After years of seeing TV shows and movies set in swamps and bayous, we've always known that an Airboat ride is at the top of our bucketlist things to do in the South! Now that we were in Lousianna, we couldn't resist crossing it off our list! Keep reading to find out about our airboat tour through the bayou!
After a little research, we settled on Airboat Adventures in Lafitte, Louisiana. They were reasonably priced, and had multiple tour options: large tour boat, large airboat, and small airboat. We chose the more intimate experience with a small airboat, which accommodated between 6-8 people.
We arrived early, which was good because it wasn’t totally clear where the office was, but with help from some friendly construction workers nearby we found it and checked in. It is definitely a good idea to check in early, as this is a very busy operation. Shortly after we arrived, several tour and shuttle buses arrived and unloaded their passengers, flooding the waiting area, so there was some chaos for a bit.
After checking in, each customer was assigned to a boat number, and when it was time to load, the boat guide calls out the boat number. We were grouped with a nice family of four and met our guide, Joe (We think his name was Joe… he had a very thick Cajun accent so we'd didn't hear everything 100%). He was great and really added to the ambiance of the experience.
He is a local Cajun whose family has lived in the area for generations. When I imagined what a Cajun man would be, Joe was it. He was a stout man, dressed head to toe in camouflage, and he loved to hunt and fish . He thought nothing of swimming with his children in the bayou rivers with alligators hanging out nearby. A real southern guy.
He had a vast knowledge about the ecosystem and the animals within it. He was able to point out a bunch of egrets, a juvenile Bald Eagle, and an abundance of other bird life. He even found us two alligators on a day that was particularly cold and were told we might not see any. One of the alligators was sunning itself on the water’s edge and the other was slowly swimming away from us with its head and back barely breaking the surface of the water. We were giddy with delight!
Alligators in Louisiana hibernate on the river bottoms during the cold winter months, so it was a special treat to see these two. Joe even brought a small baby alligator along for the ride and let us all hold it. Apparently there are many alligator farms that raise babies until they are a couple feet long and then release them into the wilderness. These farms have helped elevate the once dwindling alligator population caused by the fashion industry.
Holding a baby alligator and seeing alligators in their natural habitat helped us release fears caused by watching endless hours of giant YouTube versions of the species.
After a few hours in our airboat, blasting across a large glassy lake and slipping quietly down narrow bayou waterways draped with beautiful Spanish Moss, we finally returned to the docks.
Airboat Adventures was a great experience. We got a closer look at an ecosystem we were unfamiliar with. With the small boat, there was time for everyone on the boat to have their questions answered, which made it a very interactive and rich experience.
Airboat Adventures appears to be a very well run operation. It is well organized and customer service was great. They even offer shuttle service from New Orleans if you don’t have your own transportation. This tour is a great way to see an amazing environment and we highly recommend it!
Book Your Airboat Tour now!