Filed under: Activities & Attractions
Gator Park Airboat Tours
The Gator Park Airboat Tours are in the heart of the Everglades National Park, Florida. The tour begins slowly down the canal with plenty of opportunity to observe wildlife in its natural habitat. Our experienced guides will help you spot alligators, soft-shelled turtles and numerous birds (keep your camera ready). One of the first alligators you are likely to spot is Jumbo – an impressive 6 feet in length.
We’ll also pass a replica of a common fishing camp used by Indians, a structure made of palm and cypress wood, called a chickee.
Then we’ll pick up speed and head for the river of tall saw grass. The water is not stagnant like that in swamps, but instead travels very slowly from north to south. The Everglades is one of the world’s largest and slowest flowing rivers. There is no dry land except for the tree covered islands called hammocks. On these hammocks you can find mammals such as raccoons, whitetail deer and wild boar.
The water isn’t too deep, averaging only eight to twelve inches, depending on the rainfall. It is also as warm as bath water. Because the water pertains to a wetland system, it is also clean and odorless.
The Everglades National park is known for its vast wildlife. Wildlife includes large wading birds, including roseate spoonbill, great blue heron, white ibis, egrets, as well as osprey. The Everglades include over 200,000 alligators as well as crocodiles. There is deer, more than 28 different snakes – a few which are venomous, and let’s not forget the endangered Florida panther. There is also an abundance of fish.
The Everglades is the only ecosystem in the world where alligators and crocodiles co-exist side by side. Alligators only thrive in fresh water because they cannot digest salt. Crocodiles can live in both fresh and salt water. The Everglades is unique because fresh water in the Florida Bay meets the salt water of the Gulf of Mexico.
Alligators mate in the spring. Usually 30-40 eggs incubate for 60-65 days and hatchlings are usually 8-10 inches long. Male alligators can grow up to 12 feet and weigh 400-500 pounds while the female alligator usually grows 8-9 feet. Alligators have approximately 80 teeth. When they wear down or lose a tooth, they are replaced with new teeth. An alligator can go through 2000-3000 teeth in a lifetime. A lifetime for an alligator is 30-35 years in the wild. They mainly eat fish, turtles, mammals, snakes and birds.
Attend Gator Park’s famous wildlife show and see the barehanded technique used by the Indians to capture alligators. If you are brave enough, you’ll also have the opportunity to hold a smaller gator in your hands.
Dine either inside or out in our restaurant. Our menu ranges from hamburgers, hotdogs, and sandwiches to various Everglade’s specialties, such as alligator tail, alligator sausage, frog legs and catfish. Gator Park also provides for RV camping with full hookup sites.
Gator Park’s airboats all have Cadillac engines and high performance airplane propellers. Tours depart from our docks every 20-30 minutes throughout the day!
Gator Park is available for private functions, corporate events and special parties.