Animal Kingdom’s Wild Africa Trek
If you’ve ever wanted to go on a safari, but aren’t brave, daring, or bold enough, then Disney has an option for you. Animal Kingdom’s Wild Africa Trek in Animal Kingdom gives you a a behind the scenes private safari. You get to learn about the animals you see on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride. The trek does require an additional fee, as it is an extra (not included with the price of a regular park ticket). It was totally worth it!
Wild Africa Trek: Getting Started
Our trek was scheduled for 12:30 – 3:30 PM on a Friday afternoon in June. We checked in with Tess around 12:15 near the Kilimanjaro Safari fastpass entrance. Frank and Claire were our guides for the afternoon. Tess explained the details of what was and was not allowed during our trek. Anything you wanted to take with you, such as sunglasses or phones, had to be tethered to you for safety of the animals. Our guides would take candid and posed photos throughout the trek. If there was something in particular we wanted a photo of, our guides would be happy to snap away at our request. There were three other families joining us on the trek. We had to weigh in, and be fitted with the necessary safety gear. So, one at a time, we stepped on the scale. A safety vest and harness was selected by the Trek team. They were careful to make sure the vest and harnesses fit correctly and were comfortable. They explained what straps they were tightening, and what to expect throughout the suiting up process. We were also provided cool little microphone receivers to wear. They could talk along the tour, and we could easily hear them! I don’t think I have ever had so much safety gear on at once! Straps, buckles, heavy-duty carabiner clips, zipped up vest and we were ready to go!
Wild Africa Trek: Off and going!
We started our trek walking through Gorilla Falls and the aviary. Frank explained about the different types of birds flying about, the nests we could see being built as birds flitted in and out of them. Exiting the aviary we went through a little side gate, and left crowded park behind. The first stop on the trek – the hippos (Henry and Hans- father and son). We were tethered to a cable and allowed to go into the exhibit. We watched as the hippos ate watermelon thrown to them from the caretakers. We walked over a bridge that looked like it came out of an “Indiana Jones” movie. Even though we were tethered, it was still nerve wracking. The bridge was about 20 to 25 feet above the ground. There were boards missing, and you really had to watch your step! On the first part of the suspension bridge we were over the hippo pool. The second part of the bridge was over the Nile Crocodiles. If you are afraid of heights, this may not be for you. I had to take a lot of deep breaths to stay calm and make it across.
Wild Africa Trek: In the jeep we go.
Once we made it across the bridge, we were met by a small safari jeep. We were provided frozen, frosty towels, and binoculars. Let me just say, June in Florida is hot. An outdoor tour between 12:30 and 3:30 was scorching! Those towels were awesome. We toured the savanna stopping along the way to take photos and learn about the animals. We saw giraffes, elephants, zebras, cheetahs, African dogs, and wildebeest. Did you know a cheetah can only run at its top speed for about 100 yards? Or, that the African dog is the most successful predator with a kill rate of about 80%? I didn’t, but I do now. We ended our drive at a little hut, called a boma, which means “safe place”, in the middle of the savanna. There was a flock of flamingos nearby, and you could see elephants and giraffes in the distance.
Wild Africa Trek: Snack Time!
Once we all exited the jeep, the guides began setting up tables. The delightful snacks were provided by Tusker House. In the little lunch canteens were two layers of snacks. The menu included: cured meats like prosciutto and beef, chicken curry salad, sun-dried tomato hummus with pita bread, fresh fruit with ginger and mint, marinated tandoori shrimp, and a smoked salmon roulade with dill (like a tortilla roll up). The beverage served was Disney’s amazing POG juice. My boys can drink their weight in POG. After such a hot trek, the menu was perfect! Not only was it beautifully presented, it was light, cool, filling, and most of all delicious!
Wild Africa Trek: Worth it?
Absolutely! My two boys said it was the best day at Disney! We made memories, learned new things, and tried some new food! The guides were knowledgeable, entertaining, and provided superb service. Can we afford to do it every trip? No, but for a special treat, we would totally do it again! If you have the opportunity, or are wondering if it’s worth it. My crew vote YES! Click here for more tips on enjoying everything Disney’s Animal Kingdom has to offer.