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“What were we thinking?” There is no doubt that the Everglades National Park is beautiful. The 45 minute drive from the park entrance to Flamingo Campground alone was memorable. Even our campsite had breathtaking views. When we booked our two night stay at Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park, we had plans to go on a python talk with the ranger, take a canoe trip and even try slough slogging. Well, none of that happened and we spent a total of about 2 hours outside our motorhome during our entire stay. We’ve never been so happy to leave a place. Why? Mosquitos.
It wasn’t until we visited the Flamingo Visitors Center that we learned this park is where mosquito repellants are tested for effectiveness due to its high concentration of mosquitos. I had to laugh at the small print under the mosquito meter.
“Flamingo’s abundant mosquito is the Salt March Mosquito. Large numbers of mosquitoes can lay up to 10,000 eggs per square foot of soil in mangrove and coastal prairie habitats; they’re generally most numerous during the summer rainy season. University scientists and the U.S. military have selected Flamingo as one of the best places in the country to test mosquito repellants. The femal is the blood sucker; the male feeds on plant nectar and fruit juices. Mosquitoes are eaten by dragon flies, birds, repitles, and amphibians. In days gone by, when the “skeets” were bad, old timers in Flamingo would say…”you can swing a pint cup in the air and get a quart of mosquitoes!” Congratulations…if you’re itching you have officially become part of the Flamingo food web!”
And we were knee keep in the food web! I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the buzzing sound of mosquitos flying around my face and swinging my arms violently ready for battle. I’m not a violent person, but these flying blood suckers were causing my entire face to swell up and I wanted them dead. Some people don’t have a reaction to mosquito bites, but I happen to have what they call a sever reaction or “skeeter syndrome”. In retrospect, we should have never gone to the Everglades, but it was February and Floridians said that was a good time to go with the least number of mosquitos. Well, El Nino did me no favors this wet and rainy winter in Florida!
If you have the same reaction to mosquito bites as I do and want to visit Everglades National Park, my suggestion would be to cover yourself in Deet, the natural stuff does not work. And wear clothes that are tightly woven such as bug shirts and pants. The mosquitos will bite right through regular jackets and jeans and I learned that the hard way. Most of my mosquito bites were suffered while taking these photos, so I hope you enjoy them! 🙂
RV Camping at Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park
Flamingo campground is at the southern tip of Everglades National Park, about a 45 minute drive from the entrance. The drive was beautiful, but be careful driving by each pull out. We had a Kia sedan pull out right in from of us as we were driving 55 MPH. This was the first time we had to slam on the breaks and put it to the test. Luckily, we were able to stop in time.
We drove up to the ranger station to check-in and they gave us a map of the campground and directions to our campsite. It was the fastest check-in process we’ve experienced. The campground has four loops and our campground was in T loop.
Each site in this loop only has electric hookups with 30 or 50amp at a rate of $30/night. The electricity went out a few times while we were there. Joe had to go outside and switch us from the 30amp plug to the 50amp plug and his hand was covered in mosquitos. Be sure to plug in your EMS if you have one. We used our Progressive Industries portable EMS.
Our site was T-3, I think it was the best site in the entire loop because of the views. We had reservations at the campground, but we did not receive our site assignment until we arrived. When pulled into our site, an osprey landed on a tree next to us with a fish in its mouth.
Each site is pull-thru with a long concrete pad, picnic table and fire ring. We spent most of our time inside the RV enjoying the views from our dinette with a glass of wine. Every time we opened the door, mosquitos swarmed in and we had to run around killing them. We had to inspect Leo every time he went out for a potty break because the mosquitos loved to land on him.
There is a large dumpster by the dump station, which is near the middle of T loop. The dump station has potable and non-potable water. The ranger warned us that vultures were bad and to keep the campsite clean and put all trash in the dumpster.
The restrooms were clean and had mosquitos flying around. There are showers, but no hot water. The tent camping loop had solar heated showers, but we did not check them out.
Joe and Leo did walk around a bit when we took a drive to Seven Mile Pond to see if the American crocodile was there.
My reward for staying at the campground was getting to see this snapping turtle cross the road as we made our way out of the park.
Overall, our RV camping experience at Flamingo Campground was a memorable one to say the least. I will probably never go back to Everglades National Park and if I do return, it will only be for a day trip. It was unfortunate we didn’t get to hike the trails, take a canoe trip and go on the ranger lead activities. The campground was one of the most peaceful and beautiful places we’ve parked our home. If only the mosquitos would disappear! Remember to cover yourself in Deet if you decide to stay at the campground.
$30/night electric only in T loop – $15/night for Senior and Access Pass holders
Dump facility on site
Restrooms and showers (no hot water)
Poor AT&T cell service, no Verizon service
Looking for a unique overnight RV camping experience? Read our Harvest Hosts Review and discover their camping on farms, winery camping, and museum programs.
