Kilimanjaro Safari ride has been a featured attraction since Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened in 1998. The safari is a drive through an African forest and savannah with many of Africa’s most popular animals roaming freely. Guests ride a safari “jeep” which is a large vehicle holding up to 48 guests. These jeeps rarely stop and only for a minute or two at most as they have to keep moving so guests in line do not have to wait too long. This makes for a very challenging photographic opportunity. I even wrote up tips for people to increase their chances of getting good animal photos when on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Last year, my wife gave me an anniversary gift of the new Wild Africa Trek adventure tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This is a backstage tour which gets you closer to the animals and, even better, gives you time to observe and photograph them. Here are some of the photos I was able to get because I was on the tour.
The cheetahs are usually lying down in dark shade and very hard to photograph. On the tour, the Wild Africa Trek vehicle was able to pull over and stop when we spotted the fastest animal on Earth moving through the sunlight.
On the first part of the tour, you cross a couple of rope bridges some 20-something feet above hippos and these guys…
We watched two young African Elephants playing near the waterhole. They are cousins and were having a grand time.
An observation deck was built in the middle of the Kilimanjaro Safari where you get a snack and drink created especially for the Wild Africa Trek by the Boma restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. From this deck, I could observe and wait to photograph the animals as they moved about the savannah.
I watched this Thomson’s Gazelle grazing about 20 feet from the deck for ten minutes before he finally raised his head.
The Wild Africa Trek costs $189 per person and includes a stainless steel water bottle and a Photo CD of the adventure. The tour guides take turns photographing the animals and tour guests for the CD. Like this guy…