The Beautiful Western Lowland Gorillas of Disney’s Pangani Forest

Earth Week Continued, today I am posting about Disney’s Pangani trail, I feel this is worth mentioning due to their conservation efforts and my absolute love for a particular animal.

These are the real reasons I want to go Democratic Republic of Congo & Cameroon. Sadly, I believe only Cameroon is safe right now, but that is for another post.

The The Western Lowland Gorilla, I want to see them in the wild before it is too late.

These animals are sadly considered critically endangered and are not showing improvement.

Anyway, moving on…

I have seen a few Lowland Gorillas in zoos so it was no surprise when I discovered that Disney’s Animal Kingdom was host to a family of western lowland gorillas. These magnificent creatures are located on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. If you ever find yourself at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you must go see these beautiful animals.

I was by myself at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this day, and after visiting the characters I spoke to a cast member about what I should do, he said stop whatever you are doing and go the Pangani Trail, you will not regret it, as we just had a birth of a Lowland Gorilla. “It’s kinda a big deal, ” he told me.

Sold. I know how endangered these guys are and a birth of a lowland gorilla is a big deal.

I walked over to the Pangani Forest and started my hike.

I learned that Pangani is Swahili for “place of enchantment.” I can understand why Disney would chose this name for this trail.

You start off walking on the trail when you come up to the observation point of the Okapi, did you know this is the only living relative of the giraffe? I didn’t and I found that quite fascinating. According to the cast member these guys are very shy and it was our lucky day that the Okapi was out and about.

My next stop was the aviary where African birds where flying about. Bird aviaries always make me nervous thanks to Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, so I snagged a few pics and got out!

the creepy bird
the relaxing waterfall for the birds

There were also meerkats, but it was so jam-packed I didn’t even bother trying to get a picture, because well I really wanted to get to the hippos.

The hippos were swimming about and in all seriousness I tried to get at least 20 pictures, but every time my camera finally decided to take the picture the hippo was gone. Those guys are fast.

No hippos 🙁

Quick fact, did you know more people die from Hippos than other animals in Africa. Cast member told me that and to me that is just crazy, but after seeing how fast the guys can swim I don’t doubt it.

Afterwards, I saw the lowland gorillas and I quickly came up to the glass viewing deck.

And I saw him, the most beautiful baby gorilla I have ever seen.

I snapped photo after photo, and this little guy was not shy, he was playing and putting on a show. He made me happy and I think I spent 30 minutes there watching him play and be a little show off.

There were two adult gorillas too!

Afterwards I ventured over to the The Colobus Monkey section of the trail. Disney appears to be doing whatever it takes to help injured Colobus Monkeys and releasing them back in the wild. These guys are not endangered per se, but are hunted for the bush meat trade industry in Africa.

Overall, I give this trail an A plus and believe me I will go every time I got to Disney’s Animal Kingdom here on out. It is now one of my favorite things to do at this park.

For all the photos I took on the trail, CLICK HERE

Until next time.


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