21 thoughts on “RV Camping at Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park”
I am here now and stayed 3 nights zero bugs again zero bugs it’s a great place I almost didnt come listening to the bay sayers what a shame that would of been ! I live inNew Hampshire we have lots bugs in the spring be smart wear bug spray and correct clothing you will survive! John
We were there twice, first time in Mid March 2015 for a week and ‘Skeeters’ were not bad at all, went hiking and kayaking. This year we went for 2 weeks in January, supposedly the dry season but since it had not been dry the ‘skeeters’ were at the bad meter. We were still able to hike and kayak, only times the mosquitos were unbearable were at dawn and dusk, other times, with mosquito repellant we were able to be out and about. I love this place, pure nature, no light pollution, strip malls, noise (other than the occasional generator between 8:00 am to 8:00 pm)!
If you make it back to the west coast of Florida, be sure to visit “Ft. Desoto Country Park”. It has camping but can be very busy at this time of the year. It sits right on the Gulf of Mexico and I believe it is/was rated one of the most beautiful beaches in the US.
We have used the “little tennis racquet” type mosquito zapper against Alaska’s “state bird!” The sound of sizzling mosquitos was music to our ears!
Thanks for suffering to take these pictures for us to enjoy. But also good to know this info, especially since hubby is highly allergic. Felt bad for your suffering, but looks pretty. Also did not know there is such a thing as bug pants. Always learn alot from your posts. Thanks for sharing and hopefully your feeling better from the bites and enjoying a much better site.
Hi Kim – There were a few people walking around with head nets, which is also a good way to protect against mosquitos. Glad you found the post helpful and I’m sorry to hear your husband is also highly allergic to the bloodsuckers. We’re in a much better spot now and haven’t had any more bad encounters (knock on wood).
We have a bug zapper INSIDE our motorhome, on top of the refrigerator, with a hook in the ceiling to keep it in place as we careen down the road. Sweet revenge at night when it is the only light, and those little blood-suckers are getting zapped. Found a smaller size one, about 12″ tall on eBay for under $20. Essential equipment item.
Thanks for the tip Ron! We may need to get one of those.
I hate mosquitos more than anything, just crossed Everglades off my list! They are really bad here in Wisconsin too, especially during wet summers.
So we shouldn’t plan on summering in Wisconsin?
Depends on how wet it is and where you are of course, but in general, mosquitos, deer flies (near lakes), and ticks can be problematic. Northern WI, especially along Lake Superior however can be awesome. Check out Bayfield / Madeline Island (a bit crowded and touristy), or Ashland, or through Duluth and on up the North Shore. Gorgeous lighthouses, and the cool breezes from the big lake will keep the bugs down. The Mississippi and Wisconsin River water ways are great too, but you will be feasted upon all summer ?
Thanks for the info John! Right now we have Milwaukee, Green Bay and Door County on the list. Will add your recommendations to our list especially if we make it to Duluth. Joe’s excited to visit the Duluth Trading Company store so he can finally pick up a pair of their pants he’s wanted for a long time. Although, I just learned their headquarters is in Belleville, WI. 🙂
Duluth Trading Company is 2 miles from our house 🙂 Although it is primarily a warehouse facility (which they are adding onto..again), there is an outlet store with factory seconds on the North side of town.
Your itinerary sounds good, be advised that Door County will be very busy with tourists. It’s a great time of year to go to the Packer museum at Lambeau though!
Also meant to mention that if you do get over by us, add the New Glarus Brewery to your itinerary – it’s just 8 miles south of Belleville, home of Spotted Cow! It’s a massive, modern, green, state of the art brewery compound built into the beautiful limestone hills of southern WI
What dates were you there or did you just leave? As an aside, we assume this is no April fools joke (lol)!
You have a cool dog, does he shed a lot? Too bad about the mosquitos- it looks like a peaceful spot otherwise. Are you still thinking of getting a smaller rig? We love our 35′ Winnebago and have had it for 8 years now. For us it’s great but if I ever sell it- we’ll go bigger. Remember, your dog will probably like the bigger rv and you might be happier that way. -Anyway, just my 2 cents, thanks for the rv park review- it was very complete.
Hi Drew – Leo sheds A LOT! We vacuum about once a day to keep the white hair under control. We posted a video that includes a shot of Joe brushing him if you want to see the hairy mess, it’s around the 3:30 mark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9x635flVJo
Would you consider upgrading to something in the 40-45′ range? We are looking a smaller RVs and definitely want to make sure Leo has room to stretch his legs too. 😉
What a shame! Nice review, though. We live in Fort Myers and have never been to Flamingo. Had always wanted to go but not so much now.
Hi John, we were there mid-February and stayed for the two nights we reserved. The park is beautiful, but you know where I stand 😉 Wouldn’t mind going back to Fort Myers though!
Was one of the worst we have been to for mosquitoes- very bad, also Dagny Johnson Key largo Hammock – Botanical was horrible. We walked about a quarter of a mile and I left the dog with my husband and literally ran to the car they were brutal – but John Pennekamp which was not far from there was not bad at all. The other really bad episode we had was Collier-Seminole State park should have believed their Mosquito meter – which was pegged at RUN when we got there, the next day we checked out early and told them we were taking there advise and running… they laughed. It is all about the time of year for those places – Everglades Mosquito season is year round.. Great review, love your blog and vlog’s.
Thank you Tammy! Sorry to hear about your terrible encounters with the skeeters. The ranger at Everglades said there are always open spots in the campground by late afternoon. Apparently plenty of campers leave early because of the mosquitos. We should have joined them. 😉