Last Wilderness Swamp & Plantation Tour
Historic plantation visit, small-boat swamp tour and a delicious Cajun lunch!
- Duration: 11 hours | Pickup 8 AM | Return, approx. 7 PM
- Capacity: Minimum 2 guests; Maximum 6 guests
- Included: Roundtrip transportation from New Orleans with your driver-guide, self-guided audio walking tour of Whitney Plantation, boat ecotour of the Atchafalaya Basin with an expert captain, Cajun lunch.
- Transportation: While booking, if your tour is a Private Tour, please write the address that you would like to be picked up from in the following field: Please enter the address of the hotel, home, apartment, etc. that you would like to be picked up from. If your tour is a Public Tour, please select the Pickup Locations drop-down and choose the pickup location of your choice (one at the bottom of the French Quarter and one at the top). We pick up at specific accommodations in the Greater New Orleans area for private tours only.
- Regular Tour: $199 per guest
- Private Tour: 1-5 guests, $999 | 6-10 guests, $1899
- Per Guest Regular Tour
- 1-5 Guests Private Tour
- 6-10 Guests Private Tour
About the Last Wilderness Swamp & Plantation Tour
On this all-day tour, we visit the Whitney Plantation in the morning, fuel up with a Cajun lunch, and tour the forested wetland of the Atchafalaya basin by boat in the afternoon.
We start with the Whitney Plantation, which gives visitors a realistic look at life in the pre-Civil War South. While the restored antebellum mansion is beautiful and grand, the walking tour tells the story of this part of American history through the eyes of the enslaved. It’s an educational and moving experience not to be missed.
For lunch, we chow down at one of our favorite local Cajun restaurants and treat y’all to some of our legendary Cajun cuisine!
After lunch, we’ll explore a portion of the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest unbroken forested wetland in the United States, with The Last Wilderness Swamp Tours. Look for birds, gators, turtles and other wildlife while learning about the history, and fragility, of this magnificent water world.
This stretch of the Mississippi River is known as the German Coast and is rich with history and culture. The area is home to many beautiful properties, including the Whitney Plantation. Originally founded in 1752, the Whitney Plantation opened as a museum in 2014, following 15 years and $8 million worth of renovations. It is the only museum in Louisiana with an exclusive focus on the lives of enslaved people. The grounds are gorgeous, like most antebellum plantations, but it’s also an important educational experience for anyone interested in the history of Louisiana and slavery in America.
After your Whitney Plantation tour, we drive deeper into Cajun Country for lunch. Choose from amazing gumbo and specialties made with locally caught seafood. Snack on alligator bites, boiled shrimp, or chow down on a classic Louisiana po’ boy.
The Last Wilderness Swamp Tour
After lunch, we meet The Last Wilderness Swamp Tours, a family owned and operated business. Its owner, Dean Wilson, also founded Atchafalaya Basinkeeper in 2004 to protect and restore the swamps, lakes, rivers, streams and bayous of the Atchafalaya Basin for future generations. Dean, the Jean-Michel Cousteau of Louisiana’s wetlands, is the Executive Director and Basinkeeper of this vital organization, which defends daily the indispensable resources of the Basin from commercial exploitation. Damages from this exploitation include erosion, the destruction of habitat and the unnecessary loss of wildlife.
Last Wilderness uses only small boats, which enables us to venture deep into these incredible swamps and bayous. The average water levels can change as much as nine feet from season to season, depending on the amount of water coming from the Mississippi River. As the water rises and falls, it provides different habitats for varying flora and fauna, making every swamp tour truly unique. No matter what, you’ll experience breathtaking views, gigantic cypress trees and native wildlife that is never baited or fed.
Why Choose our Swamp Ecotour?
On our swamp boat tours, we ally with only reputable partners that offer exceptional experiences and who never bait or feed the wildlife. We are a 100% Carbon Neutral ecotour company. We believe in respecting the environment and trying to mitigate the threats that face this valuable region of wetlands.
Small, fuel-efficient motors are used, contributing to a quiet exploration of our famous waterways that doesn’t scare off wildlife, as airboats do. Glide around wide river bends at 30 mph with the wind blowing through your hair, and look for gators and other creatures while the boat slowly creeps through narrow passageways surrounded by bald cypress trees draped with Spanish moss.
Our small group size ensures that you can properly relax, avoid the crowds, and ask all the questions of your driver-guide and boat captain that you want. We provide an authentic, educational tour that leaves you with a deeper understanding of what makes the culture and ecosystems here so unique.
The Atchafalaya Basin
The Atchafalaya Basin, home of North America’s last great river swamp, is the basin of the Atchafalaya River, a 135-mile long natural distributary of the Mississippi River that empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The Basin makes up 1.4 million acres and is Louisiana’s only growing river delta. Situated at the mouth of North America’s most important flyaway, the Basin supports half of America’s migratory waterfowl (more than 300 bird species) and provides the most important habitat for neotropical migratory land birds in the Western Hemisphere.
The Basin can be divided into three distinct areas: (1) the upper part of the Basin, which is composed of the largest unbroken bottomland hardwood forest in North America; (2) the middle portion, which is composed of the largest cypress-tupelo swamps on the continent; and (3) the lower area, which contains freshwater and brackish marsh. The most ecologically vital parts of the Atchafalaya Basin include some 885,000 acres of forested wetlands and 517,000 acres of marshland.
Nearly the entire eastern North American population of neotropical birds, and much of the western population, as well, migrate from Yucatan through coastal Louisiana and the Atchafalaya Basin. Containing the largest wetland forest in North America, the Basin provides critical habitat for these, and many other, important unique species.
Overall, the Atchafalaya Basin is home to eight federal and state listed endangered or threatened wildlife species, six endangered or threatened bird species, as well as twenty-nine rookeries, over forty mammalian and reptile species, each, and more than twenty amphibian species.
The Atchafalaya is also considered the most economically productive swamp in the world and is estimated to be three to five times more productive than the Everglades and the Okefenokee Swamp. Approximately 90 percent of wild crawfish sold in Louisiana come from the Atchafalaya Basin. This productivity enables the Basin to provide the last bastion for swamp-based Cajun culture in the United States and is vital to the livelihoods and heritage of local Cajun fishing communities who harvest fish and seafood that is sold across Louisiana and the U.S.