Jambo, and welcome back to WHAT TO DO WEDNESDAY! I drew my inspiration for this post from my run this morning. The weather here is spectacular today; warm without humidity under a brilliantly blue sky with plenty of sunshine. It’s a perfect day to be outside, and I am certainly heading back out there once this post is wrapped up. In the mean time, you’d better believe the windows are open and the breeze is drifting in.
One of the best things to do at Walt Disney World when the weather is nice is to check out Animal Kingdom – especially early in the morning during the summer when it gets hot. The park is beautifully, lushly landscaped with plants from all around the world. And animals, especially birds, are in view just about everywhere. On a nice day I love to just stroll around and admire everything. But walking around a park, as enjoyable as it is, doesn’t make for an exciting blog post. So instead we’re heading to Africa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out Kilimanjaro Safaris: an outdoor safari that gives you a unique, close-up view of over 30 species of African wildlife on a 110 acre wildlife reserve.
I am pumped this week to be able to share a short clip of our last expedition at Kilimanjaro Safaris! The video allows you to see how closely you get to view the animals, as well as how meticulously Disney recreated their natural environment on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. Look closely, you can also see the safari vehicles you ride in. I am sharing this video in good faith that you will not laugh too loudly at my filming skills. It’s not the most gracefully captured footage, and I certainly didn’t get fancy with my clip splicing. However, it’s video! And I think it’s a lot of fun to take a real look at what it’s like to be on board this attraction.
As you advance down the queue for Kilimanjaro Safaris, keep your eyes up. Spaced out down the walk ramp are signs for animals that call the safari home with their name in Swahili. For example, elephant is “tembo,” giraffe is “twiga,” and lion is “simba.” We always have fun testing how many we can remember. At the bottom of the queue you climb aboard a free-roaming, all-terrain truck and start your safari. While the trucks never move much faster than a crawl, get your camera ready and keep it handy because you’ll have some amazing photo opportunities – but they can come and go quickly. The driver of your vehicle is on an amplified headset so they can speak to you from behind the wheel. During the safari they point out the animal in view and give you plenty of interesting facts and information about them. Additionally, above your head in the vehicle is a picture guide with species names of animals that can be seen on Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Kilimanjaro Safaris lasts about 20 minutes as you wind your way through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. Disney hides feeding stations around the vehicle trail, so the animals are encouraged to stay in view for guests. As the animals are all free roaming, you never know what you will or won’t see, making each time you visit an individual experience.
The variety of exotic species present is notable. There are fan favorites such as elephants, lions, giraffe, flamingos, and hippos, as well as more rare species such as ankole cattle, marabou stork, okapi, and helmeted guinea fowl. This attraction is ageless, young and old are fascinated and delighted by the animals.
I do advise that you visit this attraction early in the morning or later in the evening in the summer when temperatures are at their peak. You have a better chance of seeing more animal activity. You also have a better chance of not spending a lot of time in the queue. I often like to visit this attraction twice in a day. On one trip through the safari I will take pictures of all I see. On the second trip it’s nice to simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the view. When you’re not trying to capture pictures you can really see all this incredible attraction has to offer.
As always, asante sana – thank you very much! See you next time.