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How Wild is Walt Disney World's Wild Africa Trek?

Welcome, adventurers! If you're craving an escapade that transports you to the heart of the African wilderness without leaving the magical confines of Disney's Animal Kingdom, then hold onto your safari hats because the Wild Africa Trek awaits!




What is the Wild Africa Trek?

Imagine embarking on a journey that blends the thrill of a safari with the enchantment of Disney magic. That's precisely what the Wild Africa Trek offers—a captivating expedition that takes you off the beaten path and into the untamed realms of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.


The Experience:

Duration: Approximately 3 hours. The walking portion was about 2 hours.

Cost: Pricing varies depending on the season and availability, but expect a premium experience that's worth every penny. They do offer a Disney Visa card discount so we paid $207.30 per person with tax after the discount when we went in March 2023.

Who: This experience has age, weight and height restrictions. You must be 8 years old, 48 inches tall and weigh between 45 and 300 pounds. You should also be in pretty good shape. There is a lot of walking involved and over some rougher terrain so I recommend sneakers even though they say just closed toed shoes. No flip flops or sandals.

How to Book: This experience is apart of the Enchanting Extras collection so you can book it at 60 days out from your arrival date (if staying on Disney property) just like dining reservations. The maximum guests per tour is 12 and there are 4 tours a day so they do sell out meaning it's important to book early.


What to Expect:

Exclusive Access: Bid farewell to crowds as you venture into secluded areas of the reserve, away from the prying eyes of regular park guests. You'll walk along trails behind the areas where most guest can access to get up close to some of the animals and speak with the cast members who care for them day to day.


Get Geared Up: Before your adventure begins you will be provided with a locker to store all of your bags and belongings. Then you are given a vest with a harness and asked to step on a scale. Your guide will ensure everything is secure, sized and hooked up properly. Things allowed on the tour; hats, sunglasses, phones and cameras. Hats are fine as is but everything else will be handed over to a cast member so they can attach straps. They use those straps to attach to your vest via mini carabiners so nothing can be dropped and never seen again!


The receiver and ear piece

You are also given a metal water cup that also attaches and fits right into a pocket on your vest which you get to keep! It says Disney's Animal Kingdom Wild Africa Trek and makes a great souvenir. The final piece is your receiver. Each guide wears a microphone so no matter how far away they are you can still hear them clearly! That was a great addition to the experience. It really made us feel like VIPs!


Expert Guides: Your journey is led by knowledgeable guides who not only navigate the terrain but also share fascinating insights about the animals and their habitats. Our guides were Regan and Christina but a few other cast members met us along the way to assist. As a bonus, they also act as your documentarians taking professional photographs of not only the animals but of you and your fellow adventurers along the way. These photos are included with your admission.


Our guides Regan and Christina

There are four main portions to the trip:


1. Close Encounters: Once you get back stage (as Disney calls it) your gear comes in handy. Using your harness you are attached to a bar allowing you to get right up along a cliff where the hippos are swimming below. Eleanor, the cast member who cares for the hippos told us all about their daily routines and habits. She brought with her heads of romaine lettuce. Hippos are most active at night so the treat encouraged them to come out so we could get a closer look. Hans and Henry are two males who have learned to live together. Herds of hippos in the wild are usually lead by one male.



2. Hippos, Crocs and Suspension Bridge o my: Brace yourself for a bit of adrenaline as you traverse swaying suspension bridges high above the lush landscape. After you visit the hippos and do a bit more walking you are ready to brave the bridge! There area actually two bridges so you walk across one, wait on a platform then head out onto the second. They only allow 2 guests at a time and an adult must go first. The boards were pretty far apart in some places but they encourage you to take your time. You get a great view of the hippos and crocs below! Once you've all crossed the second bridge you get up close to the crocs, the same way you did with the hippos. We were surprised to see that a few of them were missing hands/ claws so we asked our guide about it. He said it's very common since males are aggressive and no they don't' grow back!



3. Savanna Safari: Next up, you ditch your vest, gear and receiver and hop aboard a rugged safari vehicle for a private guided tour through the sprawling savanna. What's unique here is that your truck will pull off and stop to let you get a better look and you can ask as many questions as you'd like! All the cast members love to talk about the animals and everything they do in the park to care for them. Animal Kingdom truly is unlike any place else. We got so close to a giraffe it was amazing! If you'd love to learn more but can't do the tour, I suggest watching the Making of Disney's Animal Kingdom on Disney Plus. It's a great behinds the scenes show.


4. Delicious Delights: Once you've made your way thru the savanna it's time to refuel with a selection of African-inspired snacks served in a serene bush camp setting. Ever notice the covered patio area when you were on the safari? It's called a Boma meaning cooking place and it's where we ate our lunch! It's the perfect interlude. There are binoculars and they ensure to take any photos of your party with the stunning backdrop! The food was also fantastic and there was more than I expected. Every person get's a tin cantina and is served the famous Disney Jungle Juice. The menu included African inspired items including hummus, chicken wrap, marinated shrimp, olives and fruit. They even made a 'less adventurous' option for the kids which included trail mix, a granola bar, carrots, chips, fruit and a chicken and cheese ranch wrap.



Once you've finished eating and gotten your photos it's time to head back to the truck for the last leg of the trip. We drove by the lions, just in time to see the male lion get up and move to another location, then lay down again! Past the Nigerian Dwarf Goats then you back at the start of Kilimanjaro Safari and you disembark your truck and make it back to the loading area to get your belongings back.



Why It's Worth It:

The Wild Africa Trek is a behind the scenes, VIP tour for animal lovers. For adventurers seeking an immersive experience beyond the ordinary Kilimanjaro Safari. If you have curious children or adults in your family who love animals or just love to learn this is for them.


We've now done both the Wild Africa Trek and Savor the Savanna, so I don't think we can ever go back to Kilimanjaro Safari! We absolutely love Animal Kingdom so this experience was tailor made for my family!


So, if you're ready to embark on an expedition like no other, don your safari gear and prepare for an adventure that promises to be the highlight of your Disney escapades. The Wild Africa Trek beckons, daring you to discover the magic that lies just beyond the beaten path.

Ready to answer the call of the wild? Your African adventure awaits!


 



Melissa Lenox specializes in concierge vacation planning. I cater to those who don't have time to research and plan a vacation or just want some assistance along the way! Where to go, when to go, daily recommendations for your trip and even assistance while you are away so the entire process is seamless and stress free.


My specialties are theme parks, all inclusive resorts and ocean cruises. I am a Gold Level, Senior Travel Advisor with Coasters & Castles Travel and Blog Editor of Main Street to the World.


Follow me on my pages below or contact me at mlenox@travelcnc.com to plan your next adventure!


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