We had been driving for a while through what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. After a sharp little turn off, we pulled into the entrance of our New Orleans swamp tour! The tour centre consisted of a cabin for guest information and a souvenir shop, but what more so caught my eye were the hundreds of huge mosquitos and grasshoppers that had found their home on a log next to us. Patiently we waited until our boat number was called, and our group made their way onto the boat that would take us through the swamps of Louisiana.
As soon as everyone had taken a seat on the boat, there was a huge crackle of thunder and within minutes there was a huge storm brewing around us. It was bucketing down, and when I say bucketing down I mean that it was pouring so hard that you could barely see a few metres ahead of you. The beautiful blue skies of the morning had turned grey and miserable, in typical, tropical New Orleans fashion.
But we weren’t going to let a little rain stop us from seeing what we came here to see – an alligator, and we were not disappointed! As the rain calmed down around us, we set off down the river and the alligators came out to play. As we slowly cruised down alongside the swamp banks, many little alligators began to approach the boat. Our Swamp Tour Guide explained that these alligators were completely wild animals, and the reason that they approach the boats is because they recognize their sounds. As soon as the alligators hear the sound of a boat chugging along down the river, they leave the misty swamp shores and approach the it – and they are rewarded for doing so with a marshmallow. Who knew that alligators liked to eat marshmallows?!
Throughout the entirety of the swamp tour, we saw plenty of younger alligators, as well as one alligator who was an absolute beast compared to the others. We also spotted a couple of raccoons along the swamp banks as we made our way around the hazy swampland.
The highlight of the tour was definitely at the very end, where we were each given the chance to hold an alligator. Although still small in size, this little one was actually 5 years old. Isn’t she cute?!
Have you had any incredible wildlife encounters?
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We did this tour through the company The Old River Road Plantation Adventure. This was part of a combo tour Swamp Tour with Laura and Oak Alley Plantation Tour for $130USD.