Ok, many of you wanted to know about the Trek, so here is my review with no spoilers.
DH and I did the Trek on our recent trip (7/19/11) and loved every minute of it. Yes it is expensive but it is worth every penny.
Our reservation was at 9:30am and we arrived at 9am. You check in behind the Dawa Bar in Harambe Village and sign the imfamous waiver. You are then led through a gate and down a path to CM’s waiting for you at a booth like area. You are shown to a locker to put your things in as you cannot carry anything while on the Trek. You can carry a camera or anything else as long as you can flip it to your vest. You cannot carry anything in your hands. If you have a camera with a strap, you can either put around your neck or you can clip it to the vest. Next, you are weighed, I know not many want to hear that, but they have to do it for safety and the rope bridge purposes. I actually felt like I was at Weight Watchers. The CM’s then help you put on a safety vest, which is then fitted to you. The CM who helped me was female and asked first if it was ok that she help. Then they have you take a quick practice run on a short rope bridge to give you a feel of what you will encounter and they ask you how you feel after doing it. Then you are offered water or their famous “Jungle Juice”, sunscreen and bugspray. I would strongly suggest taking the bugspray offer! During all of this, you are introduced to your guides. Our guides were Aaron and Jeff. At the beginning, Aaron was our guide during the hiking portion and Jeff took the pics, then after the snack they switched roles. They were great! Oh, did I mention DH and I were the only ones doing the Trek at 9:30am? Yup, just the two of us with the guides, AWESOME!
Before the Trek starts, there are photos taken and jokes made and off we went. We learned some history of the fort at Harambe Village and taken through some of the Pangani Forest Trail before being led off on a trail. You trek through the brush, meet up with another quide and meet some wildlife then you trek some more until you get to the rope bridges. Now that was fun!!! After the bridges you take the vests off and are led to your own safari truck which takes you to your very own mini compound. You are served a wonderful snack which is very filling, rest and watch the animals out on the savannah. After you are finished, you are taken on a safari which also incorporates a part of the Kilimanjaro Safari. When the safari is complete, you walk back to where you began, collect your belongings, choose what conservation fund you would like a portion of what you paid for the tour to go to, take final photos and say your good-byes.
I only explained the basics of the Trek so as not to spoil. FYI, you and the animals are continually being photographed. I probably didn’t need to take my camera as they took so many nice pics of us, 184 to be exact.
Included in the price of the Trek is a 3 hour hike and safari, nice size snack, water canister, CD full of photos and a lot of adventure and fun.
We actually received our photo CD Tuesday, 7/26/11 and they turned out great. Also included with our photos, were additional photos of other animals we did not see and photos of Mickey and the crew which were VERY nice.
After we left, we went on the Kilimanjaro Safari to see exactly where we were and to take pictures to show everyone. It was so neat to see everywhere we had been. Oh, and while we were doing the trek, we could hear people on the safari ride asking what we were doing, or it looked like fun.
It is definitely worth doing if you have the time and money. The most they take on a Trek is 12 people. Young children might have a little trouble wiht the rope bridges if they do not have a long reach between legs. You must where closed toe shoes, no flip flops or sandals. Also, you should remove yourself from thinking you are in AK as the guides, in Disney style, make you think you are really on a real safari in a reserve in Africa.
As far as Disney saying they are booking the Treks like crazy, they actually are not. In talking to the CM’s after the Trek, we explained how much fun we had and they told us to spread the word. They are trying to advertise as much as possible to get more reservations. In confirming my address for mailing the CD, there were 2 or 3 openings after us. And we did not see anyone else checking in or around the area. Now a couple days later, we took the boys on the safari to show them everywhere we had gone and we saw a group at the compound and another on the safari truck.
Once I figure out how to download the pics from the CD, I will post a few.