If you plan to visit Botany Bay

Please keep in mind
that Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area is... well wild. There are many wonderful things to see, birds, flowers and wildlife. And you are free to wander much of the over 4,000 acres.

However when you do go off the designated roads and tour areas (and sometimes even on them) you may encounter:

“Alligators, opossums, raccoons, spiders, and poison ivy – lots of it.  There are many biting and stinging insects such as bees, wasps, hornets, chiggers, and biting midges, also known as “noseeums” or “sand gnats.”  You are also likely to encounter venomous spiders and large numbers of dangerous or disease-carrying insects such as fire ants, mosquitoes and ticks.  Always try to protect yourself by wearing appropriate clothing and using insect repellants, although even the best products do not repel more than a token percentage of our biting insects.  And last, but certainly not least, Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area is the natural habitat of several venomous reptiles including the Eastern Coral Snake, the Copperhead, the Cottonmouth, and three species of Rattlesnake.  Do not harm them, after all this is a Wildlife Management Area, but for your safety avoid close contact with them.  In order to do that, you will have to keep your eyes open at all times. If you see them in the roads on the plantation DO NOT DRIVE OVER THEM. Harming these snakes is a serious violation if observed by a DNR enforcement officer.

Summer heat can be dangerous in a remote area such as Botany Bay as can frequent summer severe thunderstorms.  Always brings water, and check current weather forecasts.


  Unfortunately, Botany Bay Beach is simply not a good swimming beach.  For a swimming outing, head for the Edisto Beach State Park or Edisto Beach instead.  Botany Bay Beach has eroded severely in recent years and months, thereby exposing mud flats, tree stumps, old pilings, snags, oyster beds, and other hazards that are not visible beneath the surface of the water to swimmers.  And, of course, there are rip currents, rays, jellyfish, and sharks.  If you nevertheless choose to enter the water, do not do so alone and be sure to wear sturdy footgear.   If you choose to permit your children to enter the water, supervise them closely.  Remember, there is NO LIFEGUARD – EVER.

Despite the dangers, Botany Bay can be a paradise for photographers, birders, beachcombers, and other nature-lovers, and with proper preparation your visit should be memorable.  However should you get into trouble the likelihood of getting help in a timely manner is very limited.  Cell phone reception is best on the beach, spotty in most other areas of the WMA.  Weather can affect it.  The SC DNR staff is small indeed, and while we have an active volunteer program, there are many times when no volunteer is nearby.  The chance of being found quickly if you suffer an accident or health event is small.  If you are successful in getting through to a 911 operator, the optimum response time, if they can find you, is at least 30 minutes.

If you plan to visit the beach be prepared for
a 3/4 mile walk across the causeway. You must carry in on your back or bike the things you need. Be aware that there are no rest rooms anywhere
on the property.

We strongly suggest that when you plan to visit you:

* tell someone where you are going
* go with friends, not alone
* take with you essentials like mosquito repellant, water, a hat, sturdy
shoes, and sun screen

* you must sign in at the entrance.

Do Not Bring:

* your dog - dogs are prohibited on the beach and causeway to the beach, they disturb our nesting birds many of which are threatened
* metal detectors - no artifact hunting is permitted
*no ATV's or trailered boats are permitted on the property

Note: bicycles are welcome! Canoes and kayaks can be launched at
Sea Cloud Landing on Ocella Creek.

Be Aware
The roads are not suitable for large vehicles (such as campers or tour vans, etc.) While we expend many hours of effort to maintain the roads in wet weather they can become difficult and in dry weather the sand can be tricky.
No trailers other than horse trailers are permitted.

Removal of shells and artifacts is prohibited.

On Your Visit Please Do Not Disturb:
Nesting birds,alligators, turtles or turtle nests (most are clearly marked)
Do not disturb historic sites. Do not take anything you see there other than pictures!
Do not enter the bird nesting areas on the beach (they are roped off).
Do not attempt to handle wildlife such as racoons or o'possums which may carry rabies.
Do not disturb or harm snakes, even poisonous ones.

Bess Kellet shows a little love to one of our huge magnolias at Botany Bay. She is a true "tree hugger".

Be a part of our effort to preserve this incredible resource while enjoying your visit. Working together we can keep Botany Bay
as it is today for our children and their children.

Thank You
the Edisto Island Preservation Alliance

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