Published: 03rd July 2019
How this Kerala company is using farms and sustainable techniques to make adventure sports cooler
Have your vacations been a little low-key recently? We speak to the founder of Plunge Adventures about why their authentic adventure tourism and the experiences that come with it are totally
Rish John George has always been a very passionate traveller. He has travelled far and wide across the country from big cities to the most remote of villages. In fact, even his honeymoon trip was a two-month long motorcycle trip across India. During our conversation, he recounts stories of having met the most passionate and inspirational travellers and tour guides along the way.
“There were many times when people went out of their way to help me. But I have never had such an experience from people in the tourism business in Kerala. I felt that the tourism industry in Kerala has become a bit mechanical. So we wanted to change that,” explains Rish who established Plunge Adventures, a platform that hosts nature-friendly adventure tourism experiences. He goes on, “We wanted people to have great experiences living outdoors. We wanted to inspire them to spend more time travelling and exploring the outdoors.”
ADVENTURE LAND: The company offers safe and eco-friendly adventures
Determined to be known for their safety and professionalism, which tourism opportunities in Kerala lack more often than not, Rish explains that their greatest priority is nature conservation. He says, “I have always felt that people who enjoyed the outdoors care for nature more than their counterparts. So we wanted to introduce more people to the outdoor life and how responsibly we can enjoy nature. We actively support planting more trees, installation of bird nests and feeders and reduction of one-time use plastic. During our activities, we always try to educate people about nature and the importance of its conservation.”
Plunge offers a variety of choices that are guaranteed to make it the adventure of your lives such as guided kayaking tours, stand up paddle board training, single track bicycle tours and fishing in the Kumarakom area. They also provide camping and motorcycle off-road training in different areas. Here, they will guarantee the most personal service that you can expect by taking care to not mix up guests in their most activities, offering separate guides and timings for each booking.
What sets them apart is that all their activities are based out of working farms. In the Kumarakom area, activities are based in an 18-acre farm called Johny Moose Backwater Farm. Their second project In Munnar is also a farm in development. “The atmosphere of a farm alone can bring a lot of good vibes to people. We try our best to train our guests passionately on the activities they opt for so they can do them later on as well.”
RIDE IT OUT: Plunge's tours are all based in farms around Kerala
Although adventure sports have barely found a space in Kerala. Rish and his team believe that there is a great level of potential in the sector that is yet to be exploited. He says, “Malayalis are interested but they are just as ignorant. Their ignorance starts from not knowing that such activities are available in their own state and the importance of safety protocols. Every time we get an enquiry, we spend a good amount of time educating them about sport and the importance of safety standards before we confirm their booking.”
But the industry has evolved over the past few years. One of the most game-changing things that Plunge has proven is that there are more people interested in a life of adventure than there are service provider. They emphasise that the biggest issue in the business is to find certified guides and quality equipments. At their own farms, they take care to import equipments, putting a huge economic burden on themselves.
“Customers don’t really understand this cost factor and are not ready to pay for the quality services we offer,” laments Rish. “There is always a huge outcry when an accident happens. Adventure activities have their risk and it can be lowered only by good certified guides, using quality equipment and following the right safety protocols.” At Plunge, they are insistent on taking all the measures that are necessary and ensuring adventures that can translate into your everyday lives.