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Koru Adventures Abroad

Turtle Conservation on the Mekong River – Cambodia

By | Kayaking News, Koru Adventures Abroad

Just 24 kilometres, an hour scooter ride from Kratie we discovered the Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre.

The centre conserves and rehabilitates a number of turtles either endangered or near extinct in Cambodia including the soft back turtle only rediscovered during a survey in 2007.

Turtle Conservation Centre, just outside Kratie, Cambodia

Soft Shell Turtles locations and biology

The surveyors uncovered a 24.2 pound soft back turtle in the Mekong, hard to believe when we were introduced to the baby soft back turtles at the centre.

Soft Back Turtle, Cambodia

The soft back turtles spend most of their time buried under the sand, only coming out to catch fish. According to our guide the turtles are popular with Chinese Medicine. The turtles can live upto 200 years old and so by eating them people believe it will prolong their life.

Buddhists Monks supporting the Mekong River Turtle Conservation Centre

However, with the help of Buddhist Monks, people are now being taught that preserving and releasing the turltes into the wild they will have a prolonged live. Looking at it from a different perspective! Read more about the soft shelled turtle on the WWF website. 

Turtle Species in Cambodia

There are at least 10 endangered or vulnerable turtles being conserved at the centre with the view to reinstate them into the wild in Cambodia. Here are just a couple we met.

This centre is well worth a visit if you are in the Kratie area. We were the only visitors and given invaluable tour.


Kayaking on the Mekong River with Irrawaddy Dolphins

By | Kayaking News, Koru Adventures Abroad

The Irrawaddy Dolphins are freshwater dolphins that feed off deep water fish in the Mekong River. The river in the Kratie Province of Eastern Cambodia has depths of up to 20 metres and so a great place to see the dolphins.

Endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins, Kratie Province, Cambodia

There were 200 Irrawaddy Dolphins counted in 1997 by the WWF, but that number dropped significantly to just 80 in 2015 due to bycatch and habitat loss. Fortunately numbers are increasing according to the WWF with the last count at 92 in 2018.

Kayaking on the Mekong River it really feels untouched, but there is a fast current and so our guides at Sorya Kayak Adventures drove us 22km up river, from Kratie, to start our adventure.

The start was a calm and tranquil river, but soon we encountered minor rapids with rocks and fallen trees underneath which we were skilfully guided through them by our guides.

Sand Islands, Mekong River, Eastern Cambodia

After the rapids we moored up on a beautiful sandy island, which only appears during the dry season and enjoyed a swim. There were still small currents even here as the river flowed through.

Kayaking through the sunken forest, Mekong River, Eastern Cambodia

After our break we continued through rapids and through the sunken forest that is only visible during the dry season. The river rises by 8 metres in the rainy season covering everything but the tops of the trees.

Turning out of the forest we glimpsed our first Irrawaddy Dolphins. We were so fortunate as at least 20 breached whilst we were there.

Topped off with a sunset we paddled across the river and the current back towards Kratie in awe of these stunning creatures.

Sunset on the Mekong River, Eastern Cambodia

Koru kayak in Venice

By | Kayaking News, Koru Adventures Abroad

Koru on tour in Venice, November 2018. Tempted by the gondolas we couldn’t resist a guided kayak tour with Venice Kayak.

Setting off from Certosa Island, Venice

Starting from Certosa Island a remote island just off Venice. So peaceful with just one hotel, yachts and trees. A garrison in Napoleons era. We launch on calm waters, paddling towards the main island of Venice.

Kayaking on the lagoon towards St Mark’s Basilicca

With Venice in sight we were expertly guided across the Grand Canal, the sea, just like kayaking on our North Coast Kayak Adventure from St Agnes but no waves just the swell created by the passing boats.

Reaching the otherside we entered Venice city. What a magical place to see from a kayak especially as we could kayak where other boats and gondolas could not.

Kayaking through Venice

Meandering through the waterways under bridges and alongside stunning we buildings we were joined by a kingfisher!

