Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom
By: Amy Baranek
Being an animal lover, I am always drawn to visit Animal Kingdom anytime I visit Disney, whatever the length of my visit. During a recent visit, I decided to dig deeper into some of the special tours that are offered at the park. My eye rested on Wild Africa Trek which is advertised as “thrill to close encounters with exotic African wildlife.” Cost is $189-249 per person and the tour lasts for 3 hours. Don’t forget, if you have a Disney Visa you can get an additional 15% off the price of your tour!
The tour started with us meeting near Kilimanjaro Safari; there is a special area where you check in here. Our happy tour guides greeted us there and started to get us situated. There are lockers that you put all personal items in….if you decide to bring your sunglasses and phone or camera with you, the staff will help to secure your items for you with a clip for your phone and cord for your sunglasses, as you will be walking close to the animals, the last thing they want is for your personal items to fall in with them! We were dressed in our equipment — a safari vest with many pockets, a personalized name tag, and our own water bottle. We were also secured in a light harness which comes into play later in the tour. At this point we were ready to go! One of the great things about this tour is that your tour guide also takes pictures the entire tour which is all included in the price of the tour.
After a group picture we were off! We were lead to a back entrance on an uneven path to start trekking to the hippos. On the journey there, we got a peak at some zebras and busy birds building their nests. When we arrived at the hippos, we were all secured on a tracking system that takes us out on the ledge to get a close up view of the hippos being fed. There we met one of the caretakers who was feeding the happy hippo. We learned some fun hippo facts as well as that the food they get is the same food that you get to eat while on property at Disney. In fact, depending on the route the food is being delivered, it often is fresher than what you get in the restaurants! Our tour guides went around and took pictures of everyone with the hippo in the background and we were on to our next adventure!
Our next destination was the crocodiles, which entailed the 2 crocodile bridges! You may recognize these bridges as the rickety looking, plank missing rope bridges you can see on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride. This is not for the faint of heart, as you are pretty high above the crocodiles and while the bridge is completely secure, it is living up to its adventure name by having planks missing all across the bridge. Before we traveled across the bridge, we were told not to panic if our foot slipped as there is a rope to catch your foot and while it doesn’t look strong it holds you just fine. The extra security blanket is the harness you put on is now attached to a rope. We crossed the bridge one person at a time and there was no rush to cross…you could take as much time as you needed. Photographers were on hand to document your crossing. Once you finished one bridge, you continued across to the second which is where you’ll get your best picture of you with the crocodiles below. It was a bit of a frightening journey. My husband had no problem with it, nor did several younger kids who were on the tour as well. They happily walked across the bridge without a care in the world….moral of the story, I think I may be a bit of a chicken!
At this point, there was a spot to refill our water bottles, and we were then met by a safari vehicle and wonderful cold towels. We parked for awhile in the middle of the giraffes and got some great pictures together while the animals wandered around us. From here, we continued on for our lunch overlooking the savanna. This was so good after all our exploring. It was an all cold lunch with things like hummus, pita, tandoori shrimp, pancetta, fresh fruit, and chicken curry salad. There was a beautiful view of the savanna here and the photographers were on hand to take some more pictures of you. Once we were done here we were back in our safari vehicle for further exploration including some time observing the lions, elephants and rhinos.
I really enjoyed this tour. It was such a unique experience and we learned so many fun facts about the animals. The caretakers at Disney really care and love these animals and it makes my heart happy to see such wonderful care given to these amazing creatures. I would caution that this tour is not for anyone with a fear of heights. Children can go on this tour as long as they are 48” and 45 pounds or over (with gear on), but know they must walk across that long bridge by themselves, so if your child doesn’t want to do that, perhaps this isn’t the tour for them. I would also caution that there is a lot of uneven ground walking so if you have bad knees, ankles, etc…consider this carefully before booking this tour. At the very end of the tour, we were given a paper with our code to claim our photos from the tour….they all turned out amazing and were such a great memory. We also got to keep our water bottle and name tag as a souvenir. This unique experience books most days of the week with multiple tours throughout the day. There are some height (must be at least 48”) and weight requirements (45lbs-300lbs with equipment on).
If you have any questions about this tour or anything Disney related, please contact me. Please visit and like my Facebook page for more fun pictures and up to date information on all things Disney and travel!