Alligators, Crocodiles and Manatees!

Today we changed our plans and decided to drive through the bottom half of the Everglades. It’s a long road that you drive down to a dead end and then drive back. On the way there we couldn’t find much to look at and it all looked the same. When we got to the bottom it’s a place called Flamingo. This is where the bottom of the Everglades meets the Atlantic Ocean.

We went into the visitors centre and the park ranger told us we should go straight to the marina because it was high tide and that’s when there’s the best chance of seeing manatees. We walked over there and there were 3 manatees playing in the water and swimming around. They like to stir up all the water to feed but it makes it quite stinky. We were so excited we saw them, it was brilliant watching them.

After this we walked up the river and saw some Crocodiles. The Everglades is the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators live together. You can tell the difference because alligators have wider snouts to crunch turtle shells and you can’t usually see their teeth when their mouth is closed but with the crocodile it’s a longer, narrower snout and you can see some of their teeth (if you’re close enough).

We drove back through the park and stopped to do some boardwalks. One of the walks was called the Mahogany Hammock and it’s where the biggest mahogany tree in North America grows. We didn’t see much here apart from some little birds, air plants growing in the bigger trees and lots of insects that kept biting me.

Near at the end we saw a really big Alligator so we stopped to take a picture.

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We come home tomorrow so we went for a swim and packed our bags ready for flying home.

P.S. We decided against an airboat ride this time. They don’t allow them in the National Park due to the damage they can cause to the waterways and the protected species that live there. There are lots of places you can do it around the outskirts of the park but we might try it on another holiday somewhere where it does less damage.

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