March 31, 2011

3/29/11 – Cajun Swamp Boat Tour

When we checked in at the RV park in Broussard, the manager suggested Bryan Champagne’s Cajun Swamp Boat Tours were the best in the area.  I called early the next morning and got reservations for the 1:00 pm tour.  Yahoo!  I’ve wanted to take a swamp tour forever!
After we’d explored the Arcadian Museum at Lafayette, we headed to Breaux Bridge and drove out of town to Lake Martin Landing.

The sign was on the boat trailer, so we knew we were at the right place.  I’ve totally spaced on the name of our tour guide, but he was a really nice guy.    The boat was an aluminum crawfish skiff--with an “mud runner” motor.
We headed out onto Lake Martin into a flooded forest of Cypress and Topulo trees draped with spanish moss.  The lake averages about 8 feet deep, but it’s a pretty big lake. We learned the difference between a swamp and a bayou. 

There were 14 of us in the boat plus our guide.  Four of them were children; three of the children were well-mannered and one was obnoxious.  The obnoxious one sat next to George who was a master in self-control, muttering what he thought only to me.  The kid didn’t want to be there, and kept pushing to go back to the car.  Before the tour was over, I think most of us were considering tossing him to the gators.  Lots of looks exchanged between the rest of us made that pretty clear.

We went slowly through the swamp, with the guide pointing out birds:  several types of Herons and Egrets, Anhinga, pink Roseate Spoonbills.  There’s a bird sanctuary on Lake Martin, and right now it’s nesting season so there was a big section of the lake that was protected and we couldn’t go through it. 
He showed us duck blinds.  Some were pretty exotic, with “garages” for the boats, some were pretty basic, and some even looked exactly like old cypress stumps.  One old one was just a 55 gallon barrel hung up on a tree—he said they don’t use that kind anymore.

And, of course, he pointed out alligators!  Little ones, big ones, gators resting on logs and some swimming (usually away from us).  He’s Cajun, and an alligator hunter, so he had lots of info on those reptiles.  He’d stop if there was something interesting to see and go back if we wanted to see something again.
 Long, slow, fun, informative tour.  Go here for more pictures:  Cajun Swamp Tour 

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  1. I am also looking for a swamp boat tour. We went to rib trip oban to see whales and dolphins last year and I promised my kids that we will try to go to a swamp adventure this year to see some reptiles. I want to try this place!


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