A Jamaican Safari in James Bond’s Former Stomping Ground

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Above: the Swamp Safari Village (JIS Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

It was 1973, and James Bond was in the middle of a fight with a crocodile in Jamaica — one he survived only by using the heads of other crocodiles as stepping stones.

It’s a lasting image from film, but for a long time, the Jamaica Swamp Safari Village, the host to several scenes in “Live and Let Die,” was out of commission. (In the movie, Jamaica was doubling for Louisiana)

But after a long hiatus, Johny Gourzong has brought back an institution in Jamaica’s Trelawny: the Jamaica Swamp Safari Village.

The facility, which is owned by the Tourism Product Development Company, has been leased to Gourzong, who operates the “Rafting on the Martha Brae” attraction.

The village, which was opened in 1971 on 50 acres of salt marsh wetlands, has been the scene of several other movies as well.

“What is on offer inside is viewing and mingling with animals, birds and fauna from Jamaica as well as some rare and unique animals from across the region,” he said. “It is going to be a nice journey into wild Jamaica and the wild Americas.”

It’s also a “bird watcher’s paradise,” Gourzong said.

It’s all part of a renewed effort to revitalize the area.

“I think it will add to the ambience of this town, and so we can say that we are seeing our own attractions being opened up,” said Falmouth Mayor Councillor Collin Gager. “We hope that other [businessmen] will follow suit.”

 

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