Trekking through Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have written about and shared many photographs from Disney’s Animal Kingdom attractions: Kilimanjaro Safari and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Both can be found by visiting the village of Harambe in Africa. I have even taken you on the Wild Africa Trek: Photographing on the Wild Africa Trek, Part I and Part II.

Today, I want to share with you a few more photos from those experiences.

I see many people walking quickly on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Time can be one’s master at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with so much to do and see. If one can, I suggest stopping along the trail to enjoy the animals. The Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) are an animal you need to observe. Watch how they use their tongues to eat and notice their neck in how it moves. Do not be fooled by the zebra-like stripes as the giraffe is their closest relative on the evolutionary tree.

To get a good photo of one of the okapi, you have to wait a bit as they move around looking for food in their habitat. Imagine trying to spot an okapi in the lush jungle of its native home in the Congo of Africa. It is no wonder it was not discovered by European adventurers until the late 19th century.

Young Okapi on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Young Okapi on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

The Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri), long-necked species of antelope, browse behind the Meerkats on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. However, to get this view of one, you have to be on the Wild Africa Trek’s overland trail which goes off into the woods to the side of the Meerkat compound. The Gerenuk was curious as to who was roaming his woods.

Gerenuk on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Gerenuk on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

While large bellied and cumbersome looking, Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) are the most dangerous large animal in Africa. Hippos are very aggressive towards humans, whom they commonly attack whether in boats or on land for no apparent reason. Which is why I was happy to photograph this female Hippopotamus from a safe and raised distance while on the Wild Africa Trek.

Hippopotamus on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Hippopotamus on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1100, EV -0.3, 300mm focal length.

Animal parks like Disney’s Animal Kingdom educate and inspire people to help save these creatures in their native lands. I hope my photography helps in the same way.

Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

One Reply to “Trekking through Disney’s Animal Kingdom”

  1. Great blog! The AK is my favorite park and I really enjoyed the shots of the animals and your commentary.

    Scott replies: Thank you, Jullian!

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