Underwater Alligator Encounters

Swim with Alligators AND Get PHOTOS!

This is an absolutely amazing experience that will put you in the water behind a protective net barrier to swim with alligators in a 30,000 gallon aquatic habitat and view how this top predator maneuvers through the water. It is thrilling to be in the water with alligators, yet somehow becomes a surreal and serene experience when you see how calm and effortlessly they glide through the water.

 

The basic tour costs $250 for 30 minutes in the water and is done on Fridays & Saturdays by appointment only. Once booked, we meet at the Everglades Outpost Wildlife Rescue(35601 SW 192nd Ave, Homestead, FL 33034) at 10am unless otherwise discussed. Tours are done by booking only(no walk ins), click the big red button to book

  • Safety first!! The experience is hands off and you are separated from the alligator by a net barrier. This is not a gator wrestling class, you will be able to be very close to the animal and observe and record it's behavior, you can have photos of you near the gator, we just can't allow guests to touch the animal for safety and legal reasons. Must be 16yrs or older to participate. This experience is all done under the Everglades Outpost. Chris Gillette is with you at all times, and only one guest in the water at a time with Chris. This makes the experience very personal and safe. Chris has been a professional crocodilian handler for over a decade and has worked with everything from gators to 16ft crocs in the wild. He will give a full safety briefing before entering the water and also provide information on alligator natural history and behavior. The briefing is extensive and educational.

  • You're welcome to bring cameras/gopros to document your experience, just make sure they're waterproof! Strobes and video lights are OK to use too. If you get cold easily we recommend that you wear a wetsuit as it can get pretty chilly pretty quickly in there, the water is just regular water from the hose and not chilled, but under the shade of a large tree and it can be considered chilly by some. The wetsuit is not required and many guests go in just their bathing suits, it is your choice. You'll also need a mask, snorkel, and weight belt. If you have your own gear that's great, but if you don't have your own we have spare mask/snorkel/weight belts you can use. We do NOT have wetsuits available.

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  • In participating in the experience you will be signing up as an official volunteer of the Everglades Outpost! We will start off with a long talk about the background of the gators, why they are here, what a nuisance gator is and how YOU can help us raise awareness about the nuisance gator issue in Florida! We want you to walk away from the experience as an alligator advocate and to use your photos and experience to teach your friends and family about alligators! Help dispel common alligator myths, teach about their behavior, and most importantly you can teach people to not be the nuisance people that create nuisance gators! 

  • There may be several alligators in the pond but we will be focusing on the largest individual, his name is Casper. Chris has worked with Casper for over 12 years and understands him very well. Casper is between 9-10ft and around 250lbs and is an amazingly gentle ambassador for alligators. This is also the only experience in the world that allows people to be so close with alligators in the water, truly a once in a lifetime experience.

  • PHOTO PACKAGE-If you would like Chris to take professional underwater photos of you with Casper we offer an underwater photo package! Chris shoots with Canon 90D, 10-22mm wide angle lens, Aquatica housing and Inon strobes. You can see example photos of past guests at the top and bottom of this page! Chris will take many photos of your experience and send you the 15 best shots, fully edited via Dropbox to your email. The photo package is a separate $200 fee from the main tour price of $250. Chris always has his underwater camera with him so you can decide on the photos last minute the day of the tour if you would like, and payment for the photos is done after the tour. Cash preferable. Photos will be emailed out in a week or two. I do not take photos with other people’s equipment.

  • We will meet at the rescue at 10am for an important briefing to discuss safety and background of the gators. Although the tours are one person in the water at a time, we may have up to four people booked in one time block, where we will all be together for the briefing then take turns in the water. When it is not your turn in the water you can walk the rest of the park and see the other rescue animals such as tigers, crocs, camel, lemur, etc. Plan to spend approximately two hours at the rescue. You can also buy more than one time block if you would like! When we have a few people we like to split each person’s time in the water into two 15min blocks and have everyone take turns, that way you have a chance to review your gopro(if you brought one) and change settings/improve on what they want to do in the next block and everyone can take turns. 

  • If you want to bring a friend or family member that is NOT swimming but wants to watch you do it, we have a viewing area for this but you can ONLY bring ONE person. Please don’t put any bug spray or other chemicals on your skin so it doesn’t wash off in the gator habitat. 

  • If you arrive early(or if I am late) please just wait in the parking lot and do not wander.

  • Private 2hr tour- Can be done any day of the week when booked in advance. This is for those who need extra time such as a YouTube video, using several outfits or some other specialty . For the private tour there is a minimum operating cost of $1,000 for the 2hr session. It is this expensive because we will be draining and cleaning the 30,000 gallon enclosure just for your tour, so this price is fixed. If you have multiple people in your group, you can choose to split costs and time amongst people in your group in whatever way you choose although we cap it at 4 people(to be $250 per person if you have 4 people, like on the group days). Splitting costs is great but it also means splitting time. If you want it all to yourself you can pay the full amount and have a full 2 hours to yourself or split with one other person(s) you brought. We do not offer the 30 mins for $250 slots outside the Friday/Saturday days advertised in advance.  Due to the group’s dependency on all participants showing up and the amount of work needed to prep the enclosure for proper water clarity, there will be a mandatory, non-refundable, full payment two days before a private tour to prevent no-shows. To book the private 2hr tour please email ChrisGilletteWildlife@gmail.com

  • *Although we clean the pond specifically for these tours, if there is a large storm the night before visibility may change, please keep in mind this is outside our control. We do everything in our power to maintain excellent water visibility but weather conditions can influence this. If conditions are unsafe we will reschedule, otherwise the tours will still run rain or shine without refund.

© 2017 by Christopher Gillette

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