How Storms and Floods Affect the Atchafalaya Basin

aerial view atmosphere clouds cold front

Hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding are not uncommon in South Louisiana, and the Atchafalaya Basin is an amazing ecosystem that corrects and heals itself after these events. Severe weather is a part of who we are and a cornerstone of our Cajun culture. People from all over the country know about our “hurricane parties,” but vigilance and storm preparation are as much a part of our fabric as boiled crawfish and zydeco.

If you have ever wondered how severe weather affects the Atchafalaya Basin, we recently interviewed Basin Landing owner and lifelong resident of the region, Captain Tucker Friedman. “It’s all about what happens before and after the storm,” he says. Friedman explained that when the water is low before a storm, this is particularly helpful for several reasons. Interestingly, the lower the level of the water, the more likely that severe winds will knock leaves off the trees and onto the ground instead of into the water.

When water levels are higher before a major weather event, vegetation falls from the trees and lands in the water, where it begins to decay. The rotting vegetation takes all the oxygen out of the water. Since sunlight creates photosynthesis, which in turn raises the oxygen levels in the water, the lack of sunlight when it is overcast after a major storm can prolong the amount of time that the oxygen levels are low, which affects the fish in the area.

When storms are less severe, the fish are able to retreat back into the river where fresh, oxygenated water is always self replenishing. More severe storms that produce literal tons of rotten, oxygen consuming vegetation can cause the fish to die, an ecological event referred to as a “fish kill.” Fish kills can happen in different degrees of severity. If there is no sunlight after the storm passes, the water takes even longer to return to normal oxygen levels, so having sunshine after a big storm is the most helpful thing for marine life.

Gulf storms, which typically form south of Louisiana, push all of the mosquitoes from the marsh areas south of the Atchafalaya Basin into the basin and wooded areas as well. This is very difficult for mammals, especially cattle and deer. Friedman says that the deer get eaten up by mosquitoes and can lose weight or even famish to death.

As far as plant life and trees, the Atchafalaya Basin is home to some of the hardiest trees in the world. Bald Cypress trees have very strong root systems that provide cover for animals and people alike. “The older generations would tell stories about how our ancestors who lived in houseboats would actually move into the cypress forests for cover during hurricanes,” says Friedman. He also noted that the roots of the Cypress trees are very strong and unlikely to break during a hurricane, but that willow trees are more at risk because their root systems are very shallow.

“The Basin has a way of healing itself after a major storm,” says Friedman. While an event like a fish kill can take up to 2-3 years to completely recover from, the swamp itself is nearly as resilient as it is old and beautiful. To book a tour of the majestic Atchafalaya Basin, call 337.228.7880 or visit us online at basinlanding.com

Flora & Fauna You May See On An Airboat Tour

South Louisiana’s close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico combined with our mild winters create a subtropical climate that is extremely conducive to specific wildlife and plants, and an airboat tour is the perfect way to get close to our beautiful wetlands. The Atchafalaya Basin is considered to be one of the most ecologically diverse places on Earth, and is the largest contiguous wetland swamp in the United States. Our one and a half hour airboat swamp tours are specifically mapped out to show you the most that the swamp has to offer.

Plants of the Atchafalaya Basin (Flora)

Only 30% of the Atchafalaya Basin is the open water you see while driving on the overpass down I-10. The rest of the approximately 850,000 acres of wetland is a forest composed of a variety of hardwood trees and plants, including the famous Bald Cypress. The Basin itself is the single largest tract of coastal cypress trees in the U.S., at 260,000 acres.

The surface of the swamp itself also has a plant ecosystem unlike any other. Over the years, it is thought that commercial barges have brought in some invasive species like the Giant Savinia that have led to the lush green “carpet” you see in certain areas of the swamp. Other plant life commonly spotted on airboat tours are Water Hyacinth, Brazilian Elodia, and alligator weed. Some of the older trees can be seen draped from crown to trunk with Spanish Moss.

