My sister Becky is a huge fan of the elephants. Over the years she has tried multiple times on Kilimanjaro Safaris to capture the perfect picture of a baby elephant to no avail. We haven’t figured out if we are moving through the area too quickly or her photography skills are the issue (I think it’s the latter), but it’s been a challenge! When she heard about this tour, we had to try it. It might be the only way for her to capture the elusive photo of a baby elephant.
We arrived at Animal Kingdom and checked in next to Kilimanjaro Safaris. We were warned that there was no bathroom breaks on this tour, so best to visit the facilities before we left.There were 8 of us on the tour and we boarded a bus back stage to take us to the viewing area. The driver gave us a lot of information about how the animals are protected and the fencing around the enclosures backstage. We were amazed to see fencing that wasn’t related to the savannah and the explanation made sense – the fencing is to keep the native Florida Wildlife out of the savanna.
When we arrived at the viewing area we realized that we were on the other side of Kilimanjaro Safaris and could see the attraction vehicles passing in the distance. The first cast member told us about how they care for the elephants and some of the rituals they have with them.
The second cast member that spoke to us was a cultural representative from Zimbabwe. While she had only been working there for 3 weeks, she did a fantastic job of telling us about the research being done by the Disney Conservation Fund. She shared details about one of the projects where they found a solution that allows farmers to protect their farms without harming the elephants. It was fascinating; I could have listened to her for hours.
Aside from the great information from the cast members, we got some fantastic views of the elephants! We were told that the views really depend on the elephants; they are free to roam around and may not stand in the ideal spot for your photos. This is important to recognize that Disney allows them the freedom to do as they please. We were lucky to have so many come around, it was the first tour of the morning and they tend to be more active.
Caring for Giants was worth every penny of the $30 we paid for it. We spent an hour with some fascinating cast members and of course – the elephants. We loved the tour so much that we’ll be adding this as a regular ‘must do’ on our trips. Not only did my sister get a picture of a baby elephant, she got one WITH a baby elephant!