Just around the corner from Kilimanjaro Safaris® in Disney’s Animal Kingdom of Walt Disney World is the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. This unique self-guided walking tour offers guests a glimpse of many of the creatures one might find in Africa.
Start off your African animal introductory walk in the Research Station. This housed location offers guests a chance to look at some naked mole rats and usually has a cast member there to answer any questions. From there, you walk through a free-flight aviary and are treated to an aquarium, both filled with creatures indigenous to Africa.
Don’t think your walk is over, however (remember it is three-eights of a mile total) because just up ahead is the hippopotamus exhibit. Most of the time these massive hippos are seen lounging about in the water, but at times you may get a chance to catch them up out of that small pool.
Lovers of Disney’s The Lion King will be sure to want to spend some time at the next stop which offers a view of the “African savanna.” That is because a family of meerkats can be found here (think Timon from the movie). These playful creatures are often seen scurrying about their habitat.
Finally, closing out the walk are the gorillas in a very large valley of sorts. It may take some time to locate the gorillas especially during the hotter times of the day as they are not typically that active. Of course, it might not be the heat, they may just be avoiding all the cameras!
As with many activities of Walt Disney World, the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail takes some walking, but it is well worth your time, especially if you love animals. After all, Pangani means “place of enchantment” in Swahili.
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Thanks to HV10N90 who provided the video shown above.