Please use the selections under paddle in the drop-down menu above to select a specific tour. This page contains some special info about Paddle Tours & Tour Reasons.
Paddle Tours Info, please read:
All paddle tours except our “Beginning Kayaking and instruction on St. Marys River” expect all participants to have competent paddling knowledge and experience. This is especially applied to the tours that state not for inexperienced paddlers and all swamp paddle tours during mid March through October (peak dangerous aquatic reptile activity months). The paddle tour or package could be seriously cut short or cancelled entirely without refund if any paddle participant has not been truthful with us of their paddling experience or expertise. Please communicate with us fully and truthfully, so that we can attempt to accurately access all participants experience and skill levels before we get on the water.
Okefenokee Pastimes paddle tours are geared to adults. Families with mature acting young adults 14 and older are permitted to paddle in a boat by themselves but only when accompanied on tour by parent or guardian. Young children are discouraged unless they are well behaved, disciplined, having patience, stamina and the ability to ride up to 4 hours safely in a boat paddled by an experienced parent. We will in certain circumstances shorten a tour length but we cannot shorten a price.
Paddlers participating in our paddle tours need to understand, they will be expected to paddle at our pace if they wish to be guided and receive an interpretive discourse or to make photographs along the way. Booming voices out in the swamp are not conducive to a quality wilderness experience in our opinion. Only in emergency or when absolutely necessary will we raise our voice for those farther away. Participant paddlers will need to stay close if they wish to hear what is said and understand this can be almost impossible sometimes in single file situations. Handling a camera and paddling miles through Okefenokee swamp simultaneously is a difficult skill. We expect you to possess that skill set if you bring a camera and anticipate taking lots of photos. Otherwise you might consider one of our quiet electric motor boat tours instead.
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) it helps to have someone 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 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 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 very small business, we do not move masses of people like most other businesses do. We put the personal touch into our tours and deal with people as individuals. We intensely dislike and avoid a herd mentality.
- What you are actually getting is a privately chartered guided paddleboat 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.