After taking the Shark Valley Tram tour we wanted to experience an airboat ride and were pressed for time. When we stopped at this place they were just about to head out and had room for us. I had checked Trip Advisor the night before and this was one of the tours that had good reviews. Trip Advisor seldom steers me wrong but I only read several of recent reviews. I was pleased to see that overall, the ratings were Excellent and Very Good. Now I wish I had read the “Really disappointing, don't waste your money” review from December 29, 2011.
Our experience was much the same in that we were completely disgusted and shocked by the feeding and touching of alligators and birds out in the wild in order to give customers good photo ops. I didn't want a picture of a native American elder harassing the wildlife. We thought this was completely illegal, not to mention utterly unsafe, as well as detrimental to the animals.
I also chose this tour because it was billed as 45 minutes, a little longer than some of the others. We didn't count on spending 15-20 minutes at a traditional Indian camp on an tree island while the guide told us stories completely unrelated to the ecology and biology of alligators and the Everglades. He kept telling us 'you won't get this on other tours' and seemed to be trying to gratify his own ego.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime visit for me and I picked the wrong tour. Obviously lots of people enjoy this sort of thing as evidenced by the positive reviews. I just wanted to warn genuine nature and animal lovers to look elsewhere for an airboat tour.
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