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Old 03-25-2013, 03:48 PM   #1
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Figment Goes on Safari at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Figment Goes on Safari at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Figment stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for the first time in March, 2013 and decided to go on the Wanyama Safari. The safari started with everyone (twelve people maximum) meeting at Jiko. There was a yellow-green lanyard with a Jiko logo on it and a blank name card at each place setting. As we waited for the others to arrive, Figment got to know his safari mates. Once everyone arrived, we were served a light afternoon tea before heading out.
A rooibos tea (top) was served, along with two finger foods: one savory and one sweet. The savory snack was a piece of naan bread, topped with a slice of cucumber and some olive tapenade (middle top). The sweet snack was a biscuit with icing (middle bottom).

After everyone finished their tea and snacks, it was time to meet Mel, our “safari guide” and head out to the truck. Before boarding, each group took a photopass picture with the truck. After the photo, we got on to our truck. The back of the truck had benches lining the sides and front. One guide stayed in the truck with us and the other drove (and unlocked/locked gates).

The first stop was the Sunset Savanna between Kidani and Jambo House. Normally, we would have seen the giraffes at this point, but it was so cold out that they were already in their barn. Our guide told us that giraffes are not cold weather species, so whenever the temperature is expected to drop into the 50’s, they are kept in their barn. The truck pulled up to the barn and we all got to go inside and see the four giraffes (three females and one male). In some ways, they seemed almost human…they leaned over the railings of their stalls to look at us as we looked at them. We spent quite a bit of time with the giraffes, but no pictures were allowed because the barn is considered back stage.

After seeing the giraffes, we got back onto the truck and headed to the rest of the Sunset Savanna. We met up with another keeper who was feeding the ostriches. The guide explained that ostriches are very curious birds and one of them demonstrated the fact by sticking his head into the driver’s side window of the keeper’s truck! Along with the ostriches were the Marabou Storks (bottom).


Marabou Storks

Out on the Sunset Savanna were a wide range of animals: Impalas, Roan Antelopes, Grévy’s Zebras, Wildebeests, and Anikole Cattle. It was hard to keep track of which was which! We learned that there are two different species of zebras at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The Grévy’s Zebras have stripes that do not go around their tummies. The wildebeests are the “troublemakers” of the savanna.


Roan Antelope


Grévy’s Zebra


Anikole Cattle

Next time...the Arusha Savanna!
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:41 PM   #2

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We did this in 2006 and are planning on doing it again in 2014. Can't wait to see the rest!!
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:01 PM   #3
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Great start!
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:43 PM   #4
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Thanks everyone!

Continuing with Figment Goes on Safari at Animal Kingdom Lodge...

The truck slowly drove around the Sunset Savanna and then headed to the Arusha Savanna at Jambo House (top). At the entrance to the Arusha Savanna the truck stopped and one of our safari mates got to sound the horn that called in the Red River Hogs for the night. At first the hogs did not appear, but while we waited a pair of Egyptian Geese walked past (middle). Finally, the Red River Hogs came running toward their enclosure (bottom).

Arusha Savanna

Egyptian Geese

Red River Hog

From there we drove around the Arusha Savanna. Figment’s room faced onto the Arusha Savanna, so it was fun to see up close all of the animals that we could see from our balcony! There were Thomson’s Gazelles, Roan Antelopes, Grant’s Zebras, Red River Hogs, Spoonbills and Waterbucks.

Arusha Savanna

Thomson's Gazelle

Roan Antelope

Grant's Zebra


Next we headed to the Uzima Savanna. As we waited for the guide to unlock the gate between the savannas, a pair of East African Crowned Cranes hopped over. They have very pretty wing feathers and were rather large!

On this savanna we saw Wild Donkeys, Blesboks, Scimitar-horned Oryxs, Ruppel’s Griffon Vultures, and Common Elands. There were also Anikole Cattle and more Roan Antelope.

Uzima Savanna

Wild Donkey


Scimitar-horned Oryxs

Ruppel’s Griffon Vultures

Common Eland

Other Animals

As we drove around the savannas, the guide told us about the animals. There was a lot of good information; some specific to the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s animals (like the animal’s names) and some about the species. Many of the animals are members of a group so in many cases the names are also themed. The guide talked about a group named after Peanuts characters, another named after rappers, and another group named after donuts. It was pretty clever.

Overall, the drive through the savannas was a great way to see the animals up close. Many animals were very close to the truck, so it was easy to see the animal’s details (e.g., stripes, coat coloring, etc.). Some of the animals even came up to the truck or raced alongside the truck. I wish the safari drive had lasted longer, but a yummy meal at Jiko awaited us!
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:15 AM   #5
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Really enjoyed your take on the safari! Looks like a great experience! Looking forward to Figment's dinner at Jiko!
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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Great start. I love your reviews.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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Great photos! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:07 PM   #8
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Just made my reservation for the tour! In case anybody wants to know, you can pay for the tour when you book!
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My resort history: BoardWalk Villas, Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo and Kidani, Saratoga Springs, Port Orleans Riverside, WDW Dolphin, Yacht Club, Contemporary and Coronado Springs.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:03 AM   #9
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