My regular tour of the Atchafalaya Basin swamp begins at the eastern end of Henderson Lake, which is located about twenty miles due east of Lafayette, Louisiana. This section of the lake is accessible from a public boat landing situated just to the west of the main channel of the Atchafalaya River, protected by its levee, and only a couple of miles north of the very small town of Butte La Rose. This places the beginning of the tour about three to four miles east of the western end of the Atchafalaya Basin, which begins at the levee bordering the western end of Henderson Lake.
Once into the water, my usual course is to proceed in a southerly direction, crossing small hidden bayous and swamp cuts, traversing sections of the Henderson Swamp such as Lake Pelba and Lake Bigeux, before reaching what I consider to be an appropriate point to change direction, though not reversing course, continuing the tour along a more northerly route to reach areas of Henderson Lake and the Henderson Swamp which not only offer beautiful wilderness scenery, but also access to local wildlife. Eventually the tour will come full circle, returning to the boat landing from the north.
I am always attentive to the fact that there are seasonal variations in water levels, bird migrations, and animal movement within this section of the Atchafalya Basin, and I may make small adjustments to my route in order to provide access to local wildlife and other scenery for tour participants. But regardless of the time of year, there is always an abundance of local wildlife available for you to see first-hand. Migrating and wading birds keep to a somewhat regular schedule in their movements in and out of the area, though there are so many species which inhabit this part of the Basin that there are always some varieties present at any time of year and it would not be improper to say that each season presents its own views of differing bird species. But a brief list of those present at most times of the year would include Great Egrets, Little Blue Herons, Wood Ducks, Great Blue Herons, Roseate Spoon Bills, and Cormonants. Other available bird species would include Red Headed Woodpeckers, Pileated Woodpeckers, Bald Eagles, Ospreys, and Mississippi and Swallow Tailed Kites. Deer and Beaver are occasionally present. And Alligators abound year-round as they exist in abundance in this part of the Atchafalaya Basin. There are also other assorted wildlife present in the area which are frequently seen on tours.
I am capable of responding to individual interests when tour participants express themselves to me, though the seasonal variations I mention with respect to the availability of access to certain wildlife species are complex enough that it would be best to speak with me using the contact phone numbers I have up if you would wish to get some idea of what is available beforehand.
My boat is a custom all-welded aluminum 16 foot long, wide bottom boat, powered with a new 25 h.p. Johnson motor. Raincoats, cell phone, and cold spring water are carried on board for your comfort. It will be an enjoyable experience for everyone, but especially for those of you who have never had the precious opportunity to experience the wonder of the Atchafalaya Basin swamp wilderness. It is God's very own swamp and a thing of beauty to see.