Wild Africa Trek at Walt Disney World – Part 2 – The Animals

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As part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration that I attended at Walt Disney World, I was given the opportunity to experience a new attraction, the Wild Africa Trek.  The Walt Disney World Wild Africa Trek is a private, extended tour of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve and its animals. Read Part 1 of my adventure here.

After putting on our gear, we were guided through the Pangani Forest at Animal Kingdom.  I had gone through it on my own in the past but it was much more informative and interesting with a guide.  The earpieces we had been given allowed us to listen to the guides without having to stay close in to them or look at them.  It’s the first time I’d used one and it worked very well!

In the aviary, we saw these small yellow birds. The guides informed us that they build their nests "upside down" to make it difficult for predatory snakes reach their eggs.*

After the Pangani Forest, we headed for the trail and our bushwalk.  Winding through a wooded area, thick with vegetation, this was very similar to hiking through a state park woods…. until …. we came to the … hippopotamus!!  The guides had us take on end of the cords on our vests and they hooked it up to a line so that we could walk along the edge of a 20ft* drop without worrying about falling off.   I’m guessing this is for the safety of the hippos as well as the guests!  The hippos were being fed watermelon and lettuce and gave us a nice view of their massive jaws.  We had ample time to watch them eat while the guide answered questions and told us everything-you-ever-wanted to know about a hippopotamus.  It was awesome!  Very often on the Kilimanjaro Safari, I wanted the opportunity to stop and watch, so this tour was perfect for me!

The bushwalk trail

Great views of hippopotamus feeding

We then trekked further through the woods, coming to the Safi River.  Our way to go across?  A “rickety” bridge.  This was my favorite part of the trek (did I say that before?  I had so many “favorites”, hehehe).  Hooked back to a line, we took turns crossing a long bridge that was just wide enough for one person.  There were enough slats missing to make you watch your step and feel adventurous, without ever feeling afraid.  Very fun!  I was lucky to have a crocodile swim under just as I was crossing – so cool!!

The view above....

... and the view below!

After crossing the bridge and a bit more hiking, we took off our gear and boarded an open-air vehicle similar to the one used for the Kilimanjaro Safaris.  We headed out to the savannah to see giraffes, antelope, flamingoes, ostrich, warthog, lion, and of course, the elephants!!  We were able to get a close-up view of the animals and stay long enough to watch them move and eat.  Our guides were entertaining and informative.

Sable Antelope - There hair changes color and indicates their status in the group. The darkest are the leaders - ie the one far right.*

A giraffe taking a drink. I had never thought before about how they would lower their head to reach. Guide told us this is when they are most vulnerable because their ability to kick is compromised.*

Reminded me of Dumbo and his mom. Who doesn't love baby elephants?

This rhinoceros is not that orange color when clean - he's been rolling in the mud. (see the one in the back) Mud helps cool him off and stop bug bites.*

Come back for tonight’s post about our “chic-chic” lunch on the savanna!

And tomorrow?  Tips if you are going on the Wild Africa Trek!

For more information about the Disney Wild Africa Trek ,visit www.disneyworld.com/wildafricatrek.

* I’m not good at estimating distance, and not a zoologist.  These are subject to error based on my accuracy of my memory!

Disclosure:  I attended the 2011 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration conference.  Although I paid a fee to attend, as part of the conference, I received complimentary items, special discounts, and other benefits.  Disney never requested that I blog about the experience but I love sharing things that make me feel lucky with readers, and this definitely qualifies as something that made me feel lucky!

Comments

  1. 1

    Love your memories from that fun-filled morning. I think we had a great group on the trek and were lucky to have Alex and Bethany as our leaders.

  2. 2

    Wow! It looks like that was an awesome treat! I would love to see a hippopotamus up close like that!

  3. 3

    The animal kingdom is the one park we’ve never done at Disney. We did stay at the hotel though, and I would HIGHLY recommend it as some of the best money we’ve spent.

  4. 4

    I am going to have to stop reading your blog because I am turning green… with envy! :-) That looks so fun!!

  5. 5

    I don’t know if I could have crossed that bridge!

  6. 6

    The Wild Africa Trek is AMAZING! I am so glad you got to experience it 1st hand.

  7. 7

    That looks like a blast. I love the picture of the hippos. Awesome! When we finally get to Disney World as a family, my husband wants to stay at the Animal Kingdom Resort.

  8. 8

    Wow! Beautiful. I did not realize Disney offered this stuff as well.

  9. 9

    My oldest son would love this. He came home from school yesterday and told us that a hippo can open its mouth 4 feet and that the horn of a rhino is actually made of hair (keratin).

  10. 10

    I’m so glad that you had the chance to take part in this. Love reading about it and seeing your photos.

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