Safari Paddling

Safari Paddling

One of the best things about kayaking is how it gets you out.

Not just out, but ‘out-out’. Out is when you leave the house to buy milk or to get the car washed. Out-out is when you get to paddle amongst nature, breathe absolutely fresh air and enjoy everything that the great British outdoors has to offer!

But what might you see on your travels? There’s a myriad of creatures and plants that you won’t find hanging around your local park. Here we’re going to dive into what you could find on three different paddles…


The Lake Paddle

What you find at your nearest lake very much depends on where that local lake is! Here in sunny North Wales (trust me, it is sometimes), we’ve got a massive range of flora and fauna to see.

From the smaller and harder-to-spot birds like the absolutely stunning and colourful kingfishers and mandarin ducks, through to the larger birds like swans, Canadian geese, egrets and herons.

Under the surface you’ll be treated to pike, salmon, carp, trout and the occasional dumped tyre, whilst on the banks you’ll find some truly beautiful trees such as larch, willow and of course, the mighty oaks.

I have also been lucky enough to see some of the small mammals that inhabit the banks including water voles and even a family of otters playing in the mouth of an inlet to a lake.

Magical only just begins to describe the sight and noise of these amazing little creatures splashing, fishing and playing in the water, not 20 metres away from the kayak!

The Sea Paddle


There’s far more to the British seaside than amusement arcades and sugar-fuelled children crying about their chippy chips being stolen by seagulls.

Go out onto the sea on a calm summer day and you can spot any number of amazing creatures. From the ever-present jellyfish which can bloom at the height of summer, looking like cloud formations as you gently paddle through their masses, to the common and grey seal populations living in the various coves and saltwater inlets around the UK.

You might even get a rare look in from one of the true giants of the deep, the basking shark! They’re rarely seen around UK waters, but in warmer weather they’re known to come fairly close to shore chasing the plankton they feed on. It’s also important to note that last sentence: they eat plankton! It would be really easy to freak out when confronted face to fin with a true giant of the deep, but stay calm and enjoy the experience of being watched by a six-ton, 12m long fish if you ever get the opportunity, because few people will!

Then there’s the pods of dolphins and porpoises, the whales, the schools of fish and the sea otters.

We really do live in one of the most diverse and amazing wildlife habitats outside of the Amazon!


The Waterways

You’ll find a lot of things we’ve already covered in the previous two paddles down at your local river as well, but there’s a few interesting additions!

There are wild beavers which have been slowly reintroduced to the UK in certain (protected) areas, so you’re unlikely to spot those for the time being, but otters, water rats (far more timid and clean living than the tattooed thugs we see roaming our big city bins, sheds and sewers), river voles and a lot of different species of mice make up the numbers with regards to the small mammals.

Deer, cows, horses and the occasional grumpy fisherman make up the numbers on the large mammals.

The bird species that you’re likely to spot are far more varied, from migratory birds all gathering on the trees at the banks to the native waders and dippers that you’ll spot on a leisurely paddle.

Wherever you end up heading out, remember to stay safe and enjoy what our amazing waterways have to offer!


Capture The Magic... or Don't...

As much as I personally would like to capture every living moment for prosperity on celluloid- that’s the old version of an iPhone screen by the way- there is far more to be said for simply living in the moment, especially when it involves wildlife.

Magical moments like bumping into a basking shark are likely to be a once in a lifetime experience and you really do want be in that moment for real and not through a digital screen.

However…if you do enjoy taking a camera with you to capture those special kayaking moments, just be prepared to drop your phone or camera in the water at the most inopportune moment.

So, be sure to protect your investment with a waterproof rucksack, dry bag or phone case.

These will keep your electronic pride and joy safe and dry while you’re on the water, they even float so you won’t have to watch your brand new iPhone 13 Max Plus Ultra Bionic Super Duper sinking to the bottom briny deep never to be seen again (true story, we’ve seen this happen to a member of our team!)

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