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Old 02-25-2013, 10:54 AM   #151
khertz
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The Trek looks like a really incredible experience! It would be cool to get so close to the animals you can usually only see from afar on the Safari. Nice birthday present gift to yourself.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:21 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by Leshaface View Post
How neat is this! I didn't realize they went all out and made you put on vests and gave you earpieces! So cool.
Hi Lesha, the Trek was really 'authentic' - when I booked it, I was told we had to wear 'trekking attire' and sneakers too!

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Originally Posted by ronnmel View Post
Yay for the Wild Africa Trek! Your pics are great so far. Love that last pic of you and your DH.
Thank you! DH & I both had small cameras with us, but also one of the guides has a DSLR camera and they took loads of photos - the disc is included in the tour price, so 7 weeks after we got home the photo cd arrived in the mail it had over 200 photos on it!

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Originally Posted by cindianne320 View Post
Wow! What an amazing experience! Can't wait to hear more!
Thanks! It was an incredible tour, next update on the way...

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Originally Posted by monica23535 View Post
Wow, what great pics of the Wild Trek Emma, I wold love to do that when DS is a little older.
Hi! I think the minimum age for the trek might be 13? It was excellent, the really good photos are the ones the CM guides took, but we both had cameras too

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Originally Posted by khertz View Post
The Trek looks like a really incredible experience! It would be cool to get so close to the animals you can usually only see from afar on the Safari. Nice birthday present gift to yourself.
Hi, the Trek was excellent! I was so pleased we booked it, worth every penny IMO.


Emma x
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:33 PM   #153
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Day 7....

....

The next part of the tour was where we got to walk the wooden bridges over the crocodiles!
We were asked to take our name tags off (apparently on a previous tour, someone's had fallen off and landed in the water.. which made it look like a guest had fallen into the crocodile lagoon!), and given a lesson on how to attach ourselves to the tethers and make our way across the bridges.



We started to see the safari jeeps driving around the safari as it was almost 9am and park opening time...




I was one of the first to go...



Attached to the wire!





To start with it was fine, just like the practice bridge. But it was actually much longer than I expected – the rope sides of the bridge were worn away (deliberately) in the centre of the bridges and the steps got further and further apart – it really was more intense than I expected, but I loved it!

DH was brave enough to stop and take photos of the crocodiles below us – I concentrated on getting across the bridges though








Once all of our group were across the bridges, we regrouped and learnt about the crocodiles. The ones at Animal Kingdom are all male and came from a reserve in Africa, they have grown up together and were all born in the 1970s! Apparently they only eat once a week, usually a Friday, so they are more active on the days leading up to feeding day (we were there on a Saturday so they were pretty chilled out). As they have grown up together, it is not possible for Disney to add new crocodiles to the group as they would kill them!



The park was open by now so we were a part of the attraction!



We got to take off the jackets at this point, and have a group photo before heading off to the next part of our tour




.....
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:08 PM   #154
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Wow! This tour sounds amazing! That rope bridge looks scary but exhilarating! I can't believe how old the crocs are!
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:53 PM   #155
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This tour sounds really amazing. I would love to do this one day. Great pictures.
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:00 PM   #156
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DW and I were considering the Trek during our trip this October...now I know we will do it! Great update!!!
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:16 PM   #157
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Love reading the little facts, like the crocodiles only eating once a week!

That bridge is one of the things that attract me to this tour, I love "obstacles".
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:29 PM   #158
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So hard to believe that they only eat once a week. I thought you were going to say like once an hour! Crazy.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:18 AM   #159
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The pictures on the rope bridge are so cool, but they gave me a bit of anxiety just looking at them!! I think I would be way too nervous to traverse that with crocs right under me, although at least they were fed so if you fell in maybe they wouldn't be coming right at you before you could be rescued. The pics your DH got of them from above is pretty awesome though. Not a perspective I get to see as a regular guest!
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:31 PM   #160
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I would LOVE to do that tour if we had the extra money to spare. Thanks for sharing your experience!
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:01 PM   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klacey1 View Post
Wow! This tour sounds amazing! That rope bridge looks scary but exhilarating! I can't believe how old the crocs are!
It was an amazing tour, I'm so glad we did it! It really surprised us how old those crocs were, I didn't realise they lived such long lives either

