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Guest Review: Wild Africa Trek (Plus Eats!) at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Please welcome back guest author Alex Freeman, who’s brought us a review of the Wild Africa Trek featured at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. After getting an awesome view of the animals on the savanna, trekkers are treated to some wild eats! Jambo, Alex!

On December 27, my sisters and I took part in the Wild Africa Trek offered at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Some of you are probably wondering why I am writing this review for a food blog, but this Disney tour includes a wonderful treat at the end.

Great views await from The Boma!

Checking In

At least 15 minutes before your scheduled tour time, you check-in at the Wild Africa Trek desk located to the left of Tusker House Restaurant. Even though I have been to Animal Kingdom many times, I did not know the area where the desk is located even exists.

There are outside tables for people who want to bring food from other quick service places and eat in a relatively quiet and peaceful atmosphere.

Outdoor Seating

Once you check-in, you are reminded of the Trek conditions (you must be over the age of 8 and you must be between 45 and 310 lbs).

Also, you are given a waiver to sign, which not only covers a variety of medical situations, but also permission for Disney to use any pictures they take of you in their promotional materials.

Trek Logo.

After everyone is checked-in (which was 11 people for our tour), you are greeted by your two Trek guides. Our Trek guides were named Lonnie and Paul and they were absolutely fantastic — hilarious, informative, and very friendly.

We followed both of our guides through a gate that led us to uncharted territory for the general public.

Trek Guides!

Gearing Up

In this area, you are given a locker to hold any of your personal belongings. You are not allowed to bring anything besides a camera (as long as it has a wrist strap that can be attached to your harness). Everything else, including your phone, must be stored in the locker.

You are then weighed and given a suitable harness, which they help attach to you. This harness includes a gear loop (which will attach you to the bridges), a souvenir water bottle (which you get to keep), and a headset so that you can hear both of the guides even when they are not right beside you. This headset was an absolute necessity when we were in the middle of a crowd.

Get your Trek gear!

Once you are strapped to your harness, you are asked to practice walking across a suspension bridge. This bridge is much smaller and much lower to the ground then the real one in the “savanna,” but it is a practice bridge.

This way you can make sure that this tour is something that you can do, because you will definitely be going across multiple suspension bridges on this Trek.

Sporting the Wild Africa Trek Gear.

Starting Your Trek!

You begin your tour by following your Trek guides through Harambe Village. This, especially during Christmas season, is somewhat tricky when you are trying to navigate 13 people through the crowds.

I will let you know that many people stare at you while you are walking through the crowds. Not only are you in a line of people wearing harnesses and headsets, but because the Trek guides are telling jokes through your headset you end up just laughing to yourself. I think a few people wondered where we were going and why we were laughing and talking to ourselves!

Lonnie told us where our end goal was, which was very helpful, because if you became separated you would know exactly where to go. And, the Trek guides count the group continuously throughout the trip so that they never accidentally leave someone behind.

Once we made it through Harambe Village, we walked through Pangani Forest Exploration. While walking through the trail, we didn’t stop to see any of the animals there, but the Trek guides explained interesting facts about the different animals. About halfway through the trail, we veered off the path and into the “forest”.

Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

At this point, we also took our first group picture. While walking through the forest, you will know exactly why they tell you to wear closed-toed shoes. You are constantly trying to maneuver over roots and under branches. This is not a cleared pathway. It is actually like you are hiking through a real forest.

Our first real stop was with a researcher who was going to tell us all about hippos. Once we arrived there, the Trek guides help us attach our harnesses to a type of equipment that allowed us the ability to stand on a ledge over top the Hippopotamus area. This thing let us walk as close to the ledge as possible, and we met Nacho and three of his fellow hippos.

Nacho Hippo! ;-)

After the hippos, we went to the Crocodile area. This was absolutely amazing. Since we were harnessed, we could actually stand on a ledge about 10 feet above 20 crocodiles.

Did you know that all of the Disney crocs are males? They do not have any females because they are not interested in breeding them at this time.

Crocodile.

Crocodiles.

One of the coolest parts of this trek was being able to walk on an overhead rope bridge, which was about 30 feet in the air. Yes, this bridge is a Disney bridge, so it is completely safe and you are attached to a safety harness. But, we felt like we were actually walking over a rickety old bridge. Disney Magic!

Once we were done with the walking portion of the Trek, we boarded a private safari vehicle and drove through the Savannah.

