One of the top 5 attractions in Animal Kingdom is Kilimanjaro Safari. This is an open-air safari that takes guests on a trip through the 110-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve. What is amazing about the Animal Kingdom safari is that you get close to animals in their natural environment.
The Kilimanjaro Safari is a 20-minute ride in an open-air truck. The truck has bench seating and if you have a party of less than 5 you will all be able to sit together in one row.
The best seats are always the outside seats. Either side will provide a great view of the wildlife, but I always prefer to sit on the far left.
The safari takes you on a ride through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. This part of Animal Kingdom is the largest in all of Disney World.
At 110 acres, it is larger than all of Magic Kingdom.
Animals are sectioned off into different areas of the reserve and your Animal Kingdom Safari driver will explain different animals and their habitats as you approach them.
There is also a spotting guide posted at the front of the seating area.
The key about enjoying the Kilimanjaro safari ride is to have low expections.
You never know which animals you are going to see. Some animals might be hiding or sleeping during your time in the reserve.
The animals you will see are free roaming. This means they could be up close to your vehicle or farther away.
You may find that your vehicle even has to stop to let animals pass!
How to Avoid Lines for Kilimanjaro Safari
The lines for the ride can be ridiculously long. If you don’t want to wait in a long line, the best things to do are either ride it when you arrive at the park or get a Lightning Lane pass for it.
If you do have to stand in the line, it is covered and shaded with fans located sporadically.
When is Best time to Ride the Kilimanjaro Safari?
Each time you go on the Animal Kingdom Safari you can have a different experience. This is because animals have different eating and sleeping schedules throughout the day.
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 easily visible from the safari vehicle.
Semi Private Safari 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 a 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 to 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?