Skim across weed-clogged lakes aboard a flat-bottomed boat pushed by an aircraft-type propeller, sitting on an elevated bench providing a good view of the water and any animals in it or on the shoreline.
Unfortunately, these craft are noisy, usually scaring birds into flight but alligators seem impervious to their presence.
Orlando area airboat operators include:
Black Hammock Airboat Rides on Lake Jesup in east Orlando near Oviedo and the Univ. of Central Florida; (407) 365-1244
Old Fashioned Airboat Rides on the St. Johns River near the Kennedy Space Center; (407) 568-4307
Big Toho Airboat Rides with the chance to touch a live gator; (321) 689-8918
Airboat Rides at Midway on the St. Johns River near the town of Christmas; (407) 568-6790
Wild Willys Airboat Tours on Lake Tohopekaliga; (407) 891-7955
Cypress Lake Airboat Tours in an area with no development; (407) 957-2277
Kissimmee Swamp Tours on Lake Kissimmee;(407) 436-1059
Boggy Creek Airboat Rides on Lake Kissimmee; (407) 344-9550
Alligators Unlimited Airboat Tours in Lake Wales, not far from Legoland; (863) 696-0313.