A Wild Morning at Animal Kingdom
Day 2 of the my Top 5 favorite things takes us over to Animal Kingdom for the Wild Africa Trek.
This 3 hour walking/riding tour gets you up-close to many animals on the savanna and ends with a tasty tapas type feast on a private boma in the middle of the savanna itself. We did this tour when it was very hot in Florida, so we decided to enjoy one of the early morning experiences to avoid the hot Florida summertime sun. When you check-in for this experience, you are provided a locker free of charge to put all your personal belongings in for the duration of the tour. You are then fitted with vests and water bottles that attach to the vests. The water bottles are filled before you trek out, and believe me, you will need that water!! You may bring a camera along with you, but it must be attached to you in some fashion (a camera strap or cord) in order to be allowed. Do not worry if you do not have a camera that attaches to you though because the guides take amazing photos of you and the animals throughout the entire tour. These photos are part of the cost of the tour and you are given a card, with a code on the back, at the end of the tour to be able to download all those photos. Definitely take a screenshot of the number because the small card is easy to misplace and without the code you will not have any pictures at all.
Now back to the tour....this is definitely a tour that requires some hiking and certain portions even require safety harnesses to be able to do the aerial rope bridges. I would say the bridges were super scary to me, not because I thought anything would happen, but simply because my short legs could barely make some of the steps (you will see why in one or two of the photos lol). Once you have finished the hiking portion, you board a private safari vehicle and head deeper into the savanna. This portion of the tour is very relaxing and the guides share all types of information about the different animals and how they care for them. The vehicle finally drops you off at the boma for your tapas snack and amazing views of the giraffes while you dine. The food offerings are a bit on the exotic side, but nothing too crazy, and you have a choice of ice cold water or a Jungle Juice that is similar to the one they serve at numerous other locations around Disney property. Food offerings can include: yogurt with fruit & granola, hummus & mini pitas, spiced tail-on shrimp, fruit salad, curried chicken salad, smoked salmon pinwheels, etc. Once you have had your fill of the food, had a chance to use the restroom (if needed), and taken some photos of the animals, you board the vehicle back to the start of the tour.
Before departing for the rest of your day, you are presented with stones. These stones can be placed in a number of different boxes with animal pictures carved in them, and this signifies what animal you would like your portion of the tour cost to go towards. Mine, of course, went to the elephants but there is really no bad choice with this selection. My husband and I still talk about this tour and, although we have done many other tours since this one, this remains our absolute favorite.
This tour can be booked on the same day as dining opens, 180 days out, and happens multiple times per day. There is an age requirement of 8+ to be able to enjoy this tour and it definitely is age appropriate for this age group and above. It is quite a pricey tour, ranging from $189-$249 per person, but there are 15% discounts for those with Disney Visa cards and Annual Passes. This is definitely a splurge type tour but it is worth every penny for anyone who loves animals and wants to get up close and personal with some of the most beloved creatures at Disney's Animal Kingdom.