If you are looking for a unique, fun experience in southwest Florida I have found the place for you! Babcock Ranch Eco Tours are so much fun! You get to see exclusive wildlife and nature that you can only see in this area up close and personal. It’s an unforgettable experience whether you are a tourist from out of town or live in this area. I highly recommend it!
The Eco Tours take place on a big swamp buggy. The tour is 90 minutes long with stops along the way to see lots of animals. Our tour guide, Rhonda, was very knowledgeable about the history of Babcock Ranch and all of the animals we saw. She did an awesome job entertaining us. We loved her!
Here is a little picture tour….
We started off by parking and checking in at the gift shop. When you see the Babcock Eco Tours flags from the road and pull onto the dirt road you will drive a little ways before you find the parking lot. We thought we were in the wrong place but there are signs along the way to direct you the right way. Don’t turn around- I promise you are going the right way and it is going to be worth it. This is a hidden gem!!
We loved the deer! They also came right up to the bus. They weren’t scared at all of us. Of course, we also fed them corn so that might be why they came right over. There was a little fawn that was so cute. The kids loved the deer!
Our next stop was fun because we got out of the bus and walked a little bit. We got to walk this pretty boardwalk and see the swamp area (which was dry because it’s drought season) and then at the end of the boardwalk we go to see a special surprise!
This is a real Florida panther that was donated to the ranch. She was very friendly…but we were glad she was behind a fence. She came right over to us. It was really neat to see our state animal up close and personal. The kids thought she was a big kitty…
After we all got back on the bus our tour guide, Rhonda, brought out another surprise. A BABY ALLIGATOR! It was so neat to see this little guy up close. We even got to touch him. He was a lot softer than I expected an alligator to be. That was really cool!
We also saw birds, snakes, trees, and other things! We learned a lot about southwest Florida that we didn’t know too. Very fun experience!
A few things I would recommend when planning your visit:
~ Wear bugspray! We didn’t get many bites at all but it’s better to wear it.
~ Wear sunscreen.
~ Bring your camera.
~ It doesn’t matter what time of year you go, you will see lots of cool animals. We went during drought season, so I was worried that we wouldn’t see certain things and we didn’t get to ride through mud and swamp, but our tour guide did mention that when there is more water the alligators don’t always stay together like they were when we saw them. So we got to see them all in one place. But, like I said, no matter when you go, it will be awesome!
~ Call to book your tour. (800)500-5583. They are open every day from 9AM-3:30PM. Get more information about their schedule times and directions here.
Disclaimer: Babcock Ranch hosted my family on an eco-tour in exchange for my honest review of our experience. All opinions, as always, are my own.