>>1068529 >Have you ever been to the Everglades? All my life, whatcha wanna know? It's worth a visit, but not sure if you want to approach from Naples or from Miami. It's quite easy to combine a visit to the Florida Keys with your plan to go, which I recommend as well. The right time to go is now....winter...dry season...Jan-Mar....animals will be congregated near the watering holes, from migratory birds to all sorts of reptiles and fish, and you're guaranteed to see the wildlife you want when you go. I've never seen a picture exactly like yours, but I know people are spooked seeing the walkway between the tower and the visitor center (7mi loop) covered by gators sunning on pavement. I recommend the tram to feel "safe" like that. But, in the winter they literally do line up on watersedge like that in many places, from teh side of the road (Tamiami Trail between Miccosukee and Cypress in a few areas), and even down in Flamingo entrance.
It's fun and thrilling, but don't take a airboat for wildlife watching, they're too noisy to do much for you in that respect, but they get you out in the expanse of it all. I do highly recommend approaching mangroves from the water side, though, whether a canoe or kayak, or maybe even the great Florida Blueway, a marked inland waterway trail up the west coast. For a bit of some swamp and old Florida fun, a lot of people take an outfitter down the Peace River, drop/off pickup. There's a lot of springs in florida which offer floats in limited numbers, with pickup service at the end too.
>>1068961 >I have this idea that gators are chill. Like if I saw a group like that and walked by slowly without causing a disturbance they'd most likely just ignore me right? No, they aren't anything at all predictable or intelligent. They have tinytinytiny brains, and pretty much no higher thinking. It's simple instinctual actions only, and absolutely no conditioning or trainable or common sense behaviors whatsoever.
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