Swamp Thing: Adventures in the Everglades
The Everglades (Florida) is an area of marshland, also known as wetland or subtropical wilderness. It is really a slow-moving river over 60 miles wide, that leaves Lake Okeechobee and travels over 100 miles to the sea.
Along that route, this “River of Grass” offers unbelievable expanses of sawgrass marshes, spreading flat and open to the horizon like prairie, as well as heavily forested mangrove areas, cypress swamps, the Ten Thousand Islands and many other features, eventually reaching the marine climate of Florida Bay.
Everglades airboat rides use special water craft that you’ve probably seen in films. They have a flat bottom and a huge fan at the back to push them across the surface. They can creep carefully through tiny, root-infested channels, but they’re fast, too!
The best thing about this form of travel is that it gives you a feeling of complete freedom: although you won’t go jumping over small islands like they do in the films, normal boats offer a lot less maneuverability than an airboat. Everglades boat rides with a standard craft would be impossible, because all the grass and tree roots would choke and destroy the propeller.
Florida Everglades tours are the gateway to endless possibilities. With thousands of miles to explore, much of it as untamed as the African savannah or South American jungle, the Everglades offer an unequaled variety of experiences.
Visitors who are looking for natural beauty will find an endless supply on these airboat rides: Everglades ecosystems range from the wide open, where you can experience beautiful sunrises and sunsets, to tiny, swampy rivers that crawl underneath a canopy of trees, where dappled sunlight adds to the mystery of strange sounds and even stranger plants, all hiding from the world.
Your thrill-seeking side will love the wide open sawgrass prairie, which offers the opportunity for a bit of speed, while the dark, creepy mangrove forests will appeal to the explorer in you.
Endangered and Beautiful
There are three easily recognizable animals to watch for as you tour Everglades ecosystems. The first is the one everyone thinks of when the area is mentioned: the scary American alligator! These predators hunt throughout the area, their reptilian eyes watching for passing prey as they float, half-hidden, in the water or lie in ambush on the banks. On a more friendly note, you may also spot Indian manatees and bottlenose dolphins in the area.
Many endangered species live in the Everglades. Florida even boasts its own panther, which hunts in uplands regions, and is at risk of extinction, with only about 100 left. If you’re not lucky enough to spot one on your Everglades airboat rides, there’s still plenty to watch for: around 350 different species of bird make their home there, including plenty of gorgeous (and rare) wading birds, such as the Wood Stork, two types of ibis, the Roseate Spoonbill and three types of heron!
Are plants more your thing? You’ll not be disappointed if you keep your eyes open on your airboat! Everglades fauna includes the obvious attraction of the abundant mangrove and cypress, many of which form “tree islands”, but you’ll also see orchids, bromeliads and ferns. The orchids are especially beautiful, with the Everglades hosting some of the most unusual specimens in the world.
Florida Everglades Tours
Whether you go in a group or on your own, an Everglades airboat tour is a memorable experience. The boats are big enough for a large party, and it doesn’t even matter what the weather does: the area is an endless source of inspiration and exploration whether it’s raining or hot!