Cajun Pride Swamp Tours is a popular tourist attraction located in LaPlace, Louisiana. The tour company offers several different tour packages to explore the local swamps and wildlife.
As of September 2021, the admission prices and arrangements for Cajun Pride Swamp Tours were as follows:
Adult (13 years and older) general admission: $29.00 Child (4-12 years old) general admission: $15.00 Children 3 years old and under: free
Private boat tours and group rates are also available.
During the tour, visitors are taken on a guided boat ride through the swamps and wetlands of Louisiana. The tour guides, who are often locals with extensive knowledge of the area, provide commentary on the history, ecology, and wildlife of the swamps. Visitors can expect to see alligators, turtles, snakes, and a variety of birds and other wildlife. In addition to the wildlife, visitors will also see the unique ecosystem of the swamps, including the cypress trees and Spanish moss.
The tour company offers several different tour options, including a standard 1-hour tour, a longer 2-hour tour, and a sunset tour. They also have a gift shop on-site, where visitors can purchase souvenirs and locally-made crafts. Overall, Cajun Pride Swamp Tours is a popular and educational way to explore the unique environment and wildlife of the cajun swamps in Louisiana.
Cajun Pride Swamp Tours is a popular tourist attraction located in LaPlace, Louisiana. The tour company offers visitors a chance to explore the beautiful swamps and bayous of Louisiana's wetlands while learning about the unique ecosystem and its inhabitants.
The tour guides, many of whom are locals, provide a wealth of knowledge about the history, culture, and wildlife of the region. Visitors can see alligators, turtles, snakes, and a variety of birds as they glide through the waterways in flat-bottomed boats.
Cajun Pride Swamp Tours was founded by Bill and Barbara Robichaux in 1994. The couple started the business to share their love of the swamp and its creatures with visitors from around the world. Over the years, the business has grown to include several different tour options, including daytime and nighttime tours, private tours, and airboat tours.
In addition to providing visitors with an unforgettable experience, Cajun Pride Swamp Tours is also committed to preserving the delicate ecosystem of the Louisiana wetlands. The company works with local organizations and conservation groups to promote responsible eco-tourism and protect the wildlife and natural resources of the region.
Overall, Cajun Pride Swamp Tours offers a unique and educational experience that is perfect for anyone looking to explore the beauty and diversity of Louisiana's wetlands.
The name "Cajun" refers to the people and culture of southern Louisiana, which has its roots in French Canadian immigrants who settled in the area. "Pride" likely refers to the company's pride in its Cajun heritage and the natural beauty of the Louisiana swamps. "Swamp" simply refers to the ecosystem in which the tours take place.
Cajun Pride Swamp Tours is home to various species of crocodiles, including the American alligator, the largest reptile in North America, and the rare and endangered Louisiana pine snake.
Crocodiles are a type of giant reptile found in various parts of the world, including the Cajun Pride Swamp in Louisiana. They are known for their long, powerful jaws, filled with sharp teeth. Crocodiles are carnivorous, so they primarily eat other animals, such as fish, birds, turtles, and mammals.
Crocodiles are expert hunters and have several adaptations that make them successful predators. For example, they have excellent eyesight and can see both in and out of the water. They also have a keen sense of smell, which they use to detect prey. Additionally, crocodiles are strong swimmers and can move quickly through the water to catch their game.
One of the unique features of crocodiles is their ability to use their powerful jaws to grab and hold onto their prey. Their teeth are specially designed for this purpose, with sharp edges that allow them to slice through flesh and tear off chunks of meat. Crocodiles are also known for crushing bones with their jaws, enabling them to eat even large prey like buffalo or wildebeest.
In Cajun Pride Swamp, visitors can observe American alligators and Nile crocodiles. The American alligator is a common sight in the swamp known for its large size and distinctive bellowing call. Nile crocodiles are a bit more unusual in this area, as they are native to Africa. They are known for their aggressive behaviour and can be dangerous to humans.
