Unravel my Travel – Disney’s Wild Africa Trek

Unravel My Travel Wild Africa
Disclaimer – this post is all nerded out with animal facts. 
Un-ravel my travel.   There are so many things that I could say were amazing about my trip to Disney.    I have probably been asked the most “how was the wild Africa trek?”  So I decided to share my experience for this unravel my travel blog.   
We arrived at the Animal Kingdom Park before it opened, and were met by our guides at the gate.  Once everyone had gathered we walked back through the park, signed a few waivers and headed down to get into our gear.  The gear was a vest body harness combination with an umbilical cord elastic do dad off the back.   Group Shot!  There was one other guy in the group but he didn’t want to be photographed.  Tim said the guy must be in witness protection.  

  

From there we moved to the back of the park where the head of the foot trail started.   Although they weren’t actually on the trek we did encounter yellow basket weaver birds.  They were fearless playing chicken as they swooped past.   
After one of our guides, Mark, checked for snakes we were off on our adventure.  The foot trail was narrow so we walked single file and had in ear monitors to hear our guides.   The first thing we saw was the Meerkat.  They each have their own job; this one was the lookout with his nose in the air, sniffing for passersby.   

We walked a little further on and met up with the hippo expert.  Our “cords” were attached to an over head track that allowed us primo unencumbered viewing of the hippo having a snack.    I learned they don’t use those front teeth for chewing but for defense, and their bite strength exceeds that of a crocodile. 
big teeth!

 From there we moved on to the swinging foot bridge reminiscent of the last scene in Temple of Doom, (“Indy, cover your heart!”).  The second stretch of the bridge was over the crocs.  They were very chill but something tells me they would have been happy to snack on me if I fell in.  

that would be me…looking down at the crocodiles
 More bridge pictures, it kinda was a big thing
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Then our “cords” were once again attached to an over head track and we were lead past the enclosure walls to look at the crocodiles.  I learned that the white spots seen on many of their backs were actually exposed bone and part of their great body armor.  Also, this group had been raised together since the 70’s and brought to the park shortly after it opened in the late 90’s.  How cool, litter mates.  

From here it was a short walk to the African savannah, were our special trek vehicle waited.  We took off our vest/harness, were given a cool towel and climbed aboard.  This is the same area that the regular Kilimanjaro Safari ride takes park guests except we were free to off road a little and take our time. 
From the vehicle we saw lots of roan antelopes.  These were all females and I learned that the matriarchal female actually controls the breeding of the other females.  

At some point this matriarchal female on the reserve had an infection that took one of her horns.  The caretakers were concerned that if she lost both her horns or died the replacement female would not be as generous in allowing the others to breed.   Thus, dwindling the heard and the breeding program.   So they took action by treating the infection and reinforcing her remaining horn.  

Armed with our mighty trek vehicle we continued through the savannah.  We saw lots and lots of giraffes and the elephants.  Similar to how they would in the wild the elephants have separated into two families and occupied separate sections of the park.  
 We then proceeded to our lunch destination which boasted 360 views of the savannah and a potty break! The African inspired meal was supplied by the “Tusker House” and included lots of yummies.    

Then we loaded back up into our truck and set out again.  We encountered a white rhino that didn’t really want to move out of the road.  

Also there were cheetahs and an ostrich.  The interesting thing about this ostrich is it’s a female with male coloration.  After the male had been separated from the females this one took on the male coloring.    Apparently it’s the males’ job to sit on the nest at night and that is why their coloring is dark.  As opposed to the female which is typically a light brown.  Pretty neat, huh?  I told you it was going to be all nerded out with animal facts.  
Then we made our way back through savannah to where we had started from.  A few more pictures and the quick opportunity to say good bye to our guides and we were almost done.  One of the impressive things about the entire experience was the conservations global efforts.  We were given the opportunity to choose a cause where we wanted a portion of our tickets to go.   

In closing it was a wonderful experience, we came away with tons of pictures, and even more memories.  Thanks for making it to the end of my journey recount with me. 

  
You can read more about the Disney Wildlife Conservation work here.
Book your tickets for the tour here.   

Thursday? Already?

Is that my head or a hole in the ground??  Thats what I have been saying the past few days.  Works has been moving faster than ever and we are in the process of moving to a new facility.  I still love my work, its interesting the people are great but I am whooped out.  So this is all you get for this Thursday. 

Caramelized French Toast Recipe

Caramelized French Toast Recipe

I love breakfast for dinner, or brinner as my friend calls it.  Then if I had to narrow it down I would say french toast is way better than pancakes or waffles.  *drool*  This little sweet crunchy detour from the traditional can really hit the spot some nights (and mornings too).  This yields about six slices. 

Ingredients
6 slices of Italian bread (ironic I know)
1/4 – 1/2 cup toffee pieces
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 Tsp vanilla extract

sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
1 Tbsp pancake/biscuit mix (optional, but it will make them fluffier)

In a large bowl mix together everything except the bread and toffee pieces.  If you choose the mix
just try to work the lumps out as best you can.

Heat a large heavy non-stick pan over Medium heat, I also like to melt a little butter in the pan cause…well yum.  Dip the bread slices into the egg mixture, place in a single layer in the pan.  Moving quick enough that the egg mixture is still “wet” on top, sprinkle the toast with the toffee pieces.  When the bottom is done (about 2 min) flip the toast and let it caramelize but make sure it doesn’t burn.  Serve with your other breakfast favorites.

Tips:
Good vanilla makes great french toast!
If you find the toffee pieces burn, reduce the heat, cook longer allowing the toast to cook almost completely through before flipping.
If you cant fit all the pieces of bread into the pan the first time around wipe out the left over toffee pieces before you start round two.