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Wildlife Encounters


Elise Murrell
Published March 31, 2014

—  Honey Island Swamp  —

Slidell, Louisiana

Nature lovers have trekked to Honey Island Swamp in Louisiana for alligator tours since 1982. Part of the Nature Conservancy’s First Louisiana Nature Preserve, the swamp is an ideal place to see the ecology and natural history of the swamp because it is still in near-perfect condition.

Native, professional guides take groups on two-hour tours. The small boats allow for groups to travel deep into the moss-draped cypress tree swamp. Guide Jack Sessions said people love the tours because “you never know what you’re going to encounter.” Alligators, waterfowl, minks, red wolves, deer and turtles are just some of the animals regularly spotted, and a few have even boasted a Big Foot sighting.

By making alligator calls, the guides lure the reptiles close to the boats and reward them with marshmallows. Sessions said in addition to liking the sweet taste, the alligators are attracted to the white color. Groups love to take photos of the wildlife and natural environment while on the tour.

“People love our camaraderie and how we take care of them,” Sessions said. “We get people from all over the word. There are lots of warm hearts that come here.”

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