The call of the wild


Wildnis organises unforgettable, off-grid, bespoke holiday adventures and expeditions using expertise learned in the Special Forces

Few people understand the beauty and challenges of the wilderness quite as well as the British military and its Special Forces, who have spent their careers exploring and surviving in deserts and up mountains in some of the remotest corners of the planet. So, for those seeking to traverse the most beautiful and secluded corners of the British Isles, whether on a holiday or team building exercise, there can be no better accompaniment than the team at Wildnis, which consists of former members of the Royal Marines and British Army. These men have served all over the world, training commandos, stopping poachers and perfecting bushcraft skills in every environment the globe has to offer, from New Zealand to the Himalayas.

“I retired from the Royal Marines after 35 years as a commissioned officer and helped form Wildnis,” explains co-founder Mike Geldard. “Our mission is to bring high-net-worth but time-poor individuals into the wild and give them a unique bespoke experience. We have secured exclusive access to a number of off-grid locations – starting in the Scottish Highlands – and can offer a variety of adventures, including abseiling, kayaking, mountain climbing and field butchery. It is three days of full-on experiences and a lot of camaraderie around the campfire.”

Wildnis’s team has spent decades mastering adventure in the outdoors and are able to use that expertise to create exceptional and unforgettable journeys into wild and remote locations. These can be physically challenging while still offering time to relax and reflect – a rare combination of fun, luxury and natural beauty with a strong commitment to the environment. As well as providing the chance to explore rarely visited corners of the Highlands with trained military experts, Wildnis employs a chef trained in a Michelin-starred restaurant to ensure that meals round the fire pit at the luxury base camp have flavour, fun and flair. Alongside trips to the Highlands, Wildnis offers sailing trips in Norfolk and is exploring further international locations everywhere from Africa to Scandinavia to offer the widest possible range of experiences. These can be off-the-peg or curated to meet personal needs and desires following direct consultation. “That means we can work to the client’s agenda and plug in our own experiences, ideas and challenges into their vision,” Mike explains.

The company offers made-to-measure exclusive expeditions as well as corporate breaks and regular fortnightly planned adventures. A unique leadership course takes place in a stunning 18th-century house in the Hebrides, with access to even more remote island locations via light aircraft and rigid inflatable boats. This four-day programme involves dynamic coaching workshops delivered in unusual and extraordinary locations by corporate executives and members of the UK Special Forces, who explain how their organisations have thrived, developing individual and institutional depth and resilience. This is team-building and leadership training with a difference, delivered by the elite.

“There’s a reason why our military is so well thought of around the world, and we can share some of that knowledge and experience with the corporate world but make it fun,” says Mike. “We have a vision. We want to become the go-to brand for premium off-grid experiences under three banners – corporate leadership, expeditions and bespoke experience. We see a real opportunity for delivering both unique holidays and leadership training as the world continues to move and adapt rapidly.”