Wildlife of the Atchafalaya Basin (Fauna)

Anyone who takes a tour of the Atchafalaya Basin will tell you that the real rock stars of the swamp are the birds, fish, reptiles and mammals that make up the diverse wildlife the region is known globally for. While catching a glimpse at an alligator is the highlight of many a tour, there are so many more animals you might spot if you bring along some binoculars on an airboat tour and look carefully!

The protected wetlands of the basin has given a home to endangered speaies which have allowed many of them to be removed from endangered lists over the years, including the American Alligator (1987) and the Louisiana Black Bear (2016).

Conversely, according to the Southeast Wildlife and Fisheries Division, the North American River Otter is the most common mammal in the region, and shockingly, not the nutria rat. The Atchafalaya Basin is home to several cute mammals like the Cottontail Rabbit, the White Tail Deer, Easter Gray and Fox Squirrels, possums, coyotes, muskrat, foxes and more!

The oddly colored Roseate Spoonbill gets it’s pink hued feathers from the keratin pigmentation in the shrimp they eat, just like a flamingo. Other common birds that can be seen during various times of year are owls, osprey, cranes, the Great Blue Heron, wild turkeys, egrets and more, making the Basin a recognized Internationally Important Bird Area. The wooded swamp is also boasts ideal conditions for the wood duck, and the swamp has the largest concentration of woodcock in the nation.

The Atchafalaya Swamp is internationally recognized as a fisherman’s paradise with nearly 100 different species of fish, including sac-a-lait (crappie), largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill and crawfish.

The American Alligator is native to the basin region, and can grow to over 12 feet when mature. According to National Geographic, the American Alligator is over 150 million years old, making it the oldest reptile in North America, and one of the oldest species still thriving on Earth. There are several Water Moccasins in the Basin, but locals call them “Cottonmouth Snakes” after the white color of the interior of their mouths, which they show when they are about to strike. Other reptiles include, bullfrogs, toads, tree frogs, skinks, anole lizards, newts, turtles, and several different species of non-venomous snakes.

Take An Airboat Tour Today

There is literally something for everyone on a swamp airboat tour. Our fleet of airboats will get you closer to the action than any other tours of the swamp. Even though we ask that you wear hearing protection for the longer parts of the boat ride, our tour guides make frequent stops where they turn off the engine so that you can hear the guide speak about the history, traditions, and wild animal and plant life that makes the Atchafalaya Basin so important to our planet. Mother Nature is, of course, always unpredictable. We cannot guarantee that you will see all of the things mentioned on this list, but we feel it is one of the most comprehensive ways to see the natural phenomenon of the Atchafalaya Basin. To book your airboat tour, call 337.228.7880 today. 

Cajun Summer Recipes

The stretch of summer from mid July into September in Louisiana’s humid climates make it one of the hottest places in the country. As bayou and prairie Cajuns alike, our eating habits tend to reflect a switch from less hearty and heavy roux-based meals to lighter seafood dishes that keep our bellies full during the warmer months. We have put together some of our favorite go-to summer Cajun recipes for you and your family to share and enjoy. These recipes highlight locally sourced Louisiana ingredients, but you can adapt them regionally to ingredients you have on hand! 

Creole Tomato and Cucumber Salad 

This cool, Cajun classic is a staple of late summer cuisine. Found on just about every table next to the rice and gravy, this is a light, healthy and low-carb recipe with a tang and a bite! 

Ingredients: 

5 large, ripe creole tomatoes, sliced
3 large, ripe garden cucumbers, peeled and sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
1 thin sliced red onion
1 cup of mayonnaise
Juice and Zest of One Lemon
5 tablespoons of white vinegar
1 packet of dry Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
black pepper
salt
extra virgin olive oil for garnish

Instructions:
1) With a whisk, rapidly mix the white vinegar, lemon, mayo and Italian dressing mix.
2) Toss tomatoes, onions and cucumbers in the mixture lightly so that the tomatoes don’t fall apart. Place alternating slices of cucumber, tomato and red onion on a platter, stacking them lyin down (like you would lay out Ritz crackers on a platter). 
3) Blend a little salt, black pepper and olive oil in a bowl and drizzle over the cucumber tomato and onion platter. Refrigerate for one hour before serving. 

