Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge: The Joys of Animal Trekking - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
       LINKS
       ARTICLES
WDW Planning Articles

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles

WDW Touring Articles

WDW Dining Articles

WDW Making Magic Articles
'Dream It! Do it! My Half Century Creating Disney's Magic Kingdoms' by Marty Sklar
2013 Expedition Everest Challenge
A Birds' Eye View
A Magical Wedding Day
A Pirates League For Us
A Trio of Backstage Disney Tours
Adventuring Forth
Amazing Autograph Books
Amazingly E-Racing the Guilt
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Around the World on a Segway
Backstage Magic Tour
Backstage Tour
Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service by Disney Institute with Theodore Kinni
Behind The Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for Boys
Bringing 'Frozen' to Life at Disney
Busch Gardens Tour
Cast Member Confidential
Cast Members Save the Day
Chaperoning at Walt Disney World
Christmas Day At Disney
Christmas Day Delights
Christmas In November
Cinderella Royal Family 5k
Cirque du Soleil
Dashing Through The ... Snow?
Dealing With the Post-Vacation Disney Blues
Decade of Dreams
Discovering the Magic
Disney Every Day
Disney Fan Gathering
Disney Podcasts
Disney Tech Primer - Part 2
Disney Vacation Countdown
Disney Vacations
Disney World and Down Syndrome - A Winning Combination
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Hollywood Studios Then and Now
Disney's PhotoPass and PhotoPass Plus
Disney's Sinister Soiree - A Delightfully Evil Treat
DisneyQuest
Fantasyland
Fireworks Photo Ops!
Gardens of The World Tour
Getting Your Disney Fix
Give a Day, Get a Disney Day
Grad Nites @ Disney
Holiday Highlights at Walt Disney World
Holidays At The World
Holidays At The World
Horseback Trail Rides at Disney's Fort Wilderness
How I Helped My Scaredy-Cat Kid
How Young Is Too Young?
IllumiNations Reflections of Earth
Keeping the Magic Alive
Keys To The Kingdom
Last Day Disney Blues
Learning To Like Disney
Making the Wait Magical
Meeting Marty Sklar
Meeting Mickey Mouse
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Munching With Mickey
My Disney Wins
My Hidden Mickey Surprise
My Three Sons
Our Decade of Disney
Our Happily Ever After
Pack Your Pixie Dust
Pin Trading at Disney
Pirates & Princess Party
Pirates at Disney Parks Worldwide
Pirates, Pirates Everywhere!
Pleasure Island
Preserving Memories with PassPorter
Rediscovering Walt Disney World
Renting Surrey Bikes at Disney's Boardwalk
Richard Petty Driving Experience
Romance at Walt Disney World
Rumor Round-Up
runDisney Races - Better with Friends
Say Cheese!
Say Cheese!
Scrapbooking Disney
Senses: A Disney Spa at the Grand Floridian
Soarin' Over South Africa
Specialty Cruises
Spreading a Bit of Pixie Dust
Spreading A Little Pixie Dust
Star Wars Weekends
Stories from a Theme Park Insider by Robert Niles
Summer at Disney vs. Winter in Michigan
Survey Marks
Taking It Easy at Walt Disney World
Teeing Off at Disney
The 2009 Holiday Season at Walt Disney World
The 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
The American Idol Experience
The Behinds the Seeds Tour at Epcot
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund
The Laugh Floor Comedy Club
The Magic Behind Our Steam Trains
The Magic of Disney
The Monorails of Disney's Wonderful World of Theme Parks
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights
The Rest of the "World" For Kids
The Richard Petty Driving Experience
The Richard Petty Exotic Driving Experience
The School that Walt Built
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
The Sunrise Safari
The Unwitting Scrapper
The Vault of Walt by Jim Korkis
The Year Without Disney
There is More to Disney Than Rides
Three Generations of Disney Lovers
Tips & Tricks
Top 10 Disney Questions
Tower of Terror 10 Miler
Travels with
Unexpected Pleasures & Treasures
Unusual Photo Opportunities
Using YouTube for Disney Magic
Valentine's Day at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World At The Holidays
Walt Disney World Hidden History - Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes by Kevin Yee
Walt Disney World With the Grandkids
What A Wonderful World (of Disney)
What I Miss About a Disney Christmas
What Keeps Us Coming Back to Disney?
When Bad Trips Happen to Good People
When Illness Interferes with Your Vacation
When to Splurge and When to Save at Walt Disney World
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 3
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 4
Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 5
Wilderness Back Trail Adventure
Wishes
Ye Olde Magic Kingdom
Yuletide Magic

