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About the Atchafalaya Swamp

From its majestic cypress and tupelo covered swamps to the egrets and alligators that fill its skies and endless waterways, the Atchafalaya Swamp has come to symbolize life in Louisiana. Pronounced “uh-CHA-fuh-LIE-uh,” the Atchafalaya gets its name from the Choctaw phrase for “Long River.” An unmatched American wilderness, the Atchafalaya Swamp encompasses 1.4 million acres—an area bigger than the state of Delaware—between Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

With an abundance of nutrient rich water flowing through the swamp from the Mississippi River, the Atchafalaya is one of the richest areas in the country in regard to diversity of wildlife. In fact, the Atchafalaya supports half of America’s migratory waterfowl and provides the most important habitat for Neotropical migratory land birds and other birds of the Mississippi Flyway.

More so than any other animal, the American alligator has come to represent the swamp. Once endangered, nearly 2 million alligators now live in the wild across Louisiana. These apex predators can grow up to 14 feet in length and have between 74 and 80 teeth in their mouth at any given time. During a McGee's swamp tour, when the weather is right, you're sure to see alligators throughout the area!

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