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Originally Posted by Dream426 View Post
This tour sounds really amazing. I would love to do this one day. Great pictures.
Hope you get to try it one day, it was one of the best things we've ever done at Disney


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Originally Posted by saintstickets View Post
DW and I were considering the Trek during our trip this October...now I know we will do it! Great update!!!
Hi! Hope you do get to do the tour this October.. it was incredible


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Originally Posted by ronnmel View Post
Love reading the little facts, like the crocodiles only eating once a week!

That bridge is one of the things that attract me to this tour, I love "obstacles".
Hi Mel, I love learning the little facts about all the animals, same with Kilimanjaro Safari attraction I hadn't really considered how high up the rope bridges were.. I just had to tell myself 'it's Disney, nothing bad will happen!'


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Originally Posted by Leshaface View Post
So hard to believe that they only eat once a week. I thought you were going to say like once an hour! Crazy.
I was so surprised by that too! Overall we got the impression that the hippos were much more dangerous than the lions and crocodiles lol


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Originally Posted by khertz View Post
The pictures on the rope bridge are so cool, but they gave me a bit of anxiety just looking at them!! I think I would be way too nervous to traverse that with crocs right under me, although at least they were fed so if you fell in maybe they wouldn't be coming right at you before you could be rescued. The pics your DH got of them from above is pretty awesome though. Not a perspective I get to see as a regular guest!
Hi! I was pleased DH was brave enough to take those photos, I really don't think I could have managed balancing on the bridges with a camera in my hand


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Originally Posted by RachelNinja View Post
I would LOVE to do that tour if we had the extra money to spare. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Hi Rachel! It was a great tour, it's nice to write about it and look at the photos again if you ever get a chance to do it, I'd highly recommend it!




Sorry for the long delay between updates.. we seem to have been pretty busy lately - I'll get on to the rest of the Wild Africa Trek asap



Emma x
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:06 PM   #162
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Day 7....

.....

For the next part of the tour, we got to board a special jeep and head onto the savannah, where the normal Kilimanjaro Safari ride goes. The seats were arranged around the edges, which made it easier to view the animals – and we also made several stops and went on tracks that aren't on the normal safari!








We stopped on the savannah for a while, and our tour guides told us about a water buck called 'Bruce' – he used to live at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but a younger male joined the herd which meant Bruce had to retire... but he didn't want to just yet! So Disney added him to the AK safari, and he always hangs around with the animals that he must recognise from the lodge.

Bruce








Next we stopped to look at my favourite animals... the elephants.

There was a female stood on her own eating, the guides told us that she had been rescued after the circus she worked at closed down – apparently she liked to be on her own most of the time.



The guides also explained to us about a new initiative in Africa to help farmers – elephants often break into farms and eat all of the crops, so the farmers shoot elephants that come onto their land. Conservationists learnt that elephants really don't like bees – so, farmers are being encouraged to install bee hives around the perimeter of their land. If one elephant approaches the farm and realises there are bees nearby, they make a warning sound to let nearby elephants know about it!
That way, it keeps the elephants out of the farms and the farmers are able to sell the honey produced by the bees too

You can read more about it here... http://www.savetheelephants.org/diar...gare-mara.html




And then it was time for breakfast!

We drove off the main safari route and to a small building – there was a covered dining area, look out points to view the animals, and restrooms.





We were served our breakfasts in tin pots – it felt very authentic and beautifully presented. The cast members explained all of the dishes (cured meats, cheese & dried apricots, smoked salmon roll, fruit with mint, yoghurt, brownie-like cake and an edible flower!) and there was the delicious jungle juice available to drink.







When booking our tour, I had let the CM know that I had a nut allergy – so my breakfast came in a tightly sealed tin with slightly different food items to the normal meal.



