“Wild Africa Trek” Tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom…a Tale of Facing Your Fears
The beauty of going to Disney World so many times is being able to get a feel for the things you really like to do. Every Safari ride, I would look up at these rope bridges overhead, wondering how these brave souls would traverse them over the pit of crocodiles. The height of them alone scared me, but some day, I wanted to take that tour. It’s called “Wild Africa Trek” and is located in, you guessed it, Disney’s Animal Kingdom! The Safari corner of the park to be more exact, right next to the line for Kilimanjaro. I signed up through “My Disney Experience” online and didn’t mind paying the $199 for it. It’s a 3-hour tour, with a Safari ride, a trek through backstage areas, and a delightful lunch in the savannah- seriously, worth every penny. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.
My tour was booked this past October of 2022. I did it by myself, as I do many times, because the rest of the family is usually busy. It was a “thing” for me anyways, a bucket list item you could say, so I was all fine and dandy to do it own my own. Besides, that’s how you make new friends! I checked in with no problem in that back corner, and they ushered us to their main staging area for weighing you, strapping you in, and getting your complimentary name tag and water bottle to attach to your vest for drinking water through out the tour. We took a group pic, went over rules, phones were allowed as long as you, or they, put a strap on them. Their main goal is to keep YOU and your belongings away from the animals. Mics and mic packs were put on us, so we could hear our guides clearly at all times, same kind used for the “Keys to the Kingdom” Tour. This eliminates outside noise, specifically Uncle Al screaming his turkey leg order across the path, so you can actually get all the information from the guides.
We headed down the Pangani trail, stopping to look at the monkeys, and then headed to an exit located by the overhead area for the Meerkats. I felt so naughty taking off through the woods, leaving the public behind, it was really cool. Having done that path so many times, it was neat to see where they start this tour. We hiked towards hippo land, taking us to a spot where we must use our cams to hook onto a safe line looking over the large creatures. Having never used a cam before, I got better at it as the tour went on, but for some reason I was always scared to lop off my finger using it. LOL
After the hippos we headed deeper into the woods, coming to the rope bridges. Yes folks, not one bridge, but two. Now, I KNOW this isn’t hanging over some 400-foot chasm like on Indiana Jones, I am fully aware. But to anyone who doesn’t like heights, that was what it felt like. We were told how it would work, clicking our cams on the safety lines, taking our time walking across, and to enjoy the view as you went across. (Laughing in my head when I heard this, ENJOY the view? Yeah, I will be hoping to not fall to my death when I miss a step and my foot goes through the ever so steady rope net.)
So group one goes, and the next, leaving three of us who were there solo to go last. I had made friends with them, and they couldn’t have been nicer in the encouragement department. I was nervous, but not until I got up onto the platform and opened the gate that I realized what I had done. Seriously, the profanity laced tirade I had to myself in those first few moments would make an excellent one person show on Broadway. I was doing this, it was happening. And hey Disney thanks for making the bridge all dangerous with broken wood and wide steps. I would have loved to have looked up, nope, I was staring down to make sure I didn’t miss a beat. Have I mentioned facing your fears can be pretty ugly? Seriously had Photopass taken a shot of me in those first five minutes, they would never sell another tour again because of the look of sheer terror on my face. BUT I made it, and when you get to the end, they have a Photographer there taking the pretty shots, the one that says “Oh dear God, it’s over, get me off this thing.” You know, that one.
Once we were done with that, I could conquer the World. My friend and I took selfies, so proud of ourselves, and then they had us take our gear off and get onto the Safari truck. YAY, the hard part was done. It’s like a Marathon, I paid for this and it’s so much work and stress, but the end result is pure pride in something you faced and DID!! Beaming from ear to ear, I boarded the truck, and we were off to check out the tower of giraffes, get some great shots super close, and then drive across the savannah to the pavilion.
Now mind you, every time I was on Kilimanjaro Safari, I wondered what they did out there. Was it a restaurant that served them lunch? A picnic area with a concession stand? I didn’t know, just always curious about it. Well fret no more kids, it’s just a pavilion with restrooms which the truck is able to board right into. They bring the food with them for our lunch, in these sweet little canteens. It was like a puzzle box, and I was super excited to eat something new and different.
You open the canteen to the first layer which is decorated with this beautiful (and edible) flower. Here you can have the pita with sun-dried tomato hummus, with air-dried beef and prosciutto and smoked salmon roulade with dill . DELICIOUS!! It was hard to eat slow and enjoy it, it was so good. The bottom layer had chicken curry salad wraps, marinated tandoori shrimp, and a fresh fruit cup, marinated in mint and ginger. Everything tasted fresh, and so perfect for this safari picnic we were all on. One of my favorite Disney experience ever, and I have had many.
After we ate, Photopass took pics of in front of the savannah, and they were great to have there for the entire tour. When you purchase the tour, Photopass in included, so once the tour is over they hand you a card with a code on the back which you use to redeem once your pictures are loaded and ready in your account. It was super easy to find and download them.
Once we left here, they took us on the rest of the Safari tour and we disembarked in the same area that Kilimanjaro does. (ALWAYS look for the male gorillas when getting on the path to exit, many just head out and don’t take the time to see if they are on this side of the hill. I have many fond memories seeing them play here, one of my favorite spots in Animal Kingdom).
The tour is 3 hours, so make sure you allot space for that in your day. I know that may seem a long time when you’re on vacation or only ever going to be to Animal Kingdom once. BUT the experience is amazing, the food delicious, and the views spectacular. Books yours HERE today!
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