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Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

California
posts: 24
reviews: 29
Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

I really need help deciding how to spend our day (we will be based in Ft Lauderdale). I want to be able to take great photos of wildlife, nature, beautiful scenery.

I'm trying to decide between:

Visiting Anhinga Trail on our own,

a full day tour with Everglades Day Safari (www.ecosafari.com), or

a half day Everglades Nat'l Park Birding, Wildlife & Photo Expedition(evergladesareatours.com/everglades-birding.h…).

Anhinga sounds like it might be best for wildlife plus it is much more budget friendly. But the guided tours sound like fun and I think they are closer to Ft Lauderdale. Any advice or recommendations would be most welcome!

South Florida...
Destination Expert
for Miami, Key Largo
posts: 3,514
reviews: 14
1. Re: Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

On your own! If you want a tour then join a ranger led one.

Fort Lauderdale...
posts: 5,142
reviews: 111
2. Re: Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

Will you have a car ? If so the budget friendly Anhinga Trail is a good choice. Near as I can tell Everglades Day Safari will pick you up and drop you back off where you're staying. They do get some excellent reviews on TA though I have no first hand experience with them.

You would need to travel across the state and back to tour with Everglades Area Tours, again excellent reviews on TA but I have no first hand knowledge with them either.

Anhinga been there, done that. Short compact trail, easily walked, plenty of wild life, plan on about a two hour drive down from Ft Lauderdale. My picks in order: Anhinga solo, Eco Day Safari second and then Everglades Area Tours last.

California
posts: 24
reviews: 29
3. Re: Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

Great, thanks so much! We will have a car, so Anhinga sounds like a great and low-cost option.

Nottingham, United...
posts: 1,378
reviews: 104
4. Re: Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

World Traveler - you will love the Aningha trail - AND there are short ranger led tours on offer at certain times. If you check at the visitor centre just before the entrance (always worth a look and to find info - nice pool at the back that often allows you great views of Turtles and Alligators, also seen deer here in the past) - if not ,at the Aningha trail there is a small ranger office which has details posted on the windows. I liked walking the trail myself but the ranger tour does give you a more detailed perspective - it's just a thought.

Enjoy!

Chicago
posts: 132
reviews: 20
5. Re: Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

When you say visitor center, are you referring to Royal Palm Visitor Center? I see quite a few visitor centers inside the Everglades.

Nottingham, United...
posts: 1,378
reviews: 104
6. Re: Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

The Ernest F Coe visitors centre - just before the park entrance as you drive in from Florida City / Homestead.

Pensacola, Florida
posts: 4
reviews: 48
7. Re: Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

My husband has had major foot surgery and cannot a lot of walking and no "hiking". We would really love to visit and see the Everglades. Will we be able to see plenty of wildlife if we do mostly the driving trips through the Everglades National Park? We will be able to do some short walking tours or mobile or air boat tours that require small amounts of walking.

England
posts: 1,553
reviews: 39
8. Re: Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

You should aim for Shark valley and take one of their tram tours. This would be ideal if your husband can't walk very much and the driver/guide are very knowledgeable about the Everglades eco system and the resident wildlife.

Everglades city would also be a good place to visit as you have a choice of either airboat or conventional boat trips. You may also be interested in visiting Smallwoods store in Chokoloskee near EC, it's an indian trading post museum with lots of interesting exhibits.

Various roadside stops along US 41 where you may spot local wildlife too.

Pensacola, Florida
posts: 4
reviews: 48
9. Re: Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

Thank you for the great information will use all of your tips!

Nottingham, United...
posts: 1,378
reviews: 104
10. Re: Everglades Options - Tour or On our Own?

The Aningha trail would be ideal . Can see stuff no distance from the car but good advice above too.

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