This is part 2 of our trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Part 1 was about the park. This part shows the animals and there were a lot of animals. Above is a picture from the Kilimanjaro Safari ride in the Africa section of the park. Africa is the section of the park that is filled with animals.
We noticed this wildlife guide after a bit in the open-air vehicle. You pretty much are focused on listening to the guide for information and turning your head from side to side looking for the animals. We recommend that you check this out before you head out into the Kilimanjaro.
One of the first viewing points is the crocodile pit. Now it is very important to note that this is not the Jungle Safari Ride in Disneyland. The robots do not move on command. These are live animals in their “natural” environment. This means two things: they do not always appear as you want and when the driver says that you must sit and supervise your children to stay seated – they mean it. You also may not leave the vehicle at any time nor can the driver leave the vehicle to retrieve your dropped items. If you drop anything, it is gone so be careful.
Now that I have warned you that you may not see any animals, you will likely see animals. Disney takes great care to plan the area so that animals will be seen as often as possible. These are ankole cattle laying around the plains area.
In many areas the animals will cross the road, come up to the vehicle, or even stop the ride by standing in the road. Our driver kept giving us a specific bit of advice – do not ever trust an ostrich. I believe he had a bad experience with one or more at some point. I would say that taking the advice of someone who has driven through the safari many, many times is wise.
If the ostriches don’t get you then this lioness on watch might. At least that is how it appears. Disney has done such a good job in hiding the barriers that keep you safe. If you look closely near her head you can see the top of the male lion over the rocks. The next pic will give you a clue as to what the lioness was watching.
Here are some classic zebras. You will get lots of photo opportunities but you need to be quick because many of the animals are in constant motion.
One of my favorites was the rhino. We got to see these for a while because one was blocking a vehicle ahead of us for about 4-5 minutes. Even got to see a couple of them tangling horns for a few seconds.
And of course the popular okapi. This just looks like it has the DNA of several animals. There are more pictures in the gallery.
After your 20 minute (or so) safari trip you exit into the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. This is basically a continuation of the safari but on foot. We almost didn’t go but I highly recommend it after going. There are so many more animals to see that are not on the driving safari.
And what would an animal park be without a tiger? Beautiful creatures but a little elusive at times.
At first all you can see are a lot of fish then suddenly a hippo appears. How often are you going to get to see a real hippo while under water? Pretty awesome.
Of course it would not be Gorilla Falls Trail without gorillas. This particular family was playing behind a large glass wall. They were so fascinating to watch that people would stand there for a long while watching them. That made it difficult for people in the back (like us) to get a decent view. My wife was in a wheelchair and it was only through the kindness of one family that we even got to the front at all. It is a great video opportunity but if you want to get to the front you must be patient or push and shove. Wish they would redo this to stream people through. There were more gorillas along the trail on a hillside.
This is a must go to place if you can possibly make it. It is expensive so I recommend doing a lot of homework including lodging, tickets, transportation, food, etc. Pick the time of year carefully as well. My suggestion is swallow the money before you go in and then just have a good time. I also suggest small groups. In my experiences and by watching others, it works best when there are few people to create issues. If not done right it can be a hardship with crying kids or whiny adults. Prepare, prepare, prepare, then have fun while in the park. That does not mean to plan every moment (unless that works for you) but have a basic plan in place to prevent everyone from wanting to do separate things and arguing. I had one rule – no arguing. It did not always work unfortunately but it can set the tone at least.
One more suggestion – bring a camera as there is a lot to see and with pictures you can remember them later.
For more information and a start to planning here is the place to start: