The Best Way to Encounter Alligators
When vacationing in Florida, most are drawn to the Everglades. It is a serene, peaceful environment with some very large creatures lurking below the water’s surface. One thing that tourists want to see on their trip to Florida is an alligator in its natural habitat, and the best way to do it is on a tour of the Everglades! An Everglades airboat tour is an awesome way to get up close and personal with the large creatures, and see how they act in the wild. When touring the Everglades, airboat rides are the best way to get the most out of your experience and check encountering alligators off your bucket list.
Airboat rides are provided by Sawgrass Recreation Park, and they run daily. The airboat captain knows exactly where to look, as they all have done extensive research around the area. They know all of the top spots that alligators are lurking, and they are excited to share their findings with you. Not only will you get some information about the Everglades itself, but you will also see alligators in their natural habitats. If they are far away, the captain will point them out to you, so you know exactly where to look. Sometimes they are lurking among the weeds, and other times they will come right up to the boat and swim along the side of it to investigate. What the alligator doesn’t know, is that someone above is investigating as well!
No matter what time of year you visit the Everglades, you are guaranteed to see various forms of wildlife, and the breathtaking scenery that is part of it! Keeping this in mind, there are different times of year that are better for viewing specific animals. Water levels, temperature, and other variables affect what animals will be out and about. In Florida, the rainy season is typically from May to November, and this is the best time to catch views of those alligators! The alligator can be seen year round, but it is typically more active during these months due to prime environmental conditions. They love the hotter, wetter times of year. Before the rainy season starts, the alligators are trying to find mates, which makes the rainy season prime time to see the babies as well! In the hotter months, both crocodiles and alligators can be seen sunning themselves on land, rather than them all being in the water. Afternoon may be the best time to spot them during the rainy season while they are out and about.
If you are thinking about an airboat ride in the late afternoon, you will probably see more alligators (check out our nighttime airboat rides). Primarily, alligators choose the dusk or night hours for their feedings. They don’t usually travel far for a meal, but you can usually see their jaws come up from the water in an attempt to catch a bird or other small creature. They aren’t picky eaters, and typically just eat what is available to them. They feed mostly on birds, but also eat fish, small mammals, and even small alligators! Their teeth have no issues crushing their prey, and you may just hear a loud snapping noise, before the alligator heads back under the water. You have to be quick to look with every sound you hear!
Early morning is another great time for alligator viewing. When the temperature begins to heat up, alligators tend to come closer to the surface to warm up after a chilly night. They are pretty bulky and move slow (unless they are chasing something, or something is chasing them) so it should be easy to spot one that is looking for a little bit of sunshine. From an airboat, it is fairly simple to see the gators that are in the distance, and the ones that come a bit closer to the boat. They are open, which makes viewing that much easier. There really isn’t a bad seat on the airboat, and you have the ability to move around for a better view if needed. You never know where an alligator will pop up from!
It is important not to try to view alligators on your own in the wild. You should avoid swimming or wading thru murky or grassy waters in an attempt to encounter an alligator, and if you do encounter one, do not feed it! If humans continue to feed the alligators, they will lose the fear that they have of humans and they will become more bold when we are in sight. You have to be careful around these large predators, and have a great understanding of them if you want to get up close. With an Everglades tour, you can get up close and personal with the alligators, and enjoy learning about them as well! No matter what time or season that you decide to go on an Everglades tour, you will not leave disappointed!