The food was delicious, it was nice to try some different flavours. After eating, we wandered around the look out points – it was a unique view of the savannah. The guides handed out binoculars which were really useful too!























......
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:35 PM   #163
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More fantastic animal pictures! This looks like such an amazing tour.

That is really interesting about the elephants too. They are really beautiful creatures, so it's good that they are trying to protect them from being killed just for wandering onto the wrong land. Love the photos of you and Steve! You both look like you are having a great time!
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:56 AM   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
More fantastic animal pictures! This looks like such an amazing tour.

That is really interesting about the elephants too. They are really beautiful creatures, so it's good that they are trying to protect them from being killed just for wandering onto the wrong land. Love the photos of you and Steve! You both look like you are having a great time!
Thanks for reading! I thought the elephant/honey story was really interesting.

When we were being fitted with our harnesses at the start of the tour, one of the CMs was asking DH about his Saints shirt.. I guess he could tell from our accents that we weren't from New Orleans


Emma x
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Old 04-07-2013, 11:32 AM   #165
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Day 7....

.....

We stayed at the savannah hut for about 30 minutes, once everyone had finished breakfast and taken a lot of photos, we got back onto the jeep and continued on the safari.

We stopped opposite the cheetah enclosure, the jeep was on quite a slope which gave us all a great view of the big cats... they were particularly active as an ostrich had wandered from another area of the safari!



Apparently ostriches brains are smaller than their eyes!


All three cheetahs were roaming around, and one of them looked ready to pounce at the ostrich. One of our group asked the guides if the cheetahs had ever tried to jump the moat surrounding their enclosure... apparently they hadn't, and I'm glad to say we didn't witness it during our tour either





After a few minutes, the ostrich just sat down.. I don't think it had any idea about the cheetah nearby!



The guides told us that male ostriches have black feathers, and females have grey. However, in Animal Kingdom they only have female ostriches... and over time, one of them has changed their feathers to black – to make them look the male/leader.



The cheetah decided that it probably couldn't make the jump across the moat..





Cheetahs catch their prey by running really fast and attacking, which uses up all their energy – so they usually have to have a sleep before they can eat! Unfortunately, other big cats/vultures will steal the prey of the sleeping cheetahs, so many of them have learnt to sleep on top of the dead animal.

It was lovely to see the three cats interact with each other – I think the guides told us they are all females...



We continued on around the safari route, next stopping near the lions.



They were not as active as the cheetahs had been. There are several sets of lions/lionesses at Animal Kingdom, one pair are brought out each day onto the safari attraction.



A few more photos of our safari...



Then, sadly, it was time to leave Harambe and make our way back to camp! Our guides told us to watch out for the dangerous 'stroller beasts'





Once back at the camp, we had a group photo – to prove that we'd all made it back safely!



One of our guides started to tell us about the conservation efforts that Disney has been doing, and it started to sound a bit like a sales plug as he said that donations were greatly needed. Then he said 'don't worry, we don't expect you to give us any money – this tour is quite pricey, and in fact part of that cost is a donation to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund! All you need to do is decide which animal group you'd like to donate to'.

We were each handed a pebble, and just had to place it in the box representing the animal we wanted our donation to go to (I think the choices were – big cats, hippos and elephants).



We were told that the photo cd would be sent home to us within 4-6 weeks (6-8 weeks for the 'overseas herds'!), and got our things out of the lockers.
One lady in our group had left some snack bars in her harness waistcoat when we'd taken them off during the tour, she was diabetic and needed the snacks – unfortunately the harnesses weren't back at the camp yet. A CM gave her a coupon for a free snack item in the theme park - I thought that was great customer service.

This tour was absolutely one of the best things I have ever done at Walt Disney World, and in the world too! I knew a little about it from reviews and podcasts, but we both learnt so much and have a much greater appreciation of Animal Kingdom and the animals.

It was about 11.30am when we headed back into the park, and it felt busy (it was a Saturday after all), so we decided to head back to the Boardwalk for some pool time.

We got to keep our name tags and water bottles as souvenirs – plus we got an exclusive conservation button to recognise our donations.





.....
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