Last week, we not only had the honor of being one of the select few to attend the World’s First Baby Hippo Gender Reveal, but we also were invited to take the Wild Africa Trek at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. This is a privately guided, 3-hour VIP expedition that takes guests to close encounters with exotic African wildlife in their natural habitat.
The Wild Africa Trek is part of the Disney Parks Enchanting Extras Collection and is available for any guests to book. This journey is geared towards tweens, teens and adults with participants being a minimum age of 8 years old and at least 48 inches tall.
Since my kids are 8, 11 and 13, and are huge animal lovers, this expedition was perfect for our family of five. We saw a wide variety of animals from lions, giraffes, crocodiles, rhinos, hippos and more living in the Safi River Valley which is an uninhibited environment that resembles the animal’s home turf in Africa.
The Wild Africa Trek started by meeting our fantastic private group tour guides. Our guides shared information about the beautiful animals, the operation of the Animal Kingdom park, details about the park’s dedication to animal conservation and were able to answer any and all questions that the kids through their way.
To prepare for our journey, we were all fitted with safety vests and wireless headsets so that we could hear the guide at all times which was fantastic so that we didn’t miss anything.
We started our journey by walking along a path, passing animals along the way, until we got to the hippos habitat.
Viewing safely from a small cliff (we were harnessed to cables), we witnessed one of the Disney Animal Kingdom cast members feeding the giant hippos lettuce and watermelon.
This was also the spot that we saw the new, adorable baby hippo, Augustus, that we found out earlier in the morning was a boy and was born weighing 168 lbs. That’s a big boy, if you ask me! LOL!
Next, we continued down the path until we encountered a two-part rope bridge that we needed to cross which was suspended over a slew of crocodiles. Yes, we were completely harnessed to the bridge, so while it was a little unnerving to being crossing over ginormous crocodiles, we were all safe doing it.
My kids absolutely LOVED this part!
We even got an opportunity to go to what I call the “viewing cliff” to see just how enormous the crocodiles were that we crossed over.
Next, we hopped in the rugged safari vehicle to ride into an open savanna passing giraffes, rhinos, tigers, elephants and more. We saw a ton of animals and our friendly driver made many stops so that we could take as many photographs as we’d like.
If you ask the kids, the giraffes were their favorite.
By this point, we worked up quite an appetite during our trek, so it was time to stop at an adorable hut in the middle of the savanna. We had a breathtaking view of the animals while we enjoyed some delicious African-inspired snacks.
I appreciated the fact that there was a choice of an “adult” and a “kid” option for the snacks. I’m not going to lie, all five of us chose the “kid option” that included cheeses, chocolate croissants, granola bars, yogurt, berries and more. It was plenty of food that this “snack” actually worked as our lunch that day.
If you have a more sophisticated palate, the adult snack option included things like air-dried beef and prosciutto, smoked salmon roulade with dill, fig cake with Boursin cheese, brie cheese and apricot and more.
After our snack break, we jumped back in the safari vehicle and continued through the savanna while viewing the most majestic animals along the way until we returned to our starting point.
This 3-hour journey was one of the best, most unforgettable things we’ve ever done at the Walt Disney World Parks. I’m not sure who loved the experience more, the kids or adults. It’s important to note that this privately guided 3-hour VIP expedition requires valid park admission (aka you need Disney Animal Kingdom tickets) and costs between $189-$249 per person.
If you are thinking about booking your own Wild Africa Trek, here are a few things you need to know:
- For your safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure; heart, back or neck problems; motion sickness or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not participate.
- Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a participating adult (18 years of age or older).
- Participants must be 8 years of age or older and at least 48 inches (122 cm) tall.
- Participants must be between 45 and 300 lbs. with the harness gear on. The safety harnesses used for this experience may prohibit Guests of certain body shapes or sizes from participating.
- You must have physical stamina, comfort with heights, and the surefootedness to negotiate small hills, foliage and unsteady rope bridges on this tour.
- Recommended attire includes shorts or pants and a comfortable shirt. Closed-toe shoes with a back strap or hiking boots are required. No flip-flops will be allowed. Skirts or dresses are not recommended.
For more information on the Disney Wild Africa Trek, please CLICK HERE to visit their website.
*Thanks to Walt Disney World for hosting our family for this Wild Africa Trek.