The new Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom takes you into the deepest, most-remote reaches of Disney’s Animal Kingdom – a three-hour, expert-led adventure in groups of no more than 12. Trekkers enjoy an “up-close-and-personal” experience with African wildlife that make their home in Pangani Forest as well as other areas of the park’s Harambe Wildlife Reserve.
Disney style, attention to detail counts, even with food served in “camp tins” just like a safari in Africa. You start the trek with a sip of “frunch,” a swirl of passion fruit, orange and guava juices, then you’re off on an adventure that includes clipping into a harness to cross the Safi River (watch for hippos and crocs). All that play makes us hungry.
You unwind at a private safari camp – keep your camera handy to catch wildebeest, giraffe, elephants and gazelles. If you’re on the early-morning trek, your double-decker, stainless steel “camp tins” have a half-dozen delicious tastes: in one, slices of crunchy fig cake with almonds; savory slices of bresoala (dried beef) and prosciutto; and a buttery smoked salmon roll with jicama slaw and lime vinaigrette. Tin No. 2 has Brie and dried apricots; pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon balls in a mint dressing; and strawberry yogurt with granola and dried cherries. Lots of wonderful flavors in small bites.
The mid-day trek includes a camp tin with bresoala and prosciutto, fruit balls and curried chicken salad in one; the other is the salmon roll paired with sun-dried tomato hummus and tandoori barbecued shrimp.
A team of Disney chefs came up with the ideas, but it’s the job of Chef Joe Karnath and his team at Tusker House to deliver fresh daily, “comfort food that keeps well,” says Chef Joe. And, of course, the chefs will accommodate any dietary restrictions.
Reservations for ages 8 and up can be arranged by calling 407-WDW-TOUR. Pricing varies seasonally.
We especially loved the chicken salad, and Chef Joe agreed to share his recipe:
Curried Chicken Salad
1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 ripe mango, diced
3/4 cup red grapes
Fill a large, shallow pan with water. Bring to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add chicken. Simmer, covered, until just cooked through, about 12 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Cut into 1/4-inch dice and refrigerate until cold.
Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, onion, lime juice, curry powder, honey, ginger, pepper and remaining half-teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add chilled chicken and stir to combine. Fold in grapes and mango and serve immediately.
Note: If making in advance, combine chicken with sauce and refrigerate. Fold in grapes and mango a half-hour before serving.