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{review} Wild Africa Trek Tour at Disney's Animal Kingdom

  Monday, October 10, 2022 at 7:30 AM   |    Post a Comment     Tagged:,,,,, 

One of the things I was most excited for on our recent trip to Disney World was FINALLY doing Wild Africa Trek. The moment I learned what it was it has been on my Disney Bucket List. I almost did it for my 30th birthday in 2018 but my friend and I decided to do character meals instead. Christian and I had booked it for our May 2020 trip that got cancelled. When we rescheduled the trip for the  May 2022 we decided to skip it that trip and plan a special Disney World vacation for our wedding anniversary. Thus, our Animal Kingdom-centric trip was born!


We decided to do it up big and stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge with a Savannah View room, booked through David's Vacation Club Rentals to utilize Disney Vacation Club points to stay for lower than Disney rack rates. We paid $900 for 3 nights compared to $2381 if booked directly through Disney.  We planned our meals just at the hotel and wanted to spend a bulk of our time there. Since we're Annual Passholders (well, were until September 30th) we were able to use our Passhoolder discount on Wild Africa Trek tickets and paid $360.28 vs $423.88.

This sign look familiar? See photos of our shirts below if not ;)

I'll do my best to walk you through what happens during this amazing three hour tour. If you don't want details so you can be pleasantly surprised on your own Trek feel free to just look at the images. The short description of the tour from Disney is "Encounter exotic wildlife on a guided expedition with African-inspired snacks and photo keepsakes."


Booking the Trip

You can book your Wild Africa Trek 60 days in advance on the Disney World website. If you're staying at a Disney resort that means 60 days from check-in day. So you could theoretically book a day 67 days early if you're staying at Disney for a week.  About a week before your Trek you'll get an email reminding you of the rules and letting you know you can ask any questions.

After we booked our tour I decided I wanted to make us matching shirts. So I googled some of the Wild Africa Trek signs around the park and kind of combined them to make a design showing off what we were doing and why. (It says Anniversary Trip 2022 on it.) I also added some fun animal motifs because it seemed a little floaty with just the sign. We got so many compliments on the shirts and people kept asking us how we liked the tour during the day, ha ha. (Some before we even went on it so we had to say "we don't know yet! Going in an hour!)

Sign in Location for Tours

Other tours Disney offers

Checking In

We went on the 10:15am tour, meaning we had to be back by Kilimanjaro Safari by 10am, of course we arrived nice and early to make sure we were all checked in and ready to go. The check-in booth is just across from the Safari entrance and you'll be asked to sign a waiver and confirm that you are wearing close-toed shoes and are able to "hike" for an extended period of time. Tours are limited to twelve people per timeslot, we had ten in our group.

Medium-sized lockers for Wild Africa Trek participants


Once everyone checked in we headed into the preparation area where we were weighed (you must be between 45 and 300lbs,) put our loose items in a locker and were fitted for vests. The only things you are allowed to take on the trek are hats, sunglasses, cameras with neck straps and your phone - providing it has a case that you can connect a cord to. (& necessary medical supplies)  Christian took my photo camera and left his phone in a locker and I took my phone.  


Preparation area and vests for Wild Africa Trek

While getting fitted for our vests they attached my phone to a cord that was then attached to my vest so I could then put it into a pocket when I wasn't using it. We were also provided with souvenir water bottles with the Wild Africa Trek logo. These aren't the best, our water got warm pretty quickly, but they're a fun keepsake. We also got earpieces so we could hear our two tour guides Kit and Dom! 


Christian getting suited up! Each person has their gear put on by one Cast Member and then when everyone is ready you get checked again

I'm ready to go! You can see my phone is currently attached to my vest, thank goodness for .5 zoom iPhone camera lenses!


Part 1 - Hiking 

For the first part of the tour you actually walk a little through Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail on your way to the special Wild Africa Trek trail. Our guides made sure to point out that we were going from nice paved pathways to actual forest floor so we had to watch our step as we transitioned from the show stage to backstage.   We walked single file in our cute matching outfits while our guide chatted about the various animals we were seeing on the trail and passersby were very confused as to who we all were, ha ha. Maybe they asked another cast member and learned about the tour!

A couple birds on Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail before we headed off the beaten track

Hiking with the group!

We "hiked" up a small hill to an overlook spot where we were clipped on to a support railing with our very large carabiners so we could go as close to the edge as we wanted to watch some hippo training! A hippopotamus expert was there to greet us and give the hippos a nice snack of lettuce and watermelon so we could get a closer look. Such amazing creatures! 


You can see the metal rail we were all attached to here, unfortunately I was too excited about the hippos to get a better photo of how it worked

Hippos enjoying a treat of lettuce on Wild Africa Trek

Look at that cute face!

Here you can see where the Kilimanjaro Safari ride vehicles go. So next time you're on the ride look up and see if there's a tour going on!

After that we had a little more walking through the woods to come to the main attraction - a rope bridge going across the crocodile enclosure. It is two bridges connected together that are seemingly falling apart. But don't worry, there's a net underneath the bridge if you lose your footing AND you're connected to a metal wire above via your harness so there's no real danger. This is one of the spots where folks riding the Safari will see you and say "How the heck did those people get up there, and how can I do it!?" 

The wire we're connected to and the nice strong cord attached to our vests

In my natural habitat, taking too many photos and videos (photo by Disney)

Unfortunately, they were cleaning the crocodile enclosure so we did not get to see them while walking over the bridge. I imagine there would be a stop similar to the hippos when the crocs are in their habitat. Luckily the hippos were still in the water so we got to see some while making the "dangerous" trek across the "rickety" bridges. The baby, Greta, was also in the water! I didn't even notice until I looked at my photos later. Was concentrating too hard on not falling.


