Is it Safe to Kayak with Alligators?
Kayaking in the swamplands is one of the most rewarding activities that an outdoor enthusiast can experience. From enjoying the beautiful sights to learning more about the lush ecosystem, each outing provides insight and adventure. Most visitors, however, come to the swamp to see the alligators that call it home. Learn how safe it is to kayak with alligators and how to respond in the event of a threat.
Standard Alligator Behavior
While alligators often display territorial behavior, they don’t usually have much direct interaction with nearby kayakers. In fact, since they’re cold-blooded, they tend to spend most of their time sunbathing on the swamp’s shores. When their sensitive hearing alerts them to your presence, they’ll then quickly take cover underneath the water to hide.
When hunting or defending their territory, alligators will typically seek out places where they can camouflage themselves. The trees and floating brush along the swamp edges provide this essential cover. A kayaker who sticks to open water should rarely stumble upon one.
Signs of a Threat
Most of the time, alligators will retreat underwater when they sense you to avoid confrontation. During mating season, however, they can become more aggressive to defend their nests and young. Fortunately, alligators will typically warn intruders they need leave before they attack.
The alligator will float along the surface of the water and face you. While doing so, it will open its mouth and hiss to keep you from coming closer. If this happens, stay calm. The alligator simply wants you to leave its territory; slowly paddling away should appease it.
Essential Tips to Follow
Though there’s a certain level of risk involved with each outing, kayaking with alligators is safe if you remain alert. They won’t attack indiscriminately, and rarely will they stay in the same area as a kayaker. Still, it’s important to remember you’re a visitor in their territory, and you should respect it as such.
To ensure that you stay safe, keep your distance from an alligator. One way to keep them at bay is to make as much noise as possible. Many kayakers often bang their paddles on the side of their kayaks to startle the reptiles away. It’s also important that you don’t feed them or try to attract them with food, as this can put them in dangerous proximity.
For more information on these magnificent animals, reach out to Wild Louisiana Tours. Our experienced tour guides will inform you on their behavior patterns and how to best keep yourself safe on the water. We also take the appropriate safety precautions to ensure your kayaking adventure in New Orleans goes off without a hitch.