Travel Tools from The Unofficial Guide™ Team  -  See Our Books Here!
  • Background Image

    Kilimanjaro Safaris

Subscribe Now: 1 Full Year for Only $15.95!

Get full access to the WDW Crowd Calendar, Lines Mobile App, Touring Plans and More!

topsub_examplefamily

"Our TouringPlans subscription was a lifesaver on our trip. One of the busiest days of the year, and we never waited longer than 20 minutes!"

- Smith Family, KY

Subscription Type:

1 Year WDW Subscription ($15.95)

Visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando?

Add Universal Orlando to your subscription for only $5.95!   That's 25% off!

Payment Method:

Pay With Your Credit Card
Pay With Your PayPal Account
Click here to close the subscription form

Description And Comments

Animal Kingdom’s premier zoological attraction, Kilimanjaro Safaris offers an exceptionally realistic, albeit brief, imitation of an actual African photo safari. Thirty-two guests at a time board tall, open vehicles and are dispatched into a simulated African veldt habitat. Animals such as zebras, wildebeests, impalas, Thomson’s gazelles, giraffes, and even rhinos roam apparently free, while predators such as lions, as well as potentially dangerous large animals like hippos, are separated from both prey and guests by all-but-invisible, natural-appearing barriers. Although the animals have more than 100 acres of savanna, woodland, streams, and rocky hills to call home, careful placement of water holes, forage, and salt licks ensures that the critters are hanging out by the road when safari vehicles roll by.

Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World author, Bob Sehlinger, says: "Having traveled in Kenya and Tanzania, I (Bob) can tell you that Disney has done an amazing job of replicating the sub-Saharan east-African landscape. As on a real African safari, what animals you see, and how many, is pretty much a matter of luck. We’ve experienced Kilimanjaro Safaris more than 100 times and had a different experience on each trip."

Winding through this attraction is the Wild Africa Trek, a behindthe- scenes tour of Disney’s Animal Kingdom that takes guests into several of Kilimanjaro Safaris’ animal enclosures. As you ride past the hippo pool or over the crocodile pool, look up for a series of rope bridges towering above the ground—you may see Trekkers on tour. See page 691 for a complete description.

Animal Kingdom also offers a nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris. Before the first safari truck rolled into the setting sun, Disney spent more than a year acclimating the existing animals, as well as nocturnal species such as hyenas, to life in a theme park. For the nighttime version, Disney also installed a baseball stadium–size wall of graphics displays at the far end of the attraction’s savanna grasslands.

Turned on late in the day, the displays are programmed to simulate a gradually setting sun for hours on end—providing enough light for guests to see the animals that are still roaming around. It’s hard to predict which ones you’re likely to see, however: On one nighttime tour, we found that the rhinos were noticeably more active at night; other animals, such as hippos, crocodiles, and elephants, became virtual recluses. A Wilmington, Delaware, man had a different experience, though:

Animal Kingdom at night was the hit of our trip, and Kilimanjaro Safaris was great. We saw more animals in action than we had ever seen in the daytime, and the nighttime added just a hint of danger to the entire proceeding that made it fun.

Touring Tips

Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of Animal Kingdom’s busiest attractions, along with Expedition Everest and the two Pandora attractions. From a touring standpoint, this is a good thing: By distributing guests evenly throughout the park, those other attractions make it unnecessary to run to Kilimanjaro Safaris first thing in the morning. Our Animal Kingdom touring plan has you obtain FastPass+ reservations for the Safaris in the afternoon—while you wait for your FastPass+ return window, you’ll have plenty of time to eat and tour the rest of Africa.

Waits for Kilimanjaro Safaris diminish in late afternoon, sometimes as early as 3:30 p.m. but more commonly somewhat later. We recommend taking the nighttime safari after you’ve experienced the daytime version.

If you want to take photos, note that the vehicle isn’t guaranteed to stop at a given location. Drivers try their best to accommodate guests and stop when big animals come into view, but be prepared to snap at any time. As for the ride, it’s not that rough. Finally, the only thing that a young child might find scary is crossing an “old bridge” that seems to collapse under your truck.

Kilimanjaro Safaris Wait Times

This chart shows you roughly how long you'll wait for Kilimanjaro Safaris when you visit on a day with a given Disney's Animal Kingdom Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average "peak" wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it's the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see Kilimanjaro Safaris Wait Times.

Attraction Photos

Special Comments

Special Needs

Other Attractions in Africa

Touring Plans with Kilimanjaro Safaris

What is a Touring Plan?

Top