Scotty’s Red White and Blue Cheese Potato Salad

This summer classic gets a patriotic twist with some red/purple potatoes, blue cheese bacon dressing, and a touch of tangy and sweet Cane’s vinegar for a kick! Pack your bags for flavortown, and be prepared to never serve a plain potato salad again. 

Ingredients:


8 small red potatoes, scrubbed and boiled (leave on peels)
8 small purple potatoes, scrubbed and boiled (leave on peels)
1 pound of Wright Bacon, cooked crispy, and with bacon fat reserved
1 tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons of Steen’s Cane Vinegar
6 ounces of Blue Cheese crumbles
Thin Sliced Green Onion to Garnish

Instructions:

1) While potatoes are still hot from being boiled, cut them in thirds and set aside. 
2) While bacon grease is still hot, add blue cheese crumbles to hot grease and stir until mostly dissolved. 
3) Whisk in Dijon mustard and Steen’s Cane Syrup Vinegar
4) Pour mixture onto still hot potatoes, garnish with green onions and toss. Top with bacon crumbles and serve warm! 

Deep Fried, Crispy Southern Catfish

Catfish and South Louisiana go hand in hand during the long, humid summers. This is a great dish to cook outdoors at the camp, but it can be done with proper ventilation inside of an air conditioned kitchen as well! Proper care to follow instructions like patting the fish filets dry before hand and using a three step process to coat the fish before frying should produce super crispy catfish even upon reheating! Bon Appetit! 

6 to 8 large catish filets, patted dry with paper towels and sliced into strips
1/2 half gallon of peanut or vegetable oil, preheated to 365 degrees
4 tablespoons of yellow mustard
6 eggs, beaten
3 cups of Zatarain’s Fish Fri
2 cups of plain white all purpose flour
6 tablespoons of All Purpose Seafood Seasoning, like Tony Chachere or Old Bay
2 Sliced lemons and 2 sliced Sweet Onions for Garnish 

Instructions:

1) Lay out three medium sized baking dishes. The first should have the plain, white flour, the second should have the egg mixture combined with the mustard and seafood seasoning, and the third should have the Fish-Fri Cornmeal mixture. Using a three step process will ensure that your batter doesn’t fall off in the hot grease. 

2) Heat your oil to 365 degrees in a cast iron frying pan with high sides. Do not fill pan more than halfway deep with oil. 

3) Working in three separate batches of two filets worth of fish strips at a time, dip strips into the flour first, the egg second and the cornmeal last, covering completely and pressing in the batter, then immediately drop into the hot grease. 

3) Cook the fish for approximately 8-9 minutes, watching for a nice, deep golden brown color. Do not overcrowd your frying pan for best results. Results can vary, so watch for color to be your guide. Flip the fish with tongs a few times to ensure even cooking. 

4) Lay a paper towel lined pan out with slices of onion and lemon, and put fresh, hot fish on top of the onions and lemons. 

Louisiana Travel’s Ponchatoula Strawberry Pie

This easy dessert evokes memories of the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, which annually celebrates the sweet, tangy, juicy berries with various savory and sweet dishes. A fan favorite, the Ponchatoula Strawberry Pie is a gorgeous, simple and elegant way to capture the singular flavor of a fat, ripe strawberry. This recipe calls for a prebaked pie shell, but you are also welcome to use your own family favorite pie crust if you prefer!

Ingredients: 

1 baked 9-inch pie shell
1 quart fresh Ponchatoula strawberries
1 cup white sugar + 1/2 tablespoon reserved for whipped cream
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:
Arrange half of strawberries in baked pie shell.
Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. 
Reduce heat and simmer until thick, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour mixture over berries in the pie shell. 
Chill for at least 2 hours. Take whipping cream and beat in a small bowl with 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and vanilla until peaks form. Spread over top of chilled pie. Cut and serve!

