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If you're a keen birdwatcher, March through August a large nesting colony of egrets and herons are in residence as the gators protect the nests from raiding raccoons. You can get some great photos.

Take 30 minutes and let your kids cool off over at Lily's Pad , a gator free water playground.

 A visit to 'Gator Country wouldn't be complete without spending at least half a day at the Gatorland zoo.  

Get close up to some of the 5,000 alligators in this modest (55 acre) yet clean and well run nature-themed park.  

Gatorland was a working alligator farm which, with the University of Florida, is now involved in the research and the conservation of the Florida species.

Started as a road-side attraction in 1949 by cattle-rancher Owen Godwin, Gatorland has grown to be one of Orlando's most popular attractions.

For anyone wanting a break from the noise and glitz of other Orlando attractions, this low-key venue is ideal.

As well as 'gators and crocodiles you can see thousands of birds, snakes, emus and llamas to name but a few, watch alligator wrestling and ride the miniature Gatorland railway to see sights hidden from view in the main part of the facility.

Visitors can also walk through a swamp, untouched by man for thousands of years, and see what Florida used to look like.

Expect to spend at least half a day here if you wish to see all the attractions. 

Try to arrive before mid-afternoon or risk missing some of the shows.

Gatorland is on Hwy 441 at the Orlando/Kissimmee line in South Orlando, 15-20 minutes away from Walt Disney World, Sea World and the Orlando International Airport.


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Additional photos on Busch Gardens, Seaworld and Gatorland pages by the Free Photographs network