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|Nature Kayak Tours!
|CERTIFIED FLORIDA MASTER
NATURALIST GUIDED NATURE
1. How long is the tour and how far do we paddle?
The tour is a minimum of 3 hours in length and you will travel a minimum of 1.5 miles each direction for a total of at least 3 miles
paddling. Expect more.
2. What time and where does the tour start?
Reservations are required a minimum of 12 hours in advance. The tour leaves the shore on Estero Bay every day from March 1st to
November 30th @ 8:00 A.M. (dates subject to change) We meet at 7:45 A.M. so we can get everyone on the water on time. Some
may find this early, but we have consistently found that the best tours happen in the A.M. hours. There are not many boats around,
the wildlife is behaving naturally, it's quiet, usually the weather is calmer in the morning, the heat is manageable and the sun is not
From December 1st to February 28th (dates subject to change) , we launch from the Orange River at 9:00 A.M. and meet at 8:45 A.M.
Updated directions can always be found on the homepage of our website at www.manateeguides.com.
3. Is the tour physically demanding?
It mostly depends on wind speed /direction and tidal flow. On a calm day the tour is quite leisurely, but when winds exceed 15 M.P.H
it can be quite a strenuous physical effort. When we occasionally do tours on the Orange river during the winter months, it is
generally considered to be easy for most people. The tour in Estero Bay takes greater stamina and endurance as the search for
animals will encompass a much wider area.
The Estero Bay tour is not for the couch potato. You will be exposed to physical activity and the
elements. You will experience exposure to sun for hours with little or no shade. A wide brimmed
hat and good sunscreen is strongly recommended. If you already have a bad sunburn, you might
want to think twice before booking or take serious measures to protect yourself from the sun. If
you have health conditions, SPINAL COLUMN ISSUES OR OTHER BACK PROBLEMS, heart
issues, have had recent surgery, rotator cuff issues, arthritis, asthma, diabetes or are pregnant,
you should consult with your doctor before considering a tour with Manatee Guides in Estero Bay.
Manatee Guides operates out of Estero Bay at least 9 months of the year. It is safe to say that if
you take a tour with us, you should be in fairly good physical condition. Most days, Estero Bay is
an easy paddle, but as with any kayak tour, wind makes the experience more challenging. Check
the forecast to book on the days with lowest wind speed!!
WIND 0 - 10 MPH = EASY
WIND 10 - 15 MPH = MODERATELY DIFFICULT FOR MOST, DIFFICULT FOR SOME
WIND 15 - 20 MPH = STRENUOUS PHYSICAL EFFORT
WIND OVER 20 MPH = TOUR IS CANCELLED
YOU MAY CHOOSE TO RESCHEDULE IN THE EVENT OF WIND AND IF YOU CANNOT
RESCHEDULE, WE WILL REFUND YOU. WE UNDERSTAND. WE WOULD RATHER REFUND YOU
AND HAVE YOU WALK AWAY DISAPPOINTED THAN SEE YOU TAKE ON SOMETHING THAT IS
OUT OF YOUR LEAGUE
CLICK HERE FOR THE 10 DAY FORECAST
4. What should I bring?
YOU WILL GET WET ON THIS EXCURSION
Travel extremely light. Sun hat, sunscreen, clothes that can get wet and good protective water shoes. We have cold water.
5. Why does this site say that this activity is ideal for people 10-60 years of age?
In the past we have found that some people over 60 and under 10 years of age may have difficulty completing our tour. We have
found that people under 10 years and over 60 years often find the tour physically demanding due to tidal flow and wind, the length of
paddling distance and sun exposure. Children under 10 must ride in a tandem with an adult. Parents with young children should be
in decent physical shape as they will take up most of the workload when moving the kayak. We welcome everyone but we cannot
emphasize enough that this is a physical experience. Just be sure you know what you are getting into and call us if you have
6. There are people in our group who are outside the ages of 10-60 years old, can we still go?
Yes, If the participants have a good physical ability, are able to endure long exposure to the elements and are confident they can
complete the tour, then we would be happy to have them along. We never want to turn anyone away and we wish everyone could do
our excursion ... but we want you to be clearly advised that this is a physical experience involving open water, element exposure,
wind, tidal flow and sometimes heavy boat traffic. We know the bay extremely well and we are professional guides. We will lead you
safely through the estuary. This is not a captive or lagoon experience. We do not have Manatees located conveniently nearby. Every
day is a brand new search and we track them for you. You're going out with hardcore guides when you do a Manatee Guides tour.
7. Can I touch a manatee or dolphin?
In Lee County, chasing, corralling, blocking passage, feeding, touching or giving water to a manatee or dolphin is considered
harassment and is punishable by fines and/or imprisonment. We do not allow anyone to touch a manatee or dolphin.
8. What do you provide?
We will provide you with a life jacket, paddle, a seat in a kayak and a professional guide. We have water if needed and we will take
some pictures of your day on the water! Free of charge! Just like us on facebook and enjoy!!
9. What should I do with my electronics? Can I bring them along?
We recommend that you don't bring any electronics on the water unless it is certified waterproof. Salt water will destroy any
electronics it comes into contact with. Lock them in your trunk and bring a waterproof ziploc bag for your keys.
10. Do you guarantee we will see a Manatee?
We do not guarantee that you will see a Manatee on our tour
The guides will show you everything that they are able to, every single day. The Manatee is a seriously threatened species and
recent skyrocketing mortality rates have threatened the Manatee further. Your expectations should be set accordingly. We will
make every effort to locate and bring you to at least one Manatee, but to expect that mind blowing encounters with huge pods of
Manatee happen every day is unrealistic. It's also unrealistic to EXPECT a Manatee to approach you. They are wild animals that will
do as they please. Please come prepared to enjoy your day with us no matter what you do or don't see. You should understand
though that there just are some days when we can't locate a Manatee. That's just the way it is with a wild experience. We make our
solemn promise that we will give you our very best effort every single day. Our success rate in locating Manatee is very, very high,
but not perfect. We do have the occasional day that doesn't locate a Manatee. Sometimes several days in a row. The possibility of
not seeing a Manatee is a risk you should be willing to assume before signing up for our tour. It just happens sometimes.
11. Are there restrooms?
There are no restrooms at the launch location at Estero Bay, but facilities are a short drive away. Please use the restroom before
arriving or arrive a few minutes earlier so you will have time to use the facilities.
THINGS TO DO