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Gulf Coast Gator Ranch Airboat Tour, Oh My!

Gulf Coast Gator Ranch Tour - Alligator closeup shot
Matt Claiborne
Matt Claiborne
October 15, 2021

If you've never experienced the swampy side of Mississippi, you are in for a treat. Alligators are still the top predator in Mississippi's swamplands, and you can meet one up close. Instead of beaches and casinos, experience what Mississippi's coastal area looked like before development.

Gulf Coast Gator Ranch Tour

Swamp view

Gator Ranch is home to some of the largest and oldest alligators in the area. Guests can walk the safe, protected walking trail and view alligators up close.

The Gator Ranch is Mississippi's oldest gator farm. It's located in one of the most beautiful swamplands in the state. The Gator Ranch's grounds cover 105 acres of land, right next to the Grand Bay Estuary.

Visitors are sure to see a variety of wildlife in addition to alligators. The swamp is a fascinating ecosystem with fish, turtles, snakes, and birds. Visitors will see the beautiful cypress trees and the amazing natural area. Birdwatchers should keep their eye out for Great Blue Herons, night herons, egrets, and more.

All About Alligators

Alligator

As you tour Gator Ranch's property, you can find out more about these imposing and fascinating creatures. The average American alligator weighs 790 lbs and grows to about 13 feet long. The biggest alligators weigh about 990 lbs. The largest American alligator ever recorded was found in Louisiana and was over 19 feet long.

It is unknown what the average lifespan of an alligator is. However, one alligator is known to have lived for over 80 years.

American alligators are found in the Southeast United States. They reside in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas.

While they are often confused with crocodiles, they are a different species. Alligators live in freshwater, such as swamps, wetlands, rivers, and lakes. Crocodiles live in saltwater and have different body shapes.

Alligators can lunge at their prey and kill and eat with a single bite. Larger prey is dragged into the water and drowned. Large prey is eaten during a "death roll," where the alligator repeatedly rolls while the prey is torn.

Gator Farm

Bring your camera and take a walking tour of the gator farm. Visitors can walk along protected walkways and watch the gators in action. The farm is like a zoo for alligators. There are alligators from each developmental stage, from babies, juveniles, adults, and seniors.

Adventurous souls can even feed the alligators or watch the guides feed the hungry creatures. Visitors can get an idea of each gator's daily life and unique personality. Some gators might be relaxing in the sun, and some might wander over to be fed. While the sun lounging gators seem very sedate, they can move very fast when prompted.

The ranch is also home to other wildlife. You might see herons catching fish or turtles basking in the sun.

Airboat Swamp Tour

Airboat Tour

The airboat swamp tour will take you into unbelievable swampland. But before you depart, you'll receive ear protection and a safety briefing.

This is a wilderness area, unlike anything you've ever experienced. Airboats fly over the swamp at high speeds. The ride is thrilling, and the captain may even perform some exciting donut turns for adventurous riders.

The swamp is host to various wildlife, including alligators, birds, turtles, and snakes. Your experienced tour guide will help you understand the ecology of the area and point out wildlife.

Enjoy Your Gulf Coast Gator Ranch Tour

A trip to the Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Tours is sure to delight your whole family. While in the area, be sure to visit some of the Long Beach Mississippi beaches during your visit.

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