On our vacation in Walt Disney World this month, we chose to do the Savor the Savannah in the Animal Kingdom Park. This special tour has an additional charge, but we felt it was definitely worth it. We have done another special tour (Keys to the Kingdom) and enjoyed that one as well.
One aspect that makes tours truly special is that you are with a small group. Our tour began around 6:00 pm, and we met up with our group and guide, Pam, at the entrance to Kilimanjaro Safari. We were greeted by several cast members and offered a drink of a delicious fruit punch. We watched an African Crowned Crane and her babies in their enclosure. Pam was very knowledgeable about the cranes. She also shared information on Animal Kingdom being a nationally accredited zoological park, and how they are involved in breeding programs of endangered species. Once everyone was assembled, we walked to another entrance and boarded a small truck with our guide and a driver.
Our tour took us first to the Eastern Savannah in Animal Kingdom where we saw a lot of the grazing species out grazing! (of course). Pam then called for the keeper on duty and she came out to meet us in her truck and told us all about the species we saw and answered our questions.
We were able to get quite close to the giraffes, as there were several females out and one or two youngsters. We were told about the giraffe breeding program and why the giraffes are now considered endangered. After taking lots of pictures, and seeing a mother rhinoceros and baby, we were driven to the Boma for a meal of authentic African food and South African wine and beer. The three- course tapas meal was delicious.
Although the elephants were not out when we drove past their enclosure, all of a sudden, one of the participants spotted the elephants. We saw several walking out of their barn (where they are fed their special diets), and one mother and her little baby! I’m really sorry I didn’t get a photo of that!
After our delicious food and drink, we drove through the west savannah, and saw a few more animals. All too soon our journey was over. But we learned so much! The barns where the animals are fed are all in their enclosures and if you look very carefully you may see parts of them. Disney hides them really well. We learned about how they are cared for, what they eat and other bits of trivia on our journey through the Savannah. Our guide told us about the various breeding programs that they partake in with the endangered species.
When our journey was over we walked back to the meeting area and were given a small gift, lovely coasters representing the tour or Animal Kingdom. A lovely souvenir of our special experience with Savor the Savannah!
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