As part of my hosted media visit to Mobile, Alabama, my group had the opportunity to go airboating on the delta, and if you ever visit the city, this is definitely a must-do!
After a hearty breakfast at Bob’s Downtown Diner in Mobile, we were taken just south of the city to meet up with our tour guide at Airboat Express.
Mobile sits on the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, which is the second largest river delta in the United States. It encompasses approximately 260,000 acres in a 40-by-10-mile area that opens into Mobile Bay.
The six of us did the 1 hour Eco Tour, which was a great mix of adventure and learning about the environment.
The Mobile-Tensaw Delta is home to a wide variety of habitats, including flood plains, cypress-gum swamps, and marshes, which host some of the most diverse wildlife in Alabama.
Our tour took us through the marshes, and our guide, Geoff, did an excellent job of pointing out the various birds, snakes, and alligators near us. At one point, he slowly motored the boat within 5-10 ft of an alligator, and it cautiously eyed us above the water level as we snapped away with our cameras. Sizing us up…maybe judging us…before choosing to swim away.
We also got up close with some Cypress Trees, rising above the water in their majestic glory. Geoff also pointed out the trunks of some fallen trees just below the water, silently contributing to the delta eco-system.
Geoff then brought us to a section of reeds, where he proceeded to show us parts of them were edible by slicing off the bottoms and presenting them to us to try. I didn’t really notice much of a flavor, but it was watery like celery.
After we’d gotten the educational part of the tour out of the way, Geoff proceeded to rev the engine on the airboat. We flew over the water at top speed, slicing around corners, and occasionally spinning in 180 degree turns. Sitting on the outside of my row, I ended up getting a little wet, but on the hot sunny day, it felt good.
Out boat hit one last straightaway through the marsh, and our ride came to an end. Surprisingly, I managed to hold on to my phone throughout the wild finish, an here is the video I shot (warning, I’m near the engine so it can be a bit loud):
The Bottom Line
I enjoyed the tour. It was the perfect blend of nature, education, and adventure. It was suitable for all ages (we had a 10 year old with us) and abilities (those in a wheelchair will have to be able to maneuver over and step down in to the boat).
Airboat Express is located at 3733 Battleship Pkwy., Spanish Fort, AL 36527 (next to the Original Oyster House). Prices for our 1 Hour Eco Tour tour were $35 for adults and $25 for kids, which is a good value for the experience, I think. There is a four-passenger minimum, and it operates seasonally February through mid-November.
Disclaimer: I was on a hosted media trip by Visit Mobile. As always, my opinions are honest, and my own.
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