Swamps are essential ecosystems that provide a habitat for various plants and animals. They also help to prevent flooding and improve water quality by filtering pollutants from runoff. Additionally, they are often used for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and hunting.
The Louisiana swamps are among the most famous in the world. These swamps were formed over thousands of years as the Mississippi River delta expanded and created new land masses. The marshes are home to various plants and animals, including alligators, snakes, turtles, and numerous bird species.
Despite their reputation as inhospitable places, people have settled in swamps for centuries. In Louisiana, the Acadian people, also known as Cajuns, were among the first settlers in the area. They developed a unique culture that was heavily influenced by the swamp environment. Cajuns developed specialised skills and knowledge to survive in the swamp, such as fishing, hunting, and trapping.
Living in the swamp requires a great deal of knowledge and expertise. It is essential to understand the behaviour and habits of the animals that live in the swamp, as well as the patterns of the weather and water levels. Navigating the swamp can be challenging, so knowledge of the waterways and using specialised boats is also essential.
Louisiana swamps were formed by the Mississippi River, which deposited sediment and soil in the low-lying areas of the state over thousands of years. The natural process of sediment deposition and erosion created the river delta and the surrounding wetlands.
The navigation system in Louisiana swamps is often challenging due to the dense vegetation and shallow waterways. People traditionally used flat-bottomed boats like pirogues or Cajun canoes to navigate the channels. These boats are designed to be manoeuvrable in shallow waters and to be easily carried over land to reach other waterways.
Lake Pontchartrain is a sizeable brackish estuary located in southeastern Louisiana, USA. It covers an area of approximately 630 square miles and has a mean depth of about 12 to 14 feet. The lake is connected to the Gulf of Mexico via the Rigolets and Chef Menteur Pass, and several major rivers, including the Mississippi and the Tangipahoa, feed it.
The wetlands surrounding Lake Pontchartrain, including the Manchac and Maurepas swamps, are home to a diverse array of flora and fauna. The marshes are characterised by a unique combination of freshwater and saltwater, and they serve as critical habitats for many species of fish, birds, and mammals.
The creation of Lake Pontchartrain is a result of the natural processes of deltaic land building and subsidence. Over thousands of years, the Mississippi River deposited sediment and built a delta. As the delta grew, it created natural levees that trapped water and formed lakes and swamps. However, subsidence caused by biological processes and human activities has led to the gradual sinking of the land around the lake and the loss of wetlands.
Navigating the swamps around Lake Pontchartrain requires specialised knowledge and equipment. Boats designed for shallow waters, such as airboats and flat-bottomed boats, are commonly used for wetland travel. The dense vegetation and the presence of submerged logs and other debris also complicate navigation. To safely explore the swamps, visitors are advised to go with experienced guides familiar with the area.
Squirrels in Cajun wetlands may feed on various foods, including nuts, seeds, fruit, and insects. However, one food source that is particularly important for squirrels in this ecosystem is acorns. Acorns are a high-energy food that provides squirrels with the calories they need to survive and thrive in the wetland environment.
Acorns are abundant in the oak trees that grow in and around the wetlands, and they are an essential part of the natural food web. Squirrels play an important role in spreading the seeds of these trees, as they bury acorns in the ground and forget where they have hidden them. This helps to ensure the continued growth and regeneration of the oak forests that are so important to the ecosystem.
In addition to acorns, squirrels in the Cajun wetlands may feed on other foods such as hickory nuts, pecans, and cypress seeds. They may also eat insects such as caterpillars and beetles.
Channels in the wetlands are sometimes created by cutting trees. In the past, people would cut down trees in the wetlands to make way for boats to travel through the swampy waters. This process is known as "canalisation," It was often done to facilitate the transportation of goods and people through the wetlands.
However, cutting down trees in the wetlands can negatively affect the ecosystem. Trees provide essential habitats for wildlife, including birds and mammals, and they help to prevent erosion and filter pollutants from the water. Additionally, removing trees can disrupt the natural flow of water in the wetlands, which can cause flooding and other problems.
