Louisiana is known for its rich mix of cultures, irresistible food scene and warm-blooded vibes. But have you ever thought about the wildlife that hides in the mysterious swamps? Recently, we went on an amazing 2-hour swamp tour near Honey Island. Honey Island is situated in southeast Louisiana, close to Slidell city and about 50 km north of New Orleans. Let me tell you about our unforgettable boat ride through the unspoiled river swamp: we spotted alligators, swamp shacks, and absorbed the mesmerizing scenery.
The Story Behind the Honey: A Territory for Critters
The name ‘Honey Island’ was inspired by a swarm of honey bees that used to live in the area. The island is considered to be one of the most natural and unspoiled river swamps in the United States. It is no wonder the island was named after animals, since the swamp is a rich habitat full of critters. This includes residents like alligators, raccoons, owls, wild boars, nutrias (river rats), snakes, turtles, bald eagles, and black bears. The area spans to about 30km in length and 10km broad-wise. About half of that area belongs to a protected nature reserve.
The swamp is a territory for critters. You can expect residents like alligators, raccoons, owls, wild boars, nutrias (river rats), snakes, turtles, bald eagles, and black bears.
Swamp Shacks, only in Louisiana
Floodings in the North of Louisiana and Texas had made the water lever rise to an unusual height for the month of April. This became especially noticeable when looking at the numerous swamp shacks in the area. Many of these swamp shacks have long been in the possession of families that like to go on short holidays and weekend trips to the river swamp. These families will usually spend their time fishing and barbecuing. Aside from these homely swamp shacks, we also spotted more luxurious houses along the canals. These are permanently occupied by locals. Those are sights you won’t see anywhere outside of Louisiana.
Sunbathing Alligators and Marshmallow-Loving Boars
The experienced captain and guide was incredibly knowledgeable about the swamp’s inhabitants and vegetation. He answered all of our questions. Here you can see him showing us a net of freshly-caught crayfish. Crayfish are immensely popular in the southern states of the US. There are even Crayfish festivals.
Turtles and alligators both like spend their days sunbathing in the swamp. We saw an alligator relaxing on a platform near a large swamp villa, but it escaped back into the water when it heard our boat approaching. Thankfully, it later came back for a little bit to have a look at our boat. We also came across a few wild water boars. The captain fed the marshmallows, which they seem to love with a real passion.
Unique Natural Beauty
The roots of the cypress trees reach out of the water, which adds to the swamp’s peculiar appearance. The unique swamp vegetation and glowing sunlight on the water surface made everything look enchantingly beautiful. The Honey Island swamp tour was an incredible travel experience that we wouldn’t have wanted to miss for the world.
Costs & Getting There
We went on a boat ride with Dr. Wagner Honey Island Swamp Tours. The ride costs $23 a person and it’s definitely good value for your money. The small boat had a roof, but there were parts of the route where we rushed through the water at full speed. It can get a little bit windy, so we recommend you to take a sweater with you. If you are travelling during mosquito season, don’t forget to bring anti-mosquito products. We drove to Slidell with our rental car ourselves, but it is possible to order a hotel pickup service. That will cost you $25 extra per person. No matter which boat tour you decide to book, keep in mind that you are usually required to make a reservation.