Swamp Tour Essentials: What To Bring?

Swamp Tour Essentials

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With cooler weather approaching and COVID restrictions lessening, it is the perfect time to schedule a trip to the swamp, and Cajun Encounters is just what you are looking for. From alligators to raccoons, you will be able to see a wide variety of swamp animals in their natural environment. If this is your first time to a swamp, or the south in general, do not worry. Here is a list of five swamp tour essentials you can bring to ensure that you are the best prepared.

Bug Repellent

Bug Repellent

Out in the swamp, it is natural for little creepy crawlers to be out and about.  However, the winds from the moving boat typically keep them at bay. If you decide to explore the surrounding areas of the swamp, you do risk getting bitten by a bug. To lower the risk of being someone’s next treat, it is always best to wear bug repellent on a swamp tour.

Sunscreen

sunscreen

In the south, the sun has a tendency to feel extra hot. While our boats do have overhead covers, you still run the risk of getting some sun exposure. While swamp tours are enjoyable, sunburns are not. It is best to wear sunscreen when in these outdoor conditions, especially if you have fair skin or are prone to sunburn.

Rain Wear

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In Louisiana, you can pretty much count on the weather not being predictable whatsoever. Sunny radar forecasts do not always guarantee sunny skies. This will not ruin your experience, but guests who bring rain wear can protect themselves from getting wet if their tour does happen to get rained on.

Sunglasses

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As stated previously, the sun can get extremely hot in the south, and its reflection on the water can disrupt your vision. Make sure not to miss any animal sightings by wearing sunglasses on your tour.

Comfortable Clothing

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Clothing recommendations can change according to the weather, but one thing remains the same. Comfortable and casual clothing is your best option. For those who have a tendency to get cold quickly, a light jacket is a great choice when picking out your outfit.

If you find yourself without any of these items upon arrival, do not worry. Each item above can be found inside the gift shop located at Cajun Encounters. While you’re there, we encourage you to look around and purchase some snacks and souvenirs. 

swamp tour essentials Cajun Encounters

Book a tour with Cajun Encounters today by visiting www.cajunencounters.com or calling 504.834.1770 or begin your walkthrough New Orleans by visiting neworleanslegendarywalkingtours.com or calling 504.503.0199

Venomous versus Non-Venomous Snakes

venomous snakes

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Snakes are slender, cold-blooded reptiles who are known for having long bodies and no legs. While there are over 3,000 species of snakes, they all tend to look the same when you possess a strong dislike for them. Whether harmless or poisonous, they are all considered an enemy when in the same vicinity as you. Harmless snakes, however, should not face the same consequences as their deadlier counterparts. 

What is the difference?

Non-venomous snakes aid in the population control of common pests, such as rats and mice. These harmless snakes have even been known to prey on poisonous snakes. As a result, there is a reduced chance of people coming into contact with these deadly reptiles. Throughout several parts of the world, harmless snakes are seen as beneficial to the environment.

In contrast, one of the only positive things about venomous snakes is that they can be used in discovering and developing new medicine. Snake venom can affect blood pressure and blood clotting. As such, scientists can use that same venom to develop new drugs to treat these health issues. Snake venom has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including cancer, pain, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. 

How to Distinguish Between Venomous and Non-Venomous Snakes

There are four types of poisonous snakes that exist in the United States: rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths (or water moccasins), and coral snakes. It is estimated that more than 7,000 Americans are bitten by a poisonous snake each year. Due to this reason, it is important to be able to distinguish between venomous and nonvenomous snakes. Different snake bites require different medical assistance. By understanding which snake has bitten you, you are able to accurately assess your potential risks, increasing your chances of survival.  

Here are a few notable things to consider in order to help you understand the type of snake you have come in contact with.

1. Head Shape and Pits

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Image credit: snakesox.com

Venomous snakes have a distinct head shape. Their heads are typically wide at the back and attached to a narrow neck. This gives off a triangular-shaped appearance. While this can be seen as a good indicator, it is not always accurate. It is known that non-venomous snakes have a tendency to flatten their heads into a more triangular shape, appearing more dangerous to potential predators. This can lead to them being confused with venomous snakes. As a result, poisonous snakes cannot be identified solely by head shape.

Another indicator that can assist in further identification is the pits (or holes) that appear on their heads. Rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, and coral snakes all fall under the category of pit vipers. This means that each snake has two pits that appear on their snouts. Pits resemble nostrils and are located midway and slightly below the eye. Non-venomous snakes do not have pits.

2. Pupils

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Image Credit: asawright.org

A snake’s pupils can be a great indicator when trying to determine whether it is venomous or not. Poisonous snakes’ eyes are comparable to a cat’s eye, as they possess slit-like elliptical pupils. In contrast, harmless snakes have round pupils. With that being said, this identification method can be dangerous. It is better to keep a safe distance when observing a snake. 

3. Coloring

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Image Credit: snake_removal.com

While there are only four types of venomous snakes in the United States, each type contains several subspecies that come in a variety of sizes and colors. As a result, color may not be a completely accurate method in distinguishing between venomous and non-venomous snakes. With that being said, there are some color aspects that can be useful in identification. If a snake has solid colors, it is often harmless. Comparably, if the snake is more patterned and colorful, it is a good idea to use caution when approaching. There are exceptions to each of these rules, but they are great to take into consideration.

4. Tails

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One noticeable identifier can be a snake’s tail. Young cottonmouths and copperheads can be identified by their tails. They are often bright yellow or greenish-yellow in color. Of course, one of the major identifiers of a venomous snake’s tail is if it rattles. If you hear a rattling sound, you are about to come into contact with one of the most poisonous snakes. You should safely flee the area as soon as possible. While non-venomous snakes can replicate rattling noises, it is always better to be safer than sorry.  You should not risk your life to satisfy your curiosity. 

