Awesome Facts and Secrets About Animal Kingdom Safaris

in Walt Disney World

kilimanjaro safari when animals take over

Credit: Disney

One of the best things about visiting Walt Disney World Resort is the wide range of Parks that Guests can visit and enjoy. Whether you are stepping into the land of fantasy at Magic Kingdom, traveling the world at EPCOT, entering the movies at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or jumping into the animal world at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, each Park has its own immersive qualities.

mickey and minnie animal kingdom
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Removes Jambo House Availability Into 2021

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guests can truly forget that they are in Central Florida as they enter Africa, Asia, Pandora, and more! Not only is the landscaping at the Park lush, and the attractions are perfectly themed, but Guests can actually go on a safari within the theme park at no extra cost, and it is a jaw-dropping experience.

Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom allows Guests to enter the savannah and see animals of all kinds while having their own personal tour guide show them the way, answering all questions throughout. The animals are roaming free and are not caged, nor are you on a track, so everything that happens here is real.

lion at disney world kilimanjaro safaris
Credit: Disney

Today, we will dive keep into all of the safari opportunities available at Animal Kingdom. Of course, you will learn how to find Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney’s Animal Kingdom; you will discover all safari types at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as find out the cost of a safari ticket at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Let’s hop into our safari vehicle and explore!

How to find Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Safari Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: ITM

Where are the Kilimanjaro Safaris located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

If you want to experience Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom, you must enter the theme park and head to Africa. The attraction is located in the back of the land and will have yellow signage to indicate its entrance. This means that when you enter the theme park, you will want to make a left at the Tree of Life and follow the pathway all the way back into Africa.

lion at disney's animal kingdom
Credit: ITM Rebekah B.

What are other attractions around the Kilimanjaro Safari?

In Africa, Kilimanjaro Safari is the only “attraction” in the area in terms of feeling the closest to a ride. Still, there are plenty of other offerings that are highly interactive and pair nicely with the other offerings in the last. Firstly, A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King is now available for Guest to enjoy, and it is steps away from the attraction.

Related: Attraction Guide to Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney World

Guests who visit the show will be amazed by the stunning vocals, costumes, acrobatics, and dance numbers. Plus, you will surely be singing along to all your favorite tunes from The Lion King. Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail will allow Guests to walk around on foot and see all of the animals on the trail at their own pace. The animals will be behind glass walls and barricades, unlike the safari option.

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Credit: Disney

At Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Guests can board a train to meet animals up close and personal. The Conservation Station will allow Guests to see animals close up and watch scientists and veterinarians at work. The Animation Experience, which is in the same room, will allow Guests to learn how to draw a Disney character. My personal favorite, the Affection Section, is where Guests can pet animals such as goats and walk around with them.

What food options are near the Kilimanjaro Safari?

If you are hungry in Africa, we have got you covered! Tusker House Restaurant has African-style cuisine, and it is a character meal where Guests can meet Donald, Mickey, and Goofy! Dawa Bar is right outside of Tusker House, and they make excellent cocktails! Tamu Tamu Refreshments is a great place to grab a cold beverage, and at times, a snow cone. Looking for quick service? Harambe Fruit Market and Harambe Market have many options for Guests to choose from.

Caravan Road
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Safari types at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

What are the different types of safaris that you can go on while visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

If you are looking for an animal-filled day at Animal Kingdom, your day does not need to end after getting off Kilimanjaro Safari. There are more safaris and tours available for Guests to enjoy. The only catch is that although Kilimanjaro Safaris is free, the others are not.

Kilimanjaro Safaris
Credit: Disney

Below is a full list of all the different safaris available to Guests. Please be sure to check the Disney World website to see if the safari or tour you’re interested in attending is available during your stay.