Kingfisher on the canals of Venice

The buiding foundations were caked in orange sponge and oysters reminding us of the Helford and our Frenchmans Creek Kayak Adventures!

Yet the Gondolas are unique to Venice and so stunning to see gliding around the watery streets of Venice.

Kayaking under bridges among the gondolas


It’s incredible to think these buildings are built on marshes and have been here since the 1300s.

See below the hooks on the walls used by the skillful Venetian fishermen who tie up there boats and walk along the ledges to the doors.

The fishermen would climb using these hooks

Every thing happens on the water here, see below a book shop accessed from the water!

Doorway to a book shop

As the sun set, Venice lit up becoming a magical kingdom and so beautiful to paddle around especially those only accessible by kayak! Venice you are even more magical by kayak, big thanks to Venice Kayaks for a great tour!

Kayaking is an incredible way to see coastlines, waterways and now incredible cities!

Kayaking under bridges, Venice

Kayaking along the backwaters of Allepey, India

By | Kayaking News, Koru Adventures Abroad

In 2016 Koru Kayaking went to discover India by kayak and booked on a guided kayak tour with Kerela Kayaking as recommended in the Lonely Planet.

The back waters of Kerela are well known with house boats, once rice boats, cruising along the canals as house boats, former rice boats glide by.

Dropped off in the heart of the backwaters by narrowboat leaving the numerous housebaots behind on the larger canals.

We are taken by our guide alonf the smaller canals able to encouter the locals who live on the canals, some washing clothes and collecting water, whilst others bath in the water.  Our guide was informative and really smartly dressed for kayaking!

Our kayak guide, Kerela Kayaking

The backwaters are canals around the padi fields carved out by the British for ease of transport of the rice and irrigation. According to our guide, they areonly cleaned out every 3 months and so lots of greenery builds up.

Greenery builds up as the canals are cleaned out every 3 months

Rejoining the narrowboat were taken to a local cafe and were served up a delicious Dali on banana leaves – no waste here!

Kayaking in along the backwaters in India was a truely amazing experience and one not to be missed!


Great Barrier Reef – What lies above on Lady Elliot Island

By | Kayaking News, Koru Adventures Abroad

The Great Barrier Reef is an incredible area well known for it’s underwater marine life. However, landing on Lady Elliot Island on the South Great Barrier Reef you couldn’t help but notice the birdlife – what lies above!

In December is it peak nesting season for turns, noddies and shear waters!

Black Noddies nesting,Lady Elliot Island

The noddies build nests in the branches of the vegetation using a mix of fallen leaves and guano! They are unique in their family opting to nest in trees rather than on the ground.

Turn chick nesting on the stairs of a Reef Room, Lady Elliot Island

Which explains why this poor mother, a bridled Turn, was nesting on a stair upto one of the reef rooms! Everytime someone came near her chick (pictured above) she would start strutting and squarking agitatedly! This was one of the highlights of staying on the island the birds were nesting everywhere and so we felt like we were the visitors coming to stay with them!

The Shear waters were another matter entirely! Our final night we moved to an eco cabin (a tent!) and as night fell there hollowing sounds of what we thought was a baby crying. It was the shearwaters communicating with their young. Nocturnal birds who leave their young under burrowed out nests under trees inland whilst heading to the beach to fish! We slept through fine, enjoying the feeling of being at one with nature -ear plugs were provided if required though!

Perhaps passing a nesting Turtle – their’s 3  species of those on the island too!

Lady Elliot Island is Sir David Attenboroughs favourite place on earth, a place he visited 60 years ago and returned recently to film Blue Planet. This island is one of 300 cays on. the Great Barrier Reef. Lady Elliot Island appeared above the sea 3,500 years ago a bear coral reef. It was very quicky discovered by bird life whose guano (bird poo) carrying seeds led to vegetation which in the 1800s was mined!


Captain Bligh’s Mutiny stopoff beach in Tasmania & Dolphins

By | Koru Adventures Abroad

We have been touring Australia and have been thrilled to see both Common and Bottlenose Dolphins off the south coast of Bruny Island, Tasmania whilst cruising in the Southern Sea! (Next stop Antartica!)