The wetlands, streams and canals are essential for maintaining the ecosystem's health and balance. These channels allow water to flow freely, removing excess water and preventing flooding during heavy rains. They also help to distribute nutrients and sediment throughout the wetlands, promoting the growth of various plant and animal species.
Streams and canals are often created by human intervention, such as dredging and excavation, to enhance water flow and navigation through the wetlands. These channels can be natural or artificial and are typically narrow and shallow to accommodate boats and other watercraft.
These channels also provide habitats for aquatic species, such as fish, alligators, turtles, and birds. The vegetation growing along the banks of the streams and canals also provides shelter and food for many of these species.
Raccoons are a common animal found in the wetlands of Cajun. They are known for their unique physical characteristics such as their black eye mask and their bushy, striped tail. They are opportunistic omnivores and will eat just about anything they can find in their environment, including crayfish, fish, frogs, insects, fruits, nuts, and even small mammals such as squirrels. In the wetlands, raccoons are particularly known for their ability to catch crayfish in shallow waters, using their paws to reach into crevices and holes to catch their prey. But by doing this they became prey for alligators. So, the circle of life in the Cajun wetlands consists of racoons eating squirrels and crocodiles eating racoons.
Raccoons are known for their adaptability, which allows them to thrive in a variety of habitats, including the wetlands. They are nocturnal and prefer to avoid human contact, but their presence in the wetlands is important to the ecosystem as they help to control populations of small animals and insects. Raccoons also serve as a food source for larger predators in the wetlands, such as alligators and snakes.
Frenier Cemetery is located in the wetlands of Cajun near Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana. The cemetery has a rich history and is the final resting place for many residents of the Frenier community, including those who perished in the 1915 hurricane that devastated the town.
The cemetery was founded in the early 20th century and is known for its unique above-ground tombs, a common feature of many Louisiana cemeteries. Over time, the cemetery has become overgrown and neglected, with some tombs collapsing or becoming damaged.
Despite its disrepair, the cemetery remains an integral part of the local community's history and identity. Efforts have been made in recent years to restore and preserve the cemetery, including cleaning up the grounds and repairing damaged tombs.
Visitors to Frenier Cemetery can see the tombs and gravestones of the area's early settlers and learn about the history and culture of the Cajun wetlands region.
Dead ends in channels and streams in the Cajun wetlands are joined due to the nature of the swampy landscape. The water flow in the wetlands is slow, and vegetation can overgrow, leading to the formation of blockages in channels and streams. The jams can cause the water to stagnate, creating dead ends in the waterways. These dead ends can serve as habitats for various species, including fish, turtles, and other aquatic animals. However, stagnant water can also lead to the accumulation of sediment, which can have negative impacts on the ecosystem. Therefore, management of these dead ends is vital to maintain a healthy wetland ecosystem.
The Cajun Pride Swamp Tours offer several types of boats for visitors to explore the wetlands, including flat-bottomed and airboats. Flat-bottomed boats are commonly used in Louisiana swamps and are powered by an outboard motor, allowing them to navigate shallow water and narrow channels. Airboats, on the other hand, use a large fan to create airflow over the boat, propelling it through the water at high speeds.
The Cajun Pride Swamp Tours also offer covered boats, which provide shelter from the sun and rain. These boats are ideal for visitors who want to enjoy the scenery and wildlife comfortably. In addition, the tours offer private boats for visitors who prefer a more personalised experience.
All of the boats used in the Cajun Pride Swamp Tours are operated by experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the wetlands ecosystem and the wildlife that inhabits it. They provide a safe and enjoyable way to explore the beauty and diversity of the Cajun wetlands.