Louisiana Travel During Covid-19

airboat swamp tours

While Covid-19 travel regulations are still in place, international and domestic flights are still mostly being utilized for necessary travel only. While that has driven the number of people traveling to Louisiana from other states and countries down, it has driven the number of travelers within our state up. Many Lousianians have used this time to travel around our great state to all of the outposts of timeless natural beauty that our own backyard has to offer. This month, we have put together a list of some of the most fun travel spots in Louisiana for you and your family to explore this summer.

Floating on the Whiskey Chitto Creek

Deep in the pine forests of Vernon Parish, the spring fed Whiskey Chitto Creek offers an entire day’s worth of fun. This lazy and shallow tributary that empties into the Calcasieu river traverses more than 70 miles of natural backdrop with small beaches and campsites scattered throughout. Known throughout Louisiana for its wild turkeys, largemouth bass, striped and spotted bass, deer and wildlife galore, it is a great spot for photographers and sportsmen/women to spot the creatures of the wild. Grab a canoe or an innertube from one of the region’s rental shops, and take an easy drift in the sun with a cold beverage. Guided tours are available by appointment from several different vendors. 

Off to the Races

If you prefer a faster paced activity, Louisiana has plenty of races you can watch and some you can even bet on! A short travel to North Louisiana might find you spending your day watching old fashioned, gritty car racing at it’s finest. The Boothill Speedway in Greenwood, LA is open to the public and practicing new guidelines since Covid-19. 

In South Central Louisiana, you can watch and bet on live horse races at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, LA. Evangeline Downs is the first and only race track, casino and hotel “Racino” in the entire state. They have recently issued a revised calendar of race dates in light of Covid-19 that can be found here.

Gators and Airboats and Cypress, Oh My!

In the heart of the Atchafalaya Basin lies a gem of a building offering travelers over 20 years of local history, folklore, and adventure. Since 1999, Tucker Friedman and his family at Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat & Swamp Tours have been regaling guests with tales of the bayou. Told from the point of view of the locals, their expert tour guides take you on a one and one half hour guided tour of America’s largest and most diverse wetland. They provide you with everything you need for the tour. Airboat Tours are family-friendly for everyone aged 3 to 103. 

Depending on the time of year, you may see live alligators, a brand new family of osprey chicks, a few bream fish hopping up out of the water, garfish, raccoons, egrets, and possums. The tours take you deep into the centuries old forests and give you a chance to get in touch with nature. When you return to dry land, pop a top at the world famous Turtle’s Bar, just steps away from the Basin Landing General Store. To book your tour, call 337.228.7880 today.

Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours is Now Open!

We have received so many phone calls asking when we would be re-opening our airboat swamp tours, so we wanted to make it official with this update. Basin Landing is back up and running our world famous Atchafalaya Basin tours seven days a week! We have taken the time that we were temporarily closed to change a few small things to make our tours as safe and comfortable as possible for our guests. In April, Captain Nick took viewers on the first ever virtual tour of the Atchafalaya Basin we have ever conducted. He visited with a few of our gator friends and took our Facebook followers on a live journey through the deep woods and canals for a half hour mini tour. If you want to see a preview of some of the sights you will see on a real tour, check out our virtual tour in the video section of our facebook page here: 


Covid-19 and Airboat Tours


One of the greatest things about being an outdoor entertainment company is that we are a natural fit for an exciting and safe way to enjoy nature after Covid-19 quarantine during Louisiana’s Phase One. We have implemented new seating policies that allow extra room between guests, and we will continue to sanitize life jackets and hearing protection equipment between each use, as we have always done. We have plenty of hand sanitizer and cleaning products in the General Store for our customers, and we clean and maintain our facilities daily. 


Book an Airboat Swamp Tour Today

After a period of quarantine, it may be a while before airplane travel returns to normal. We anticipate that many curious locals will be checking out an airboat swamp tour, possibly for the first time ever. In addition to being family friendly for guests of all ages, airboat tours make a very creative alternative to a graduation party or date night. Our family-owned business has been providing swamp adventures for over 20 years, and nothing makes us happier than meeting a new person in the Acadiana area who has never been on a tour before. 