Another quite unexpected co-incidence was the connection to Captain Bligh.

Captain William Bligh Captain Bligh’s Mutiny on the Bounty was recently replicated in the Channel 4 series Mutiny. It is amazing to think that in 1788 Bligh arrived right here at Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania to refuel “gathering wood from the abundant growth on the foreshore and collecting water from the rivulets which spilled into the bay” (quote from the Bligh Museum, Tasmania), whilst enroute to Tahiti on his fateful journey on the Bounty, where his crew led a Mutiny.

Adventure Bay is a stunning crecent sandy beach, which must have been a welcome relief from the huge swells of the Southern Ocean. (We were given ginger sea sickness tablets and lots of advice before setting out on our Bruny Island Cruise,into the Southern Ocean in search of dolphins and whales!)

Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, Australia A small museum called ‘Bligh Museum’ on the road alongside Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania is jam packed with pictures, articles, commentary and models illustrating Captain Bligh and fellow explorers visits to the bay.

Captain Tom outside the Bligh Museum, Bruny Island, Tasmania Captain Hetty surveying the beach at Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania A picuture in the museum, see below, dispicts a view of Adventure Bay back in the 1700s and a photo of the Bay now. Not much has changed, except the type of boats – today the tall ships have been replaced by the super fast ribs of Bruny Island Cruises.

It must have been quite scarey for locals back in 1788 to see these huge ships arriving in to the bay.

Adventure Bay Bruny Island, Tasmania in 1700s Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, Tasmania in 2017 Here a drawing illustrates the group of loyal sailors who joined Bligh when his ship the Bounty was under mutiny. They were the lucky ones it seems surviving, whilst many of the muntineers perished through sickness and disease.

Description of the Mutiny on the Bounty in the Bligh Museum, Adventure Bay, Bruny Island, TasmaniaThe Mutiny exhbition at Falmouth Maritime Museum continues until 7 January 2018. You can also follow in Captain Bligh’s footsteps on a Helford River Cruise in Cornwall and who knows we might even get to to see dolphins again!

Kayaking on The Great Ocean Road, Australia

By | Kayaking News, Koru Adventures Abroad
Kayaking on the Great Ocean Road offers both sea kayaking and river kayaking.

Travelling from Melbourne we started the Great Ocean Road in Torquay, opting to stay in Anglesey, where kayagoroos roam the local golf course! Our first glimpse of the amazing wildlife we were about to encounter!

Kangroos on the golf course, Angelsey, Great Ocean Road, Australia

Kayaking in Anglesea marshes

We were delighted to find kayaks for hire along the outback rivers in Anglesea Paddle Boat and Canoe Hire. Tranquil waters were meanered along the river banks of grasses and were delighted to spot a marsh hen rustling in the grass.

Marsh Hen in the grasses, Kayaking Great Ocean Road, Australia

Further along the waterways a more familiar encounter, cormorants, like we see on our Frenchman’s Creek Kayak Adventures in Cornwall.

Cormorants inthe marshes, Anglesey, Great Ocean Road, Australia

See out YouTube video on KoruAdventures

Kayaking in the sea with Australian fur seals

A short drive along the Great Ocean Road and you reach the Otways and the stunning Apollo Bay.

Just before we reached it we did spot our first wild Koala enroute!

Koru’s Thailand Adventure 2014/5

By | Kayaking News, Koru Adventures Abroad

Kayaking hot spots in Thailand. This country is surrounded by a stunning coastline with limestone islands and crystal clear waters.

The Four Island trip from Koh Lanta takes to you to a stunning kayak destination with caves and tropical fish to snorkel around.

