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Wild Africa Trek: You Can’t Feed the Animals, but You Get to Eat

Pam Brandon

by , Food Writer, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort

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.

Early-Morning Trek Meal on Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom

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.

Mid-Day Trek Meal on Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom

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

Serves 2

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.

Comments

  • I know a boy turning 8 who would love to go on this trek, but I can’t imagine him eating anything except the fruit! He is not a huge salmon or curry fan… I guess I have a little time to change his mind!

  • I just made the Curried Chicken Salad posted above – fantastic!!! Thank you so much for sharing it!! Can’t wait to eat it on the trek….

  • #12 1/2 Pam,
    Thanks

  • 4 “Hidden Mickey’s” in the pictures above.
    Do the Animal Kingdom restaurants feature the food (minus the trek)?

    • This food is only on the trek.

  • I can’t WAIT to do this!!! I’m thinking morning would be better because the animals are more active then?

  • Just called and booked an 8 am tour for May! I am looking forward to that Jungle Juice and the breakfast sampler, but I had a hard time deciding whether I wanted a tour with breakfast or lunch, everything sounds delicious.

  • It should be noted that the price includes a Photo Pass CD(and shipping) which actually makes this one heck of a deal even at full price (and even better at the intro price at which I did the Trek!
    But I have a mystery! I did the 9am trek on Jan 25, and had a Gluten free food collection- which was delightful, but there was something in there that is not listed here and I LOVED!!! It seemed to be some bit of a salad type thing, but with some unrecognized addition that just took it up a notch. Just dawning on me now that maybe this was only for the GF tin, but I could have eaten a large dinner plate of that! I think it might have been under the rolled salmon? Which was also great, but the best thing was that fig cake with almonds! Oh heck, it was all ‘best’!

  • I wish I would have known about the introductory before it expired (yesterday). This trek looks amazing. Someday. Do you think they will have seasonal pricing or FL resident pricing?

  • My husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary at Disney by taking the Wild Africa Trek. We went on the 3rd day it opened. First – the trek was awesome and worth every penny we paid. We got some wonderful photographs and loved the slow pace of the trek. We never felt rushed to move on. Second – we enjoyed the early morning meal and it was delicious.

  • It looks amazing… It’s also an adventure our family has always wanted to try as animal kingdom DVC members considering this is our home resort… I have to call and set up something for our next trip…

  • @Christopher. The introductory pricing was only available thru February 26, 2011. The price went up from $129.00 pp to $189.00 pp this past Friday.

  • Is there a vegetarian option for the meal?

    • Yes, there is a vegetarian option (just ask) plus versions for myriad dietary restrictions.

  • You mentioned keeping your cameras handy, but I was told when contacting Disney about this tour that cameras are not allowed. All photographs would be supplied by Disney photographers and that some pictures would be included in the package price. Could you clarify this for me? I would love to do this tour but would be dissapointed if I could not take pictures of the animals. Thanks!

  • my question is on the introductory pricing… it is stated that it ends 26 February, was that for 2011 or 2012 as this price would no long be valid as of the time of the posting if it were 2011.

  • Wow ! I’d like to try some of these :) It really looks good !

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