Shan-T Native Kayak Tours

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In a Nutshell

Eco-friendly tours take all-levels of adventurers through dense, secluded mangroves to see manatees & dolphins up close

The Fine Print

Promotional value expires Aug 22, 2012. Amount paid never expires. Limit 4 per person, may buy 1 additional as a gift. Reservation required. Subject to availability. 48hr cancellation notice required. Subject to weather. Bradenton Beach location for moonlit tours only. Palma Sola Bay location for manatee watching tour only. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

Waterways still hold many secrets, because the pressure below the surface deters manned vessels and darkness makes it hard to read the diaries found there. Explore aquatic mysteries with this Groupon.

$20 for a 2.5-Hour Kayak Tour (Up to $49 Value)

Excursions include the Exotic Mangrove Tour, during which kayakers navigate dense mangrove tunnels across the waterways of Emerson Point nature reserve, as well as a manatee-watching tour. Guides Michelle and Mark answer mysteries about the local ecosystem, and participants may peer down through shallow waters to catch glimpses of conches, starfish, and sand dollars. Depending on water levels and the time of day, they may also encounter inquisitive manatees and dolphins. Michelle and Mark eschew strict structure on their tours, giving participants open-ended directions and pointing out occasional sights, such as birds of prey or secret poker games between birds of prey. Each tour includes a kayak, a lifejacket, and a paddle, and though tours normally last up to 2.5 hours, time spent on the water may vary.

Shan-T Native Kayak Tours

When a family of five wanted to go on a kayak tour, they assumed their daughter with Down's syndrome couldn't come along. But Shan-T co-owner Michelle Thorpe assured them she could, and invited her along in her own tandem kayak. Once on the water, the girl immediately took charge, joyfully taking over paddling. Michelle and her husband Mark had always searched for a way to conduct fun, physical, outdoor activities that would accommodate people with special needs, including their daughter with Asperger's and their niece who is autistic. Taking advantage of the therapeutic nature of the area's calm waters, Shan-T provides a way for just about everyone to commune with nature. The couple operates their tours intimately, using no more than 15 boats per group so that wilderness smells and the sounds of lapping waves are prevalent throughout their adventures.

The pair leads their tours through secluded, often shallow waterways and wildlife-rich areas aboard ocean-style kayaks with open tops for easy boarding and egress. They sometimes allow participants to use the boats as standup paddleboards on which participants can stretch their legs or reach up to scratch head itches with overhanging branches. On each tour, guides stress the fragility of the local ecosystem, highlighting issues such as baby fish growing up inside discarded soda cans and dolphins consuming floating plastic bags. In response, participants often pick up any refuse they see, with tours in the past becoming scavenger hunts to help clean the secluded waterways and to see who can find the most Gene Simmons solo albums. On many of these trips, kayakers have encountered manatees up close, sometimes when they brush up against the boats to scratch their backs and bellies.

Customer Reviews

We had a great kayak tour with Shan-T. Highly recommended!
Rosa P. · May 16, 2014
Had a great time Michelle was friendly and tried to make sure we saw as much nature as we could! We will go again!
Beth P. · March 23, 2014
My family really enjoyed this outing. I would definitely tour with Shan-T Native Kayak Tours again. The guides were great. Remember to bring insect repellent--just in case.
LINDA T. · March 23, 2014
Merchant Location Map
  1. 1

    Bradenton

    15087 Manatee Ave W

    Bradenton, Florida 34209

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  2. 2

    Bradenton

    Palma Sola Bay

    Bradenton , Florida 34208

    Get Directions
  3. 3

    Bradenton Beach

    Coquina Beach Boat Ramp

    Bradenton Beach , Florida 34217

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See all 4 locations

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