(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links. Read our disclosure policy.)
If there is one ride you don’t want to miss out on at Animal Kingdom, it is Kilimanjaro Safari. This is an open air safari ride through the 110-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve of Animal Kingdom in which you might see up to 34 different species in what mimics their natural environment.
What is really amazing about this Animal Kingdom experience that you get close to these animals and the guide can give you facts about them as you see them.
Each time you ride Kilimanjaro Safari you can have a different experience since animals have different eating and sleeping schedules.
Some believe that best time to go on the Kilimanjaro Safari is first thing in the morning or before dusk. We have done the safari both morning and afternoon.
What I can tell you is that we saw animals up close both times, but often they were different animals.
During the summer in the late afternoon we saw an amazing amount of wildlife, but certain animals (like the lions) were in the shadier areas where they are not visible from the safari vehicle.
The ride can get bumpy, but the tour guide will make stops in order for you to take pictures.
You will find that sometimes the animals are close to your vehicle, while other times they are farther away. If your camera has a zoom lens, you might want to bring it with you.
This is especially true for the lions. Lions like to sun themselves on the higher rocks which makes photographing them difficult. This is where a long shot lens will come in handy.
The entire ride takes about 30 minutes and you are in a covered vehicle the entire time. The lines can get extremely long, so this is definitely a ride we suggest you get a FastPass for.
Semi Private Tours in Animal Kingdom
If you want an even closer experience with the animals in Animal Kingdom, you can always pay for a semi-private tour. These are a few that you can choose from:
Wild Africa Trek Tour
If you are big fan of Kilimanjaro Safari, you should consider the Wild Africa Trek Tour. On this private tour you will embark on a guided expedition that takes you up close with exotic wildlife species. This tour is only available to children 8 and older. You will get a private safari ride and photo CD.
Caring for Giants
During this 60-minute experience, get to meet with those who care for the African elephant herd. They’ll give you a glimpse into their day-to-day responsibilities as they provide fascinating facts about the elephants. While you will not get to touch them, you will get closer to them than any other place in the park.
Up Close with Rhinos
On this hour long guided adventure, the rhinos’ keepers will take you see these massive creatures as few people ever do. You will learn about the species’ behavior and biology and discuss the challenges that threaten populations of white Rhinos in the wild.
Have you been on Kilimanjaro Safari? What was your favorite part of the trip?