New Orleans swamp tour

New Orleans swamp tour

new orleans swamp
Photos: Irene Isaacson

What do you do when visiting New Orleans? Go gator spotting, of course!

Our week’s weather forecast was tornado warnings, thunderstorms and 90-100% humidity, although the temperature for spring was a comfortable 70-75F (20-25C). Nice!

So, from a choice of haunted tours, voodoo walks or city tours, we set off on a swamp tour with Ultimate Swamp Adventures. Bring it on!

New Orleans swamp

new orleans swamp

Our destination is the closest natural swamp to New Orleans’ CBD,.

We leisurely cruised a cypress swamp in the State Park of Bayou Segnette, 15 minutes from the French Quarter.

Choosing a relatively slow, covered boat, rather than an ear-deafening, ‘cajun air conditioned’ airboat, we set off on our gator hunt. We weren’t disappointed.

new orleans swamp

Scott, our experienced tour guide and boat captain, had his favourite regulars.

Gators are territorial and often found in a small radius, especially the males who can get up to 18-19 feet (about 6m).

The girls are quite a bit smaller as they stop growing at around 8 feet. They are most active between January and May, when they are mating and laying eggs.

new orleans swamp

We soon spotted big boy Chubbs under the shadows of a tree, the largest of Scott’s favorites. And he was hungry and easily tempted out of his resting spot to come towards the boat. The bait? A small white marshmallow.

The Big Guy

gator spotting

Yep, the big guy has a sweet tooth, as we discovered all the gators here did. They resemble turtle eggs, hence the attraction.

Sounds a bit weak to me. Never seen a floating, soft, squidgy turtle egg before. But these gators certainly loved them, and seemed to really enjoy chomping them!

gator spotting

Miss Vicky was a regular marshmallow fan and she was easily lured right up to the side of the boat. She even allowed Scott to rub her chin and lift her head right out of the water!

An finally there was Bob, the jumper. He may have been one of the smallest we saw that day, but he loved his marshmallows so much, he would launch out of the water to get one!

gator spotting

Not quite as stunning as a fat 6m saltwater croc doing the same thing for a lump of chicken or prime beef, but a pretty impressive feat anyway!

gator spotting

Irene Isaacson travelled at her own expense.

Discover USA

For more, see Ultimate Swamp Adventures

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