Animal Kingdom: Tigers, and Lions, and So Much More

My work visit to Orlando is almost over. After today’s last push, I may have some down time tomorrow before I head home. Oh, what shall I do? For inspiration, I thought I’d look over some old pictures from one of my favorite Orlando parks–the Animal Kingdom. I liked how we began our visit there last time: arrived as the park opened and headed right for The Harambe Wildlife Reserve, before the lines picked up and the animals wandered off for the day. The Reserve attraction is a safari through a 100-acre savanna, roamed by African animals–you never know what you will see. The animals are most active in the mornings and toward late afternoon/evening. On my visit, this was the first and the last tour we did: both times, the lines were thinner than at other times of the day, and we got to see many, many different animals. Here are some hurried snapshots:

Giraffes, Harambe Wildlife Reserve in Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Giraffes of The Harambe Wildlife Reserve at Animal Kingdom–the animals looked healthy, and roamed freely across the 100-acre savanna

Elephants, Harambe Wildlife Reserve in Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Baby elephant was very affectionate

White-bearded Wildebeest, Harambe Wildlife Reserve in Orlando's Animal Kingdom

White-bearded Wildebeest, resting majestically

Gerenuk with its giraffe-like neck, Harambe Wildlife Reserve in Orlando's Animal Kingdom

A gerenuk, showing off its graceful giraffe-like neck

Nile Hippopotamus, Harambe Wildlife Reserve in Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Nile hippopotamus

Scimitar-horned Oryx, Lioness,Harambe Wildlife Reserve in Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Scimitar-horned oryx, looking like ghostly sculls floating over tall grass

Lioness, Harambe Wildlife Reserve in Orlando's Animal Kingdom

A lioness decided to make an appearance in the evening

Thomson's Gazelle, Harambe Wildlife Reserve in Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Thomson’s gazelle

Cheetah, resting in Orlando's Animal Kingdom

A cheetah–too far, but the aura of her presence was still keenly felt

After this, there are tigers

We then rambled toward my second favorite spot in the park–the Maharajah Jungle Trek in “Asia,” a more traditional Western zoo experience: the animals were in enclosures, but these were spacious, and the space is beautiful. I felt like walking through the jungle (along an understated well-paved path that just happened to meander through the best vistas). The uncontested highlights are the park’s majestic tigers, lounging against what looks like old ruins overgrown with brush; the great apes, unnervingly engaging; and a stunning number of colorful birds, swimming, perching, and flying all around you in the aviary (the most showy were too quick for me and my old, exhausted camera).

Tigers along the Maharajah Jungle Trek in "Asia," Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Tigers–behind the glass, but exactly THAT far

Tigers along the Maharajah Jungle Trek in "Asia," Orlando's Animal KingdomTiger, Maharajah Jungle Trek in "Asia," Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Gorilla, Orlando's Animal Kingdom

“Are you looking at ME?”

Wild Bull from India, Maharajah Jungle Trek in "Asia," Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Wild bull from India

Fruit bat, along the Maharajah Jungle Trek in "Asia," Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Fruit bat: a gentle creature, looking menacing nevertheless (it’s the leathery wings, I think)

A New Guinea masked plover

Peacock in Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Mandarin ducks in Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Mandarin ducks

An okapi, Orlando's Animal Kingdom

An okapi, not related to zebras–but is a cousin to giraffes

And of course there are rides–my favorite was this one (it looks delightfully retro and somewhat rickety, in just the right way):

Vista of Himalayas, Orlando's Animal Kingdom

Vista of Himalayas

Yes, I think I might head to Animal Kingdom again for my afternoon of freedom tomorrow!

Other Posts about Central Florida: 

8 thoughts on “Animal Kingdom: Tigers, and Lions, and So Much More

  1. I cherish Animal Kingdom! Great way to spend the afternoon. Anyway, just a little note to say thank you following thisfloridalife. I appreciate all of my followers and I hope you have a wonderful day!

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