5 Things to do Near Henderson, LA

5 Things to do Near Henderson, LA

Located in the heart of St. Martin Parish, Henderson, LA is a tourist destination filled with fun and exciting things for your entire family to do. Whether you are looking to relax and soak up rays, hit a patio for a cold beer, listen to live music, enjoy delicious food, or take the kids somewhere to wear them out, there truly is something for everyone to do near Henderson.

Cajun Fast Track

Our friends at Cajun Fast Track have created a fun family atmosphere where you can spend the day, eat, play games, and enjoy their 68,000 square foot facility. With the fastest go karts available in the area, you are sure to turn up the competitive spirit that every family has at its core. The XD high definition theater is an experience like no other. Take a virtual ride on a roller coaster and enjoy realistic 3D with physical feedback in the form of vibrating and shaking seats, 3D glasses, and more. In addition to laser tag, putt putt and bumper cars, Cajun Fast Track in Henderson also boasts a full menu of delectable Cajun treats and dishes as well as kid’s meals for the pickiest of little eaters.

1145 Barn Rd. Henderson, LA – 337.454.6155

Prehistoric Park

Dinosaur fanatics of all ages will be wowed by Louisiana’s only attraction dedicated exclusively to these prehistoric creatures. With over 23 exhibits to choose from on a 12 acre campus, you can spend an entire afternoon here exploring. Take home some gifts from the Prehistoric Park gift store, dig for bones in the paleontology exhibit, and grab a snack at the concession stand.

1135 North Barn Rd. Henderson, LA – 337-981-DINO

Louisiana Marketshops at the 115

Take exit 115 and you can’t miss Louisiana Marketshops at 115, a colorful and eclectic bohemian style gathering of arts, crafts, wares, jewelry, and more. Over 300 area artists are represented at this living museum of all things Louisiana. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Call 337.501.6022 for more information.


Exit 115, Henderson/I-10  

Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours

For over 20 years, Captain Tucker Friedman has been regaling guests with stories of the swamp on his action packed 1.5 hour airboat swamp tours. He is passing the business on to the next generation of Friedmans, and they have recently expanded their services to include a 24 person traditional swamp boat that has an onboard bluetooth sound system, retractable floor to ceiling windows, a restroom and vanity, and comfortable bench style seating. These boats can be chartered for private parties and are open to the public by reservation. Book your birthday party, field trip, bachelor/bachelorette party, company Christmas party and more by calling their office at 337.228.7880 and asking about their fully customizable tours.


1377 Henderson Levee Rd. Henderson, LA 70517  

Turtle’s Bar

Located next door the Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours general Store, Turtle’s bar is just about the best time you can have on the swamp. Open Wednesdays through Sundays, this tiny bar packs a big punch of fun. You never know when someone might be cooking a gumbo or frying fish on the patio, and the covered back patio views of the Atchafalaya Basin are breathtaking, especially near sunset. Slip a dollar in the jukebox, put your feet up, and pop a top with Turtle’s world famous bartenders. 

Things You Might See on a Springtime Airboat Tour

The springtime is our favorite season at Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours. There’s something about the fresh air and sunshine after a cold winter of being cooped up inside that just doesn’t compare to any other sensation. If you are considering a swamp tour, there is no better time to do so than April and May.

Landscape Scenery

The weather has been super cooperative the last week for travelers who want to take an airboat tour to see the flora and fauna of the Atchafalaya Basin. Higher water levels help to part some of the wild giant salvinia that covers the surface of the swamp, creating glossy, black pools of water that reflect the gorgeous moss covered trees. The brown of the cypress trees have given away to new green growth, and the moss is in full swing.  If you love taking landscape photos, this is a wonderful time to grab your camera and your zoom lens and book a tour.

Wildlife Sightings

The alligators have been more than happy to show off for airboat tour passengers. It is the very beginning of mating season, so in addition to smooth courtship moves like sunning themselves on a log, the gators are noisier than usual this time of year too. Males and females alike create low, bellowing sounds that sound like a snort or growl to attract a mate.

