The intended plan is for you to relax and really enjoy this. We want you to have some fun too. Sometimes you can actually feel the stress of modern living leaving your body.
Our primary use swamp boat seats 4 with comfortable padded swivel seats and possible room for 1 more small person under unusual circumstances. Our secondary use swamp boat is larger and for groups of 5 to 10 with comfortable padded swivel seats for 8.
The boats used in our private guided paddle tours are comfortable, user friendly and excellent performing high quality kayaks and canoes. We are able to accommodate a group of 7 paddlers in kayaks and/or up to 12 experienced paddlers in canoes.
Our private guided tours are ideal for photographers mainly by motorboat, bird watchers, nature lovers and/or anyone who would rather take in this special beauty with comfort, ease, safety and relaxation high on their list.
Some Good Reasons for Considering Our Paddle Tours
- To keep you from getting confused or lost. When you do not know the area it helps to have someone who knows the way and can show you the prettiest sections of swamp. It keeps you from stressing out in unfamiliar circumstances and allows you to just kick back and enjoy the experience.
- A fear of dangerous aquatic reptiles. When you are not familiar with certain critters (dare I say, Gators and Cottonmouths, Okefenokee is home to both) it helps to have a knowledgeable person along who is comfortable and familiar with these creatures. We try to help alleviate misconceptions, unfounded fears and advise on potential situations due to seasonal conditions or other contributing factors. We share knowledge acquired by lots of experience, so that you may enjoy being around these amazing creatures.
- The use of quality equipment. We do not publicly rent the boats we use for our tours to the public. We maintain all our boats at a very high standard. All of our equipment is first class and ideally suited to the Okefenokee Swamp and other flat water applications. We give instruction on equipment and safety gear making sure you understand before getting on the water.
- A desire to know first hand, about the Flora, Fauna and Heritage of the Okefenokee Swamp, St Marys River and Coast. We really enjoy sharing the knowledge we possess of these ecosystems with our guests. We love to point out interesting things when we come across them in these magical habitats. It is sometimes very special indeed to get a perspective or an introspective from someone who is intimate with an environment and lives in the area.
- You want to have a good time on the water. This is what it is all about. We are there to help make it a good time. We advise, assist and try to take charge when we perceive potential problems so that you do not have the stress of too many details related to getting yourself and others out and back from a successful enjoyable paddling experience. We work hard to take the worry out of it. We want it to be fun. We love fun. We are all about fun, tempered with a healthy dose of respect for the natural world and wilderness surroundings.
- The desire to have a more personal experience. We are a well run very small business. Our business is not about providing mass “boating adventures” for the general public, unlike the three government contracted concessionaires operating at all three Okefenokee water put in entrances. We put a very personal touch into all of our private guided tours. It is the only kind of tour we will do. We deal with human beings as the individuals they are. Many have been our guests and neighbors here at Okefenokee Pastimes overnight. We intensely dislike and avoid the herd mentality found elsewhere.
- What you are actually getting is a privately chartered guided paddle boat experience for you and your family or group of friends exclusively. If you understand guided charter pricing you would realize how expensive that usually makes it and what a real bargain this is. The only exception might be a special request that has been clearly expressed before hand to have a particular tour date or experience open up to others.
Some Good Reasons for Considering Our Motorboat Tours
1. Fears: of snakes, of being lost, of man eating bloodthirsty Alligators and fiendish blood sucking insects. When you don’t know or understand the swamp or it’s critters, the swamp environment can seem intimidating. It is handy to have someone along who is familiar with the area and it’s various creature’s habits and habitats. Leave your concerns about navigation to us, relax, kick back and enjoy.
We expect to alleviate misconceptions, unfounded fears and advise you of potential surprises and situations due to seasonal conditions or other contributing factors. We will share our knowledge and experience in order to help you feel at ease, relaxed and able to really enjoy being around some of the worlds most amazing and interesting creatures in this tranquilizing, hypnotic and fascinatingly beautiful habitat.
2. The use of a quality comfortable and safe boat. The vessel used, is the personal craft of the owners and is not rented, loaned or allowed to be used by anyone else. Our swamp boats are well maintained 16 & 20 foot, ultra safe, unsinkable (unless filled with lead or concrete), fiberglass, foam filled, flat bottom boats. The boats have comfortable seating with padded seat backs and both have Bimini tops that can be put up quickly if needed in bad weather. These two boats are the best boats that money can buy for what we use them for, in our opinion. We’ve put many years of personal research and trial and error into figuring this one out. The motors used are newer, very clean, quiet and reliable 4 strokes. In addition, our boats are outfitted with silent but powerful electric motors allowing us to have a quiet, stealthy, paddle boat type of experience without all the intense exercise and hassle. The boats are equipped with back up paddles and poles for extra added safety insurance. We of course always carry life jackets and the appropriate safety gear for all our outings.
3. A desire to know first hand, about the Flora, Fauna and Heritage of the Okefenokee Swamp, St Marys River and Coast. We really enjoy sharing our knowledge of these ecosystems with our guests and really love to point out interesting things when we come across them in these magical habitats. It is sometimes very special indeed to get a perspective or an introspective from someone who is intimate with the environment they live in.
4. You want to have a good time on the water. That is what it is all about. We are there to help it be a good time. We advise, assist and try to take charge when we perceive potential problems. Our objective is for everyone to have stress free enjoyment and a successful trip out and back on the water. We work hard to take all the worries out. We want it to be fun. We love fun. We are all about fun, tempered with a healthy dose of respect for the natural world and wilderness surroundings.
5. You want the best and highest quality guided experience available at the Okefenokee, which you will get with us. We cater to your desire to have a more personal atmosphere & experience. Not just the same mass appeal boat ride that bus loads of Elder Hostel, school children, or Gray Line type tour-buses packed with tourists come and get. We are a very small business, we do not wish to deal with those numbers of people, unlike the government contracted concessionaires that are located within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. We put a very personal touch on our tours and as it happens in many cases you are also our guests here at our place, Okefenokee Pastimes for a night or two. We deal with our folks as the special individuals that they are. The herd or a cattle boat mentality is definitely not our style.
6. What you are actually getting with us is a private charter boat experience for you and your family or group of friends exclusively. If you have any understanding of charter boat pricing you would understand how expensive that usually is and what a bargain our tours are. The only exception might be a special request that has been clearly expressed before hand to have a particular tour date open up to others.
7. Our small saltwater boat seats only 1 or 2 and is outfitted with all appropriate and legally required safety equipment. It is a safe 14 foot V hull with a small outboard also outfitted with a quiet electric motor for silent propulsion and stealthy wildlife observations.
8. Steve will most likely be your guide and boat Captain. He is co-owner of the business with a CG license for operating a passenger vessel offshore and on all inland and inshore navigable waterways. He is, to our knowledge, the only guide operating power boats at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge who has ever held a Coast Guard Captain License.