Wild Africa Trek Review
Wild Africa Trek Review
The Wild Africa Trek is not only the best Animal Kingdom tour for adults in Disney, it is one of our favorite tours in all of Disney World! It certainly made our Top 3 Disney Tours list. The Wild Africa Trek is for people that love adventure and animals, enjoy learning, and that want a special experience at Disney World.
Should Adults Do This Tour?
Disney’s Wild Africa Trek was our first-ever Disney tour (and one we have done multiple times) – and it is amazing! Honestly, this tour is so well done, and the experience is so amazing, that the Wild Africa Trek is the main reason that we looked into other Disney tours. We recently just did this tour again with Jeff’s parents and they both loved it too. We highly recommend this tour for most adults in Disney. There are a few cases where we would recommend skipping this tour. Our Things To Be Aware Of section below goes into these factors in more detail, but if adults have a fear of heights they may want to skip this tour. Also, we would not recommend this tour in the summer/when it is hot out.
The Wild Africa Trek is one of the more expensive tours at Disney World. The tour lasts about 3 hours. Pricing ranges from $189-$249 per adult depending on the time of day and time of year (be sure to ask about AP discounts). One nice aspect is that there is a meal included, which helps offset the cost a bit.
What To Expect
We strongly recommend the earliest tour available (often 8am) on a day that the park opens at 9am. This way you are able to enter Animal Kingdom before other guests and get to experience the park in a quiet and beautiful way. If you’re like us and love the details of Animal Kingdom, wait until you see it empty! We recommend taking an Uber/Lyft if you’re tour begins before Disney transportation starts for the morning. When you arrive at Animal Kingdom, you check in with a cast member at the entrance to the park. Once your tour group arrives, they will walk you back towards the Safari ride in Animal Kingdom.
If you schedule the tour for before park open and you want some extra time in the park beforehand, you can ask to walk through the park and meet the guide at the entrance bridge to Africa. Our second time doing this tour, we knew what to expect so we got to the park early so Jeff could take photos of the Tree of Life without people in it. We then met our guide around 7:45am and he walked us through the roped-off Africa section of Animal Kingdom.
The first time we did the Trek, our tour included only adults. Our second time, the tour included a boy that was probably 10 years old and the rest of the group was adults. Only children over 8 years old are allowed to participate. Both times we did the tour there were 7/8 guests in total, so we got plenty of time to interact with the tour guides.
You have to wear a vest and other safety items for walking across the rope bridge and a close encounter with the Hippos. Any loose items you have with you will either have to be left in a free locker at the Trek entrance before starting the tour or must be attached to you. We wanted to bring a phone along for pictures, so Disney provided a small rope to attach to our phone case. There is a Disney cast member that takes pictures, but we still recommend having a phone to take pictures or videos of your own (especially if you are a fan of sharing on Instagram). You are required to wear sneakers for the tour. We also recommend a t-shirt and slightly longer shorts because you will be wearing a harness. Really short shorts or a tank top may have the harness dig into you a bit and not be comfortable.
At the start of the tour, Disney provides sun screen and bug repellent. While we didn’t think the bug repellent was necessary, we thought having both of these provided was a nice addition. Finally, after getting the harness on and everything attached, the final piece of equipment that you get is a Wild Africa Trek steel water bottle with cold water in it. The water bottle is really nice and yours to keep after the tour.
The Trek and Safari
In our opinion, the tour consists of 4 parts. A walking tour of animals in the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail at Animal Kingdom. The second part is the adventurous part that includes rope bridges. Third you have a private safari across the savanna. The tour concludes with an intimate lunch on the savanna.
You start off with a walking tour through the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail which is located near the Safari ride in Animal Kingdom. This first part of the tour is the normal trail that you have access to as any guest in Animal Kingdom. The added bonus of being on the Trek is that the tour guide shares a lot of additional information about the animals and how Disney takes care of them. Guests are encouraged to ask questions and the guides do a great job with interacting with everyone. If you do one of the tours before the park opens, you will have the trail to yourself during the tour.
Hippos, Crocodiles, and Rope Bridges
The second part of the tour is probably our favorite part. Here the tour guide takes you off of the normal trail and provides guests with amazing animal encounters. If you have ever been on the safari ride at Animal Kingdom and looked up around the crocodile section, you will see the rope bridges which are used during the tour. Not only do you walk across the rope bridges, guests get intimate interactions with the hippos and crocodiles. Our second time doing the Trek, the crocodiles were getting a checkup so instead of learning about the crocodiles, they took us to have a special view of the painted dogs in their habitat.
A private safari tour through the savanna is the third part of the tour. This part of the Wild Africa Trek is similar to the safari ride at Animal Kingdom, only a lot better. How is it better? First, your tour guides provide additional informational about the safari and the animals on it. Most of the information is different from the facts that you hear on the safari ride. The Trek vehicle has the additional bonus of being able to pull off to the side and take longer stops which allow for closer looks at the animals and great photo opportunities.
Food On The Savanna
The final part of the tour is breakfast/lunch on the savanna. The entire meal experience is the perfect end to the tour. The location for the lunch is amazing and overlooks the savanna. When you arrive at the location, the tour guides set up the table with tiffins (lunch containers) full of food. There is also water and delicious jungle juice (a combination of passion fruit juice, guava, and orange juice). The food on the trek is definitely more on the adventurous side. Two people in our group got the vegetarian option and two people got the regular meal. There is quite a bit of food provided. The vegetarian option includes items such as a fruit salad, black-eye-pea salad, a quinoa dish, and yogurt. The regular option includes items such as smoked meats, bread, fig desserts and a yellow beat salad.
Things To Be Aware Of
We would strongly encourage people to do this tour in the winter, late fall, or early spring. Guest are outside the whole time and walking around. While we are sure the guides are still fabulous in 90 degree heat, we know that we would be miserable. If you have no choice but to do it in the summer, definitely shoot for the 8am time slot.
If you are afraid of heights, the rope bridge part of this tour may not be for you. We would recommend checking with Disney about alternative options beforehand if this is a concern for you. Honestly, the rope bridge is one of the most unique parts of this tour, so if you have a fear of heights, you may want to look into other tour options.
Food on the trek is a bit on the adventurous side. While we say “go for it!” if you have a picky eater in the group they may not be happy. If you are concerned about the food, you can call Disney and see if they can make any accommodations.
We have had amazing animal encounters during both of our treks. However, they are real animals. The guides warn us that some days the hippos are lazy and don’t want their bonus snack and instead just stay in the water. While this hasn’t happened to us, it would be a bit of a bummer. For our second Wild Africa Trek, the day we did it happened to be one of the few days that the crocodiles get their vet check-up. We were sad to miss them the second time around, but to make up for it, Disney gave us a special substitution with information and viewing of the painted dogs.
Our Overall Recommendation
Overall, you should do the Wild Africa Trek if you love learning about animals and want to have a unique experience in Animal Kingdom. In our opinion, the best part is either walking across the rope bridges or the private meal on the savanna. The other pros include all the great information, unique photo opportunities (including professional photos taken by the guides), and getting an up-close experience with some of the animals. If you have any questions about the Wild Africa Trek or if you have done the Trek and want to share your experience, please leave a comment below!
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