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Wild Africa Trek: Snacking on the Savanna

Update: Current pricing is $189 – $249.

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster finds a surprising end to her recent Wild Africa Trek in Disney’s Animal Kingdom…

I signed up for Disney’s brand new Wild Africa Trek at the Animal Kingdom because I wanted to check out the nifty new rope bridge and get up close and personal with crocodiles and hippos; I wasn’t in it for the food. The booking agent on the phone mentioned something about a snack, but that barely registered with me. I had taken other backstage tours at the Animal Kingdom and the snack was serviceable but unremarkable granola bars and pretzels.

Atmosphere
Because of this, I was taken by surprise when we arrived — after two hours of hiking and animal observation — at the tour break point and found a meal being set. We were on a new boma (not to be confused with the restaurant Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge) constructed in the middle of the African savanna, in full view of the Kilimanjaro Safari jeeps. The boma is a covered, stage-like private animal viewing area with bathrooms, comfortable chairs, binoculars, and best of all — amazing food.

The new boma on the Kilimanjaro Safari savanna

The presentation couldn’t be lovelier. Our wonderful tour guides (thank you Megan and Laura) set our chilled metal camp cups and carafes of cool water and tropical juice. I believe this is the same blend they serve at Tusker House and Boma.

Our fabulous tour guide Laura sets up the snack

Each guest was presented with their own two-tired, canister-style “lunchbox.” I had the first tour of the day and was therefore given the breakfast snack.

Contents of the canister

Eats
The top tier held three tiny metal bowls. The first contained a melon salad with a light ginger-mint dressing. The second contained berry yogurt with a granola topping. And the third contained cubes of brie cheese and dried apricots. Also in the upper level were a spoon made of sustainable bamboo and a lovely edible orchid. Several of my tour mates commented that the yogurt was particularly delicious. My favorite of the three was the melon; the dressing was bright and gave the melon an unexpected zing.

The top tray

Yogurt with souvenir bamboo spoon

The bottom tier of the lunchbox held mini pita breads, a fig almond bread, prosciutto, dried beef, and smoked salmon rolled with dill cream cheese atop a cucumber and jicama slaw. Every item was flavorful and fresh. And yes, I did sample the orchid. It had the crunch of iceberg lettuce with a slightly sweet flavor. At the end, we were allowed to keep our bamboo spoons as a souvenir.

The bottom tray

Fig and almond bread

While this was billed as a snack, I felt like the amount of food provided was quite generous. I ate at about 10:30 a.m., and I made it all the way through to a late dinner with only a carrot cake cookie to sustain me in between.

Specs and Info
Several tours are offered throughout the day. Depending on the time of your departure, there are some substitutions on the menu. The afternoon Trek outings include curried chicken salad, tandoori shrimp, and sun dried tomato hummus instead of the yogurt, cheese cubes, and fig almond bread. There are also alternative options for children, vegetarians, and guests with allergies. These special menus must be ordered in advance, so speak with your reservation agent when booking the tour. Book by calling 407-WDW-TOUR.

More information about the non-food parts of the Wild Africa Trek can be found on the Walt Disney World website. Be aware that special discount pricing of $129 is in effect until February 26, when the price will go up to $189.

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10 Comments

  1. Dana says:

    So cool! It’s like a little African Bento Box! I’d be asking to keep the container too- it’s so hard to find a good sized bento box that isn’t made out of plastic. The food looks delicious too- and a great variety as well!

  2. Jim says:

    That style of lunch box is called a “tiffin carrier” or a “dabba.” They are common in India and southeast Asia. The person or persons who deliver it to you are known as “tiffin wallahs” or “dabbahwallahs.”

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiffin_carrier

  3. EEFoster says:

    Dana – I thought the exact same thing about the lunchbox. So cute! Unfortunately, taking home the container is not part of the tour (though we did get a reusable metal water bottle as a keepsake). There are very similar round metal lunchboxes sold on Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Ware-2-Tier-Stainless-Lunch-Box/dp/B000H92LWE/ref=pd_bxgy_k_text_b

    I’m thinking of getting one myself.

  4. EEFoster says:

    Looks like Jim was posting while I was typing. Jim – thanks for the extra info. Love the Wikipedia link. And I think I’m going to walk around all day saying “dabbahwallah” – best word EVER.

  5. Josh says:

    This looks like a good rounded snack of food!

    What I wonder is what the Vegetarian and other special-ordered food consist of.

  6. Afoodie says:

    What a blast from my past to see India’s “tiffin” in these photos! My family is originally from India and we had one around while I was a kid, so I used to play with it. They’re commonly used by working people as lunchboxes. But usually in India, you have one box with plain rice, another with lentils (dal) another with veggies, and another with bread or yogurt. Very different with this stuff — and so cool!

  7. Alan says:

    This is a really nice touch for a snack (seems like a meal). On the Amazing Race, one of the tasks was to deliver these tins, which they called tiffins to workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh. For some reason they stuck in my mind and now here they are at WDW. Just another example of the Disney attention to detail.

    Nice review and pics, Erin.

  8. EEFoster says:

    Josh – The children’s meal includes a cinnamon roll and cheddar cheese instead of the fig bread and brie. I’ll call for details on the rest of the alternatives.

    Afoodie – As soon as you mentioned the working people lunchbox thing, I remembered that I had seen a challenge using these in the Amazing Race (like Alan!). I also realized that there is a food stand in the Animal Kingdom called “Drinkwallah.” I never understood that name, but now I do.

    Alan – It really is incredible how much detail the Imagineers put into every aspect of the parks. I’m in awe!

  9. Thanks for the photos of breakfast, Erin! I was wondering the differences since we got the lunch service which I posted pictures of too. I had no idea we could keep the bamboo spoon tho, darn! Laura was our guide too, she was great!

    I agree about being full – I only ate the shrimp and chicken salad on mine because of my no carb/no sugar thing going on and I was actually full from that! :)

  10. Cleo says:

    They are originally from China and yes, inspired the tiffin, the dim sum stacked baskets as well as the once in a lifetime ones that are the width of a floor cushion and stacked and carried to the bride’s new home filled with treats.

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