Alligators are big tourist attractions and the stars of the show and can be found on every airboat tour. We even know where “momma” gators make their nests and in season our captains will bring you right up in there. When the babies hatch, they are only about 6 inches long and have yellow stripes. So cute!! You can expect to see alligators from little ones all the way up to the larger ones, weighing hundreds of pounds and can come in at over 10 feet long. The alligators are cold blooded reptiles and can be found up on land all day in the cooler months. As things warm up you will want to go earlier because they will start spending a little more time in the water cooling off, during the later heat of the day. Let us get you up close and personal for the “Airboat Ride of a Lifetime.”
The Florida Everglades is home to many varieties of turtles. We have at least five species including box turtles, softshell turtles, red-eared slider turtles and, most common, the yellow-bellied slider. The big daddy of them all, that looks like it came out of the dinosaur era, is the Alligator Snapping Turtle. You will find many turtles on most trips.
If you are a lover of birds, you will absolutely love these tours. Watch the Great Blue Heron at the water’s edge. See Osprey hit the water with incredible force and fly away with a fish clinched firmly in its talons. Search out the spectacular Roseate Spoonbills or the Purple Gallinule. Duck out as the world’s fastest bird (the Peregrine Falcon) swoops down just in front of the airboat, at over 200mph, trying to catch a Coot for dinner. These airboat tours are truly awe inspiring, due to the abundance of bird life.
Explore the backwaters of the marsh, where we can find big fish, like the alligator gar, largemouth bass, armored catfish, mud fish, tilapia and many other species in the shallow clear water. In spawning season, the tilapia will clear out a bowl shaped hole near shore, to lay their eggs and then hover above the nest guarding them, leaving themselves vulnerable to fishermen that abandon their fishing rod for a bow and arrow, which they use to shoot the fish. You can spot these fish and if you miss them, the captain will point them out to you.