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“A must do, in the correct time of the year”

The Atchafalaya Experience
Ranked #8 of 48 things to do in Lafayette
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Attraction details
Owner description: This swamp tour is for photographers, birders and lovers of nature who appreciate seeing Louisiana's answer to the Grand Canyon, "The Atchafalaya". Louisiana's Atchafalaya is North America's largest river swamp and ranks among the top 10 wilderness areas in the United States. The vistas have the appearance of pristine cypress and mixed wood swamp.
Muscat Governorate, Oman
Level 6 Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A must do, in the correct time of the year”
Reviewed 23 December 2008

We went on the Atchafalaya experience on the 21st of December 2008. The family team running the show were above average and exceeded out expectations with regards to their knowledge of the surroundings and of the various waterways. We were all impressed.

The Atchaflaya is a wonderful place. I will remember the Cypress forest in the Atchaflaya. They really looked old and unchanging.

However, we went on the wrong time of the year. The weather was really cold on that day, 33 Fahrenheit, which is too cold for the alligators to venture out. We did not see a single alligator during the trip, this was through no fault of the family running the tour.

Highly recommended for all, in the correct weather.

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4 Thank Tariq A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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101 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
787 reviews
406 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 469 helpful votes
“"Must Do" adventure of a life time”
Reviewed 27 August 2008

Kim Voorhies, our guide, provided us with an unforgettable adventure. We gathered at the family compound in Lafayette, LA, the heart of Cajun country. Kim hitched up the boat, we all jumped into his Explorer and he started talking, a truly entertaining Cajun narrative. That morning the I-10 interstate was closed so Kim had to take the "back way" to the boat launch, a bonus two hour trip through Cajun back country few outsiders ever see or even imagine. We launched our boat after a brief visit to the Atchafalaya Welcome Center (I-10 exit 121, Butte LaRose). For over three hours Kim guided us through this beautiful wilderness. He showed us, often at arm's length, the fantastically rich wildlife few people have seen.

Kim knows the Atchafalaya, North America's largest river swamp and the tenth largest wilderness area, like the back of his hand. He has hunted and fished the swamps of South Louisiana his entire life. His knowledge of the plants and wildlife is amazing. Kim not only entertained with his stories but taught us so much about the beauty and magic found only deep in this wilderness area. And Kim seems to know everyone in the area, greeting each person by name, sharing the Cajun spirit with us all.

Add this adventure to your "must do" list. It opened a world to us we had never imagined. Going out into the wilderness with Kim gives you an entirely new view of nature. It was wonderful! Thank you Kim.

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4 Thank Walker S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baton Rouge
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Extraordinary nature trip”
Reviewed 30 March 2008

Even though we live just 35 minutes from the edge of the Atchafalaya Basin, I’ve never wanted to take one of the available swamp/nature tours because they looked so lame, especially the ones by noisy air boat. Many of the others load up 15 or 20 people and putt around barely out of sight/sound of the elevated I-10. But my in-laws, who are in their 70s, raved about this one so we booked it for a Sunday. Met Kim Voorhies at the Atchafalaya Basin Visitors Center in Butte La Rose (which is very nice) at 10 a.m. and loaded up in his 6-seat tour boat at the boat launch there. Four hours later, we had seen beaver, nutria, snakes, turtles, alligators, owls, egrets, herons, ducks, osprey, bald eagles, and many, many other birds. The Voorhies (son and father) know their wildlife and appreciate the natural wonder and unique treasure of the Atachafalaya Basin. Bring water, snacks, hats and sunscreen. Long-sleeve lightweight shirts are a good idea because of the sun, even though you’re in the shade a lot. Cost is $45 per person ($25 ages 5-13) and a tip is appropriate if you feel like you got a great tour of the basin, which we certainly did. They tour 7 days a week and have several boats available. Birders go crazy over it, as do photographers. It was a wonderful day which we will never forget, and we all loved it including my 18-year-old daughter. A seafood meal afterwards outside on the porch at Pat’s in Henderson was a great follow-up. To make a reservation for the tour, go to www.theatchafalayaexperience.com or call [--].

Al, Laurie and Kate McDuff
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Helpful?
6 Thank AllenBatonRouge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“One of the best things to do in Louisiana!”
Reviewed 12 May 2004

The Atchafalaya Basin and Lake Martin are some America’s most precious natural gems and if you are planning a visit, I bet it is in hopes of seeing some of Louisiana’s famed wildlife. If this is the case, I urge you to choose this outfit over the others in the area. This father and son team (Coerte and Kim Voorhies) of educated and entertaining naturalists takes tourists out in small fishing boats, not those loud airboats which only scare all of the animals away before you can get close enough to observe them. Unlike the competition, their boats do not seem like they are eerily on the verge of sinking, nor are you forced to share your space with one of the guide’s dog(s). Along the way guests are brought up to speed on the natural history of the area, conservation problems, and even what the best restaurants are! These guys know every inch of this swamp and they can take you to see nesting bald eagles, osprey, night heron, red shoulder hawk and other sites that the other tours completely miss. On my last visit our guide, Kim, spent a good ten minutes chatting with a female osprey by imitating her call flawlessly. With the above aside, the best part of this tour is that all of these beautiful natural sites can be seen without actually stressing the wildlife. This is of key importance to the people who run this business and it is very apparent. Feel free to ask questions about the controversy involved preserving these two (especially Lake Martin) natural wonders and I am sure that you will get an earful! I can guarantee that you will leave the area with a new found respect for southern Louisiana’s wetlands. This is an excellent tour and it is not to be missed!

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22 Thank Lois Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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