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MAHARAJAH JUNGLE TREK
We usually get our FastPass for Kali River Rapids and then go over to the Maharajah Jungle Trek whilst we wait for our ride time.
The good thing about the Maharajah Jungle Trek is that you go at your own pace, and spend as little or as much time as you want to see and photograph the animals
If you have any questions about the animals you see on the Trek be sure to ask the Guides many of whom are native to Asia.
You will see architecture, animal carvings and ruins from Nepal, India, Thailand and Indonesia scattered throughout the trail.
This is a great place for children because there are plenty of viewing areas. As you go through the ancient ruins you see tigers, bats and birds on this self-guided walking tour.
When you enter the land of Anandapur, you will feel as though you have been transported half way around the world. As you cross the bridge into Asia, even before you actually enter the Maharajah Jungle Trek you are likely to hear the Gibbons. They are members of the ape family, not the monkey family. They have longer arms and no tails. Amongst the temples and memorial pillars of Anandapur you will find the white-cheeked gibbons as well as a larger gibbon. The male gibbons are black and the females golden. The white-cheeked gibbon lives in tropical forests in Vietnam with a life span of about 25 years.
The larger gibbon will most likely be overhead and swinging from tower to tower and you often hear them “hooting”. Apparently this “hoot” can be heard up to 2 miles away.
When you go around the bend into the first animal viewing area you will see the world’s largest lizard. They love to live on their own except when breeding and eating.
Next you go along the path where there is a female Tapir, these are an endangered species. Tapir skin is very tough, like a rhino, which attracts hunters. Apparently when they are born, the Tapir skin colour is all brown and later turns into black and white. The guide told us she has very poor eyesight and relies heavily on her sense of smell.
I really do not like bats but they have a lovely community of them here. If you do not want to see them you can use the bypass to miss out this section.
If you do proceed to see them you can see the bats hanging from the vines and trees in the enclosure. They also will sometimes wrap themselves in their paper-thin wings to preserve body heat or fan themselves to stay cool.
There are some bats called golden bats because of the colour of their skin. There are others that have a wing span of 6 feet.
Then you come to the most beautiful section of the Maharajah Jungle Trek which will bring you into the heart of India. This is called Tiger Forest. Paintings adorn the old crumbling walls and there are several viewing areas for the Asian Tigers.
Try to visit the Tigers in the early morning hours. Then they can sometimes be found stretching on a tree trunk or playing in the water. However if you visit after 4 p. m. the tigers know that they will be going backstage " soon, " and they all congregate near the fountain
There is another good viewing area for the Tigers on a nearby bridge. Then if you look left while on the bridge, you will see a field with Elds Deer and Blackbuck. The Elds Deer are also an endangered species.
Finally you finish your visit at a beautiful peaceful bird sanctuary. Paintings on the walls and running water from the fountains provide a lovely peaceful atmosphere. There is usually a guide in this area, often with binoculars, who can answer questions and point out the birds.
As you leave the bird area, the sounds in the distance of the Kali River Rapids remind you it is time to go back for your ride.
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