5. Behavior

Behavior can be used in distinguishing between venomous and non-venomous snakes. Each snake exhibits different behaviors and characteristics. With a wide variety of behavior, however, it can be difficult for an untrained individual to remember the differences. A few noticeable behavioral differences can be seen in rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. Rattlesnakes tend to shake their tails and omit loud clicking noises when threatened, but not all rattlesnakes have rattles. Cottonmouths, or water moccasins, swim with their entire body on the water’s surface while non-venomous snakes only allow their heads above the water.

Encountering a Snake

In the event that you encounter a snake, the best thing to do is to move to safety. If you are unable to do that, you can then assess the situation and determine if the snake is venomous or non-venomous. In the case that the snake is not interfering with your safety, it is always better to let it slither away rather than approach it. 

Thankfully, snakes rarely attack humans unless they feel threatened. If you are bitten, however, there are a few steps you can follow. First, no matter the type of snake, it is always best to treat it like an emergency. If possible, you should head to your nearest emergency room or call an ambulance if needed. 

The next, and possibly most important, step is to stay calm. While this is easier said than done, panicking can result in the potential poison spreading quicker. Do not search for the snake that bit you, but rather stay still and try to remember any identifying features. If possible, seek out first aid from those around you. 

More Tips

Along with these steps, there are a few additional tips that can help in the aftermath of being bitten. Be sure to remove any jewelry from the bitten area as swelling can and will occur. Contrary to popular belief, do not attempt to cut, suck, wash, or press the bite. The best thing to do is fasten a pressure immobilization splint and bandage, but make sure not to restrict blood flow completely. Be sure to change your position in order to elevate the bitten area level with or below where your heart is. Finally, do not apply ice or a tourniquet, and do not drink caffeine or alcohol.

venomous snakes Cajun Encounters

Book a tour with Cajun Encounters today by visiting www.cajunencounters.com or calling 504.834.1770 or begin your walkthrough New Orleans by visiting neworleanslegendarywalkingtours.com or calling 504.503.0199

Cajun Village

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For those looking for something different from their normal shopping routines, Cajun Village is the perfect place for you. Guests can take a trip through time as they shop through the restored historic Acadian buildings. Each speciality shop offers a unique experience from normal boutiques and shopping centers.

If shopping does not interest you, you can find some sweet treats just waiting for you to take a bite. At the end of the trip, guests can finish their day by relaxing and observing the alligator pond, featuring real alligators.

1. Coffee House

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Image credit: Facebook

The first on this list is sure to satisfy your taste buds. The Coffee House offers a wide variety of classic southern food, including the fan-favorite beignets. The café offers breakfast from 6 AM to 11 PM. Not a fan of breakfast food? They also offer a variety of hot, homemade lunches. The Coffee House is open until 6 PM seven days a week. 

2. Cajun Village Cottages

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Image Credit: Facebook

If you are looking to stay a while, be sure to look into The Cajun Village Cottages. Guests can get their fill of history and charm at this cozy bed and breakfast. Founded in the historic area of Sorrento, LA, the cottages include eight Acadian-style shotgun houses. Each cottage is fitted with original, restored hardwood floors and showcases its own distinct furnishings and ambiance. With eight great options, guests are sure to find a cottage suited to their taste. 

3. Cajun Village Antiques

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Image Credit: Trip Advisor

Housed in an 100 year-old General Mercantile store, Cajun Village Antiques shop is just as unique as its items inside. With a wide range of selection, this “Louisiana style” shop offers a unique perspective to the typical home décor. From home to camp living, guests are sure to find an item that fits perfectly into their household environment.

4. Platinum Portraits

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Image Credit: platinumportraitsbyjeri.com

Don’t let your time at Cajun Village go by without capturing a few special memories. Platinum Portraits is a natural light portrait photographer located inside Cajun Village. This allows for both indoor and outdoor photography. As a result, guests can have their photos taken around the shops and ponds of Cajun Village.

5. LA Cajun Kitchen Store

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Image Credit: cajunvillageshops.com

LA Cajun Kitchen Store is the place to go when you are searching for authentic Louisiana souvenirs. From T-shirts and swamp music to cookbooks and Cajun foods, there are a variety of options to choose from perfect for all ages. Take a step inside and enjoy the Louisiana flair waiting for you.

6. Louisiana Pottery

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Image Credit: Facebook

Originally located in St. James, Louisiana Pottery is an Acadian-style restored home. Guests can view the museum collection, and it is available for exhibit.  Louisiana Pottery also offers pottery classes for both adults and children.

7. Ms. Bea’s Swamp Candy Shop

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Image Credit: cajunvillageshops.com

Satisfy your sweet tooth at Ms. Bea’s Swamp Candy Shop. From ice cream to taffy and every type of candy in between, this shop is sure to hit the spot. Not only does this shop feature a wide variety of sweets, but it also offers regular souvenir items. Visitors can find a wide selection of household items and décor available for purchase.

Location Information

Cajun Village is located at 6466 LA-22, Sorrento, Louisiana. Being located in a small town not far from Baton Rouge, the village is perfect for those searching for unique shops outside of the typical downtown New Orleans trip. It a wonderful place for guests to take a break from normal city noise, allowing visitors to relax and enjoy their environment. If you find yourself in town, don’t hesitate to grab a bite to eat, enjoy the local art, and snap a few pictures!

cajun village Cajun Encounters

Book a tour with Cajun Encounters today by visiting www.cajunencounters.com or calling 504.834.1770 or begin your walkthrough New Orleans by visiting neworleanslegendarywalkingtours.com or calling 504.503.0199