Near Basin Landing and out on the water, we have been seeing a lot of very colorful birds this week. Cardinals, Robins, Blue Jays, Blue Herons, Pelicans and small, brightly colored finches have all been spotted from the Turtle’s Bar patio. This is optimal birdwatching season, so bring your binoculars and bird identifier apps or books. If you go out on an airboat tour, ask your captain about the giant osprey nest on the lake.

Our airboat tours are for all ages (3 and older), and they last approximately 1.5 hours. We also have a brand new traditional flat bottom swamp tour boat with comfortable bench seating, a restroom and vanity, and a bluetooth sound system. We provide all of our guests with hearing protection and life vests, and we have a general store where you can purchase snacks, ice, beverages, and more. Call us today at 337.228.7880 to book your tour. 

An Airboat Swamp Tour vs. a Traditional Swamp Boat Tour

Traditional Enclosed Boat Swamp Tours

Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours has added a new, custom, one-of-a-kind traditional swamp tour boat to our fleet! We are excited to announce that we have something for everyone now, and we will be expanding our operations to include fully tailored charters and excursions on the new boat. Whether you just want to join a public tour group or create your own adventure in the swamps, we have you covered!

Atchafalaya Basin Traditional Boat Swamp Tour

Our newest vessel was born out of our desire to serve more guests, in more ways, year round. Our captains and our incredible Basin Landing team have spent the last few months completely remodeling a bigger traditional swamp boat that meets all of the demands our customers have been asking for. This 24 person tour boat has floor to ceiling retractable windows, comfortable bench seating, a restroom and vanity, a Bluetooth sound system, and a patio to soak it all in.

While restrictions have previously prevented us from being able to tour north of I-10 in airboats, we are now able to take guests to this beautiful area of the basin in the new tour boat. In addition to our 2PM weekly $39 tours that will be open to the public 7 days a week (6 person minimum, by reservation), we will also be offering after hours private chartered trips for groups. These excursions will include evening tours where you can be your own DJ and party with your closest friends out on the gorgeous Atchafalaya swamp. These trips can be customized to include food and beverages, and we can accommodate two or three hour tours when the entire boat is chartered.

Our new traditional boat has twin 60 horsepower outboard motors, cypress floors and ceilings, life vests for every seat, and screen doors. It’s perfect for corporate gatherings, birthday parties, bachelor/bachelorette parties, engagement parties, field trips, Sunday Funday with your friends, and so much more!

Atchafalaya Basin Airboat Swamp Tours

For those who want to get a little closer to the action, it’s truly just the beginning of airboat weather, and our family could not be more excited to take your family on an airboat tour out into the ancient cypress woods of the Atchafalaya for a deeper look at the natural beauty of this region. Famous worldwide for our diverse ecosystem, centuries old forests, incredible wildlife and beautiful scenery, the basin is a place we are so proud to call home. Our fleet of five 500+ hp boats is the largest in the Basin area, and we are rated the #1 Henderson swamp tour on Trip Advisor, Facebook, Yelp and Google Reviews.  

Our airboat swamp tours are approximately 1.5 hours each, and they run 7 days a week (by reservation), starting at $49 person. For more information, visit our website at basinlanding.com/airboat-swamp-tours

For questions or to book your tour, call us at 337.228.7880.   

Return of the Alligators

After a stubbornly cold winter, spring has arrived in the swamps of South Louisiana. The Atchafalaya Basin is slowly waking up and coming back to life, and that includes everyone’s favorite swamp creature, the American Alligator. Captains Tucker and Nick have spotted their big brown friends on recent tours, and we expect to start hearing the eerie sounds of mating calls and seeing more gators on tours.

Fun Facts About Gators

The American Alligator (alligator mississippiensis) is the largest reptile found in North America. They have evolved over millennia to become advanced and intelligent hunters, and have even been observed to lure birds using sticks and leaves on their heads to trick them into nesting there. According to Wikipedia, alligators live in all of the Southeastern U.S. states, but Florida and Louisiana have the most, with gator populations over a million in each state.

Unlike mammals, who tend to stop growing at the end of puberty, alligators continue to grow over their entire life span. They also replace their own teeth when they fall out. Gators can go through 2000 teeth in their lifetimes. The largest gator ever recorded was found in Alabama in 2014, and measured 15 feet and 9 inches.

