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Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill Miami 2013 - Private Airboat Safari in the Everglades

It is said that there's nothing like going on safari in Africa and watching the sun rise on the Serengeti as wild animals roam the African plains. Here's the problem — it takes two whole days and lots of green to get to Kenya. But what most Miamians don't realize is that they can take a wildlife safari just as exotic without ever hopping on an airplane. Everglades National Park comprises about 1.5 million acres of land and is home to more than 350 species of birds, 27 species of snakes, 40 species of mammals, and hundreds of other reptiles and amphibians. The "River of Grass" has been called one of the great biological wonders of the world. Unlike many other wildlife areas, much of the Everglades cannot be accessed by foot or car — only by airboat. Fortunately, an airboat is one of the coolest modes of transportation ever. A flat-bottomed boat, powered by a gasoline engine with a big propeller, is fast, fun, and a little deafening. A two-hour private airboat safari for two starts at $375 and traverses about 17 miles of a secluded section called the Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area, which is abundant with wildlife. Are you a birder? Do you want to be surrounded by alligators? Or do you simply want to go fast? Tell your captain what you want to see and he'll tailor the safari to suit. Although no animal sightings are guaranteed, you are sure to have a wild time without ever getting your passport stamped.

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