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“Unique, budget-friendly eco-encounter close to NOLA.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cajun Encounters

Cajun Encounters
55345 Highway 90, Slidell, LA 70461
(504) 834-1770; (866) 92-TOURS (86877)
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Visit like an insider
$25*
and up
Ranked #1 of 2 Nature & Parks in Slidell
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: Locally owned and operated tour company with 14+ years of experience. Instant online discounts! Offering great, personalized swamp tours, city tours, and plantation tours to both locals and visitors to New Orleans.
Sarasota, Florida
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Unique, budget-friendly eco-encounter close to NOLA.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2011

My husband and I love to be outdoors. We had done outdoor walking tours (self-guided) in the French Quarter and the Garden District. We went to see the IMAX movie about Katrina and decided to do a swamp tour. We chose this operator because it had good reviews and was a good value.
The boats carried a small group and didn’t go in noisy airboats. Everyone had a front-row seat because of how the seats were positioned. Capt Bob was very knowledgeable and very funny. We saw a red tailed hawk, egrets, a great blue heron, and an otter. No gators or snakes because it was too cold. Also didn’t see any wild pigs. The highlight was seeing the Cajun village. One of the residents was showing off the ducks that he had hunted. I also got to hold a baby gator after the tour was over (they have one in a tank). Although I recommend this tour, I would not recommend going at this time of year. The cypress trees have all lost their leaves and the foliage was brown. Needless to say, the swamp didn’t look like it did in the IMAX video! But we were still glad that we went because we learned a lot and had never seen a swamp this time of year. If we come back to NOLA, we would do this tour again if it was a different time of the year. I also wasn’t happy about the picture on their brochure showing them feed a gator. That’s a big no-no in Florida. I wouldn’t want to kayak in there because the gators now see humans as sources of food (and I probably wouldn’t have any chicken or marshmallows to give them in my kayak). They are teaching the gators bad habits to show off for their guests, but I would bet that all of the tour operators do that for their swamp tours, as they do in the Everglades as well.
May-December are probably the best months to go to see wildlife and a lush, green swamp. Also, try to book a morning tour if available. You'll see more wildlife.

Visited January 2011
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Turku, Finland
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A big disappointment”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2011

We visited New Orleans in July 2010 during a road trip in the States. I had been looking forward to see the swamp and the animals there from a knowledgeable guide. But the tour was an utter disappointment. The guide - can't remember his name - seemed to be more concerned about bragging about how close he'd been to the alligators and how much beer he is drinking in his free time. He told us almost nothing about the actual swamp and the life there, and if anybody asked something he would reply with a stupid joke or with a "I don't know, google it". I was also quite upset by how the animals were handled: first, the boats are big and noisy and I can imagine that they really disturb the environment as there are lots of tours every day. Secondly, they give loads and loads of marshmellows to the alligators to get them to come closer to the boat. Thinking about how much junk food these animals eat every day, it must do a big damage on the ecosystem as they can't be eating much else, plus that they learn not to be afraid of humans. The worst thing was the guide's attitude to the animals, he had no respect for them whatsoever, just saw it as a means to enhance his machoness. In the end he put a marshmellow on a big alligator's head, just because he thought it was funny. There was just no respect for these great animals. We left the tour with a really disappointed feeling and wished we would have chosen an operator who would have been more concerned with the actual swap than with making a good show.

Visited July 2010
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Fullerton, California
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
62 attraction reviews
Reviews in 64 cities Reviews in 64 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Capt Ted is the BEST”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2011

First- Book your tour ONLINE! It's $43 online and if you book at your hotel it's $49. Plus it can be sold out. So buy in advance. I had 8 in my party and one person was sick the day of and Melissa in the manager on duty was kind enough to refund me one tour. Super great people, very organzied. We were picked up by bus and truely enjoyed the simply beautiful tour bus driver Gail. Sit in the front and you can get the best view.

Once we got there it was kind of a wait to get to the boats (15mins). We had to wait on all the tourists to get there and check in for the 12pm tour. We got in the open air (no roof) boat and thankfully got the best Captain out there (we think) Capt. Ted. He was born and raised in the swamp and his stories gave us personal insight into his growing up and lifetsyle. It was very interesting and extremely educational.

PS. You can bring drinks on board ;)

Visited December 2010
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Montgomery, Alabama
1 review
“Horrible Customer Service!!!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2011

Our family went on a guided City and Cemetery tour conducted by Cajun Encounters in New Orleans on 23 Dec 2010; it was the afternoon tour with hotel pickup at 2 pm. The tour was supposed to include a bus tour around the city as well as a guided cemetery walking tour. While the actual tour experience was ok and informative, we got behind schedule and was never given the cemetery walking tour. The only time we got off the bus was a scheduled stop at the visitor info center (Basin St Station) where all the guests made payment for the outstanding amount of the tour which took an inordinate length of time, probably resulting in us running out of time for a scheduled cemetery walking tour. On driving pass the Marie Laveau cemetery immediately following, the bus driver/tour guide actually encouraged us to get with some local guides who can walk us and talk us through the cemetery.
The horrible experience began when we called the agency to feedback on the missing walking tour. We spoke to the agent who was supposed to have the manager call us back to close the matter. However, over the next 11 days, never once did we receive a return call; we had to call them over 5 occasions to query on the status of our feedback. We never got to speak to the manager and on our final phone encounter which we had to initiate, the agent was very unhelpful and kept saying she couldn't do anything for us. Apparently, she had contacted a few people on the tour who said that a walking cemetery tour was conducted. I don't know whether it is mis-comm on their part or some lousy excuse; but we had come to expect more from service providers. We expect service for payment rendered, making good if commitments cannot be fulfilled, responsiveness in dealing with a matter (NOT 11 days delay with no closure and a sour after taste!)...I mean, they could not even keep a simple promise to call us back which they made repeatedly; so when they said they won't remedy the matter because they had other people saying a walking cemetery tour did occur, I don't know what to make of their word.

LOUSY LOUSY Customer service... next sucker please beware!

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North Bend, Washington
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Lots of fun, but don't expect too much wildlife.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2010

For most people, the most exciting part of the swamp tours is getting to see alligators. We went on the tour in late November and saw one sunning on a log, and a couple of people saw another in the water. Maybe you would see more in the summer. If you like nature in general though, it's a great tour.

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