Kilimanjaro Safari - Animal Kingdom
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Elephants in the Distance
Coming to the Surface
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Stand By Entrance
FastPass is almost always a must here. We often get our FastPasses when we are ready for breakfast or lunch and by the time you finish eating, it's time to ride the Safari. However we were told by one of the guides that the best time to ride is in the afternoon, around 2 or 3 o'clock. That is when the animals are most active because most of them are getting ready to be brought into the barns for the night.
We have ridden Kilimanjaro Safari many times now and each ride seems very different. You will not see any visible walls or fences as Disney has done a fantastic job of hiding all the barriers that keep you and the animals safe.
The Stroller Park is about half way through the queue area so be prepared to walk with or carry your little one approximately 40 feet.
Guests in wheelchairs follow the signs to head to the special boarding area. They will need to either transfer from their wheelchair to a seat, or transfer to a standard wheelchair.
If you don't want a bumpy ride, ask to sit in the front of the truck as the ride feels bumpiest in the back. Some drivers will hit every pothole in the road, but most will warn you before you leave the dock. It is important to remain seated at all times because the drivers are not allowed to stop on the ride path, the truck is always moving (the trucks are governed so the maximum speed is only 10 mph, though it feels faster). Animals can move in front of the vehicle at any time causing the driver to slam on the brakes and causing you to go flying. If you want to take good pictures sit on the end of the rows, you get better shots.
The ride vehicle is 8 feet off the ground enabling you to wind your way through the grasslands and waterways of the Savannah. 32 passengers fit in this all terrain truck with a driver for your guide. The drivers are trained to spot the animals along the Safari and point them out to you.
Walking through the queue area you find yourself in the Harambe Reserve. Overhead TVs explain that poaching has killed many animals.
When you arrive at the boarding platform you get into your jeep and head into the animal reserve. Your driver begins radio contact with a pilot and off you and your jeep goes, down the bumpy dirt trail and into Africa!
Bongos are hiding around the first bend - look quickly or you might miss these shy creatures. As you pass the local watering hole you might see the Black Rhino. On the right are the rare Okapi and look out for Hippos at the base of cascading waterfalls.
You then enter the vast Savannah grasslands. In this area you might see Giraffes, Antelopes, Gazelle and Ostriches. The land is quite different here and there are many termite mounds up to 20 feet high.
On the left is a huge rock formation where the Mandrill Baboon family lives then around the bend you find the Elephants. The radio contact now picks back up as the pilot searches for the Elephants called Big Red and Little Red.
Pink Flamingos live on a tiny island that is in the form of a Hidden Mickey.
White rhinos can be seen wallowing in the mud and then around the last bend, your attention will quickly be drawn to the high rock formation on your left, where the King and Queen of the Savannah live, these are Kopje Lions. Lions do spend the majority of their day sleeping so you may not see much sign of life.
You should then see Warthogs as the driver is warned by the Pilot about Poachers being in the area. Suddenly the jeep takes off; you hear gunshots and smouldering campfires. Finally, the poachers are in custody and the pilot waves to you and you'll find that Little Red is safe!
This is when your safari comes to a finish as the vehicle rejoins the main roads and the Park Ranger Station comes into view.
A great ride that you could go on many times. Granddad always forgets to bring enough film but do not worry there is a small shop in the Safari that sells it!
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