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by Daisy Diva

The Kilimanjaro Safari ride is one of the most popular experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  And for good reason—it is probably one of the most amazing animal experiences this side of Africa.  Kilimanjaro Safari is in the Harambe Village in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom and is an open air vehicle ride through the African savannah (or the central Florida version of the African savannah) complete with uncaged live animals.  It is an unbelievable experience that is not to be missed.  Every ride on Kilimanjaro Safari is different as you will see the various animals in different ways each time.

DSC_0151The ride begins when you board a large, windowless jeep (seats about 32)  driven by your experienced tour guide.  Ours was Nick—he was fabulous is every way- funny, knowledgeable, and great with my kids.  We sat in the front row right behind the driver and he constantly interacted with my kids (who were 4 and 2 at the time) and even called my daughter ‘princess.’ He really made the ride for us.  The drivers obviously have a script to follow during the ride, but they are more than happy to answer any questions, so if you want to know, ASK!

But the real stars of the show are the animals.  There are about 30 different animals spread throughout the safari, but they may not all be out and about during your ride.  I will admit that I am not much of an animal person.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy visiting the zoo and petting my dog, but I was never destined for veterinary greatness.  But being that close to such amazing animals was absolutely breathtaking.  And in spite of how close the animals were, I felt totally safe.  Disney has special barriers in place that keep the animals within their particular areas without it being obvious t0 guests.  The best part for me was that all of my family’s favorites were clearly visible on the ride.  My daughter was really into hippos at the time, so she loved crossing the bridge and seeing them all resting in the water and staying cool.


Giraffes were my son’s favorite animal at the time, and we actually had one walk right alongside the Jeep for a while.


I have always loved elephants, so that was definitely my favorite area of the ride.


Honestly, my husband was amazed by the whole experience.  He especially loved the ‘cats’ on the ride.  The male lion was not actually out and visible during our expedition, and I would have loved to have heard him roar (although I might have also had a mild heart attack), so that was a little disappointing, but it was still quite amazing to be that close to those dangerous creatures.

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DSC_0192Another shocking part of the ride was when our jeep actually had to stop in the middle of the road for an animal to cross right in front of us!  NOTE:  The jeeps very rarely stop, so be ready with your camera if you want to get pictures of the animals.  But do keep in mind that you will pretty much constantly be in motion.

I seriously cannot say enough glowing things about this ride.  It is without a doubt a ride that our family will do during every visit to Animal Kingdom.

Kilimanjaro Safari is a very popular ride and can get a long line pretty quickly.  If you have your heart set on doing this ride, you should either get a FastPass+ reservation for it or head to it first thing in the morning right when the park opens to avoid the long lines.  There is no height restriction for this ride, so the whole family can enjoy it together.  Guests is wheelchairs can ride, but will need to go to the special boarding area and with need to either transfer to a standard wheelchair or directly into the seat of the jeep.  The ride was made to be authentic, so it can get a little bumpy.  If you are riding with little ones, hold on tightly to them.

This ride is absolutely not to be missed, so make sure you plan to take a safari ride during your next visit to Animal Kingdom.

To book your vacation to Disney World and catch all the action at Animal Kingdom Lodge, contact Patricia at All For Dreams Travel.