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Wanyama Safari vs Wild African Trek

Discussion in 'DVC-Mousecellaneous' started by gotdbltrbl, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. gotdbltrbl

    gotdbltrbl Member

    Hi all - we are renting DVC points in April 2012 at ALK (so excited!!) and I am debating on going to either the Wanyama since we are staying at AKL or Wild African trek. I can only afford to surprise my family with one and I wanted some opinions on the pros/cons of each. My kids will be 16 and 14 when we go, very picky eaters (could live on chicken nuggets and fries) but my youngest loves animals. My oldest, I think, would like the rope bridge type stuff more. How close do you get to the animals on each? I would love to hear what everyone thinks of each one. THANKS!
     
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  3. dgaston

    dgaston <font color=purple>Proudly wears a "Believes in Fa

    This is the review I posted on www.allears.net after doing the Wild Africa Trek for my 60th birthday, when the tour was new.
    Review Date: Wed February 2, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Rating: 10

    Pros: unique experience, free photopass CD
    Cons: fake Africa narrative

    We ate with Donald and friends at Tusker House after giving our bags to RAC and Bell Services. Weather was in the low 70's and we both wore shorts. I also had a denim shirt over a tshirt (more later). We checked in for our 12 noon Safari right behind Tusker House. There were 11 of us, two celebrating birthdays. We signed a waiver of liability (even exempting WDW from insect bites!) and after being discretely weighed were outfitted with brand new vests with diaper slings and safety cable. Lots of pockets and carabiners to attach cameras, and our new souvenir aluminum water bottle. We were able to put other belongings in a locker secured with our own pin number. Our guides Meghan, and Laura spent a lot of time making sure all of the straps on the safety vest were properly adjusted for each "herd" member. Then we had to navigate across a sample suspension bridge with our safety cable attached to an overhead line. The planks simulated an Indiana Jones type bridge, missing planks, uneven intervals, some "broken planks," etc. The bridge felt very safe, steel netting along the sides and underneath, and in my gear I didn't have any worries about heights. I sometimes can be afraid when I'm not in safety gear at places where I could fall over an open edge. No worries for me on this tour


    We entered the jungle behind Tusker House, with the guides keeping up the pretense we were in Africa, near a river junction. They used Swahili words for animals, and stay together. We looked at the gorillas and meercats and then went into the jungle. The trail we climbed came out near the hippos on the regular Safari ride, and we clipped our cables onto a guide bar so we could get a closer look. Lots of the Safari vehicle riders added us to their Disney photos. I waved back to them. After a little more hiking we climbed onto a short tower to cross our first bridge over the hippos. It was higher and longer than the test bridge, and really kind of thrilling. We crossed to another platform, transferring to another guide cable and a second bridge that would take us over the crocs. At this point I was getting warm, and would have been very comfortable in just a tshirt and the safety vest (predicted temp was 72). After the second bridge, we clipped onto a small rail to allow us to get closer to the crocs. Then it was good bye to the safety vests and we boarded a truck with seats. If any of you have done the Wanyama Safari it is similar to those vehicles. We were given our water bottles to keep.


    The truck drove along the Safari route, but was able to pull off to the side so we could get closer looks at giraffes, antelope, eland. We pulled off the track after the elephants and flamingos on the other side, and were able to get out of the truck at the new pavillion. This was about 2 hours into the trek, and we were able to use some new rest facilities at the pavillion. No privys on this trek!


    Then we were offered an amazing Sundowner snack. We had Jungle Juice and water, and cold food offerings including melon balls, chicken curry, 2 shrimp, air-dried roast beef and ham, salmon and cream cheese, and a spread with pita bread. Much more gourmet than I expected. Presentation included an orchid and cool snaplocked tins. All of the food was African inspired and included some different seasonings than usual. We thoroughly enjoyed this.


    This pretty much was the end of the Safari. Throughout our trek Meghan and Laura had taken photos and we are to receive a photopass CD of all of the pictures they took of the animals and us crossing the bridges. I would recommend getting Photopass pics throughout your WDW stay and adding them to those of the tour.

    We have also done the Wanyama Safari twice. This is the only way to get onto the Animal Kingdom Lodge Savanna. I have found this experience varies depending on who the animal specialist is. I have enjoyed the company of Erick very much.The meal at Jiko is phenomenal, but may not appeal to your picky eaters. The food is paired with wines. The food includes the famous filet with mac and cheese, a chicken dish, and I seem to recall some fish. There was also an amouse bouche, an appetizer, and a dessert trio. All was excellent.

    Still another animal option is the Lunch with an Animal Specialist. This is lunch at Sanaa. You have the option to sample the Bread Service with all the sauces, several main dishes, and a dessert sampler. While there isn't much direct animal contact, you get to ask lots of questions, and this is much more affordable.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

    Well, I've only done the other one, the Wanyama Safari. That one was wonderful and well worth the money. I loved it so much, I've been fortunate enough to do it twice. The first time I did it was before Kidani was finished. A couple years later, when I got an unexpected bonus at work, my first thought was to do the Wanyama Safari again. Loved it!
     
  5. CruznLexi

    CruznLexi Mouseketeer

    Going in Dec and I can not wait!
     
  6. PSU

    PSU Member

    Which best for my 11 year old nephew:confused3
     
  7. Moparlar

    Moparlar Member

    i did the Wild Africa Trek this summer and it was awesome.

    Larry
     
  8. SamSam

    SamSam <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

    They are both awesome, but for an 11 year old boy, I think the Africa Trek would 'WOW' him more.
     
  9. Moparlar

    Moparlar Member


    I agree
     
  10. gotdbltrbl

    gotdbltrbl Member

    Thanks everyone, I think I've decided on the Wild Africa Trek for my teen boys in April. It will be yet another surprise, the kids don't know we are staying at AKL, they think we are staing at the Holiday Inn, and DH has left the entire trip planning up to me. I am so excited!!
     
  11. jekjones1558

    jekjones1558 <font color=green>Always happy at Disney<font colo

    The teens that were on the Wild Trek I did last May seemed to really love it, so I hope your boys do too. Have a blast!
     
  12. SamSam

    SamSam <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.

    I think they will be blown away. First by staying at AKL, then by the Wild Africa Trek...very cool surprise.
     
  13. mikaj3645

    mikaj3645 Earning My Ears

    I had the great good fortune to do both of these in one day for may birthday "do-over" (DH got food poisoning on the actual day!).

    While Wanayamea is wonderful and the food is awesome, it was alittle tame after the trek.

    With an eleven year old -- I say do the Trek! You won't be sorry.

    :)
     

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