Our favorite place to swim with the gators just added eco swamp tours. Gator Country Swamp Tours departs from Pine Tree Lodge – a waterside eatery – just 10 miles from Gator Country Adventure Park. Experience the true majesty of Taylor Bayou from a 23-foot aluminum boat and look out for wild life.
Guides discuss the ecological importance of the bayou and the species that call it home. Glide under the majestic bald cypress and trees dripping with Spanish moss while learning about wetland flora and fauna, including feral hogs, nutria and gators. Birders can keep sights out for the wood duck, great horned owl, pileated woodpecker and other feathered friends, said Jana Saurage, owner.
Professional, degreed ecological guides lead tours that last about 90 minutes. Passengers are also encouraged to bring binoculars to better see the native wildlife and foliage. Rates begin at 4 guests at $30 each and ticket prices go down for additional passengers. For bookings, call (409) 794-9453.
Back at the park, look for Big Al, a 13.4-foot gator who likes sunning, chicken and tourists. Children can pet live alligators at Gator Country, but not Big Al.
Best leave him to experts like Gary Saurage, who owns the Alligator & Reptile Adventure Park with his wife, Jana, and doesn’t hesitate to jump in for a swim with his gators. People come from all over for a gander at the gators in various swampy pools spread over the park, Exit 838 off Interstate 10 at FM 365. Gary Saurage and his reptiles have been media celebrities, appearing on “Gator 911,” Animal Planet and more.
To get personal with Big Al, go to www.gatorrescue.com