Kayaking in Thailand, Koru Kayaking

Tropical fish koh lanta, thailand

Another stunning kayaking destination is the little known Koh Kood. An island surrounded by golden beaches and palm trees.
Kayaking Koh Kood Palm Beach

Koru’s first adventure was around the mangroves behind the beach. Kayaking past stilt houses and under wooden bridges. Calm a peaceful waters.

houses on stilts koh kood Kayaking mangroves Koh Kood Koh Kood

Then our full day kayak adventure around the south of the island saw beaches filled with palm trees on the way back we were in for a treat as we watched the sunset we looked up and saw we were not alone – wild monkey’s had come to watch it too!

Monkeys Koh Kood sunset kayaking koh kood

Tom even managed to find a wave to surf kayak in to the beach!

surf kayaking Koh Kood

Thailand is a stunning country to visit with great food, culture and beaches and if you go a bit off the beaten track there are some stunning undiscovered kayak adventures too!

Koru’s next adventure…

By | Kayaking News, Koru Adventures Abroad

Koru’s Tom and Hetty are busy preparing for some kayak adventures in Thailand. Last year we managed to squeeze in a week after Vietman and loved it so much we are going back to explore some more!

The Beach, Thailand, Koru Kayaking

Leonardo’s Di Caprios beach in the film ‘The Beach’, Phi Phi Don, Thailand

Last year we went in search of ‘The Beach’. A stunning palm tree beach set between stunning rocks of Phi Phi Don, a nature reserve. Stunning, but very popular with tourists and no kayaks in sight! I definitely could envisage the film ‘The Beach’ as the island has a wild camp in the middle of the island. No waterfall though, apparently that was filmed in Northern Thailand and so we are going in search of that this time – not sure if I’ll jump off it though!  We did find another stunning beach set in the heart of the Trang Islands. Reminiscent of ‘The Prison’ on our North Coast Kayak Adventure along the St Agnes Coastline, only this walled beach had a tropical rain forest in it and lots of people!


Emerald Cave, Trang Islands, Thailand


The Prison, St Agnes, Cornwall, Koru Kayaking

The Prison, St Agnes Coastline, Cornwall, UK

There is even a tunnel you swim through to reach Emerald Cave…


Swimming through the tunnel to Emerald Cave, Thailand

we kayak or moor up and walk into The Prison on Koru’s North Coast Kayak Adventure

Kayaking into the Prison, St Agnes, Cornwall, UK, Koru Kayaking

Kayaking into the Prison, St Agnes, Cornwall, UK, Koru Kayaking

We did find some kayaking in Thailand too, kayaking around the Trang Islands into caves and snorking around the corals filled with tropical fish.  
Hoping to do some kayaking in the mountains and Northern Thailand this year, and find that waterfall!

Koru Kayaking will be closed from the 23rd December to 24th January 2015. Kayaking on Frenchman’s Creek recommences 25th January with complementary hot chocolate and hobknobs and North Coast Kayak Adventures as soon the sea lets us (hopefully Feb / March 2015)!

Still taking orders for gift vouchers throughout January, but will be emailed and posted out when we return at end of January.

Happy Christmas and a New Year everyone!

Koru Adventures in Thailand – January & February 2014

By | Kayaking News, Koru Adventures Abroad


“The Beach” made famous by Leonardo De Capprio – Ko Phi Phi


Restaurant with a view on Hat Khlong Hin beach on Ko Lanta


Kayaking around Ko Chueak south of Ko Lanta


Hetty & Tom in a cave in one of the Trang Islands


Kayaking around Trang Islands


Beautiful azure seas with coral reefs off the island of Ko Ngai


Sergeant Major Fish following Hetty snorkeling


Lots of Sergeant Major Fish!


Swimming through 200ft cave to get to Emerald Cave


Arriving at Emerald Cave on the Trang Island



View from Ko Ngai to the Trang Islands


Stunning coral with plenty of marine life


Amazing Thai street food in Phuket Old Town


Lively Sunday Street Market in Phuket Old Town


Amazing beach at Hat Nui on Ko Lanta



A great way to watch the sunset after a day kayaking – Ko Lanta

If you are considering going to Thailand or would like to hear further details of our great adventure in Thailand please email Tom & Hetty at enquiries@korukayaking.co.uk