The community of Frenier was once called Schlosser, named after Martin Schlosser, one of the first German immigrants to settle in the area. Martin and his brother Adam began logging and processing the local timber. As more German settlers arrived, the village of Schlosser grew to over 25 families. In the competitive logging industry, the Schlosser brothers eventually left the business and turned to agriculture, where they found success growing cabbage. They began exporting sauerkraut to New Orleans, and in 1854, the city and Great Northern Railroad built a line through the area. With train fares at just three cents per mile, the export of sauerkraut to Chicago became very profitable. For several decades, the export of Frenier's sauerkraut to the French market and Chicago served as the primary source of income for these families.
lets tell the story of how the prosperous community of Frenier was destroyed by a powerful hurricane that struck in 1915. The storm caused extensive damage and loss of life, with many seeking refuge in the railroad depot which ultimately collapsed. There is a legend of Julia Brown, who is said to have put a curse on the town. According to the legend, the curse came true when the hurricane struck on the day of her funeral and killed everyone around. The legend of Julia Brown has become a popular ghost story in the area, with some claiming to have seen her ghost and those of others who died during the hurricane haunting the swamp.
According to local tellers, there were no doctors in the town of Frenier, and Julia Brown likely served as a local healer. Several months before her death, she began repeating the phrase "One day I will die and I will take all of you with me".
Survivors reported that a few weeks before the hurricane, she began sitting on her porch, rocking back and forth, playing guitar and singing:
When I die, I'll take the whole town with me. When I die, I'll take the whole town.
The mystery of the funeral tells a story in which many pranks were played by the wind and tide. The funeral was for "Aunt" Julia Brown, an old African-American woman who was well-known in the area. The funeral was scheduled, and Aunt Julia was placed in her coffin, which was then placed in a regular wooden box and sealed. However, at 4 o'clock, the storm became so strong that the African-Americans panicked and left the house, abandoning the body. The body was found on Thursday, along with the wooden box, but the coffin was never found.
It turns out that Julia Brown was a natural person: census records show that she was born Julia Bernard in Louisiana around 1845 and married a labourer named Celestin Brown in 1880. About 20 years later, the federal government granted her husband a 40-acre parcel of land, which likely passed to Julia after his death around 1914.
Official census and property records do not mention Brown's voodoo practices, which is unsurprising. Modern New Orleans voodoo priestess, Bloody Mary, told Mental Floss that she found mentions of a voodoo priestess or queen named Brown who worked in New Orleans in the 1860s before moving to Frenier. Mary notes that, since there were no doctors in towns, Brown likely served as a local healer (or traiteur, a folk healer in Louisiana traditions) and midwife, using any knowledge and materials she could find to care for the residents.
Brown's song is also documented. In an oral history report by a long-time resident of the area, Helen Schlosser Burg, it is recorded that "Aunt Julia Brown...always sat on her porch and played her guitar and sang songs that she would make up. The words to one of the songs she sang said that when she died, she would take the whole town with her."
There is even one newspaper report from 1915 describing Brown's funeral on the day of the storm. According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune on October 2nd, 1915: "Brown was buried in a cheap coffin, and when the storm came, the grave caved in, and her body was partly exposed."
When Julia Brown was alive at the turn of the 20th century, the towns of Ruddock, Frenier, and Napton were thriving settlements clustered along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, sustained by the logging of cypress trees and the cultivation of cabbage in dense black soil. The railroad was a lifeline for the town, delivering goods from New Orleans and shipping logs and cabbage to Chicago. They had no roads, doctors, or electricity but created tight-knit and self-sufficient communities.
The hurricane destroyed the community. The collapse was so strong that the story of Julia Brown can't be now separating fact from fiction. They wonder whether it is so overwhelming that people believe in the power of voodoo more than the facts.
However, in the middle of the 20th, local voodoo practician Mary didn't believe Brown cursed the town. "Voodoo is more about healing than cursing," she proclaimed. Residents she spoke with remember Julia as a beloved local healer, not a vengeful type. Mary speculates that Julia's song may have been more of a warning to townspeople than a curse against them. Perhaps Brown even attempted a ritual against the storm and could not stop the hurricane. Mary says that whatever she did, was not out of malice. And if her spirit is still in the swamp, there's nothing to fear from her any more than from alligators.
