Experience the real South Florida by going on an exciting adventure through the Everglades with Billie Swamp Safari.

Billie Swamp Safari: An Adventure In The Everglades

Looking for off the beaten path in South Florida? Then how about an adventure in the Everglades? At Billie Swamp Safari you can explore nature trails, learn about local animals, and eat native Seminole cuisine. It’s the real Florida experience.


Billie Swamp Safari

Located less than 2 hours from both Miami and Fort Myers is Billie Swamp Safari, located inside the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation. We arrived around lunch time, after having spent a couple of hours at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum. We were greeted in the gift shop with a big smile by Amanda, who explained all of the different exhibits, shows, and rides that were available.


The really cool thing about Billie Swamp Safari is that it’s free to get in and you only pay for the specific activity you want. So if you’re not into snakes, you don’t have to pay for the Snake Show. Or if grandma thinks the Buggy Tour might be too bumpy for her, she can sit and wait in the Butterfly Garden.


Billie Swamp Safari Restaurant

Since we were pretty hungry (aren’t we always??) we actually started our adventure in the Swamp Water Cafe. We were greeted with another big smile (seriously, everyone was always smiling!) and given some delicious bread that tasted a little like funnel cakes… yum!


Swamp Water Cafe at Billie Swamp Safari
Swamp Water Cafe at Billie Swamp Safari


The menu itself was a pretty decent size, with a lot of typical American diner type food like burgers, sandwiches, and wings. But there were also some “Seminole favorites.” Since we wanted to experience real Florida, we chose the Sampler Platter which consisted of catfish, gator tail nuggets, frog legs, french fries, coleslaw, and cornbread.


Frog legs, fries, cornbread at Billie Swamp Safari
Frog legs, fries, cornbread at Billie Swamp Safari


Remember how we said we were pretty hungry? Well, we tried to finish it all. We really did. And even though it was all delicious (yes, even the frog legs) we were only able to finish about two-thirds of it.


Billie Swamp Safari Airboat Ride

After we were nice and full, we continued on to the many activities that Billiw Swamp Safari offers. Our ride on the “River of Grass” allowed us to really see how amazing this body of water is. Our guide slowed the airboat and pointed out animals as we encountered them, and answered all of the questions we had.


River of grass Billie Swamp Safari
River of grass
airboat ride through the everglades with Billie Swamp Safari
Airboat ride through the everglades
alligators, wild turkeys, and turtles at Billie Swamp Safari
We saw a lot of animals, including alligators, wild turkeys, and turtles.
Billie Swamp Safari airboat
Don’t worry guys, I wasn’t driving the airboat. This picture was taken after we got back. 😉


Billie Swamp Safari Swamp Critter Show

This show was done at Fort Critter. We were shown different animals and told about their eating habits, where they usually live, life spans, etc. We were even able to pet most of them!


A ferret, anteater, alligator snapping turtle, and baby alligator at Billie Swamp Safari
A ferret, anteater, alligator snapping turtle, and baby alligator.


Billie Swamp Safari Venomous Snake Show

During this show, several snakes were brought out and shown to us. We learned a little about them and their unique characteristics and even got to see them being fed!


Billie Swamp Safari snake show
Billie Swamp Safari snake show


Billie Swamp Safari Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour

This tour was SO much fun! Hold on tight because the road does get bumpy. We were going through water, between trees, and got to see a lot of native animals (like buffalo) and non-native animals (like ostriches). We even saw a wild bear! It all happened so fast that we didn’t get a picture. Our guide was absolutely giddy with excitement. He said in 13 years working there he’d only seen a bear one other time.


Billie Swamp Safari swamp buggy
Swamp buggy
birds, sleeping wild pigs, an ostrich, buffalo (including 2 white ones), and deer at Billie Swamp Safari
Lots of birds, sleeping wild pigs, an ostrich, buffalo (including 2 white ones), and deer.


Billie Swamp Safari Chickee Huts

To complete our adventure, we spent the night in a native-style chickee. There was no electricity, no bathroom, no wifi. Just two small beds. But once again we were greeted with a smile, this one a bit greener. And there was a small deck in the back of the chickee which overlooked the water, which we absolutely loved!


Billie Swamp Safari chickee hut
The chickee hut where we spent the night
Inside a chickee hut at Billie Swamp Safari
Inside our chickee hut at Billie Swamp Safari
Inside a chickee hut at Billie Swamp Safari
We made a new friend!
The view behind a chickee hut at Billie Swamp Safari
The view from our deck behind the chickee hut


A Few Tips For Your Visit To Billie Swamp Safari:

  • – Any time you’re spending time outside in Florida, you should have some insect repellent.
  • – Keep an eye on the weather, you may need sunblock or an umbrella.
  • – Wear good walking shoes. Some of the paths aren’t paved so if it’s rained it will be muddy.
  • – If you spend the night in a chickee, remember to leave all food in your car. You don’t want to entice any critters into paying you a visit in the middle of the night. And bring a flashlight!
  • – We recommend bringing a [easyazon_link identifier=”B079RC1MNV” locale=”US” tag=”buddythetrave-20″]portable battery/charger[/easyazon_link] for your phone. You’re in the middle of the Everglades so your phone will constantly be looking for a signal which will drain your phone quick. We ended up turning our phone off for awhile. You could also leave it on airplane mode, but there wasn’t always wifi.


