Jambo and welcome!
This post is about probably my favorite ride at all of Walt Disney World: Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom. This ride is in the far left corner of the park, in Africa. I’ve had safaris at all times of day and in all sorts of weather and really love the variety of animals you can spot each time out – and each time out is an utterly unique experience!
The Safaris have undergone a few changes during their 15 years. Before the park opened to the public, there was a scene with a simulated poached elephant to drive home points about conservation and protection of these magnificent animals. The second incarnation did away with the “dead” elephant due to how upset people got over it, and instead came up with a storyline where guests on safari were employed to help track down and scare off poachers – the widely-known “Little Red” version of the ride. Recently, Little Red moved out and Warden Wilson was cut down to only being in the queue’s pre-show. The new storyline just says that the preserve has expanded – the broken fence through which we used to chase poachers is now the preserve’s old boundary. Zebras were once found beyond this boundary but have been problematic and so are being replaced with addax.
I have an ongoing theory that Wilson was actually leader of the poachers and make a compelling case for this theory any time I feel like messing around on twitter.
I shot these photos over two days: January 2 and March 4, 2013. In January, I was shooting with a 55-250mm lens and in March, I switched to my favorite 28mm to shoot some sweeping landscapes (I hope!). With the 28mm, I also used a fish eye adapter to get some queue shots. A great review of the adapter is available at the Duffyngton Post. All photos were taken with my Canon T3i, and edited lightly in iPhoto for OS X.
I must give credit to Wikipedia for animal names in this gallery. I do not have them all and welcome anyone who’d like to contribute.