If you know anything about Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you probably know that it is not a zoo – it’s a theme park. While you can see so many different animals while visiting the theme park as a guest, if you are interested in checking out the animals in a more close-up fashion, consider taking the optional Wild Africa Trek at the Animal Kingdom. This VIP tour lets you get up close and personal with the animals, and can be booked individually during your Walt Disney World vacation.
Disclosure: I had the chance to take the tour while at the Disney Social Media Moms conference, and I loved the experience. Note that my experience was complimentary during the conference, but all opinions are my own. I paid for the conference but received discounts and perks during the trip. All opinions are my own.
Review of the Wild Africa Trek – Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort
What is the Wild Africa Trek?
The Wild Africa Trek is a VIP tour experience, offered at a additional price. Valid theme park admission is required, so it’s probably best to combine the Wild Africa Trek with a trip to the Animal Kingdom park. The trek is led by experienced trek guides who make the adventure so much fun. It’s a small group, so book it well in advance of your trip if you want to get your choice of times/dates.
The Wild Africa Trek differs from the Kilimanjaro Safari. While you’ll still be going into the Harambe Wildlife Reserve area, you’ll be getting much closer to the animals. In addition, you won’t be in the safari truck for the whole journey. I love the safari, and always try to do it during every trip. But the trek is just a little more more special.
During my tour we started by getting loaded up with gear. You can’t bring in anything that isn’t attached to you, so purses, cell phones, keys, etc have to be locked up in the provided lockers that are available to the tour guests. If you are spending the rest of the day at the park, don’t worry – you can still store everything that you bring with you. Put sunscreen on you before you get started.
Clip-on water bottles and sunglass holders are provided, so you can have your sunglasses and some water with you (you’ll need it!). After putting on your vest and clips, you’ll look and feel just like you are about to embark on a safari.
Your guides will take photos during the entire trip, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your good camera with you on the journey. Photos are included in your tour price and can be downloaded after your tour. We got great pictures – much better than what I was able to take myself. It’s nice to be able to enjoy the experience and not have to worry about taking pictures. You can just take in the scenery and the animals.
On the three-hour trek, we started out by being harnessed above hippos. It wasn’t as scary as that sounds, and was a great way to see these beautiful animals.
During the trek, we also crossed several rope bridges while harnessed. These bridges go over nile crocodiles, and are fun and just a bit scary. You’ll definitely feel better being harnessed!
We also rode in a safari vehicle to get an up-close view of the savannas. Then, as a treat at the end, we sat in
a shaded boma where we could watch the animals while having a really delicious snack. For breakfast, these snacks include African inspired food, including brie, yogurt, smoked salmon, and jungle juice. Afternoon tours have a different menu.
Like all Walt Disney Company cast members, the guides on my trek were true professionals – extremely friendly and knowledgeable – the perfect combo. They really helped make the 3-hour adventure even better.
How Much is the Wild Africa Trek?
The Wild Africa Trek cost is currently $189-$249, although prices are always subject to change. This does not include the theme park admission, so you’ll need to have a valid ticket to the park for the day. If you don’t have the park hopper option on your Walt Disney World park tickets, you’ll want to make sure that you are spending the day at Animal Kingdom.
Before booking, be sure to check the various requirements and recommendations for the trip. Kids need to be at least 8 years old and 48 inches tall to participate. I definitely think that kids should be old enough to enjoy seeing the animals in this manner. My kids are 12 and 14, and I think they would absolutely love this trek.
You’ll also want to have the stamina for the trip, and be free of health conditions. You also have to be able to fit within the gear, so there are some size restrictions.
I’d definitely recommend the Disney Wild Africa Trek if you are looking for something different to do at the Animal Kingdom. It is expensive, but you do get a great tour, a delicious snack, and the photos for your trip. I’d recommend going a morning tour, because Disney’s Animal Kingdom park can definitely get hot during the day. If you book a morning tour, you can do it early, and then enjoy the rest of the day in the park.
To book, call (407) WDW-TOUR or (407) 939-8687. Visit the Disney website for more information, including the height and weight requirements.
The trek was included as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference.
Originally published in 2011, updated in 2018.