One of the most interesting things about alligators is that temperature is a factor in determining what sex the gator will be. If eggs are incubated at temperatures over 93 degrees, the gators will all be male. If they are incubated at 86 degrees, they will be females. Weather patterns that are a mix of these temperatures will create a brood of mixed sexes.

Female Gators  

Female gators are notoriously protective mamas. According to Wired magazine, “Female alligators build nests made of vegetation, sticks, leaves, and mud near a body of water. As the vegetation decays, it heats up and keeps the eggs warm. She stays near the nest throughout the 65-day incubation period, protecting it from intruders. When the eggs are ready to hatch, the young alligators make high-pitched noises from inside their eggs. This causes their mother to start digging them out of the nest and carrying her babies down to the water in her jaws. She may protect her young for up to a year.” (Source) Captain Tucker has stories about female alligators becoming aggressive when protecting their young.

The Past and Future of Alligators

Alligators were once on the endangered species list (National Geographic). Years of overfishing and collecting hides created an unsustainable drop in populations, forcing them onto the endangered list in 1967. In a span of only twenty years, better practices brought the gator back up to a healthy population, even resulting in a one to two month hunting season each year to keep populations from becoming overcrowded and starving each other to death.

While we never can truly predict Mother Nature, March is typically the time of year where you will begin seeing alligators on most of our 1.5 hour swamp tours. Our airboats can travel deep into the heart of the cypress woodlands and get you close to the action. Book a tour today by calling 337.228.7880.

A “Thank You” To Our Fishermen

fishing tournament

Thank You to Our Anglers,

They don’t call it “The Sportsman’s Paradise” for nothing. Louisiana is known for its grand outdoor playground used by hunters, hikers, bikers, explorers, and fishermen alike. From the shrimp boats in Venice to the bass fishing in Toledo Bend, our state offers some of the most beautiful and bountiful honey holes in all the land. Whether you want to spend a morning “hippin” for blue crabs in Rockefeller (using chicken hips as bait), or you just want a relaxing cruise through the ancient cypress knees of the Atchafalaya Basin for some sac-a-lait fishing, Louisiana has something for anglers of all ages.

Since the events of 2020 have unfolded, our family (like so many others) has seen a decrease in tour buses and global travelers coming for our airboat swamp tours, but our fishermen have come from far and wide to support us, resulting in a boom of fishing tourism to our area. David Lantz’ article in the most recent “Water Marks” column sums it up handily: “For some owners and operators, the initial slowdowns and losses from lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, and travel restrictions gave way to unexpected gains that helped salvage what could have been a lost year [for launches and marinas].” Our family business was certainly no exception, as we saw a record number of fisherman at both fishing tournaments and in regular seasonal activity.

Between a lack of safe and family friendly outdoor activities and concerns over the safely of airline travel, many local fishing holes have experienced growth in both the duration and frequency of fishing trips. Even the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association stated that almost half of all manufacturers saw a year-over-year increase in boat sales since 2019.

We want to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who has driven out to our business and put their boats in our beautiful backyard as a way to spend time alone, or with their families. Captain Tucker has done more than his fair share of sac-a-lait fishing the last few months, and we have seen an enormous uptick in boat launch usage as well.

Our family could not have made it through the last year without our fisherman, and for that we are extremely grateful. We have taken time since COVID-19 to grow our variety of tackle, bait, coolers, accessories, and so much more for our friends who love to fish. If we don’t carry a particular product you are interested in, we are always looking to accommodate our anglers with the latest and the greatest in gear and bait. Don’t be afraid to ask! We will do what we can to try to stock your favorite snacks, drinks and equipment in our General Store. We also offer gift certificates, one-year launch passes, and one-time 24/7 launches for $5 per launch on our large private boat launch.

Thank you all for your continued support of our family business,
Tucker, Christine, Nick and Kellie

Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours Year End Review

Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours, like so many other businesses, had an unforgettable year in 2020. Unforgettable in a good way or a bad way? Maybe a little bit of both, it turns out. We started this year off with a bang way back in February by rebuilding the docks and turning Captain Nick’s boat into a one-of-a-kind “airfloat” for the Henderson and Youngsville Mardi Gras parades, taking home the #1 and #2 Best Float prizes, respectively.

