Disney’s Wild Africa Trek: A VIP African Safari in Orlando

I’ve always wanted to go on a safari, but since I don’t see myself going to Africa anytime soon, I was thrilled for the opportunity to go on Disney’s Wild Africa Trek at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. But why would you want to pay extra for the Wild Africa Trek when any guest of Disney’s Animal Kingdom can visit the Savanna as part of their park admission? Here’s why.

Disney's Wild Africa Trek: A VIP African Experience in Orlando

Disney’s Wild Africa Trek: A VIP African Expedition in Orlando

Disney’s Wild Africa Trek is an expedition through the bush and Savanna of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.

The first section is a physical portion where you are walking through the bush of the Pagini Forest over rope bridges while tethered to a guide rope. The second portion is a traditional truck safari with lunch on the savanna.

Groups are small, up to 12 guests go each time, making it a more intimate experience. Guests must be at least eight years old to participate.

Getting Suited Up for Disney's Wild Africa Trek

All suited up and ready to go on an adventure.

Each Wild Africa Trek has two knowledgeable guides. One leads the group while the other takes photographs. At first I kept my camera out, snapping away at everything. However, once we reached the Savanna, I traded my camera for binoculars and let the photographer do their job. If you see a photo you like, just ask and they’ll take a picture. The group is small enough that individual pictures are easily done.

Instead of worrying about getting photos, I was free to enjoy the safari. I watched a baby elephant nursing, and saw giraffes up close. It was freeing to get away from behind a camera and actually watch what was going on in the moment vs. just trying to capture everything for later. This is all part of your package, and I encourage you to use this perk. You’ll see a lot more AND get the photos.

The bridges on the Wild Africa Trek at Disney World

To prepare for the first leg of the adventure, guests are weighed and get gear (you must be under 310 pounds to participate, and yes, you do have to get on a scale). The gear is a bit heavy, but you get used to it quickly. Each person is given a commemorative water bottle to fill up and use to keep hydrated on the journey and an ear piece for listening to the guide while deep in the jungle.

After a brief introduction, follow two guides through the Animal Kingdom theme park and the Pagini Forest with other park guests before veering off the beaten path to a restricted area behind the scenes for a bush walk. Along the way are stops to chat with animal experts and up close views of the animals.

There are also two rope bridges to cross. If you’ve never done a ropes course, the bridges can be a bit intimidating with missing slats and sunning crocodiles below. However, each guest is tethered in, and a safety net adds an extra layer of protection from the waiting crocs.

Waiting for Captain Hook on Disney's Wild Africa Trek

Waiting for Captain Hook….

The second half of the adventure is a truck ride through the African Savannah. Guests shed the heavy vests and trade them for binoculars. This portion of the adventure is riding. Our naturalist guide identified the animals and gave as much or as little detail as guests wanted about them. This is the same road taken by the theme park safari trucks, but Trek trucks go slower, stopping in sections for a leisurely look.

Lunch on the Savanna is part of the Wild Africa Trek at Disney World

This was part of our wonderful lunch on the Savanna

A highlight of the tour is a gourmet lunch, served in camp tins at a Savanna outpost. Everything is edible, including the flower. As you nosh, there are giraffe munching nearby. This seemed like a perfect location for a special event like a proposal and indeed the cast members have assisted couples in the past.

Watching Giraffe on the Wild Africa Trek at Disney

As we ate lunch, these guys were all around.

A portion of the trek price is donated to a conservation effort of your choice. When you return from your excursion into the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, choose where you’d like your money donated.


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Disney's Wild Africa Trek - A VIP Safari in Orlando

I visited Disney World as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference. Disney Social Media Moms Conference attendees paid a conference fee which included hotel accommodations, park tickets, meals, admission to private parties, and more. We were not required or asked to write about the conference.

Sue Rodman | Managing Editor & Business Development

Sue Rodman is a mother of three boys, a PR professional, writer, and ice cream lover. For eight years, Sue published an award winning family travel blog called Field Trips with Sue, and produced a TV segment with the same name on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta. In Sept. 2016 Field Trips with Sue merged with 365 Atlanta Family. In addition to writing blog posts and managing the advertising and public relations for 365 Atlanta Family, Sue does freelance public relations and her writing has appeared online at TravelingMom, Trekaroo, Minitime Family and other family travel sites. She has contributed to print publications such as Family Fun, Simply Buckhead, BuckHaven and Publix Magazine. In addition, Sue has appeared on local and national news talking about family travel. Sue believes anytime is a good time for dessert and there are no bad field trips, just better stories.

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