Up Close and Personal With Hippos

Back in March, I was able to participate in the Wild African Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. As one of the lucky people that signed up quickly enough, I was part of a small group of bloggers during out time. When I left off, we had started out tour and had just arrived at the Hippo area. Alex stopped to tell us all about hippos. We learned about their blood sweat, how they communicate with wheeze honking, and more.

Alex with the hippo skull

Then, it was time to head over to the viewing area. This is where our harnesses would be hooked for the first official time on our trek. Yes, those gorgeous black straps seen in back were going up and over us for some prime viewing of the hippos.

Off to meet the hippos

It is against my better judgment to share this photo, but here I am looking out at the hippos. You can see my harness stretching back onto the apparatus that allowed us to move around the area (forgot to take a photo of that).

I am all hooked up

Here’s another view of others in our group around the platform.

Members of our group hippo viewing

You can see that we are across the water from where the vehicles on the Kilimanjaro Safari go during their tours that visitors can take in the park. Here is a group. I must say often times they were more curious about us on the ledge, and not the two giant hippos feeding down below.

Safari vehicle going by in back of hippo

Our timing was amazing, we got there with some of the hippo research scientists who were going to feed the animals below us. The two gentleman were so nice explaining what they were doing and answering questions. Of course, they were skeptical when we asked them to do a wheeze honk demonstrations – perhaps it was the cameras and videos that stopped them.

Researcher feeding hippos

They explained that feeding time is also when they are able to check the dental care of the hippos and make sure they have no injuries in their mouths. This gave me a new appreciation for the game Hungry Hungry Hippos.

The boys were hungry

These two particular hippos were father and son and they were near us. All of the girls were at the other end of the water area. Here are a few more photos of the boys from our view on the ledge:

Check out his mouth

Up close look

Father and Son

Soon, it was time to head to the next part of our adventure. We thanked the researchers for all of the learning and continued on. When we saw the next item on the trail, we knew there was no turning back.

 Crocodile skull waiting

Finally, it was time for some of us to face our fears. Yes – we would soon be meeting both of these

One of the infamous rope bridges

The days of joking about this were over. Now it was time for Shannan and I to meet the bridges. To be continued!

So what do you think so far? Would you have gone on this amazing adventure within the wonderful world of Disney? Please share any behind the scenes tours that you have experienced.

It's Me

Disclosure: Although we paid for our own trip to Disney World, we were given an incredible deal thanks to Disney. The sweet conference fee included 3 nights at the Grand Floridian, several meals for the entire family,  7 day park hoppers for everyone, conference/meals for me and some other items to take home. Also note that Disney never asked us to blog about this event. As a long time Disney fan, it is my pleasure to share my experiences from the event.

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