Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Boggy Creek Airboats ~ Kissimmee, FL

The one thing my 11 year old son requested when I told him we would be visiting Kissimmee, Florida was to “see an alligator, you know, on one of those cool boats mom!”  Lucky for him, Boggy Creek Airboats is located in Kissimmee and features rides on those very cool boats, otherwise known as airboats.

An airboat ride with Boggy Creek Airboats is the ultimate way to see an American Alligator in it’s natural home.  The airboat can easily get in and out of places a bigger boat can not, and the drivers with Boggy Creek, know the best places to find a gator.  While they do not “guarantee” an alligator sighting, we saw over 10 on the hour long tour we took in May.

Boggy Creek launches on 2 different parts of Lake Tohopekaliga, which is the headwaters to the Florida Everglades.  Rides are completely safe and for all ages – my children both wore a life vest and we were all given hearing protection.

We took the hour long scenic tour and were placed on a smaller boat than the half-hour tour.  There was only one other couple with us and our tour guide took us to all the places he had seen alligators that morning.

In this area, he was able to find 2 baby alligators, including one that was missing a leg.  Our guide said they have all been keeping an eye on her since she was born, apparently abandoned by her mother.  Makes me think these guides have a certain love & passion for the amazing wildlife they have on Lake Tohopekaliga.

Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable, pointing out several birds, including great white egrets, blue herons,  and even an American Bald eagle.  This lake was home to the second largest population of eagles in the country behind Alaska.

We also found it funny to come across this herd of cattle just grazing in the lake.  Shows you how shallow the water is - that's why having an airboat is so great to tour this lake on.

But this family wanted to see gators – and see them up close.  The best time to see alligators in this area is the spring & fall.  Summer gets too hot for gators to be out, unless you do a morning ride.   As I mentioned, we came across several alligators, including this guy who was not afraid and didn’t slip away while we closed in on him.  I like to think he was putting on a show for us:

 Overall, an airboat ride is a really fun experience.  For a family who owns a boat and grew up going to a lake in Texas, an airboat ride is a completely different experience.  Yes it was loud and we had an occasional bug hit us, but the ride itself was smooth, as if we were gliding across the water.

When we got back to the boat launch, we were given the opportunity to hold a baby alligator and have our picture taken with him.

I loved the way the guide taught us various things about the gator and he leaned back and closed his eyes every time she would rub his head, much like a dog does when you scratch them.  You can get a copy of the picture for a small donation to the Gator Adventure Productions.  They support the Tomistoma Task Force to preserve Jamaican alligators.

Boggy Airboat Rides offers different types of rides, including a night time tour.  Our hour long tour was a great way to learn more about the area, see some wildlife and experience something we never had before.  I highly recommend an airboat ride if you are visiting the Kissimmee area.

Disclosure: My family & I were invited to take a ride with Boggy Creek Airboats.  I was not paid for this article.  All opinions are my own. 

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