Kayaking in the swamp is not much different than floating any other waterway. However, there are a few golden rules to keep you safe from one of the swamp’s primary residences, the Alligator… While there are other simple tips to follow too such as bring bug spray and don’t tip your kayak, it is more important that you know how to conduct yourself while kayaking in alligator territory. Read below to learn the golden rules of swamp kayaking, that every tour guide wants you to know.

Stay in the Center of the Swamp

There are a lot of places in the swamp where the alligators love to hang out. So, it is important to steer clear of areas with plants trees and overhanging branches. Try to keep your kayak toward the center of the swamp, to avoid getting too close to for comfort.

Listen for the Alligator’s Hiss

An alligator will hiss when it feels it is in danger. If you hear an alligator hiss, slow back your kayak away to a suggested 30 feet. Remember to stay calm and do not panic. If you paddle away in haste it may startle the alligator further.

Do Not Approach an Alligator’s Babies

Alligators are generally docile when left in peace; however, getting too close to a mama alligator and her babies can and in most cases will bring out her protective side.

The babies themselves can also be aggressive if approached. Depending on a baby alligator’s age and size, they can easily take off your finger or even a good size chunk out of your leg.

Do Not Fish in an Alligator’s Kitchen

The fishing is great in the swamps; however, it is not a good idea to fish in certain areas. If you notice alligators in an area you are fishing, reel your line in and slowly move on. Remember that contrary to popular belief, alligators do not eat people, at least not as their primary source of food. If you see several alligators, it probably means you are in their feeding ground.

Do Not Invite an Alligator for DinnerAlligators have an amazing sense of smell, which is how they find their food in the murky swamp waters. So, do not throw scrap food or fishing bait into the swamp, the alligators may think you are inviting them for dinner.

Kayaking in the swamp is as safe as you want it to be, as long as you respect the fact you are in alligator territory.  In most cases, alligators do not want to harm you. They simply want you to follow the rules of their house. Seems fair, right?  We hope with this information, you are armed with the knowledge to have a fun and safe swamp kayaking trip.