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
PassPorter's
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
View Photos
Visit Forum
Read Reviews
Read Comments on This Article

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge: The Joys of Animal Trekking

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Message Board Guide (Moderator)
Last modified 1/11/2007
  

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!


Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Making Magic  

Animal Kingdom. It's a simple enough name and tells you everything you need to know about the fourth theme park at the Walt Disney World resort - you're going to find animals there. Amazing then, that so many people who head for this park end up bypassing attractions that are home to some of the planet's most beautiful animals.


It's probably fair to say that nearly everyone who visits Disney's Animal Kingdom makes a beeline at some point during the day to Kilimanjaro Safaris. They set out on their "two week" trek into the African savannah, see hundreds of amazing animals and then as they leave the safari, they completely miss the signs for the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail -- or worse, choose to ignore them. As with everything else Disney does, it's no accident that the signposts are there. They're encouraging you to continue with your expedition, and this is quite some expedition!

A walking trail suitable for everyone, the Pangani Trail first takes you past the okapi, a striking and stripy animal, similar to Zebras. A beautiful deep brown color, the white stripes are on their legs, but perhaps the most stunning thing about these animals is their tongues! Stand there long enough and you may be lucky enough to see it flip out, although these are shy animals, so you may have to be patient.

From there, you head into a research building and the highlight here is the Naked Mole Rats, of Kim Possible fame. You may be able to see them burrowing around in their underground habitat. Then it's into the aviary area, one that I will confess, we used to walk through quickly. At first glance, you probably won't be able to spot anything, but keep looking and something will move -- maybe on the ground, maybe above your head -- and you'll realize that it's one of the beautiful birds that lives here.

Now for something that everyone comes to see. As you see the glass with the water beyond, you might first wonder what is contained in the murky depths, but when you see a bulky shape move, you realize what it is -- a hippo! If you ever wonder why you can never see these beautiful animals, this underwater viewing area gives you the answer. Hippos spend most of their time in the water and they're quite a sight.

Your next stop will undoubtedly include delighted cries of "Timon" from children, as they spy the meerkats, which can usually be found happily basking in the sun. These guys make for some delightful photos.



As you'd expect, Disney saves the best for last. Your final stop takes you to the Gorilla Research Camp. The first time we visited, we were mesmerized by the glass-protected viewing area and couldn't believe how close we could get to the gorillas. You'll usually find Cast Members here who can answer any questions you have about the gorillas. It took us a while to realize that we could move on and enjoy more sightings around the corner on the swaying suspension bridge -- although watch out for energetic youngsters who seem to enjoy bouncing you around on this!

There's so much to see on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail that you should allow at least 30 minutes to take it all in. The time will fly once you start spotting the animals and it's easy to stand in one section for 10 minutes, without realizing it. If there's a long wait for Kilimanjaro Safaris, it might be worth grabbing a FastPass and checking out the Trail while you wait for your FastPass time to roll round.

But this isn't the only animal trail that this park has to offer. Head to Asia and you'll find the Maharajah Jungle Trek, where you can wander through ancient ruins and encounter animals on the way. Of the two, this is perhaps the better themed and we always stop to take time to look at all the Asian architecture and artifacts around us.