Henderson, LA has a great deal to offer anyone who wants to make a weekend trip to South Louisiana. In addition to wonderful curbside food options like Crawfishtown U.S.A. and Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf, we have lodging options such as hotels,cabins, and houseboats to keep you close to the action. Basin Landing has a general store with tackle, bait, and a $5 public boat launch that is available 24/7. Our fishing is world class, and the expansive views of the cypress knees are some of the most beautiful and relaxing in the world. 

Let our family take you and your family on a swamp excursion you will never forget. The #1 Rated Tour of the Atchafalaya Basin on Google, Trip Advisor, and Yelp, Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours truly is “The Adventure You Came For.” 

Tours run several times per day, are approximately one and a half hours, and cost $49 per person. We offer military and child discounts. Call 337.228.7880 or visit basinlanding.com for more information. 

Inquire About a Tour Today

4 Fun Ways to Enjoy the Louisiana Outdoors

airboat swamp tours atchafalaya

With warmer weather on the rise, everyone can agree that it’s time to get outside and bask in the sun. Spring blossoms earlier in the south, so we decided to put together a short list of our favorite things to do outdoors in Louisiana. Known as “The Sportsman’s Paradise,” our great state is home to a wide range of activities for all ages and interests. 


Open a Can of Worms
Fishing is a passion and pastime of many Louisianians. We have some of the best deep sea and freshwater fishing in the nation, and there’s a honey hole in driving range of every city in the state. Whether you prefer to kayak fish alone in the Atchafalaya Basin, or you hop on a 6 person charter to deep sea fish in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana offers some of the best angling you can get. 

Our favorite spots to fish from the banks are Toledo Bend State Park and Cypremore Point. If you are visiting early summer, don’t miss the Tarpon Rodeo in Grand Isle, LA. Got a craving for some blue point crabs? Catch your limit at Rockefeller Refuge in Grand Chenier. Got your own boat? Caney Lake in North Louisiana boasts the 15+ pound state record for a largemouth bass. With the falling water levels, the bream and sac-a-lait will be hopping in the Henderson Swamp! What are you waiting for? Grab your tackle and get outdoors!

Float on a Lazy River
Canoeing, kayaking and inner tube floating are great ways to cool down in our warm climate, and Louisiana is famous for our numerous navigable waterways. If you are looking for a relaxing way to spend the day with your spouse or kids, paddle your canoe or kayak into the Atchafalaya Basin and enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets that Cajun country has to offer. The Bayou Teche Paddle Trail covers 135 miles of swamp land with access points for kayakers of all ambition.  Whiskey Chitto Creek is famous among young spring breakers for their lazy, winding, shallow riverbed, making it a perfect spot to float your day away in an innertube. Grab an extra tube for your ice chest, and you are set for a half day adventure. 

Feel The Wind In Your Hair 
Airboat swamp tours are an affordable, safe way to experience thrilling adventures for any age group. Get up close and personal with the gators and other wildlife with a 1.5 hour guided trip around the Atchafalaya Basin by the #1 tour company in Henderson, LA. Captains Nick, Tucker and Craig will teach you about the world’s most ecologically diverse wetlands and chances are, you will spot a gator or two if you plan your trip at the right time. Ages 3 and older are welcome, and we can accommodate tours of any size. 

Take a Hike 
Springtime in Louisiana is the perfect time to get some fresh air on a hiking trail in one of our numerous forests. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, there’s something for everyone on our trails. Louisiana has 24 official state parks where you can pack a bag lunch and spend the day exploring our natural beauty. If you crave something a little more urban, you can plan to spend several days walking around the manicured grounds of our older antebellum homes and bed and breakfast spots. 


Let’s face it, being indoors is fine during the winter and late summer. Springtime in Louisiana, however, is for adventure. Get rid of your cabin fever by booking a trip to experience all that our great state has to offer. 