Ankole-Watusi

We stopped many times for private viewings of the animals, like the giraffe, the lions, and the elephants. The giraffe were right next to the vehicle, which was amazing!

Giraffe.

Oryx.

Cheetah.

Eats

Finally, we made our way to the Boma (not the restaurant in Animal Kingdom Lodge, but an actual Boma on the savanna, which means “cooking place”), where we were given a “Taste of Africa.” This is when I actually get to the food portion of my review!

At the Boma, we were given Jungle Juice (the same juice you get at Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma during breakfast), and tastes of many different types of food in a circular camp lunch container.

Dining at the Boma.

In the top circle of our camp lunch, we had three small containers containing smoked meats, curried chicken salad, and ginger infused fruit. The smoked meats were very salty, but they were quite flavorful. It was a bit strange to eat them on their own.

The curried chicken salad was one of the best things that I tasted during this “Taste of Africa”. It had a wonderful flavor, but it was not an overwhelming curry taste. And, the chicken was cooked perfectly, not dry at all.

The Ginger Infused Fruit Salad was amazing as well. The fruit was refreshing, but it had a frozen feel to it, which is not the trek’s fault. They are just trying to keep the food cold throughout the entire trek.

Food at the Boma.

In the bottom have of the camp lunch, we had three more containers — salmon roulade, tomato hummus and pita rounds, and shrimp.

The salmon roulade was flavorful and had a great texture. It was my sister’s favorite part of the meal, but the salad underneath the roulade was relatively flavorless.

The tomato hummus was amazing! I love hummus and this had a great roasted red pepper and tomato flavor, but it wasn’t overpowering. There was definitely enough hummus for the amount of pita rounds. And the pita rounds didn’t taste stale, even though they had to be chilled.

Finally, we received some spiced steamed shrimp. The shrimp were not spicy but they had a good flavor. The only problem with the shrimp were that some were frozen. The fruit and the shrimp must have been sitting too close to the ice in the coolers.

Second Tin.

Finally, we received desserts. These desserts were three different mini tastes: there were two chocolate truffles and one shortbread cookie.

Dessert.

While we were eating at the Boma, we were able to see the animals in the Savanna. We got to see two elephants playing! They were so adorable! And, we were able to see some lions hanging out on “pride rock”.

Elephants Playing.

Lion.

Overall

Overall, I would recommend the Wild Africa Trek to anyone! It is a little pricey, since you have to buy a park ticket plus your Wild Africa Trek reservation. But, it is definitely well worth it. You get a behind the scenes tour of Disney’s savanna and you get a CD full of pictures mailed to your house to as a remembrance.

Editor’s Note: The Wild Africa Trek is currently priced at $189-$249 and can be booked at 407-WDW-TOUR.

Does the Wild Africa Trek in Disney’s Animal Kingdom sound like something you’d enjoy? Let us know in the comments below!

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23 Comments

  1. This is on a Disney bucket list for sure. The food looks good but cold stuff messes with my teeth. But I love that it’s a full experience of animals and food and fun. Thanks for the awesome review!

  2. will says:

    are you allowed to bring a SLR camera or just a point and shoot. those pictures look amazing.

  3. Sandy - winnieatepooh says:

    Thank you for this review! I agree with the above poster – it’s definitely on my Disney bucket list!

  4. Anna says:

    I’m curious if children are given the same meal as the adults. Although my kids will eat a wide variety of things, I’m not sure they’d eat all those items.

  5. Essie says:

    I want to do this so badly, but I’d have to get Disney’s okay as I have a medical problem. I think that I’m going to have to write to them in detail and hope that they agree that I can do this as I believe that I can. I love animals and believe that this would be the experience of my life. Thanks for a wonderful review.

  6. Heather says:

    My family & I did the Trek in May. It was wonderful! Our daughter was the only child in our group. The guides made her feel special and answered ALL her questions. We requested no seafood or shellfish in our meals and there wasn’t a problem with our request. The food was amazing. There were adult and child’s meals.

  7. Deb Ragno says:

    I just saw yesterday that the check-in area for this has been moved to the FastPass distribution area for Kilimanjaro Safaris. (wdwmagic.com)

  8. Jym says:

    What a great article. We’ve been wondering about this tour. Thanks for all your work and for the info.

  9. Jackie says:

    My husband did the tour for the 2nd time in October, My adult son, daughter in law and I went this time with him and we all loved it. We enjoyed our time at the Boma and the food was great. They advertise it as a ‘”snack”.
    You can bring an SLR camera, as long as it can be secured to the vest.
    My husband carries an Epi pen, and he had to give it to the guide to carry in his bag.
    They allow NOTHING in pockets or that can not be secured.