Final Thoughts On Billie Swamp Safari

We really enjoyed our Everglades adventure at Billie Swamp Safari. We got to do and see so many cool things. What we also thought was great was that in between each activity, you were still left with time to roam around the grounds and check out their various animal and traditional Seminole village exhibits. It really is a great place for kids and adults to spend a day and experience the real Florida.


Click below to see the items we recommend for your visit to Florida


Have you been to the Florida Everglades? We’d love to read about it in the comments below! 🙂


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Experience the real South Florida by going on an exciting adventure through the Everglades with Billie Swamp Safari.

**A big thank you to Melissa and Florida Seminole Tourism for hosting us. As always, however, all opinions are our own.**


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  1. I’ve never been to Florida but the Everglades really fascinate me. To my shame, I only heard about them recently but every time I see the airboats I think it would be a real fun thing to do! The hut looks lovely and even before I got to the end of your post I thought: mmmh, you might want to have insect repellent there, it looks it might be mosquito heaven! But it seems it would be worth it anyway and I love the idea of being phone free for a while!

    1. Luckily the weather was perfect and there were hardly any bugs. But I know that isn’t always the case. I hope you’re able to visit the Everglades one day Marta! 🙂

  2. What’s in the funnel cakes? And what do frogs’ legs taste like? Like chicken but with lots of bones I imagine?

    1. Funnel cakes are usually found at fairs and carnivals. Very yummy! And the frog legs did taste a little like chicken.

  3. Ooooh this looks like such an adventure! I would. Love to try the gator nuggets too. I tried crocodile once and loved how lean the meat was!

  4. My son loved it when he went on the airboat ride in Florida, but I’m sorry he missed out on the Swamp critter and snake shows, as I’m sure that would have been right up his street too. This all sounds like a great experience.

  5. Carol Colborn says:

    Got to do this in 2010 and stayed at Flamingo in the Everglades National Park! Definitely an awesome experience, except for the bugs and the lack of wifi. So you really have to be prepared…for both!

  6. The Everglades remain one of my favourite places we visited when we travelled in North America in 2006. Its such an amazing habitat for all sorts of wildlife. Sounds like Billie Swamp Safari attracts people for all sorts of activities.

    1. Oh definitely! There’s so much to see and do, it really is pretty cool.

  7. Busy day! I’ve never been to the everglades, but I’ve been to one in Cuba that is very similar. It even has the American alligators.

    Frog legs? oh god 🙂

  8. The sample platter of Seminole food favorites look delicious. I have never tried frogs legs, but it looks like a chicken wing, the gator tail nuggets I don’t mind and I have already eaten cat fish. I would love to do all you mentioned in this tour. I have never ridden an airboat, always wanted to do it and I would truly enjoy the Venomous Snake Show. I would be a little worried about biting insects though. So like you suggested I will walk with a lot of insect repellant.

    1. I think you’d enjoy it all, especially the airboat ride! I hope you’re able to experience it one day 🙂

  9. I love the look of those huts. What a great experience to sleep in one. And I like the fact you were completely disconnected there; we almost never get to experience that level of unwind nowadays.

  10. Love the Everglades so much – one of my fav national parks in the States. Our airboat adventure was the highlight of my time in Florida. I would definitely take in all three shows here!

  11. The Swamp Buggy Tour looks like fun and a great spot for a family holiday. Were the animals well looked after?

    1. They were! And you could tell all of the handlers really loved the animals that they looked after. There was a lot of respect for all of the animals there.

  12. Wow the airboat ride looks like a lot of fun. Also — bread that tastes like funnel cake. Um – sign me up please!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. That’s super fun. I went to the Everglades years ago and did an airboat tour, which is the best way to see the Everglades. So many gators!

  14. Love the little Chickee hut. What a great way to be in nature and disconnect. The food options are quite special -gator tails, frog legs, etc. Nice touch of the Everglades. Sounds like you really had a great time. A fun experience, though I’m sure I would have skipped the snake show!! That would give me nightmares!! Thanks for sharing the Billie Swamp safari experience!

    1. No problem Rosemary! Glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  15. This looks soo fun! I can’t believe you got to see wild turkeys. How did the gator tail taste? I know you said it was delicious – but how was the texture?

    1. I know people always say this… but it tasted a lot like chicken! I thought the texture was very similar.

  16. I’ve never seen an alligator snapping turtle before! It’s adorable. I’d love to spend a couple of nights at the Chickee Huts, close to nature and away from the internet for a while.

    1. Oh yeah, it’s a great place to relax and unplug for awhile! 🙂

    1. Haha! I’m the same way Lauren! Anything fried tastes yummy! 😉

  17. I love food from the deep south, there’s nothing else quite like it. Not sure if I would enjoy a swamp adventure like this myself but it looks like you had a good time 😀

  18. This is honestly the first time that I have heard of this place and you bet that I’ve jotted it down on my travel list 😉 Just… wow. That’s one amazing safari! Surely a wonderful experience, Buddy!

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