Saturday, October 8, 2011

Airboat Adventures Near Miami

Airboat loading up
by Andy Powell Flickr Creative Commons

Fast, fun, and educational, an Airboat adventure is a fantastic way of experiencing the unique ‘river of grass’ of the Everglades. Leave your motorhome rental or campervan hire on dry ground, experience the wind through your hair and hold into your hats, as you skim over the surface of the water.

Airboats are big, with an enormous fan at the back which powers the boat over even the smallest amount of water. You sit up high, looking down from a safe distance at the giant alligators which live in the water; you also get a chance to see hundreds of bird species and other wildlife such as turtles, snakes, and fish which live the area.

If you suffer from sea sickness don’t worry, its not like a boat trip, the experience is more like low level flying than a boat on the high seas. As you would expect, there are a wide range of companies offering packages which include airboat adventures. Sunrise and sunset tours, private tours, tours which include a picnic or barbeque, and tours where you get to mingle with the ‘gators’.

Your journey starts gently at first. You slowly pass through the water taking in this unusual habitat and seeing some beautiful birds. Then, your experienced guide starts pointing out something moving just under the surface, and it's time for the alligators. Large fully-grown adults and smaller juveniles are almost always seen. You’ll also see soft-shelled turtles, so be sure to remember your camera!

A lazy 'Gator
by Sali Sasaki Flickr Creative Commons

After your sighting you pick up speed, this is where the grass grows tall and the water is dotted with tree-covered islands called hammocks. This is where you will see raccoons, white tailed deer, and wild boar, before returning to base.

Some of the operators also have areas where visitors can meet the gators at close quarters, restaurants, and gift shops where you can buy a souvenir of your day. So if you’re looking for a hair raising experience on a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday in Miami, why not try a day trip- an airboat adventure!

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