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Orca Quest — Caithness in May

From £450 per adult

Departure days

  • M
  • T
  • W
  • T
  • F
  • S
  • S

May — June

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Join us as we search for Orca, one of the most enigmatic mammals on the planet from the Scottish mainland coast.

Tour runs: 29th May - 1st June 2021

2022 dates TBC


  • Our main focus will be as many encounters with Orcas (Killer Whales) as possible
  • Other cetaceans & seals also occur in the area, including Risso’s Dolphin and Minke Whale
  • Soak in the seabird cities home to Puffins, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and much more
  • Enjoy the stunning white sandy bays of Caithness
  • Get face-to-face with an impressive colony of Sandwich, Arctic and Common Terns
  • Learn more about Orcas and other cetaceans in the area
  • The professional leadership of husband & wife team, Dan & Rachael
  • Every one of our short tours donates to an exciting, local conservation project
  • To help maintain social distancing this will be a self-drive tour
  • BEST VALUE wildlife experiences on a budget that suits you

As well as Orcas we hope to enjoy a plethora of other species from breeding Puffins and Arctic Terns to Grey Seals and a host of cetaceans. At this time of year Caithness is buzzing with life. The coastal cliffs are ablaze with spring flowers and insects, white sandy beaches are home to breeding and migrating waders, and there is no better time to explore this stunning part of the world.

Our short tour coincides with the annual Orca Watch event held at Duncansby Head and will maximise our chance of encountering this charismatic species. 


Days 1-4:

Our focus over four full days will be finding and enjoying the Orca pods that come to this area of coastline each year. From Strathy Point in the west to Noss Head and Whaligoe Steps in the east we will maximise our time watching for these incredible animals as well as other species such as Risso’s and White-beaked Dolphins and Minke Whale. 

Around 50 Orca are known to use these waters as they are particularly site faithful returning to the Pentland Firth and Northern Isles every spring and summer to hunt for seals and cetaceans. It is these groups that will be the focus of our attention being well-known to the local whale and dolphin watchers. 

As well as spending time scanning for cetaceans we will also look for other species in the area. Enjoying the thronging seabird colonies of Noss, Duncansby and Dunnet will be a real highlight with Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Fulmars all occupying precipitous ledges. The small lochans are home to Red-throated Divers in full breeding plumage whilst the tundra-like coastal heath harbours Arctic and Great Skuas. 

Caithness is home to some stunning long sandy bays and these in turn are breeding sites for species like Ringed Plover and even a few pairs of Little Terns. We will also take the chance to visit a superb local nature reserve, St John’s Pool, where an riotous colony of Sandwich, Arctic and Common Terns all breed right next to the hides. The pool is also home to around 1,000 pairs of Black-headed Gulls, Shoveler, Gadwall and Redshank making it an unforgettable experience. 

We will maximise what we do during each day based on weather and sightings.

Wild Discovery Short Tours: Great for your budget, sensitive to your health

To help maintain social distancing this is a self-drive tour and the meeting points and timings will be provided to you in advance. These tours specifically allow you to source accommodation and food to fit your budget and tastes. This makes our short tours the most cost effective way to maximise your wildlife watching whilst being ‘Covid-aware’.

We recommend staying in a central location in northeast Caithness. John O’Groats, Gills, Brough, Dunnet and Keiss all offer accommodation and are well placed. There are many options along the coast and just inland and we are happy to help you find the perfect place.

Visit our website for more details about his tour.

Why not recreate this experience with friends on dates that suit you? Build on our existing itinerary to customise your experience.

COVID-19 information

In recognition that this business has confirmed that they have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, ensuring processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social/physical distancing.

Contact details

Wild Discovery
272 Bath Street
G2 4JR
Caithness and North Coast Sutherland area
Self drive
Bespoke Private Small Group (1-16)
Landscapes Outdoor Activities Walking Walking/Hiking Wildlife

COVID-19 facilities

  • Advance booking essential
  • COVID-19 measures in place
  • COVID-19 risk assessment completed
  • Capacity limit
  • Hand sanitiser available to visitors & staff

Tour prices


  • £450 Per Adult
Book now

Prices are subject to change depending on season


Tour company information

Wild Discovery

A pioneering wildlife-watching tour company run by experts for wildlife enthusiasts. Conservation and sustainability are at its core; travel with purpose, tread lightly and experience more. Founded by husband and wife team Dan & Rachael Brown, they bring passion and expertise to every expedition. Driven by current biodiversity loss, the climate crisis and the need to reconnect people with nature, they created a company that endeavours to address all these through sustainable conservation-orientated tourism. We offer fully inclusive tours, short breaks or custom-made tours.

Opening times

Open all year.

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