Let’s Travel into Pangani Forest

If you crave one of a kind wildlife adventures, the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail should be on your must-do list.  Located near Kilimanjaro Safaris in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll have the opportunity to walk right up to some of the most intriguing animals you can find.

Gorillas - the main attraction on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.  Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

Gorillas – the main attraction on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

The Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is unlike any other animal exhibit you’ve seen outside of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Here you can find a gorilla sanctuary, hippo pool, and bird forest, which are all bound together by an underlying storyline that follows you throughout your journey at the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

Find this educational exhibit along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.  Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

Find this educational exhibit along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

The beginning of your tour of this area is marked with a sign welcoming you to the Pangani Forest Conservation School.  This sign bears a wonderful quote that reads, “We do not inherit the Earth from our parents – we only borrow it from our children.”  The theme of this quote is expressed throughout the attraction by displaying a deep interest in continuously learning more about the many species present here.

The character of Dr. Kulunda, the supposed leader of the studies at Pangani Forest Conservation school, is conveyed through the detailed and authentic desks/equipment set up in his research centers on the trail.  This accurately replicates efforts that are constantly being made all around the African continent to spread the worldwide knowledge of animals’ behaviors and how to help contribute to their conservation efforts.

When visiting the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail you will not be simply just walking along a trail.  You’ll have fantastic picture-taking opportunities at the multiple observation stations, the chance to visit the Endangered Animal Rehabilitation Center to see Colobus Monkeys, and the Animal Rehabilitation Center, which is filled with lizards, snakes, mice, and tarantulas.

Meerkat viewing on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.  Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

Meerkat viewing on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Photo by Stephanie Shuster.

The top three marquee elements of this attraction are its aviary, tremendous pool for a hippopotamus, and the home to incredible western lowland gorillas.  This aviary is home to some of the most breathtaking and colorful birds you can find.  But, they can be difficult to spot as they try to blend in with their surroundings.  Be sure to take a look at the bird spotting guide to best try to find them.

Moving along on the trail, you’ll soon get the chance to get a rather unique view of large nile hippos.  You walk at the bottom of the side wall of the giant tank that houses them, which lets you see these animals from angles you would never see otherwise.

After seeing these nile hippos, it’s time to head over to see the western lowland gorillas.  The gorillas tend to move along their savannah throughout the day; if they’re not seen in the primary viewing room (the largest of any viewing section on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail), check the nearby map of the gorillas’ daily patterns.  Make sure you look around the room here to take in all there is to learn about the largest animal of all primates!  This gorilla sanctuary serves as the perfect grand finale to this unique wild adventure.

Besides those that have been previously mentioned, some of the other species of animals that you can see during your stop here are: African Bullfrog, Grevy’s Zebras, Naked Mole Rat, Emerald Starling, Kenyan Sand Boa, Dung Beetle, Pygmy Geese, and Meerkat (like Timon from The Lion King).

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