Taking in the sights and grabbing some photos and videos! (photo by Disney)

Was probably taking this photo as the photo above was being taken of me. You can see baby Greta!

As mentioned before, it is not dangerous at all as you are strapped in your harness and connected to a secure wire above. The broken bridge planks are "Disney real" (Disney doesn't like to say the f word....fake) aka perfectly safe to walk on even though they look broken and unsafe. But still watch your step, you don't want to have to use the backup net! Trek participants go one at a time on the bridges so they are safe AND so your guide can get some great candid (and plandid) shots of you crossing. You are free to stop and take photos, but don't take too long or your tour will be there all day!

Christian making his way across the bridge

After you cross the bridges there is a spot to refill your water bottle and grab a cooling towel. Don't miss out on those towels, they can cost you like $18 in the park and they come with the price of your tour here! Plus they're a nude color so they'll match all your outfits. Just put some water on them, wrap around your neck and you're instantly cooled.

Nice, cold water station for refilling our bottles and getting our cooling towels wet

Wearing our cooling towels!

Part 2 - Safari Vehicle Ride 1

After the harrowing experience on the bridges (hah!) you have a small hike to your special Safari vehicle. This one is different from the normal Kilimanjaro Safari ride vehicles because it's open space in the middle and the bench just goes around the edges. You still have to remain seated while driving but your driver will stop a couple times so you can get up and get better views of the animals. We had some amazing views of the giraffes, so much fun! A lot of our time was spent watching Mara the Masai giraffe try to get some leaves from way up in the trees.

Mara is very photogenic

Trying to get those leaves!

We also learned a fun fact that I didn't fully know. In 2019 Mara gave birth to Jabari on the safari. It was the talk of the day in the Annual Passholder Facebook group for those lucky few that actually got to see the birth - once in a lifetime! What I didn't know was this was the only time this has ever happened at Animal Kingdom. Normally a week or so before the giraffe is due they will make sure they are not "on stage" but rather in their barn so the baby has a safer birth with helping hands if needed. They didn't stop the safari while Mara was in labor because she was so used to the trucks it made her nervous when they temporarily stopped rides. After she gave birth the safari was closed for the remainder of the day so she and the calf would be safe. Cool right?

Masai Giraffe and Ankole Cattle

A view of the boma from the safari vehicle

Part 3 - Snacks at the Boma

In the middle of our Safari we took a break at the boma, another spot you can see while on the actual ride. This is where you have your delicious snack, refill your water and go to the bathroom. We got here about 2 hours after the tour started, so make sure you go to the bathroom before your tour starts too. During our break our guides set our tables with table cloths, got us some POG juice and brought over everyone's tiffin carriers with our snacks. POG juice is famous at Disney - it's a blend of passion fruit, orange and guava juices and super tasty!  

Getting some photos while waiting for our snacks

Elephant photobomb! (photo by Disney)

A couple days before the tour you receive an email with details on your trek and you are asked if there are any allergies or dietary restrictions. I'm a pretty picky eater so I replied to let them know I don't like yogurt or cheese. Disney is great at accommodating for food issues so I had a special tiffin without cheeses or yogurt. I knew that those were 2 items commonly served on the tour so I took a chance that there would be nothing else I didn't want to eat. Luckily the rest of the food was delicious and I had nothing to worry about.

Setting the scene (or table...)

Our tiffins arrived just in time, I was very hungry!

We had tandoori spiced shrimp, fruit salad, chicken/cucumber roulade, sun-dried tomato hummus with pita, dried meats and an assortment of olives (with cheese for everyone else!) We also got a homemade granola bar from the chefs at Tiffins Restaurant that we could take with us or eat right away. Our tiffin included an edible flower you could use as a palate cleanser as well. The menu was specially created by one of Disney's top Chefs and every detail is taken into account. They did a fantastic job with it. 

Christian's unaltered meal

My meal, with no cheese!

We watched the animals and safari vehicles drive by while we rested and ate

Part 4 - Safari Vehicle Ride 2

After our snack we had a little bit more of the normal Safari to finish up so off we went on to our special Safari truck. After we got to the end of the route we were let out in a different unloading area to the normal safari rides and walked back to the preparation area as a group to return our phone cords and grab our gear from the lockers. We said a sad farewell to our guides and fellow trekkers and headed off to finish our day! The sunglasses cords they gave us were ours to keep. I have some metal ones already, but Christian was very excited to have one of his own so he didn't have to keep track of his sunglasses the rest of the trip.


Wildebeest resting in the heat


Our guides also gave us a card with a Photopass code on it so we would be able to download all the photos they took of us (and the journey) on the Disney photo website later. During the trek one of the guides was always taking photos of us or the animals. We also did a few Plandid shots (aka planned candids) during certain activities. All the photos come with the price of your tour so you don't have to pay anything extra to download them. This means if you don't want to take a camera or your phone with you you'll still have memories! But I'm crazy and like to reaaaaally document things so I wanted my phone for videos and photos. I took mostly videos since I knew Christian had my photo camera.

Our guides included some cute photos of themselves with the rest of the pictures from the tour

Should you book it?!

I say YES! It was such a fun experience and exciting way to take in the sights of Kilimanjaro Safaris. The hike was fun and we really enjoyed our snacks at the Boma. If you're in a rush to get a ton of things done on your Disney trip, this isn't for you. But if you're looking for something new to do on an extended trip, or special long weekend I say go for it.

*photos without a watermark were taken by our Wild Africa Trek tour guides!*

About Closet Fashionista

Loves to get bargains on clothes and is obsessed with Harry Potter and Disney. By day she is a freelance graphic and web designer. She also has a slight obsession with movies.

You can also find her on the web at her Harry Potter and Matthew Lewis fan sites.


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