Sea kayaking and wildlife

Wildlife spotting from your sea kayak

Sea kayaking is all about getting out into the wild, so all the trips we feature will bring you in contact with some wildlife. And because paddling is a peaceful, tranquil activity you have much better chances of convening with nature. Here are just a few of our favourites.

Whales & dolphins

Most people don’t realise it, but you can see dolphins and basking sharks from late April until late June off the west coast of Ireland. And humpbacked and fin whales come to Irish waters for feeding from September until January. Sunrise and sunset kayak trips are also popular with bird lovers, or just music lovers, as the dawn and evening chorus is spectacular from the water. In July and August, you can also see lots of sunfish here, which lie on the surface in a magnificent dome shape, looking like the sun.

Birds of prey & sea turtles

Follow the river mouth into Turkey’s coastal Lake Köycegiz and the Dalyan Delta for exquisite bird watching. And with a noise free kayak, even better. In April and May, in particular, you have a chance of spotting a white-tailed eagle, white egrets, ospreys and marsh harriers soaring above, as well as green shanks and kingfishers. From May to September, you might also get the chance to see the Loggerhead turtle as it comes to nest at Iztuzu Beach.

Seals & puffins

Paddling with seals is quite an amazing feeling and July until October is peak seal time in Wales. It is unusual to go out on the bays of Pembrokeshire at this time and not see a head pop up to say hello. There is a veritable fiesta of sea birds in the spring, such as razorbills and guillemots which live in the Irish Sea all year but come ashore to breed and nest in the cliffs. So kayaking is a great way to see them. Skomer Island is home to thousands of puffins too, but you will need a bit of sea kayaking experience to get out there.

Bears & eagles

A sea kayaking vacation in British Columbia is like breaking open an exquisite piñata of wildlife. Turn your eye from the mind blowing sightings on the water towards the land, you have the chance to see grizzly bears along the shores, with bald eagles flying overhead. Combine this with wilderness camping for a sea kayaking vacation that feels like it is straight out of a David Attenborough special.
Photo credits: [Dolphin: Jon Spencer] [Turtle: Nataša Stuper] [Puffin: John Goode]
Written by Catherine Mack
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