  • Kilimanjaro Safari
    • A Truly Wild Adventure
      Explore the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, home to 34 species living in 110 acres of picturesque open plains, shady forest landscapes, and rocky wetlands. Your rugged safari vehicle is driven by an expert guide, who helps point out animals and shares fascinating wildlife facts during this extraordinary 18-minute expedition.Unique Animal Encounters
      Spot a shy hippopotamus nestled in a still pond. Behold a regal lion sunbathing on a rocky perch. Drive past a gentle giraffe grazing on the tall trees or wave hello to a swinging baboon. Other amazing animals you may encounter include rhinos, cheetahs, crocodiles, elephants, hyenas and zebras, and many more!Since animals have minds of their own, every expedition is a unique and unforgettable experience. Be sure to keep your eyes open and have a camera ready—you never know what you’ll see on a Kilimanjaro Safaris outing.Go Wilder at Night
      Venture onto the savanna for a safari tour after dark—and see the animals in a whole new light.Previously off-limits to visitors after sundown, this unforgettable journey through the reserve allows you to witness rarely seen nocturnal animal behaviors. Strategically placed lighting evokes both the setting sun and rising moon, so you won’t miss a moment. And as always, your friendly safari guide is on hand to share expert knowledge.
  • Caring for Giants
    • An Experience You’ll Never Forget
      Delve into the wondrous world of our Park’s largest inhabitants.During this 60-minute experience, you’ll meet with dedicated animal specialists who provide for the care and wellness of our African elephant herd. They’ll give you a glimpse into their day-to-day responsibilities as they provide fascinating facts about the elephants.African cultural representatives will also be on hand to share stories of Disney’s conservation efforts dedicated to preserving wild populations throughout their homeland.Throughout this experience, you’ll be able to observe the elephants from approximately 80 to 100 feet away. So you’ll enjoy a closer encounter with the elephants than you would during other in-park experiences.
  • Close Up With Rhinos
    • A Unique Encounter
      Get ready for your close-up with the white rhinoceros—Earth’s second-largest land animal. In this 60-minute guided adventure, the rhinos’ keepers will take you backstage to meet these massive creatures as few people ever do.As your guides introduce you to the Park’s white rhinos, they’ll offer fascinating insights into the species’ behavior and biology and discuss the challenges that threaten populations in the wild.
Lion King Sequence to Be Added to Tree of Life Awakenings at Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney
  • Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience
    • See the Savanna in a New Light
      Immerse your senses during a privately guided journey and explore the sights and sounds—and tastes—of Africa. Welcome to Savor The Savanna: Evening Safari Experience, a premium tour where you can discover the wonders of the continent’s most amazing creatures… and so much more!Special Access to the Savanna Your safari begins with a journey deep into the heart of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. As the evening awakens, you’ll soon find yourself within one of the most secluded and breathtaking private viewing areas the Savanna has to offer.Listen along as your guide tells tales of the unique residents who inhabit the reserve, and don’t hesitate to ask questions as he or she shares insightful information about the wildlife and the special care they’re provided at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.Premium Eats, Drinks, and More
      While savoring the Savanna scenery, you’re invited to indulge in a sampling of African-inspired cuisine, too, paired with a selection of regional beer and wine offerings.You’ll even be given a commemorative keepsake you can take home—yet another memory that will live on long after your excursion has ended!Pricing
      Savor The Savanna: Evening Safari Experience is available for $169 per Guest (tax not included). To book a ticket, please call (407) WDW-TOUR or (407) 939-8687. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian permission to call.

      Please note that valid theme Park admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is required and is not included in the price of this tour.

(left to right) minnie mouse, pluto, goofy, and mickey mouse at disney's animal kingdom
Credit: Disney
  • Wild Africa Trek
    • An Exhilarating Safari Adventure
      Be awestruck viewing wild animals in their natural habitat on the 3-hour Wild Africa Trek. On this privately priced tour, discover animals of nearly every variety living in the Safi River Valley—an uninhibited environment that resembles their home turf in Africa.The Journey
      Walk along a grassland path, cross a rope bridge and ride in a rugged safari vehicle over an open savanna—with a chance to view African creatures, including towering giraffes, powerful rhinos, hippos, and crocodiles.Along your journey, your knowledgeable guide will share insights about the majestic animals you’re viewing as well as the general operation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and details about the Park’s dedication to animal conservation.And as if your safari weren’t memorable enough, you’ll receive a complimentary souvenir as well!Complimentary Photo Services
      Enjoy your encounters with the animals of the Harambe Reserve while a trained photographer captures all the action and excitement throughout your adventure—a service that’s included with your tour.At the end of your expedition, you’ll receive a photo code that you can use to access and download images taken during your Wild Africa Trek experience.

      Please Note: This tour requires a separate admission ticket to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.

      Indulge In Gourmet Eats
      Work up an appetite during your trek, and then enjoy some first-class, African-inspired snacks.

