Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail Highlights:
- Walk-through trail located at the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Self-guided tour of animals — some you won’t see anywhere else in the park!
- Keep your eyes peeled for gorillas, meerkats, okapi, a bird exhibit, and hippos in an underwater viewing area!
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is a self-guided walking tour that takes you into a lush, tropical forest found in the heart of Africa where you can explore a variety of old and new animal friends.
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is located near the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris.
As you enter the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, look to the right. The first animal exhibit is that of the Black and White Colobus Monkeys. Their diet consists of leaves, buds, seeds and fruit and in the wild (Kenya) are found mostly in trees. They are hunted for their fur, but today, their existence is more threatened by the destruction of forests. Unlike other monkeys, Colobus monkeys have no thumb.
Shortly up ahead, you may find Okapi!
The Okapi, Okapia johnstoni , is the only known living relative of the giraffe. They are dark chestnut brown with distinctive stripes on their legs, similar to Zebras.The most giraffe-like feature of the okapi is their very long black tongue. The Okapi have always been rare and is very shy. They are native to the tropical forests of northeastern Zaire.
As you leave the first observation post, your path takes you into a research building. The research building has a few small exhibits, including reptiles and amphibians, but the highlight of your visit will be the Naked Mole Rats.
Soon the sound of birds fill your ears as you enter the aviary area. Carmine bee-eaters, red-bearded barbets, Brimstone canaries and other rare African birds can be found here. Don’t spend all your time looking up — you’ll find birds on ground level too!
Hippos! Leaving the aviary through a screen door, you pass into another open air shelter with a dam on the far wall with a large panel of inch-thick glass, holding the pond. The pool is home to a trio of giant hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius).
This is a great underwater viewing area. The Hippo is a river dwelling mammal from tropical Africa and is related to the pig. Males are approximately 5 feet tall and can weigh five TONS! The hippos will spend most of their time in the water but can relax on nearby boulders, particularly in cooler weather.
Back on the trail you will come to a thatched roof structure and a large Savannah overlook into the grasslands. Meerkats reside here and are really fun to watch. Meerkats are found in Southern Africa and the Kalahari Desert. They are 12 inches tall and have tails that can grow 8 inches long. They are very territorial and can often be found standing erect, guarding their space. Meerkats have an interesting diet which includes scorpions (they are immune to their venom) beetles, spiders, centipedes, worms, crickets, small mammals, small reptiles, birds, eggs, and roots.
Following the leafy trail is the Gorilla Research Camp. As you enter, you’ll find everyone pressed up against the glass viewing the gorilla family. Animal Kingdom is home to several adolescent and young gorillas.
Exit this area to come to an open air viewing area of the gorillas. Here you may spot the males! Stand on the swaying suspension bridge for a wonderful view of the more gorillas.
Trail walkers catch a final glimpse of the gorillas through a “bamboo” fence before heading to the end of Pangani Forest Exploration Trail near the Harambe station of the Wildlife Express trains.
This is a self guided tour so you can move as fast or slow as you’d like. To really see everything on the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, give yourself about 20-30 minutes. It is a natural flow along the path as you exit the Kilimanjaro Safaris
Accessibility: Guests may remain in wheelchair/ECV. Audio description is available. Due to the nature of the experience, guests with service animals should check with a Cast Member at the attraction for boarding information.
Be sure to ask the Guides any questions you might have about the animals you encounter during your trek.
There are plenty of viewing areas for kids and lots of educational opportunities too.
Make sure to show respect for the animals by not tapping or banging on the glass or screaming.
There is usually a small cart near the exit of the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail that has plushes of various animals seen on the trail or Kilimanjaro Safaris, as well as a few other animal souveniers.
The hippos are actually the same ones you will sometimes see on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride in the savannah. The hippo barn resides in between Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and the savannah river.
June 2016, the name has reverted back to Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. When Animal Kingdom opened in April 1998, this trail was named Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail — it was renamed a few months later.
Animals You May See on Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail:
Africa – Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail – Aviary
African Grey Parrot
African White-backed Duck
Lake Victoria Cichlids
Snowy-headed Robin Chat
Taveta Golden Weaver
White-bellied Go-away Bird