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What you need to know about taking an Orlando airboat ride during the day vs. at night

Fun fact: The Everglades is home to over 350 species of wildlife! Although we’d like to say it’s possible to spot all of these wild animals on one Orlando airboat ride, we’d be lying. Not just because an hour isn’t long enough to experience every part of the swamp, but some of the wildlife only comes out to play at night. 

So, if you and your family can’t decide whether to take an airboat tour during the day or at night, we’re sharing some tips that will help. We recommend that if you ever get the chance to go on more than one of the best Orlando airboat rides, switch it up to a different time so you can experience as many animals as possible close in personal in their natural habitat!

A family enjoys a Wild Florida airboat tour at sunset

The Nightlife of Florida's Wildlife

You may be thinking that taking an Orlando airboat tour at night, it’s going to wake the animals. No way! Believe it or not, many of the wildlife are just starting their day once the sun sets. Not only are they waking up, but they can also be very noisy. 

During the spring, alligators begin to mate at night, and they tend to be vocal while looking for a mate. Alligators communicate with each other by making loud sounds similar to an old car starting. Alligators and other Florida native wildlife also do their hunting in the dark, so this really is a great time to be on the lookout. 

The best part about a Wild Florida airboat ride at night that you won’t experience during the day? Spotting wildlife by their eyes! At night, alligators’ eyes glow a bright red, raccoon eyes glow yellow, and deer eyes have a dark blue tint. It truly looks magical when you see the glow of these animal eyes after dark. 

During the wee hours of the night, you’ll also get to hear the wildlife communicating… frogs croaking, birds and insects chirping, and owls hooting. It’s nature’s music that you just don’t get to hear during the day.

Adults and children go for an airboat tour at Wild Florida

Family-Friendly Fun in the Sun with a Boat Tour

While the best Florida Everglades airboat tours at night are an exciting and daring experience, some of the little riders may not be ready to cruise through the swamp in the dark. If the moonlight airboat ride isn’t right for your family just yet, then an airboat ride during the day is definitely for you! The best part about an airboat is during the day. The sun’s natural light makes it easy to spot the wildlife, so there is no need for the boat headlights and flashlights! 

During the night, it’s easy to miss a baby gator that swims by, or Great Blue Heron hanging out on the other side of the swamp, if you’re not paying close attention. But, during the day, even if they swim or fly away, you’ll still be able to see them. 

Florida has the second largest population of bald eagles, and our expert airboat Master captains are pros at discovering them up in the cypress trees during the day, so make sure to listen carefully when your captain is talking. 

Airboat Tours Provide a Two for One Central Florida Adventure 

During the cooler months of the year, you’re more likely to see alligators out of the water sunbathing to keep warm, so they’ll be easy to point out. At Wild Florida, there are plenty of times our airboats go out on Lake Cypress throughout the day, so you don’t have to worry about catching the first one out. 

This also means a great way to spend your day at Wild Florida is to tour our Gator Park first to see even more wild and exotic animals. The best part? Gator Park admission is included in your airboat tour reservation! 

Whether you choose to take an Everglades airboat tour during the day or at night, there will always be tons of animals out for you to spot during your Orlando airboat ride… after all, the swamp is their “home, sweet, home!”

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