A year ago, Walt Disney World introduced a new tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom called Wild Africa Trek, and I was fortunate enough to have experienced it with my wife and friends during it’s debut week, at an introductory rate of $129. Currently the cost is $189.00+ tax per person, children (8+ only, 49″ tall) cost the same as adults. Prices may go up depending on the season. You must have park admission in order to take the tour.
Tuesday, January 18th:
The morning started off cool and overcast. We were picked up at the Wilderness Lodge by our friends Kandi and John. We had the 10AM Trek scheduled. They recommended we arrive about 15 minutes early and that you use a rest room before the trek begins, as it will be 2 hours before your next break. Check in for the Wild Africa Trek was behind the Dawa Bar, next to Tusker House. Lockers are provided for personnel items.
Then it’s time to be weighed (must weigh between 45-310 lbs) and outfitted.
We were also given tin water bottles, which attached to our vests, and a headset, so we could hear our guide, even if we were in the back of the line. After getting geared up, we were brought over to a practice rope bridge, shown how to use our lanyard, and took a practice walk.
We were provided with “Jungle Juice” afterwards, but it was suggested we not drink much, again, because it would be 2 hours before a break. I wanted to drink more, it was so good!
We were then brought back “onstage”, and given some info and instruction on our upcoming adventure. We then walked through Harambe Village, our guide Lani telling us info about the village. It was very funny to see all the guests looking at our group in puzzlement. My wife commented that she may have preferred to do an even earlier tour, to have the park to ourselves, but I thought it was more authentic, almost. We were in a busy African village, after all!
Then, we went backstage.
We followed a trail, and it was actually very narrow at times, very authentic, stepping over and through trees, moving branches, etc. I’m assuming that a different trail would be used if it was raining, as it would probably be pretty muddy otherwise.
We would come across skulls every now and again, and Lani would talk about the animal it came from.
Then, we came upon the hippo pool. We clipped our lanyards onto a railing, and walked out, overlooking the pool, and watched as a cast-member fed a hungry hungry hippo (sorry, I couldn’t resist) .
You then go across to another bridge, taking you over the crocodiles
Then, it was time for our snack. We pulled up to a beautifully constructed structure, overlooking the savanna. There were much needed rest rooms. Binoculars were provided to view animals. The tables were all under cover, but we were told we were free to move them wherever we wanted.
It was an absolutely beautiful day, so we pulled our table out into the sun. The food was beautifully presented, in round, stackable lunch boxes. There was yogurt with dried fruit, brie cheese, an edible orchid, and fruit in a mint syrup, prosciutto, round breads, a smoked salmon pinwheel with dill cream cheese, and fig cake. And all the jungle juice we could drink!!
Then, sadly, our Trek was over. When we returned to “base”, we were told that the water bottles were ours to keep, and that a portion of the cost of our Trek would be going to an animal fund, and we had the opportunity to vote as to which animal we would like to fund.
We were also given a photopass card and password, to go online and get a CD of all the photos taken on the tour.
Would I do it again? Absolutely! Every trek is bound to have some variations, and, at that time, they are already planning to add a rope bridge overlooking the big cats which may be in place.
Is it worth it at that price point? I would actually say yes, if you are up for a totally unique experience, are an animal lover, or are an adventurous soul, Wild Africa Trek is for you.