital.
Only on making my way up the hills did I discover how many more spectacular panoramic views Shetlands had to offer, overlooking Weisdale or Foula or even further astray.
After entering the heart of the west side traversing Kergord Valley, we passed Voe and Brae, Mavis Grind where we spotted an otter playing in the water.
Martha also had with her a telescope to see even further. Rain or wind didn’t stop us from searching for wildlife and feeding our desires to experience more.
After a quick lunch break on the beach, we headed towards Eshaness lighthouse and battled against the wind to find puffins nesting on the cliff.
I have honestly never experience such a strong breeze, it was almost impossible to stand or walk sometimes.
Finally, Martha took me to Ronas Hill, the highest point in Shetland. The panorama left me speechless.
This day was for me an unforgettable experience. I couldn’t recommend Shetland Nature enough. I definitely have it in my mind to come back and stay longer, to hike and camp and explore even more.