Swamp Tours, New Orleans
SWAMP TOURS -- tour the Louisiana bayous with a Cajun guide, observe the local wildlife -- and even hold a cayman (a small alligator) in your hands
STEAMBOAT RIDES -- tickets can be purchased at the Riverwalk. The photo on the left shows the CAJUN QUEEN, one such boat.
The tour gives you an opportunity to be on a real airboat and lets you see the bayou up close. Hey, there's aligators too! The land we were on belonged to our guide's family so we were lucky enough to get a first rate tour of the swamps. You get to see a real gator hunting cabin and some gators up close! I have to say this was the highlight of my trip!
I've never seen anything like it! It's beautiful and eerie and filled with some really scary creatures!! We were there in march and the alligators were really slow moving(coming out of hibernation, they told us). But it was also like a game, trying to spot the gators and water moccasins(which we were not too happy to be looking for!) and turtles. The bayou's were incredible, spanish moss hanging everywhere, and sooooo green!! Coming from the prairies and the desert, its a welcome site!!
Going on a swamp tour gives you a chance to see some of the wildlife in the swamp and learn about what life is like to the people who live there year-round. On our tour (which is in a boat, no hip-waders needed) we passed by an old cemetery (above ground, of course), got to see a bunch of alligators (got to hold a baby one, too), and got to ride through some beautiful bayous. Everyone on the tour got a sticker to wear, Ours said 'gator bait' as you can see, most were 'honorary cajuns', and there were even a couple of 'gator wrestlers' on the boat. I think we were gator bait because we got in for free. Victoria Inn and Gardens paid for our swamp tour as part of our package. For pics of the wildlife we saw, see my travelogue!
Swamp tours a must and Air boat tours. Alligators do actually come right up to the boat and leap upfrom the water to get food from the boat captain! The numerours city walking tours are right there for you to enjoy as well. The dining is fantastic any place you choose. Of course you want to stroll down Bourbon Street.
At some point in your stay, make sure you take a Bayou Tour. A 'bayou' is the Cajun term for a narrow waterway in the Mississippi Delta. Here you may see alligators, snappin' turtles, water moccasins (a poisonous indigenous snake), or any of innumerable species of birds. Don't attempt to rent a boat and tour them alone, however! (See travelogue for more pics.
Photo: A view from one of the bayou boats.
A demonstration from our tour guide on crocodile hunting. This baby croc was immediately released into its natural habitat.
You might see alligators, as well. Our tour leader claimed to know all of them by name.
Though I forgot how this one was called...
If you're like me, from the big city, then it's not very often that you get to see the swamps and gators! You'll also probably see some egrets and turtles along the way.
Checking out a Swamp. The Bayou Sauvage National Wildlive Refuge is within the New Orleans city limits.
All sorts of animals and birds, including plenty of alligators.