A Brief History of Louisiana Mardi Gras

Of all the things Louisiana is famous for around the world, Mardi Gras is probably the number one association people make when they think of the boot-shaped state located at the mouth of the Mississippi River. While several different accounts continue to circulate about who celebrated this holiday first, many historians  and historical websites generally agree that it was born from a different Commonwealth holiday called “Pancake Day” or Shrove Tuesday. 
 
Explorer Pierre La Moyne discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River on such a Shrove Tuesday and named it Bayou De Mardi Gras. He named the actual place where he made landfall “Pointe De Mardi Gras.” His brother Jean Babtiste would later form a settlement in the crescent of the river, a hundred miles north of the mouth. He would name this settlement “Nouvelle Orleans.” In 1702, he also founded Mobile, Alabama as the first capital of French Louisiana.

Some records show that the first record of an organized Mardi Gras occurred the following year in Mobile, which was part of Louisiana’s territory at the time. This is why you find such French sounding destinations like “Dauphin Island” in or near  Mobile to this day. Back in New Orleans, slaves were escaping with the assistance of American Indians, who would collaborate together to become the first Mardi Gras Indians and start the ages old New Orleans tradition of “Les Flambeaux.” The New York Times would eventually write an incredible history of these “keepers of the light,” which can be found in their archives here. 

Cajun Courir de Mardi Gras Origins

Further west in South Louisiana, Cajun settlers celebrated their own version of Mardi Gras. It was less glamorous than its New Orleans counterpart, and mostly held in rural areas.

According to CODOFIL president and Louisiana folklorist Barry Ancelet, the traditional Cajun Mardi Gras, also known as the “courir de mardi gras” borrowed much of it’s origins from Catholic Medieval Europe, specifically the act of begging for food, which was at the time, an acceptable behavior. This act of going house to house and asking the head of the household for ingredients to prepare a later meal for the participants eventually led to the tradition of chasing chickens by the courir participants as a form of entertainment for the land owners. 
 
Though Mardi Gras season in Cajun Country became notably more quiet during the Great Depression and WWI/WWII, a revival began to surface in the 1960’s with a much needed boost from the increasing cultural significance of Cajun/French music, also in the midst of its own renaissance. Cajun artists like Floyd Sonnier, Herb Roe and Frances Pavy have dedicated a lot of their time to preserving the look of the original revelers in their substantive bodies of work. 

Visit South Louisiana
During Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras in Cajun Country will begin February 14th with events and parades throughout Acadiana popping up until Fat Tuesday, February 25th. If you are looking for a more family friendly, slower paced Mardi Gras, Acadiana has what you are looking for. Book an airboat swamp tour today by calling 337.228.7880. 

Things to do in South Louisiana During Winter

While South Louisiana is world famous for our sweltering summers and mild spring and fall seasons, we do occasionally have a bit of an actual winter. Frontal patterns and the natural humidity in the air can make 45 degrees feel much colder than it does in a drier climate, driving everyone indoors to find other ways to pass the time. This month, we will be taking you on a multi parish journey to find the best Louisiana winter travel spots on the I-10 corridor to stay toasty and laissez les bon temps rouler! 

Boiled Crawfish

One of the best things about late winter in Louisiana is early boiled crawfish. Crawfish season typically begins in late January and lasts until temperatures get hot in late May or early June. With their full-bodied seasonings and big flavor, crawfish are a little bit like spicy lobster. The texture is more tender and less chewy, and they are usually served with various sides like vegetables and sausage that have also taken a soak in the boiling pot.

This grand culinary prize requires a little more work, but ask any local…it’s more than worth the time. Some our favorites are Hawk’s in Roberts Cove, Crawfish Town U.S.A. in Henderson, and Crazy Bout Crawfish in Breaux Bridge. 

Fireside Dining

We don’t stock up much firewood in the deep south, but we love a romantic dinner by the fire as much as anyone else. Louisiana is known worldwide for its seafood, and there is no more indulgent presentation of that spicy Louisiana delicacy than a crawfish tail stuffed Filet Mignon. 