Snakes and leeches inhabit the Cajun swamps, along with many other animals and insects that have adapted to life in this harsh environment. Some of the most common snakes found in the wetlands include cottonmouths, copperheads, and various species of water snakes. Sponges are also present in the swamp waters, and while they may be unsightly, they are not usually dangerous to humans.
Leeches are small, worm-like creatures that live in freshwater environments such as lakes, ponds, and rivers. They attach themselves to other animals, including humans, using their sharp jaws to pierce the skin and feed on blood. Once attached, they inject an anticoagulant into the wound to prevent the blood from clotting, allowing them to provide for extended periods.
Historically, leeches were used in medicine as a form of bloodletting, where they were thought to help alleviate various ailments by removing "bad blood" from the body. However, this practice has largely been replaced by modern medicine, and leeches are now primarily used in microsurgery, where they can help promote blood flow and aid in the reattachment of severed body parts.
One common myth about leeches is that they will continue to feed on a host until fully engorged and not detach until they have had their fill. In reality, leeches will typically detach once they have had enough to eat or if they are disturbed or feel threatened. Another myth is that sponges are always dangerous or carry diseases. While they can transmit infections if they have previously fed on an infected host, the risk to humans is generally low.
Louisiana has a diverse range of snake species, including venomous and non-venomous types. Some of the most common snakes found in Louisiana include:
Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) - also known as the water moccasin, is a venomous snake commonly found near bodies of water.
Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix) - another venomous snake commonly found in wooded areas.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) - a giant venomous snake in North America, found in pine forests and marshes.
Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) - another venomous snake found in forested areas.
Louisiana Pine Snake (Pituophis Ruthven) - a non-venomous snake that is endangered and found in longleaf pine forests.
Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) - a non-venomous snake known for its dramatic defensive behaviour of playing dead.
Speckled Kingsnake (Lampropeltis holbrooki) - a non-venomous snake that preys on other snakes, including venomous species.
Black Racer (Coluber constrictor) - a non-venomous snake that is common in a variety of habitats, including wooded areas, fields, and marshes.
These are just a few of the snake species that can be found in Louisiana. It is important to remember that while some snakes can be dangerous, most are harmless and play essential roles in the ecosystem.
River crawfish, also known as crayfish or crawdads, are essential inhabitants of the freshwater swamps of Louisiana. They belong to the class of crustaceans and play a vital role in the swamp ecosystem.
River crawfish serve as a food source for many other animals in the swamp, including fish, turtles, and birds. They also help to maintain the quality of the water in the swamp by consuming decaying plant matter and other organic materials. Additionally, they serve as important prey for human populations and are a popular seafood item in Cajun cuisine. Overall, river crawfish play a significant role in the food web and ecological balance of the freshwater wetlands in Louisiana.
The main difference between alligators and crocodiles is their snouts' shape. Alligators have broad, rounded U-shaped bills, while crocodiles have longer, pointed nose that is V-shaped. Additionally, alligators have a more heavily armoured appearance, with bony plates on their backs, while crocodiles have a more streamlined appearance and smoother, scaly skin. Regarding behaviour, alligators are typically found in freshwater habitats such as swamps, marshes, and lakes. In contrast, crocodiles are found in freshwater and saltwater environments, such as rivers, estuaries, and coastal areas. Alligators are generally less aggressive towards humans than crocodiles, although both should be treated cautiously and respectfully.
Crocodiles, like all reptiles, reproduce through internal fertilisation. During the mating season, males attract females through vocalisations and courtship displays, and once a female chooses a mate, they copulate. After fertilisation, the female lays eggs in a nest she constructs and guards until they hatch.
In the Cajun swamps, raccoons are one of the main predators of crocodile eggs. Raccoons are intelligent and adaptable animals that can locate and raid crocodile nests, eating eggs and hatchlings. This can significantly impact crocodile populations, as only a tiny percentage of hatchlings typically survive to adulthood. Other predators of crocodile eggs in the Cajun swamps may include snakes, birds, and other mammals.