Description And Comments

As the trail winds between the domain of two troops of lowland gorillas, it’s hard to see what, if anything, separates you from the primates. Also on the trail is a hippo pool with an underwater viewing area, plus a naked-mole-rat exhibit. A highlight of the trail is an exotic-bird aviary so craftily designed that you can barely tell you’re in an enclosure.

Touring Tips

The Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is lush, beautiful, and jammed to the gills with people much of the time. Guests exiting Kilimanjaro Safaris can choose between returning to Harambe or walking the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Many opt for the trail. Thus, when the Safaris are operating at full tilt, it spews hundreds of guests every couple of minutes onto the Exploration Trail. The one-way trail in turn becomes so clogged that nobody can move or see much of anything. After a minute or two, however, you catch the feel of the mob moving forward in small lurches. From then on you shift, elbow, grunt, and wriggle your way along, every so often coming to an animal exhibit. Here you endeavor to work your way close to the rail but are opposed by people trapped against the rail who are trying to rejoin the surging crowd. The animals, as well as their natural-habitat enclosures, are pretty nifty if you can fight your way close enough to see them.

Clearly this attraction is either badly designed, misplaced, or both. Your only real chance for enjoying it is to walk through before 10 a.m.—that is, before the Safaris hit full stride—or after 2:30 p.m.

Another strategy, especially if you’re more into the wildlife than the thrill rides, is to schedule a FastPass+ reservation for the Safaris 60–90 minutes after the park opens. That’s long enough for an uncrowded, leisurely tour of the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and a quick snack before you go on safari.

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