BILLIE SWAMP SAFARI OFFERS AIRBOAT RIDES, SWAMP BUGGY ECO-TOURS, SEMINOLE CULTURE AND MORE
BIG CYPRESS SEMINOLE INDIAN RESERVATION, FL. – Escape the crowds and noise! Experience the wonders of the Florida Everglades as you visit land that has been preserved for your enjoyment at Billie Swamp Safari located on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. The Seminoles treat the land with reverence and work hard to preserve the natural environment. As a result, the wonders of the Florida Everglades continue to bring joy to visitors from around the world.
A true Everglades experience, swamp buggy eco-tours and airboat adventure tours are offered daily. Visitors can travel high above Florida’s untamed Everglades on a swamp buggy or glide effortlessly along the water on an airboat. Witness first-hand the ecosystem of a land on the edge of civilization and the solitary beauty of tropical hardwood hammocks, cypress domes and abundant flora and fauna. Marvel at native and exotic wildlife from the rare Florida panther to alligators and crocodiles, deer, antelope, bison, snakes, southern razorback hogs and many species of birds.
An all new “Excusive Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour” (private 90-minute tour) is now available offering guests a more in-depth tour of the Florida Everglades. This tour is designed for those seeking to indulge all five of their senses while exploring the Florida Everglades with our most experienced guides in a more personalized setting.
A Snake & Alligator Show and a Swamp Critter Show are also scheduled daily. They combine entertainment and education and feature many animals and reptiles on an up close and personal level.
In the main compound area, visitors can enjoy an authentic Seminole village with many native Seminole chickees, a boardwalk nature trail, animal, reptile & bird exhibits including a herpetarium, an alligator pit, a council house, restaurant and gift shop. The gift shop is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is filled with native arts, crafts, clothing, jewelry and souvenirs. The Swamp Water Café serves American fare and Seminole delicacies such as catfish, frog legs, gator tail nuggets, and traditional Seminole fry bread. It is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Billie Swamp Safari is open year ‘round except Christmas Day. Admission is free and visitors are welcome to stroll the grounds and enjoy many of the displays without charge. Tickets for Airboat Rides, Swamp Buggy Eco-Tours, Snake & Alligator Show or Swamp Critter Show can be purchased individually or as a Day Package at the Gift Shop. Reservations are required for the Exclusive Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour and Overnight Package.
The Airboat Rides operate every half hour from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The price is $15. Narrated Swamp Buggy Eco-Tours operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The price is $25 for adults, $23 for seniors age 62 or over and $15 for children ages 4-12. The 45-minute Snake & Alligator Show is scheduled periodically throughout the day. The price is $8 for adults and $4 for children ages 4-12. Children up to age three are always free with a paid adult. The Swamp Critter Show is scheduled daily at 1:15 p.m. and costs $8 for adults and $4 for children.
Day packages are also available for purchase at the gift shop. Visitors should arrive no later than 11:00am to enjoy each of the rides. The price is $43 for adults, $41 for seniors age 62 or over and $30 for children ages 4-12. Children up to age three are free with a paid adult. In addition, AAA members are eligible for a 10 percent discount, and discounted rates are available for groups of 15 or more.
True adventurers can stay overnight in our rustic camping village which includes traditional, native-style chickees (thatched roof dwellings.) The overnight safaris include two Swamp Buggy Eco-Tours, one during the day and one during the evening, a Snake & Alligator Show or Swamp Critter Show, campfire storytelling, chickee lodging (is additional cost) and an Airboat Ride. For more information or reservations, call 800/949-6101 or 863/983-6101 or visit http://www.seminoletours.com.
Nearby Cabins and Camping
The Big Cypress RV Resort offers RV sites, tent sites, air conditioned cabins, heated swimming pool, hot tub, clubhouse, laundry facilities, horseshoes, miniature golf, aerobic trail, bocci ball court and more. For more information, please call 800/437-4102 or 863/983-1330.
On the road to Billie Swamp Safari is the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum which houses the nation’s largest display of the life and culture of the unconquered Florida Seminoles. The museum includes 5,000 square feet of exhibits in a modern museum adjacent to a cypress dome near the Florida Everglades. Visitors enjoy lifelike displays of how Seminoles lived in the 1800s, along with rare artifacts. Part of the Seminole collection on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian is featured at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, including moccasins, leggings, turtle shell rattles, silverwork, beaded sashes, and medicine baskets. The Museum also has exhibits of its own holdings, including southeastern beaded shoulder bags and Seminole patchwork clothing.
The exhibit gallery includes user-friendly computers where visitors can find more information on the Seminole Tribe’s rich history and culture. In addition to the informative exhibits, the Museum features a living village with Seminole Tribal members at work making handmade arts and crafts. Gallery exhibits include:
- Transportation: Learn how the Seminoles traveled through the Everglades in canoes made from cypress trees.
- Economy: Understand how the Seminoles survived by hunting, tanning buckskins, gathering food and gardening.
- Exciting Film: View a dramatic five-screen presentation on Seminole history.
- Rare Artifacts: See actual clothing, tools and implements used in times past.
- Living Village: Visit a camp with traditional cooking and Seminole arts and crafts.
- Spiritual Beliefs: Get a unique glimpse into the sacred religious ceremony, the annual Green Corn Dance.
- History and Culture: User-friendly computers allow visitors the opportunity to find further information on the Seminole Tribe’s rich history and culture.
- Museum Store: Buy Seminole arts and crafts, and Native American music, jewelry, books and souvenirs.
- Nature Trail: Walk through the beautiful Big Cypress Swamp on over one mile of boardwalk nature trails.
The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children up to age six. For more information, call 863/902-1113.
And, join us the last weekend of February for our annual Big Cypress Shootout – 2nd Seminole War Reenactment featuring US soldiers and Seminole Warriors. http://www.bigcypressshootout.com
Billie Swamp Safari, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum and Big Cypress RV Resort are located on the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation, midway between Fort Lauderdale and Naples off I-75 (Alligator Alley). Take I-75 to exit 49, then drive north 16 miles. Sho-naa-bish! (Thanks!)
For further information, contact Billie Swamp Safari at 800-949-6101 (in the US and Canada) or 863-983-6101 (international.) Visit us online at www.billieswampsafari.travel. To book a Day/Overnight Package or Exclusive Tour, log onto www.seminoletours.com.