Seminole Tribe Reservation: Outdoor Adventures in Florida
Deep in the Everglades, a wild, natural paradise in south Florida, lies the region of the Native American Seminole Tribe. There are so many outdoor adventures awaiting, I can hardly wait to a tour full of thrilling and usual outdoor activities!
Billie Swamp Safari Airboat Tour
It´s early in the morning as I arrive at Billie Swamp Safari, located in the Big Cypress Indian Reservation in the middle of the Everglades. A friendly "Che Hun Tamo", or "Hello", in the language of the Seminoles greets me, before the driver of our airboat tour steers the boat above the surface of the water across blades of seagrass. Swiftly like an arrow, we go past alligators and Japanese water buffalos that bathe in the sun, and through a 900-hectare area full of fascinating nature. It is as beautiful as it is thrilling. We stop for a while in an awesome cypress forest with an almost magical atmosphere, whose trees are overgrown with fern, mistletoe and even orchids, and listen to the sounds of the surrounding wilderness.
Swamp Buggy Tour
Here on site, you should definetely also do the Billie Swamp’s Swamp Buggy Tour, during which you ride cross-country through the surrounding swamp land on a big all-terrain vehicle with gigantic wheels. It was a lot of fun for everyone on board!
Billie Swamp also offers a very cool twilight expedition. Taking place entirely during the evening, the excursion includes a guided tour of Big Cypress Swamp while native creatures prowl and hunt through the Everglades – possible wildlife sightings include bison, deer, water buffalo and perhaps even a panther. The tour is followed by the telling of ancient Seminole legends around a campfire. Talk about exciting!
Alligator Wrestling and Wildlife Shows
At the alligator wrestling show, an experienced alligator wrestler pulled a 3-meter-long alligator out of the water and wrestled it to the ground. I held a baby alligator in my arms and observed a 20-kg alligator snapping turtle up close at the Crittershow. Many local snakes are on display at the Venomous Snake Show, including species such as rattlesnakes and water moccasins.
Big Cypress Shootout
If you’re really into history and adventure outings, you shouldn’t miss the annual Big Cypress Shootout. This is a re-enactment of the second Seminole War, complete with authentic costumes, weapons and re-enactments of fighting styles typical of the Second Seminole War. There are many things to do throughout the three-day event: music, Seminole food, Seminole and pioneer artisans, exciting displays such as tomahawk throws and an archery competition, Seminole dancing, authentic Seminole and soldier camps, and of course, the famous snake shows and alligator wrestling.
My adventurous time at Big Cypress was one of the more stand-out excursions I have had. I´m already looking forward to my next visit to the tribal area of the Florida Seminoles, an unusual and worthwhile holiday destination!