Aardvark's Florida Kayak Company

Keeping the Wild in Wildlife

Aardvark's Florida Kayak Company
has chosen to forgo the more
lucrative swim with the manatee
programs in favor of a more
environmentally friendly, passive
observation approach.  All our
manatee tours are conducted from
kayaks and in accordance with the
true principles of ecotourism and the
stricter guidelines provided by FWCC.
That means small groups and a no
touch policy. We believe that
ecotourism has to be an ethic, not
just a marketing tool.

We urge you to remember that the
manatees are not here for our
amusement, rather they are here for
their survival.  A close encounter  can
truly be a life altering experience.  It
can be even more special knowing
that you've done no harm.
Keeping the Wild in Wildlife
CEO's for Wild Manatees  Member Profiles
"Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals "love" them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal
lives, love them more
."  Edwin Way Teale
Matt Clemons,  the owner and head guide for Aardvark's Florida Kayak Company and his wife Susan (pictured above right) are the
founding members of CEOs for Wild Manatees.  Susan has 32 years experience as a Florida State Park Ranger.  Matt spent 17 years in
state service including a stint as a manatee biologist for FMRI (now part of the FWCC) and has served as a board member of Save the
Manatee Club.  He and Susan  run their Do Not Disturb member tours. He has also been presented with a Manatee Hero award by SMC
for his advocacy for the manatee. Matt has a degree in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Florida. Matt also served on the Citrus
County EcoTourism Committee and sat on the Manatee Advisory Committee of Citrus County. He instructed a portion of the University of
North Florida's EcoHeritage Guide Certification Program entitled "Environmental Ethics and Sustainability".
Manatees in Paradise

Our truly private tours (not more than
6) are offered to educate and inform
the public on a more personal basis,
about the manatees and the daily
problems they face in the wild.

Our philosophy is to "watch the
manatees, do what they do naturally,
uninterrupted by us". As Stacy says,
"We try not to intrude but to be a guest
in the manatees' home. As tour
captains, Mike agrees, "we believe it
is a privilege to have an encounter
with a wild manatee, its not our
Come join us and meet the gentle
giants on their terms. We are happy
to be a part of CEO's and help keep
the animals of Florida wild, while
living among them.
Nature Coast Kayak Tours

Nature Coast Kayak Tours was built
on the philosophy that wild animals
should remain wild and humans
should show them respect while
visiting them.  Each day is a struggle
for survival for every wild animal and
we should strive to have as little
impact as possible as we view them
in their natural habitat.  Passive
observation is the best way to view
wildlife and interaction with wild
animals should never be attempted.

Kayaking can be an eco-friendly way
to view wildlife and enjoy nature
without causing undue stress to
animals or the environment.  Your
guide understands and abides by
this philosophy and strives to ensure
that you have an enjoyable and
positive experience that you will
remember for a long time.

Offering fully equipped, personalized
guided eco-tours of the most
beautiful spring-fed waterways of the
Nature Coast. Our tours offer an
adventure while emphasizing respect
for nature and wildlife.

(352) 795-9877 or 888-795-9877
Wild Florida Adventures

Explore Florida's scenic Gulf Coast
over glistening shallow water among
coastal islands often rimmed by
white sandy beaches.
Knowledgeable guides will introduce
you to the estuaries at a  leisurely
pace with time to explore beaches
and tidal creeks. View birds and other
wildlife that are abundant throughout
the Lower Suwannee Refuge and Big
Bend area.

Wild Florida Adventures is also a
member of the American Canoe
Association, Florida Trail Association,
Society for Ethical
Ecotourism--Southwest Florida
Chapter, Pure Water Wilderness,
Original Florida, Cedar Key Chamber
of Commerce, and the Suwannee
Chamber of Commerce.
The members of CEOs for Wild Manatees have voluntarily agreed to abide by a higher standard than the rest of the manatee viewing
industry, who have been invited to join us.  

While both USFWS and FWCC provide guidance that involves the phrases
passive observation or no touch, actual enforcement  tends to
focus on sanctuary violations.  

We believe the guidelines of passive observation  have great merit and as the worldwide standard for ecotourism and marine mammal
observation, should be practiced in Crystal River and Homosassa.  We hope to lead by example.

You will note that there are both swim and non-swim manatee tour operators listed. To avoid manatee tour operators who see this only
as a marketing tool, we have developed a
feedback form.  Please use this to relay your experience (good or bad).  In fairness to the
operators, no anonymous comments will be accepted and the operator will have a chance to rebut before the post is made public.

See what our guests had to say.  
Guest Feedback
"Enjoy your travels in this great land of
ours, and remember, it’s our
responsibility to keep wildlife wild."

Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf
U.S. Army, Retired
Adventure Outpost

During the cooler months, (November
thru April) we lead canoe and kayak trips
to some of the best manatee viewing
waters in Florida.

On these tours, we visit some of the
manatees favorite winter haunts where
we enjoy the company of these huge
marine mammals up close and
personal. But our explorations are much
more inclusive than just quickly going to
the manatees and coming back. We
explore many of the springs, marshes
and more natural areas of King's Bay and
Crystal River. We usually encounter
manatees all day as we also enjoy
viewing the myriad numbers of water
birds that spend the winter here, as well
as dolphins, otters, raccoons, bald
eagles, white pelicans, brown pelicans
and more. It's a fantastic area that should
be appreciated for it's tremendous
wildlife, history and prehistoric sites and
not simply as a manatee holding facility.
"Enjoy your travels in this great land
of ours, and remember, it’s our
responsibility to keep wildlife wild."

Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf
U.S. Army, Retired
"Most Adventure Outpost tours are led by Lars Andersen, author of North Florida Adventure, an educational audio cassette, (Grinnin'
Lizard Productions, Dallas, TX, 1988) and Paynes Prairie: A History of the Great Savanna. (Pineapple Press, Sarasota, Florida, 2001
(hardback),  2nd edition, 2004 (softback). His latest work is the Paddlers Guide to the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, published
spring of 2009. Lars' knowledge of the area's wildlife as well as its cultural and natural history makes each of his tours a meaningful
and educational exploration of the 'real' Florida."