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Kilimanjaro Safaris


Kilimanjaro Safaris is a two-week trek through the African savannah searching for wildlife. The ride vehicles are actual trucks driven by your safari guide, who points out the various animals along the trail. There are some tricky spots on the road, including a rickety bridge, and the ride ends with your group joining in the hunt for a band of poachers.

Kilimanjaro Safaris is a FASTPASS attraction.


Kilimanjaro Safaris is an original Animal Kingdom attraction; it opened with the park on April 22, 1998. Two original elements of the ride are no longer included:

  • A reserve Ranger (live Cast Member) was at one time stationed near the end, having captured the poachers. Apparently the fact that the Ranger was toting a gun was considered too intense.
  • Speaking of intense, the original concept included a scene of the mother elephant (Big Red) after the poachers had got to her. This never made it beyond the soft openings of the attraction. Jim Hill tells a story of the director-and-above level discussions at Disney about what to do; sadly, he never once uses the 'elephant in the room' joke


Before Expedition Everest, this was the primary must-see attraction at the Animal Kingdom, drawing crowds first thing in the morning and staying busy throughout the day. With the coming of the Yeti, crowds are somewhat eased at park opening, but afternoons are still crowded.

This is certainly a not-to-be-missed attraction; even though the poacher story is watered down, the anmials are worth the time. The skill with which Disney has engineered the anmial habitats really shows through, as there isn't a fence or ditch in sight, and some of the more harmless (i.e. herbivorous) animals can walk right up to the road.


Touring Tips

  • Ride this one early in the morning, or be one of the last ones in line at the end of the day. The animals are more active in the cooler parts of the day.
  • If you intend to ride at park opening, consider walking the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail first. This will leave you essentially alone on the trail, and you will enter Kilimanjaro Safaris after the initial crush of people, but usually before the second wave hits.

Hidden Treasures

  • In the queue, look for the signs giving the names of animals in both English and Swahili. Remember a few and you can impress your friends next time you're at a zoo (or on an African safari)


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