  10. notchirs says:

    Do they still treat the tour as an “onstage” experience where the guides stay in character the whole time?

    That and the cheesy script and gags between stations (not good cheesy like Jungle Cruise) were our biggest gripes when we did this tour in 2011. Back then the price (possibly promotional) was $129. Our meal was the same except we did not get the sweets at the end.
    The tour is (was?) worth doing once, especially for animal lovers. However, I’m not sure I’d recommend this tour as highly to readers of this site. The current peak cost is roughly 1.5 meals at V&A or 3 meals at a signature…

  11. Jennie says:

    We just did this tour in Oct and I would looove to do it again. The food was great, the animals were amazing. Loved loved loved it and highly recommend. Funny story, I got an email from one of our fellow Trekkers. We had sat at the same table for a week on the Wonder and none of us recognized each ther until we looked through the fabulous cd of pics they send you. Small world.

    Happy trails,
    Jennie

  12. Sabrina says:

    Hi, thank you for that review! My family and I are also thinking about doing the tour – looks like you did it in the afternoon? On the WDW website I only found times for the morning…what time did you go? I would prefer the afternoon because of the different food :D And do you know if they offer it in the afternoon every day?

  13. Christina says:

    Excellent post! We saw ads all over for this adventure on our vacay two weeks ago. When I saw the people onthe suspension bridge during our safari, I turned to my hubby and said we must do this on our next trip. Can’t wait to try this experience!

  14. Erin Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the review! We are considering this adventure and it sounds great.

  15. Alex says:

    Hi, to answer some of the questions about the review. Sabrina, we did the tour at 1:15pm, which means that we were given “lunch” like snacks. From what I was told, if you do a morning tour, you are given a “breakfast” style snack. I believe, at least during peak times, they offer times throughout the morning and afternoon. I think that 1:15pm is one of the latest tour times, since the tour is 3 hours. Notchirs, our guides did not act like they were “onstage.” They told some jokes, but it was definitely just their personality not from a script, like the Jungle Cruise. We had two amazing tour guides!

  16. Sabrina says:

    Thank you Alex! So I could also ask for a 1:15 tour then…I know they also serve breakfast, but as the new website lists both meals, the lunch just sounded yummier – and possible more value for the money ;)

  17. Sandra says:

    I have a friend who can walk but uses a scooter for long distances, and he eats gluten-free for health reasons. He was able to take the tour successfully. He took actual movies of his tour as well as still photos (he has the type of camera that will do both). He went in the morning and said the gluten-free breakfast meal was very good, so if you have special dietary needs, don’t skip the tour because you’re afraid you’ll having nothing to eat. It is definitely more a light snack-type thing than a hearty meal, but they will accommodate you the same as they do in the restaurants.

  18. Diane says:

    Thanks for the review. It definitely is something we will do on our next trip. All the pictures are good but I love the picture of the giraffe.

    Pardon me if I sound like one of “those people” but the lunch box is called a tiffin.

  19. Esther says:

    Great review! This totally convinced us to go on the Wild Africa Trek! Question: what kind of (close-toed) shoes are sufficient? Are Converse okay or do you need something more hard core? Are your shoes going to get muddy? Also, are there going to be a lot of bugs or mosquitoes and do you need to wear bug spray and/or long sleeves for protection?

  20. AJ says:

    Esther — Converse should be fine. If it’s raining in Florida, you may get muddy :-) Also I doubt you’ll need long sleeves, though bug spray never hurts.

  21. kg says:

    Does anyone know the website where you can get your pics? They used to do a photo CD, but are now transitioning to a website…

  22. Debi says:

    I just booked this tour for me and my husband. We will be there the week of Halloween. I’ve been to Disney so many times that I decided this trip was going to be for doing the things I always wanted to do. Thank you for the review. I am so excited to do this tour! (We are also doing the Keys to the Kingdom tour the day before the Wild Africa Trek. For some reason, I have more excitement about this tour than the KttK tour!)

  23. brienne says:

    Awesome review! Thank you. You were obviously able to see many animals on your tour. I was thinking about going in the afternoon too because it is $106 cheaper then going in the morning but I was worried about not seeing any animals or it being too hot. Do you think it would be worth the extra money to book the morning tour? Also, any ideas on what I would buy to be able to use my SLR on the trek, someone said it needs to attach to the vest.
    Thank you :)

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