      Sample Menu

      Morning

      Air-dried beef and prosciutto
      Smoked salmon roulade with dill
      Fig cake with Boursin cheese
      Brie cheese and apricot
      Berry yogurt and dried cranberries
      Fresh fruit marinated in mint and ginger
      Afternoon

      Chicken curry salad
      Sun-dried tomato hummus and mini pita
      Marinated tandoori shrimp
      Smoked salmon roulade with dill
      Air-dried beef and prosciutto
      Fresh fruit marinated in mint and ginger
      Please note: Menu items are subject to change without notice.

Baby animals Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

What Animal Kingdom safari options work best for children?

If you are traveling with little ones, some safari options are best suited for your group. Kilimanjaro Safari is perfect for kids as there is no walking involved. Caring for Giants and Up Close with Rhinos are both suited for children as well.

Related: Rhinos Fight At Kilimanjaro Safaris, Bump Into Ride Vehicle

expedition everest animal kingdom
Credit: Disney

What safari options are best for teens and adults?

Of course, the three I just named are not solely for kids, as they are meant for Guests of all ages. Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience is not meant for kids, so it may be something that teens and adults would enjoy more. Also, it is not a safari, but the Wild Africa Trek is also perfect for adults and teenagers.

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Credit: Disney

Cost of a safari ticket at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

What is the cost range of safari tickets at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

If you want to do a few of the safari’s available at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, below is a full breakdown of the pricing for each location and tour. This could help you see what is in your price range in terms of add-ons, or, perhaps, will let you decide that Kilimanjaro Safari is all you need!

  • Kilimajaro Safaris – Free (included with Park admission)
  • Caring for Giants – $30.00 per person
  • Up Close with Rhinos – $40.00 per person
  • Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience – $169.00 per person
  • Wild Africa Trek – $189.00–$249.00 per person
Baby Rhino at Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

What are some potential additional costs for the Safaris at Animal Kingdom?

If you want to do a safari that costs money at Animal Kingdom, any additional cost will likely be due to added food or drinks on top of your package. Not all tours come with food or drinks, but additional items will be extra for those who do. Please note that all pricing is per person, so the larger your party, the more the tour will cost.

Best time to go on a safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

What is the best time of day to go on an Animal Kingdom safari?

Because animals have different sleep patterns, different times of the day can be better or worse, depending on the animal you want to see. My safari driver told me in the past that visiting in the early morning is often best as the animals like to come out when the weather is a little cooler. As the temperature rises, some animals may hide or seek shade at times in the day. Sundown is also a great time to check it out, along with when it rains, as well.

That being said, you will always see some form of an animal when you ride Kilimanjaro Safaris!

Disney's Animal Kingdom Entrance
Credit: Disney

What is the best time of year to go on a Disney safari?

As we previously, mentioned, when the weather is a little cooler out, you are most likely to see the most animals. June through September is when Florida is at its hottest, so visiting at a time aside from then may be your best bet!

Baby rhino at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney

What is the most time-efficient way to see all of Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

If you want to do everything at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, be sure to strategize. Animal Kingdom is a huge Park that takes a lot to walk through and has a lot to offer, so you must be aware of what is available for you to do and know your way around the Park by studying the map.

Pandora - The World of Avatar
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If you want to catch the shows, be sure to know what showtimes are available, so you know when to watch. It is also best to know what rides are near each other. There is no use jumping from DINOSAUR to Flight of Passage in Pandora, as that will take a lot of walking. Try to ride attractions that are close by to each other.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: Jonathan Michael Salazar

Some attractions, such as Expedition Everest, will have a long line, but there is a Single Rider queue that you can use to cut down on some time! Make a reservation if you want to guarantee to dine, or be sure you have your Mobile Order ready to go on your phone. Look up menus before arriving so you know where you want to eat.

Angolan baby monkey at Disney's Animal Kingdom
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If there is a massive line, such as Flight of Passage, do it last—no point in wasting Park hours in line when you could be doing other things. As long as you’re in line before Park close, you will get on the attraction!

What are the parking options at or near Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

At Animal Kingdom, Guests can choose between standard theme Park parking or preferred parking, which will be parked closer to the entrance.

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So, now you are a safari expert and will be ready to go the next time you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Do you have any tips when it comes to Kilimanjaro Safari? Let us know in the comments below. 

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