Florida is well known for its big theme parks and resorts such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. It’s easy to forget that behind all the rides and attractions, there it’s home to a wide range of unique wildlife and alien environments that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.
The swamps in Florida are a great place to explore and get away from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks giving you the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the real Florida. The most popular way of seeing this part of Florida is by airboat, powered by a huge fan rather than a traditional underwater propeller, which avoids disturbing the aquatic wildlife and also prevents the boat from getting stuck in the swampy weeds. This allows you to skim across the surface of the water to keep an eye out for the native wildlife such as alligators, turtles and birds.
Although tourism to the theme parks is the main bulk of Florida’s income, airboat rides are becoming more popular each year as the experience branches out to the whole family. Most people who spend a fortnight in a resort can easily take a trip to one of the many airboat attractions dotted around Orlando and find it’s nice respite from travelling around the parks on foot.
Some airboat rides may offer different experiences such as a half hour trip for those who are simply after the experience. This means that you don’t have to make a reservation as the trips start regularly and you can hop on whenever you like. A day trip is suitable for the more avid tourists looking to catch a glimpse at the wildlife. Taking a picnic is a good option when doing this. You can also take night tours as most of the swamps wildlife is nocturnal giving you a better chance to see some amphibious creatures.
What to expect on an airboat ride
– There are also no age limits on airboat rides meaning the whole family can go. You will get life vests and hearing protection as the fan can be quite loud.
– The best time to go is in the summer at night time when the Alligators feed.
– Alligators do not feed as much in colder weather, so the night tours usually stop in winter time.
– All wildlife can be unpredictable so keep your eyes open. You never know when an alligator might be a few feet away just beneath the water.