Konkan Explorers Goa was visited by Ellie and Ravi from Soul Travel Blog and here's their review.
It was at the Outlook Responsible Tourism awards in Delhi that we first came across Konkan Explorers. Amongst stiff competition, we saw Konkan Explorers win under the category of best responsible outdoor tour operator. Inspired by their contagious enthusiasm, we decided we needed to learn more.
In our efforts to travel ethically, we wanted to travel more in Goa, but not experience its over-crowding and mass tourism. We wanted to do something off the beaten path in the sunshine state. We decided to take Konkan Explorers up on their offer of Kayaking in north Goa, Morjim, and take some time to explore Goa’s flora and fauna, mangroves and serene parts of ocean - in a more responsible way.
Arriving at the jetty early in the morning we were excited to see the shiny Konkan Explorers boat waiting for us under clear blue Goan skies. We were greeted by the friendly and enthusiastic crew. We could tell our time on the boat was going to be a fun adventure.
First we cruised around the mouth of the Morjim river, where the water meets the Arabian Sea. This spot is full of history and scenic views. There is beautiful small island which appears and disappears with the tide. After soaking up a bit of sunshine we were ready to go further up the river to experience the mangroves.
The boat was well equipped and offered plenty of shelter from the sun. To our relief, there was even an electric marine toilet on board! The Konkan Explorers boats are designed in New Zealand especially for the Indian environment and are solidly built as well as attractive. We were very comfortable during our time on board.
Swimming in the river was one of the memorable experiences we had with the entire crew and was a welcome relief from the summer heat. The water wasn’t all that deep so it was very accessible and was beginner friendly under the supervision of the crew.
Though one of us is a trained swimmer, the Konkan Explorers crew follows safety procedures while swimming so you know you are in safe hands.
The fresh and clean salty water (due to confluence of the river and the sea) was rejuvenating with its soft and almost clay like river bed. We found it a therapeutic and relaxing experience, and had fun splashing around.As promised at the beginning the best was yet to come, the kayaking.
Both of us being novices in kayaking we didn’t know what to expect. But the crew made us very comfortable and at ease. Konkan explorers offer many different kind of experiences and Kayaking through the mangroves is only one of them.
Their purpose-built fleet of expedition kayaks are adventure ready for both sea and river. We discovered Kayaking is a fun activity, suitable for almost everyone who is willing to try it.
The best thing is one needs no prior know-how or training. And so we set out on our maiden kayaking voyage.
We discovered that kayaking is a great way to keep up one’s fitness and practicing being mindful at the same time. We found Kayaking through the Mangroves was nothing like we ever experienced before.
We paddled slowly along watching for birds, reptiles, and listening to the deafening silence of the mangroves. Discovering the serene backwaters of Morjim and its mangroves through Kayaking was a unforgettable experience for us.
We think Konkan Explorers team have perfected the experience, they know the mangroves and surrounding environment like the back of their hand which makes exploring both enjoyable and informative at the same time.
If luck is on your side, you may be able to spot some exotic migratory birds, lobster hills, mud crabs and even wild animals including monkeys while canoeing.
We did spot some migratory birds and learned a lot about the different types of mangroves and also about the critical role of mangroves in our ecosystem. Something which, unfortunately, is being rampantly ignored as more and more land is reclaimed from mangroves for construction - in India and around the world.
We firmly believe such off the beaten path experiences are one of the best ways of having fun, learning about a destination, and seeing a part of Goa that few see.
Through our talks, we discovered that Konkan Explorers have been implementing responsible tourism practices since their inception, in a natural way.
Their boats are solar powered, the panels providing the main source of power all electrics on the boat, including the marine toilets.
Since day one, conservation and spreading awareness about Mangroves have a priority.
The activities like Kayaking, Sailing Dinghy, Catamarans which are designed to have an un-intrusive environmental impact.
Konkan Explorers provide employment opportunities for locals (something of a rarity in Goa where many hotels and restaurants are run by non-local staff) by recruiting local talents to work with Konkan Explorers.
All team members are trained to take on the responsibilities while earning a good and sustainable livelihood.We ended our time with Konkan Explorers feeling impressed by the enthusiasm and energy of their team and how expertly the experiences were curated.
We truly believe that Konkan Explorers experiences were completely in harmony with nature and that they give a lot back to the community they operate in. Our Verdict
Konkan Explorers offers amazing outdoor activities and is a must part of travel itinerary if you are traveling to Goa.
We recommend go with an open mind and be prepared to be surprised by a stunning side of Goa few have seen.
For the perfect excuse to get off your beach bum look no further !!!