The Everglades Florida & Buffalo Tiger

Buffalo tiger - Everglades Florida 2007

Continuing on our tour of Florida, we left the Keys behind us and headed left up the western coast of the state. The land is flat and wet and for the most part marshland, the perfect habitat for crocodiles. There is also an Indian tribe in residence called the Miccosukee. We were to meet the most respected and famous tribal leader Buffalo Tiger.

Buffalo tiger Airboat tours

For me this was a true honour and one of the highlights of my trip. My dad had told me many tales of his time with the American Indians whom he had spent time with in the US. Those moments were my dad’s spiritual highlights of his life and they comforted him tremendously when he went through the darker periods that would hit him later on in life.

everglades view

Buffalo Tiger was born in 1920, he lived in a ‘chickee’ with his parents. He has had an amazing life and achieved so much it’s worth a read up here in Wikipedia but the part I am going to tell you about today is the business he developed Buffalo Tiger Airboat Tours

everglades airboat

We drove all the way from Key West to the Everglades Florida with one short break and we arrived at a wooden barn like structure on the roadside. There was a short pier and two airboats waiting for us. Buffalo Tiger, although 87, was still working the rides of which he took great pride.

everglades sacred island

Once all onboard he set off slowly and as we passed the trails cut out of the long grass he pointed out various plants and told us there names. He gave us an overview of the history of his land and his tribe. He talked with much love and passion about how he had fought hard to retain this land.

crocodiles in the everglades

He took us into thick crocodile terrain and we watched mesmerised as they came right up to the boat spying us lazily from their position. People were standing to take photos and the airboat was swaying lightly under the movement, everyone was happy to be up close with the crocs but respectful of their strength and fearful of what could happen.

crocodile everglades

We were taken a bit further into the thick of the Everglades and Buffalo Tiger showed us the sacred island on which his tribe celebrated many rituals together, for a moment I wished we could go and visit up close this special area but it wasn’t to be, rightfully so.

crocodile smile

Plus it could have been a bit of a nightmare with no visible pier and the crocs keeping a sly eye on us.

crocodile eye close up

Once back at the start we were chaperoned into the barn where Buffalo Tiger’s much younger wife awaited us with plenty of handmade crafts to buy for souvenirs. I bought Buffalo Tiger’s book to bring back home with me as I wanted to find out more about this remarkable man.

Time Traveller

If you have a travel post old or new that you’d like to share with #TimeTraveller this week please add it to the Linky below and I’ll be over for a good read.

TimeTravellers

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8 Comments

  1. June 25, 2015 / 11:41 AM

    What a fantastic trip! The everglades is (yet another place) on my list and now it’s moving rapidly up that list too :) thanks for hosting x

    • July 8, 2015 / 7:16 PM

      It’s great to see you again Stephanie albeit a bit belated, who knows if I’ll catch up by the summer holidays?
      I often dream of visiting the entire world but I realise it’s impossible and therefore most likely it will be difficult to go back on my tracks as I will always want to see something new. That’s why I like Time Traveller as it offers me the opportunity to relive those moments.
      Hope you get there one day.

  2. June 26, 2015 / 2:46 AM

    Did you know, prior to the trip, that Buffalo Tiger would be taking you out on the water? It’s wonderful to be up so close to the crocodiles but equally scary

    • July 8, 2015 / 7:18 PM

      No we didn’t know. I was excited about being on an airboat and getting up close with some crocs but meeting Buffalo Tiger topped the whole adventure and made it just that much more fabulous.

  3. June 26, 2015 / 10:40 AM

    WOW! What an amazing experience! This is the sort of Florida experience I dream of! (I’ve linked up and will add your badge when I’m at my desk later tonight) :)

    • July 8, 2015 / 7:19 PM

      There is so much more to see in Florida than just theme parks, it really is worth adding on some time and exploring a little further.
      Thanks for joining in, it’s been a pleasure to read your post.

  4. June 28, 2015 / 12:24 PM

    What an amazing experience and very different to what I expect from Florida x x

  5. July 8, 2015 / 7:20 PM

    Florida has so much to offer, the more you look the more you find, I think my husband would move over there if he could!

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