Today, I want to give you a quick tip to help you get a great view of some gorillas at Animal Kingdom. Most guests know that these amazing animals can be found by heading into the Pangani Forest Trail in the Africa section of the park. However, there is another spot that few people tend to explore, where you can often see gorillas without having to walk the nearly half-mile long trail.
Pangani has a lot to offer with hippos, monkeys, zebras, gorillas, etc., and I certainly recommend enjoying that area if you have the time. However, most guests visit right after the half-hour Kilimanjaro Safari. Often times, they need to leave the area to get to a FastPass reservation or maybe just need to find a restroom. Well, if you want to quickly find some unique views of some male gorillas, I highly suggest the spot I am about to describe.
There are basically two exit areas when leaving your safari vehicle. One of them has you walking right out towards a drinking fountain that is on the back of a water “tank.” The other has you making a left and taking a few steps before coming up on the drinking fountain on your right. On both sides of the water tank, you will see pathways leading toward an area that simply looks like a fence with landscaping behind it. Since it is rare to see a gorilla from that angle and distance, most guests just continue up the exit path and have no idea what they just missed.
If you walk up to that fence and look around, you will most often see at least one gorilla. This is especially true in the morning hours. I suggest heading to the right hand fence, as there is a small “cave” down below were they tend to lie down. It is important to look down over the fence to see this. You may see a giant silverback gorilla taking a nap or just relaxing. Also, from this right hand fence, you should look as far as you can to the left. You will see a waterfall and quite possibly a gorilla sitting on the rocks below. At other times, you will see these large mammals walking around on the hill in plain view.
This entire area is basically the backside of the male gorilla habitat found on the Pangani Forest Trail. There are usually four gorillas in that habitat and usually at least one comes over the hill to find seclusion near the safari exit. Literally thousands of guests pass by this area every single day without realizing what is so close by. When some of them become curious about what might be on the other side of the fence, they are usually happily surprised. Even if you aren’t riding the safari, I suggest heading toward the exit area the next time you are in Animal Kingdom. I think you will like what you see!
I hope you enjoy “Tour Guide Tuesday.” If you want additional tips while you’re in the parks, WDW Guided Tours is happy to help!