In March, we were pleased to receive some good press in the way of a Lafayette Travel article naming Turtle’s Bar a “Must Visit” destination. By early spring the COVID-19 pandemic had begun to rear its ugly head, and we had to pull together as a family and decide how to make the best out of the circumstances. We held our very first ever virtual tour on April 1st, where 7500 people joined us on an online adventure deep into the woods of the Atchafalaya Basin. We realized more so than any other time in the history of our business how much friends and family mean during a situation that affected the entire world. We consider ourselves very fortunate that our outdoor business was still able to operate at lower capacities.

Though we lost all of our international and most of our domestic travelers due to quarantine regulations, we found that the locals began to call us more often looking for something safe and fun to do. We are so happy to have been able to put a smile on people’s faces during times where everyone was tired of being stuck indoors by taking them out for an airboat swamp tour. We made so many new friends over the spring and summer.

Spring of 2020 also marked the beginning of the fishing tournament season, where teams turned out rain or shine for the 2020 King of Henderson tournaments. In late April, we partnered up with new vendors to begin offering a broader variety of tackle inside the General Store when it reopened, bringing his awesome products to our anglers. With everyone unable to travel, we had an incredibly busy fishing season!

June ushered in some severe weather and the beginning of an active hurricane season. The Good Lord was looking over us again, as we suffered no major damage during any of the storms. We expanded our gift options in the gift shop with the addition of the brightly colored, tough Swamp Box coolers, a popular item with our fishermen. We also added a whole aisle of new apparel, including long sleeve tees, leather patch trucker hats, regular trucker hats, fishing shirts and short sleeve ladies tees.

A busy and productive alligator season began in September, and we were so excited that our very own Captain Micah and our good friend B.J. Robert snagged a 13 foot long gator north of I-10. B.J. had the gator mounted and it will be on display it his restaurant “Swamp Tales” in Illinois. The unfortunate events of this year also led us to our own COVID silver lining, as we were able to take Nick and Christine’s family on a deer hunting trip over the Thanksgiving holidays.

We are no worse for wear, and we are proud of our hardworking team for never throwing in the towel this year. It was all hands on deck, and we have made it to the end of 2020. We are looking forward to a quiet and reflective Christmas, and we sincerely hope that 2021 is a fresh year filled with gratitude and new beginnings. The weather is intermittently comfortable, so book your airboat swamp tour today and let our family take your family on an adventure you won’t forget! Call us at 337.228.7880 or visit us at basinlanding.com.   

A COVID Silver Lining

2020 has been a hell of a year for everyone. No matter who you are, or where you live, your life has undoubtedly been altered in some meaningful way this year. Thanksgiving is always a time to reflect on what we are grateful for, but this year is a little different. When times are really tough, that’s when gratitude truly begins to work to reshape our attitudes and perspectives. 

This has been an unprecedented year for Louisiana businesses, and our small, family-owned airboat tour business is no exception. From complete closure of our tours and facilities for a period of time to the loss of tour buses and international travelers, we have had to reinvent ourselves and our outlook…the same exact way our friends, families and neighbors have had to adjust. The thing that makes 2020 so important is that our struggles have largely been universal. It’s easy to fall into doubt, especially during trying times, but our quiet down time was one of serious, sober reflection on our greatest gifts.

We have been especially blessed with the gift of friendship. The COVID silver lining, for us, was that the loss of business allowed us to take a family trip that would have not happened otherwise. Our good friend B.J. Robert treated us to a family trip to Illinois where we spent an incredible week connecting with nature. He was a most excellent host who opened his restaurant and home to us this past week so that we could have a family vacation with all of the kids present. Between the home cooked meals provided by his mom, the infinite hospitality of his family and staff, we felt like royalty. Both Nick’s son (Lil’ Tucker) and Christine’s daughter (Aubrey) bagged their first deer, and memories were made that will last our family a lifetime. We are especially thankful to our leader and father, Captain (“OG Tucker”) Friedman and Kellie for holding down the fort back home in the swamp this year so that the rest of us could be together. If you ever find yourself in Clinton County, Illinois, please take a moment to stop by B.J.’s restaurant Swamp Tales for a taste of Louisiana on the road.

