Do you know what spatterdock is or what makes an Anhinga bird different than others? Needless to say, I didn’t know the answers until I took a seat on an Alligator Cove airboat tour at Camp Mack, A Guy Harvey Lodge, Marina & RV Resort in Lake Wales. Captain Andy Denton was not only exceptionally knowledgeable about the wildlife, plant life and history of the waterways, but his passion for those things and the opportunity to share his knowledge was evident.
The friendly staff at Alligator Cove Tours offer nature, alligator and birding airboat tours at Camp Mack, A Guy Harvey Lodge, Marina & RV Resort in Lake Wales.
If you have never experienced an airboat tour, I would encourage you to. To me, the best part is that it’s an educational opportunity and a fun adventure combined into one great experience. I’ve been on larger airboats before, but this time I joined five others on a smaller one designed for about seven riders. Throughout our journey, we learned about the different plant life such as spatterdock (similar in appearance to lily pads), Cypress trees and apple snail shells.
We also learned about the different wildlife we encountered along the tour like Limpkin and Snail Kite birds who feed on apple snails and Caracara who are members of the falcon family. An Anhinga bird was lounging with his wings widespread because this Florida snake bird has the ability to dive underwater to catch prey and must dry its wings after doing so. Something I was not expecting to see were the cows, with Andalusian origins, cooling off on the outskirts of the lake.
Captain Andy navigated our group swiftly through the marshlands making sharp turns every now and then to add to the excitement of the adventure. We journeyed through Lake Kissimmee and other areas known as Alligator Cove and Reedy Creek.
Our airboat tour wouldn’t have been complete without a gator hunt. My group spotted a handful of gators throughout our ride. All were babies, and a few were hard to spot at first as they quickly darted under the water, but each one returned to the surface again allowing just enough time for us to catch a glimpse and a few photos.
I thoroughly enjoyed my airboat outing, and urge you to take the opportunity to experience one as well. We are certain you’ll enjoy the ride. Camp Mack, A Guy Harvey Lodge, Marina & RV Resort is located at 14900 Camp Mack Road in Lake Wales. Book a tour by calling 863-696-0406.