Take a trip down I-10 to Lafayette to visit Ken and Andrea Veron at Cafe Vermilionville, which is also on the national registry of historic places. Imagine yourself sipping a nice red wine by the fireplace in a 150 year old dining room while you devour the Steak Louis XII. If you aren’t hungry for a whole meal, check out their famous turtle soup, a fresh salad, or some crawfish beignets. 

Happy Hour at Turtle's Bar

One of the best known ways to keep warm on a cold Louisiana day is to have a nip of bourbon or whiskey! Our very own Turtle’s Bar boasts spectacular views of the Atchafalaya Basin in a lively and fun-filled atmosphere.

Open year round Wednesday through Friday from 3PM ’til and Saturday and Sunday from 11AM ’til, we carry a large selection of domestic beers and spirits, bloody marys, jello shots and more. Take a chance on our video poker machines, or bundle up with a blanket and your main squeeze on the back patio for unmatched scenery and relaxation.

Plus, you just never know when someone will be whipping up a complimentary gumbo or some delicious jambalaya out back. 

Fun With Kids in South Louisiana

There’s nothing like a house full of bored young ones to give you cabin fever. Luckily, South Louisiana boasts a ton of winter travel entertainment options for kids that parents can also enjoy. Recently opened to the public, Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ Surge Entertainment has fun by the busload for the whole family. A bowling alley, batting cages, sports simulators and games will keep you and your family entertained all day long.  If you would prefer to stay in St. Martin parish, Cajun Fast Track has a wonderful assortment of kid friendly activities like putt-putt, go karts and arcade games. 

Of course, late winter and early spring in South Louisiana are famously associated with Mardi Gras. While New Orleans Mardi Gras is more suitable for adults, Acadiana has several family friendly Mardi Gras parades and festivities suitable for even small children. Check out the Butte La Rose Mardi Gras Parade on February 22nd. For a traditional Cajun Mardi Gras (Courir), travel to the outskirts of rural Acadia parish, where you will see a tradition kept alive for two centuries. 

Atchafalaya Basin Airboat Swamp Tours: Our 20th Year in Review

2019 has been a year of growth and change for everyone at Atchafalaya Basin Landing. From the addition of Tucker’s son Nick to our team of airboat captains to a new brand and website, the maiden voyage of our newest airboat “The Henderson Hurricane,” our 20th anniversary has been a memorable and exciting year for all of us. We are incredibly grateful to our visitors for making us the #1 Swamp Tour in Henderson on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Google and Yelp. We are thankful to each and every person who visited us for a tour, our amazing fishing community, and our Turtle’s patrons who helped us to make so many wonderful new memories both on and off the water.

2019 Highlights

Some of the highlights of this year have been our back porch live music party celebrating La Fete du Musique, the installation of brand new signage on the levee road, a gator running off with (and returning) Tucker’s beloved LSU hat, hosting the Junior Bass Masters Tournament (our largest ever fishing tournament), hosting The King of Henderson tournament, over $5000 of giveaways for everything from concert tickets to airboat tours to weekend getaways, and a visit from @TheJurgys, a travel-loving family that has over 225,000 followers on YouTube. Because of the support of our Facebook community, we were able to max out our annual donation of $1000 to the Louisiana Cajun Navy.

Family Owned and Operated

We have always been a family business, deeply rooted in the Henderson community at large. The Friedman family has also grown this year by two new grandbabies, and we hope to pass our beloved airboat stories from the swamp down to their generation in a few years time. We consider ourselves blessed to not only love what we do each and every day, but to share the glorious beauty of the Atchafalaya Basin with visitors from all over the world.

2019 was a banner year for us, and we can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store. Our fleet of custom, covered airboats ran just about every single day that we had safe weather in 2019, and we are meeting ongoing goals of steady and sustainable improvement of our boats and facilities to provide the best experience for our guests possible. We thank everyone who stopped by for a tour, a cold beer, a t-shirt or just to say hello! Book a tour by calling 337.228.7880 today.