I was the only person on my tour this particular day 3 Aug, 2016, just me and the owner Majel, who lives in Amsterdam. I am traveling alone, and first arrived in Amsterdam a few days earlier, to meet my Viking Grand European River Cruise, so I signed up for this Wetlands Safari, seeing it on Rick Steves.
I was under the impression that I would be renting canoes from an outfitter who owns a facility out there. But Majel meets you at the bus terminal, pays for my public transportation to take bus out to the wetlands (about 30 min outside Amsterdam).
There, a small hotel or B&B has some canoes for rent, and that is what Majel rents for us. Majel buys me a hot cocoa from the hotel drink menu and then we get into the canoe together. We paddle past cute houses full of colorful flower landscaping on the canals, and then go out to canals where there are no houses. There is much grassland, that I ask Majel how come they do not put more cows to graze and make beef cheaper. She said it was all about making habitat and breeding conditions ideal a particular bird that they are trying to save. She described how conscientious Holland was about wildlife preservation. I was so impressed. I wish USA were like that in that animals and environment have NO DEFENSE AGAINST HUMANS' WILL IMPOSED UPON THEM. But USA is all about raping nature for money and greed.
After a picnic of MANY choices of crackers, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, and various spreads and cheeses and drinks, Majel showed me frogs and flesh-eating plants like Venus fly-catchers on our "nature walk" in the wetlands. The most amazing thing was when Majel jumped up and down on the boggy ground, showing the bog I was standing on was a floating trampoline, that bounced up and down, because it was not on solid ground. Ground we are walking on, is a grass mat floating on water. That is why in some places, there are wooden planks to keep your feet from sinking in too far in the bog.
Majel told me she has been taking people like this, on the canoe safari for 22 years! Majel met Rick Steves, but said he did not have time to complete the full Wetlands tour. He never has time. In the winter off-season, she travels around the world, herself.
Our paddling is about 1.5 hours. Then we come back to the little hotel and I can have another drink. And we take the bus back to the City.
This Wetlands Safari was the highlight of my 4-day Amsterdam visit, because I love the outdoors, nature, and camping, and Majel is an A+ hostess and tour guide, and I highly recommend this Safari to do with your travel companions. Keep Majel busy for the next 20 years.