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Oct 28

Disney Traveling Around the “World” – Animal Kingdom – Part 3 – Africa

 

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Welcome back “World” travelers! Hope you’re enjoying the Animal Kingdom. We have a special day planned today, so go put on your safari gear as we’re heading out to one of our favorite areas, Africa!

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As you head across the bridge from Discovery Island you’ll enter the village of Harambe in Africa.  According to Disney legend, Harambe was once part of a colony, but a peaceful revolution made Harambe self-governing in 1961. Today, Harambe is the starting point for tourists and students to observe Africa’s animals in their natural habitats. As you walk towards the Kilimanjaro Safari, you see in front of you the 40 foot baobob tree (the traditional icon of the African savannah). Harambe was inspired by Lamu in Kenya, but there are no exact replication of streets or buildings. The village is the namesake of the Harambe Wildlife Preserve, the fictional home of Africa’s main attraction, Kilimanjaro Safaris.

 

ATTRACTIONS

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Kilimanjaro Safari – Ride into the African Savanna and find animals all around you on this must see attraction! Kilimanjaro Safaris is a safari attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s an open-sided safari ride through the savanna of East Africa. The ride takes you on a 30 minute safari ride aboard Simba 1, through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve in Harambe, East Africa. It is 800km of natural terrain, including Ituri forest, wetlands of the Safi River valley, and the open bush country of the Serengeti Savanna. During most of the ride, people view the most common African animals including elephants, giraffe, antelope, gazelle, crocodiles, monkeys, hippos, lions, cheetahs, rhinos, crocodiles, storks, pelicans, flamingos and okapis. The tour guide points out animals and provides entertaining conversation. Throughout the journey, the driver is in radio contact with reserve warden Wilson Matua, who is flying over the reserve on his daily routine. It all takes a turn when poachers are spotted in the reserve, and it’s up to Simba 1 and the guests, with support from the air and other rangers, to stop the poachers.

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This is the next best thing to going on a real African safari. There are many animals to see and Disney has gone out of their way to make it as real as possible. You do not want to miss this attraction!

 

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Pangani Forest Exploration Trail – Following your African safari adventure, follow the signs to the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Entering under the lush tropical canopy, this walk-through tour is designed to inform and entertain guests, and can be enjoyed at your own pace. Pangani, which means, “place of enchantment”, is the perfect description of this 5 acre habitat that offers a magical look at some of Africa’s most interesting inhabitants.

As you travel along the trail, you’ll encounter a variety of animals that include tiny antelopes,  Guenther’s dik-diks, Thomson’s gazelles, gerenuk and meerkats. You will also have the opportunity to view an underwater “hippo ballet” as a glass wall below water level offers a perfect view. It’s mesmerizing to watch these oversized beasts slowly roll and glide through the water with grace and ease.

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The main attraction at the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail are the lowland gorillas. The family of silverbacks are housed on one side of the path and are visible through a glass viewing area. The father, two mothers and their young may choose to entertain and enthrall visitors with their antics, or they may choose to retreat to the privacy of their forest. At each of the exhibits, there are Disney experts to answer questions and supply information about the animals.

 

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Rafiki’s Planet Watch – Step aboard the Wildlife Express Train from Harambe, leaving the plains of Africa behind. Travel through the narrow gauge and arrive at the wooded area of Rafiki’s Planet Watch. As you leave the station, follow the trails to Conservation Station. Here you can see real vets at work, learn about conservation, grab an ice cream and pet some small friendly critters! You may also run into some Disney characters such as Jiminy Cricket, Pocahontas or Rafiki. Check at the station with the attending Cast Member to see who may be available. When you’re done, step back aboard the Eastern Star Railway for the trip back to Harambe.

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Dining

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Tusker House – This table service restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is a buffet character meal with Donald, Daisy, Mickey and Goofy. Lunch and dinner are served buffet style, featuring regular buffet fare with a few African-inspired dishes in the selection.

Dawa Bar – adult beverages – outdoor seating – tends to get crowded with folks waiting to get into Tusker House (especially for the Character Breakfast).

Harambe Fruit Market – This snack cart offers soft pretzels, as well as some fruit snacks such as apples, bananas, oranges, pineapple bits and a fruit cup.

Kusafiri Coffee & Bakery –  coffee and bakery items offered from an outside window just past the Tusker House entrance.

Tamu Tamu – offering ice cream, smoothies and sodas. Alongside Tamu Tamu is a nice shaded area with tables…good place to relax and have a cool drink.

 

Shopping

Africa shopping

Mombasa Marketplace/Ziwani Traders – Safari clothing, African Gifts, unique items here.

Daka La Filimu  – your last stop for film and batteries before boarding Kilimanjaro Safaris

 

We hope you enjoyed your visit to Africa today. Join us next time as we make our way over to Asia in search of the legendary Yeti. See you then!

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