Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Where in the (Walt Disney) World Wednesday-Wild Africa Trek

In honor of Earth Day yesterday and Animal Kingdom's 16th birthday, today's post is featuring the Wild Africa Trek! 

Wild Africa Trek is "a privately guided VIP expedition offering close encounters with exotic African wildlife in their native habitat." The cost for the trek is NOT included with your park admission. Prices can range from $189-$249 per person. In order to participate you must be at least 8 years old, 48" tall, and between 45 and 300 lbs. Each trek lasts approximately 3 hours. All of these restrictions are in place for guest safety to ensure everyone has the safest and most fun possible.  

There are multiple trek times throughout the day so you may pick what is most convenient for your schedule. Ours started around 12:30, in July. Guys, I don't know if you've heard, but Florida in the summer is HOT. If you're susceptible to overheating easily an early morning trek might be better for you. Also, it rains EVERY DAY during the summer around 3:30/4:00. If you did your math correctly we were handing in our gear at the end of our tour just as the afternoon storm was starting. Had we started 30 minutes later we would've been caught out in the rain on our trek. 

I've got my princess pose going on

I was lucky enough to be able to do this with my Mom and Bryan while she was down visiting. We're always looking for new activities to try out and there was an awesome cast special on the trek so we took the plunge! I'm normally not a big outdoorsy girl, ironic I was working at Animal Kingdom, so I didn't go in with high expectations for our trek.Let me tell you, to this day, the Wild Africa Trek has been one of my favorite Disney experiences. 

Cheesin' for the camera

You start by meeting your guide and anyone else who has signed up for the same time slot as you. Groups are limited so the size won't get too large, but you may luck out and have the tour to yourself occasionally. Once everyone has assembled you're brought to a back stage area where you're fitted for a harness and a vest. You're also gifted Wild Africa Trek water bottles as souvenirs so you can fill them up to use during the Trek. At this time there's also lockers you can put your belongings in since they suggest not to take anything that doesn't have a strap on it. To start the tour everyone is given a whisper set (those wireless headphones your see tour groups wearing) so your guides can communicate with you. Two guides will accompany you and will alternate between taking photos the entire time. About 2 weeks after the tour a photo disc with said photos will be mailed to your home. 

Bridge 1 of 2

Once everyone was settled we were off! We made our way into another backstage area and stopped briefly to discuss some strategically places animal skulls. After a quick photo op we made our way to the first rope bridge. I love ropes courses, zip line, things of that nature so I was excited for this part. If you're ever on the safari you might notice some people climbing over you or hanging out above the alligator enclosure. This is where that happens folks. You're sent across the bridge by the guide and as soon as you reach the platform, there's another bridge for you to cross! Once both bridges were completed we were high above the alligators and got to learn more about them. 

The wilderness must be explored!

After that we made our way through the woods to appear at a truck waiting to whisk us away. This time we were brought over to that random hut in the middle of the savanna on the safari (ahhh it makes sense now). At this point we had been on the tour for about an hour so we got a break to have a snack, use the bathrooms, and take advantage of the viewing platforms.

Our snack came in these cool metal canisters which held perfect portions of prosciutto, melon, curried chicken salad, shrimp, hummus & pita, and smoked salmon. There were also pitchers of Jungle Juice, that same one served at Boma breakfast or water to refill your bottle. 

The OCD side of me loved this

The break was amazing because you're right in the middle of the action and have incredible views of the animals. There was a platform you could venture too off the back of the hut that brought you right to where the rhinos were.  

They were RIGHT THERE!

After about 30 minutes or so we were back onto our truck. This time for a private safari tour. What's different about this than just taking the safari is since you're in a truck, they can drive off the road and up closer to the animals. Our guides also had more in depth knowledge of the safari and its inhabitants that they were able to share. It became more of a conversation that a tour or ride. We were again, able to get closer to the animals than you'd be able to on the safari. 

Watching the Safari check out the Safari

Once our safari tour was complete we made our way back to where we got fitted for vests and harness in order to turn them back in and collect belongings. Before you go it's explained that a portion of your trek fee will go towards animal conservation. Here you can select which wildlife you'd like your money to go towards. 

All in all, the Wild Africa Trek is a unique experience that gets you backstage and lets you see the animals in a new way. It's great for those who like adventure and being active. The price tag can get hefty for a family on top of park admission, but if you ever have the chance to do it, I'd absolutely try it at least once. 


QOTD: Have you ever done the Wild Africa Trek or is it on your Disney wish list?


  1. Definitely a hefty price tag, but that's just Disney lol. This looks amazing - I'd love to try it someday!!

    1. Unfortunately Disney prices and NYC area prices aren't much different, I can't escape it! If you ever get the chance it's definitely worth it as a bucket list item!

  2. This sounds SO cool! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    1. Anytime! Hopefully you'll get to try it out as well one day!

  3. Silly question, but can you wear sneakers for this, or are hiking boots needed? I am seriously considering it, but didn't want to add hiking boots to the gear I'm schlepping to FL. :)

    1. Not silly at all! I did the trek in sneakers, you wouldn't need anything more heavy duty than that. You could possibly get away with a sandal that has straps like a teva. You might want to check disney's site though. Let me know if you have any other questions, hope you get to do the trek!

  4. Wow! I can't believe AK is 16! I remember being on a disney vacation with my family and hearing about this New Animal Kingdom park that was being built. It's hard to think about a time when there was no AK!

    Thanks for the backstage view of the trek. I'll be keeping my eyes open next time I go on the safari to see if I see a group on a tour!

    1. Hard to believe, right?!
      I hope you enjoyed it, while we were on the tour someone on the safari went "Look! The wild human in their natural habitat!" pointing at our group.