The first animals you'll come across are the gibbons, members of the ape family. Just around the corner is the first animal viewing area. This is one area where you may have to search for your prey. The Komodo Dragon, the world's largest lizard, is not always the most camera-friendly beast, but it's very rewarding when you find him. The striking Tapir is also worth searching out and with half of him white and half black, he's easier to find in the undergrowth.

Next is an area that I can guarantee you'll either love or want to avoid altogether -- the bat viewing area. These guys don't do a lot for me, so we usually hurry past them, but there's a good collection of Asian fruit bats if you're a bat lover.

Perhaps the real reason I want to hurry past this section is because I know what's coming up next -- Tiger Forest, complete with some beautiful pools for them to drink or play in. Whatever time of the day you visit, you can usually find the tigers somewhere, so if they're not at the first viewing spot, keep going to the next one. Fortunately, even when these big cats are tired, they usually manage to pick an area right by the glass-protected viewing areas for a sleep, giving you amazing views of them. If you see them active by the pool though, stay put -- it's worth it if they head into the water to play, as that's a stunning sight and, as someone near us commented, "They're just like my cats at home... only a bit bigger!"

This isn't the final stop on the Jungle Trek. You'll see Elds Deer and Blackbuck next and then you'll head into the free-flying bird aviary. Again, it's worth taking your time here, as that thing that you originally thought was a leaf could turn out to be a rich green-colored bird.

As with so many of Disney's attractions, there are two ways to enjoy the trails in the Animal Kingdom. You can hurry through, perhaps only stopping to see the most obvious of animals, such as the tigers and the gorillas, or you can linger and explore it more fully. Nearly always your patience will be rewarded and you'll find a whole new world of animals that you hadn't previously realized even existed.

So while Expedition: Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris or the Festival of the Lion King may be calling your name when you visit the park, try and find time in your schedule to stop by and enjoy the animals that gave their name to this wonderful Disney Kingdom.



About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas: A Disney Vacation Club Resort Review
The Villas at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge: Size Matters
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge: The Joys of Animal Trekking
Sanaa: A Restaurant Dining Review
Boma: A Restaurant Dining Review
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge: The Perfect Resort for Teenagers

Gardens of The World Tour - A Guided Tour During Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival last updated 5/28/2009
Star Wars Weekends - Feel the Force at Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 6/4/2009
Unusual Photo Opportunities - Getting Unique Photos at Disney last updated 6/18/2009
The Osborne Spectacle of Lights - Disney's Hollywood Studios last updated 7/6/2009
Dashing Through The ... Snow? - Sleigh Rides at Walt Disney World last updated 11/30/08




Reader Comments:


View all comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 1/11/2007 - Article #325 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 

RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Making More Magic: Everything Else at Walt Disney World!
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discuss tours, holidays, special occasions, childcare, and other magical opportunities.


Talented Mom Sews Disney Cosplay Costumes for 3 Yr Old
by shazza
6 Nov 2014 at 9:19am
If you haven't seen this story about 3 year old Lane, and the dresses her Mom makes for her, it's worth a look. Adorable. Disney Costumes by Mom...
(click title above to view replies)

Disney Ornaments
by AFO
5 Nov 2014 at 12:27am
I saw a lot of people commenting about buying ornaments as a tradition on their trips. I love ornament traditions. Is there a best or favorite...
(click title above to view replies)

Disney Rewards Cards
by AFO
30 Oct 2014 at 5:57pm
Can these VISA Rewards card be used "anywhere" in Disney? We will be eating at the T-Rex restaurant and I was wondering if it can be used at the...
(click title above to view replies)

Disney Parks Moms Panel Round 2 Anyone?
by Cruisecrasher
25 Oct 2014 at 4:47pm
Howdy! I'm a longtime lurker, sometimes article contributor who loves Disney Cruising. I was just wondering if any other Passporters were...
(click title above to view replies)




Total Visits: 4654


PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.