The Group Travel Leader

APR 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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By Herb Sparrow GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E JEAN LAFITTE SWAMP TOURS M A R R E R O Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours offers students the opportunity to see true bayou wildlife in its natural habitat. "We are in the middle of a National Park with no hunting allowed, so the wildlife is untouched," said Lindsey Manthey, director of travel sales. This calming environment is home to a variety of f lora and fauna, includ- ing the famous wetland cypress trees and, of course, alligators. Trips are recommended any time of year: Summer's humidity attracts the larger gators and birds such as the heron and egret; winter's milder temperatures are perfect for viewing deer, otters and migratory birds. The tours are all led by guides born and raised in the bayou. Each boat can hold up to 60 people, and with six boats in all, groups of up to 360 people can be accommodated. Tours last approximately an hour and a half, and boats have a restroom and a snack bar. WWW.JEANLAFITTESWAMPTOUR.COM JEAN LAFITTE SWAMP TOURS Courtesy Global Wildlife Center GLOBAL WILDLIFE CENTER GLOBAL WILDLIFE CENTER F O L S O M On a sprawling 900-acre site, the Global Wildlife Center is the largest of its kind in the United States — a natural environment where more than 4,000 exotic and endangered animals can roam free. Giraffes, zebras, kan- garoos, camels and many other species all live here, and daily tours provide an opportunity to meet the animals, feed them and pet them. "The one-on-one hands-on interactions with the animals are what make a visit so awesome," said the center's Brittany Ricks. She added that tours are also very educa- tional, with the tour guides providing tips so that children of all ages can learn how they can help protect the environment. The center has several lesson plans for teachers and welcomes groups of all ages. School groups must have at least 15 partici- pants, but each wagon can hold from 120 to 160 people, so larger groups can be accommo- dated. Reservations are required and should be made at least one month in advance. WWW.GLOBALWILDLIFE.COM Courtesy Jean Lafitte Swamp Tours C A J U N C U I S I N E 877.537.5800 WHARVEY@LACAJUNBAYOU.COM LACAJUNBAYOU.COM/GROUPS #CAJUNBAYOU Rich, natural, unapologetically Cajun. Just south of New Orleans where Cajun runs deep. Groups can explore authentic bayou culture through outdoor experiences, restaurants, festivals and attractions. You'll find storytellers up and down the bayou, and you'll take a little piece of the story home with you. As sure as the bayou flows to the Gulf, we want to share it all with you.

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