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Go on Animal Kingdom's new Wild Africa Trek through photos and video

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom has a brand new tour. The Wild Africa Trek allows guests to experience the animals you see during the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride, but on foot and in a much more personal and cooler way.


After signing a waiver basically saying you agree not to hold Disney responsible if you hurt yourself, it’s time to get fitted with your vest and gear and head out on your three-hour tour. You get to keep one part of your gear, the water bottle. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to bring anything with you that isn’t secured to your body or vest. So cameras are allowed if you have a strap. Lockers are provided for everything else, including loose items in your pockets.


Next you’ll head up to the test bridge to make sure you’re ok with crossing, because there are more bridges ahead in the tour. Notice how the planks aren’t evenly spaced. You’ll also need to know that this bridge is the smallest and lowest to the ground that you’ll be crossing.


You’ll have at least a couple of guides leading the trek. Part of your equipment is an earpiece so you can hear the lead guide no matter how far ahead they are or how quietly they’re talking. Disney keeps the story going on the whole tour. You’re not in Orlando anymore, you’re in Africa and going on safari. Your guides will always stay in character, so keep that in mind when asking questions.


As you walk through Harambe Village, expect a few stares from the tourists visiting “Africa”.


After you pass through some regular guests areas, you’ll suddenly be heading through the woods. You’ll feel like a cast member as you notice areas you may have seen many times as a guest, but from the other side.


This is the kind of trail you’ll be following – not much of one. I assume as more and more people follow these trails they’ll get easier and easier to walk. But be prepared to duck and step around and over stumps and branches.


Your guide will point out some things they “find” along the way such as skulls and even a “dead animal”.


Expect lots of stares from the passengers on the Kilimanjaro Safari. Your trek basically follows the same trail the trucks follow.


Your vest includes a bungie with a clip so you can clip on and safely walk right up to the edge of a few cliffs along the way.


Being able to peer right over the cliffs offers you some very unique views of the animals. Here we were able to peer right down on a lounging hippo.


Here’s the fun or scary part, depending on your outlook and fear of heights. This is one of two long rope bridges you’ll cross. This one takes you over the passing safari trucks and water.


Remember, these are old and rickety bridges that have been in Africa for many years. Watch your step.


Falling would be bad enough, but falling on these guys would be extra dangerous.


After your on-foot portion of the trek is finished, you’ll shed your vest and gear and board a specially designed safari truck. The truck will follow many of the same roads as Kilimanjaro Safaris, but you’ll pull off the main road and stop so you can get a better, longer look at the animals.


The building pictured here is where you’re headed for a 30-minute visit to eat, relax and look over the savannah. This is also your only chance to use the bathroom during the tour.


You’ll be dining on some great foods in these tins, such as meats, fish, fruit and more. Everything in the tin is edible except the wooden spoon and forks, but you may not want to eat the banana leaves or flower.


Binoculars are provided at the stop and on the truck for some great close-up views of the animals.


I don’t think there’s a much more relaxing spot to dine on Disney property than here with these expansive views of the “African” savannah.


Pricing for this unique adventure will vary seasonally. But guests going now until Feb. 26, 2011, will get an introductory offer starting at $129. Park admission is also required.

Here’s a video featuring some of the highlights of the Wild Africa Trek:

Wild Africa Trek tour at Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World

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