No matter what the rest of the year brings, we know that we are grateful for our loyal customers, our friends and family, and our health. In a world where it is increasingly easy to take things for granted or complain, we must choose to count our blessings even more carefully and more often.

Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours is open 7 days a week, year round. Call us today at 337.228.7880 to book your individual or group tour, or visit us at basinlanding.com for more information.   

Fun Things to Do in Louisiana

Louisiana is known globally as a fun, accessible, affordable travel destination with a variety of activities for tourists of all ages. According to the Louisiana Travel Association, 53 million visitors pumped $18.9 billion dollars into our economy in 2019, making tourism one of the largest contributors to our state’s well being. Our wildlife, nature, fishing, parks, tours, and resorts draw people in from around the world. Our music, food and culture keep them coming back for seconds. We have put together a list of fun things to do when you are in the Pelican state, starting with the Crescent City.

Things to do in New Orleans

New Orleans is the #1 travel destination in Louisiana. With it’s brand spanking new, world-class Louis Armstrong International airport, the port city serves as the travel hub for our state. Famous worldwide for Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the “city that care forgot” is also the birthplace of creole food, jazz music, and the second line, a Mardi Gras bred tradition where a jazz band plays joyful music after the floats (the first line) passes by. New Orleans isn’t just gumbo and parades anymore. Thanks to a revitalization period since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the city is also home to the nation’s largest WWII museum, exceptional fine dining, beautiful cathedrals of all faiths, and an active theatre scene.

Things to do in Cajun Country

120 miles west of New Orleans lies the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest tract of swamp land in the United States, nestled in the heart of Cajun country. The Cajun people brought their unique culture to south Louisiana after being exiled from Canada in the late 17th century. Cajuns still make up a large portion of the population in South Louisiana, and with their tradition comes food, dancing, and music of a distinctly different flavor. For a little Cajun dancing, you can visit one of the region’s many restaurants and dancehalls, like Pont Breaux in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Vermilionville in Lafayette typically has weekly Cajun jams and a walking tour of old Acadian homes, and the recently opened Hideaway on Lee has live music and food several nights a week.

Visit Atchafalaya Basin Landing Airboat Swamp Tours in Henderson, and spend an afternoon with the Friedman family. Proprietors of “Basin Landing” for over 20 years, Captain Tucker Friedman and his family are helpful hosts with a wealth of knowledge about the wildlife, plants, and history of the Atchafalaya Swamp and surrounding bayous. They offer 1.5 hour guided airboat tours that take you deep into the swamp 7 days a week. Call 337.228.7880 to book your tour today!

Casinos and Resorts in Louisiana

If you want to make a wager, Louisiana has some of the South’s finest casinos and resorts. Lake Charles, the westernmost metropolitan city in Louisiana, boasts an MGM Resort property in it’s Beau Rivage Hotel and Casino. Houston Rockets and Landry’s Restaurant Group owner Tillman Fertitta has the luxurious Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino on the same block. Both hotels offer live music, resort quality swimming pools, small sand beaches along the lake, and 24 hour gaming.

Bossier City, Louisiana, is located near Shreveport, Louisiana’s third largest city behind Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Bossier also offers world class gaming and entertainment at Caesar’s Palace Horseshoe Casino, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Hotel & Casino, and Boomtown Casino. Their casinos feature 4 star dining, views of the river, and high end shopping for jet setters from all over the world.

Visit the Capitol City

Baton Rouge, home of the state’s flagship Louisiana State University, is an always-bustling tourist destination with Class A golf courses, reigning NCAA Football National Champion LSU Tiger Stadium, the state’s only Top Golf franchise, and beautiful art deco buildings across its downtown. A city steeped in history, Baton Rouge is also a great spot for museum lovers, including the U.S.S. Kidd, the LSU Museum of Arts, the Knock Knock Children’s Museum, the Capitol Park museum, and the Louisiana Art & Science Museum.

What are you waiting for, cher? Come on down to Louisiana and laissez le bon temps rouler with us!   

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.