Animal Kingdom is the youngest park at Walt Disney World. It’s also one of the most unique thanks to its zoo-like atmosphere.
Even though there are a variety of animals to see, including giraffes, zebras, and elephants, it’s far different than a zoo.
Animal Kingdom is known for having some of the best park food on property, thrilling attractions, exciting tours, and much, much more.
As the biggest Disney World theme park, there’s a lot to see and do, so why not take a deep dive into each land?
Here we take a closer look into Africa, one of the most vibrant and entertaining lands at Animal Kingdom.
This land celebrates African culture, food, animals, and so much more. From unique merchandise, to phenomenal entertainment, to seeing animals on the savanna, Africa is one land that you certainly shouldn’t overlook.
Location: Animal Kingdom
Restaurants: 8 Quick Service (Mahindi, Tamu Tamu Refreshments, Harambe Market, Harambe Fruit Market, Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery, Dawa Bar, 2 Snack & Drink Carts); 1 Table Service (Tusker House)
Shops: Africa Hub Cart, Kilimanjaro Safaris Cart, Zuri’s Sweet Shop, Mombasa Marketplace/Ziwani Traders, Mariya’s Souvenirs
Entertainment: Kora Tinga Tinga, Tam Tam Drummers, Harambe Village Acrobats, Festival of the Lion King, Mickey and Friends Flotilla, Discovery Island Drummers Flotilla, Discovery River Character Cruise, Adventurer’s Flotilla — Disney Ducks, Adventurer’s Flotilla – Up
Animals: Seen on Kilimanjaro Safaris (Bongos, Okapi, Nyala, Bontebak, Black Rhino, Hippos, Nile Crocodiles, Giraffes, Sable Antelope, Gazelles, Ankole-Watusi Cattle, Wildebeest, Hyenas, African Wild Dogs, Mandrill, Elephants, Greater Flamingos, White Rhinos, Greater Kudu, Scimitar-Horned Oryx, Long-Horned Eland, Impala, Cheetahs, Lions, Addax, Warthogs, Ostriches, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Zebras); Seen on Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail (Okapi, Yellow-Backed Duikers, Colobus Monkeys, Naked Mole Rats, Snakes, African Birds, Hippos, Gerenuk, Meerkats, Zebras, Western Lowland Gorillas)
Attractions: Kilimanjaro Safaris
Tours: Wild Africa Trek, Caring for Giants, Up Close with Rhinos, Savor the Savanna
Trails: Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
Popular snacks and drinks: Simba Sunset (Tamu Tamu Refreshments), Grilled Corn on the Cob (Harambe Fruit Market), Lost on Safari (Dawa Bar), Ngumu Jungle Juice (Dawa Bar)
Not-to-miss: Kilimanjaro Safaris, Festival of the Lion King, Tusker House, Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, Harambe Village Acrobats
Africa’s Table Service offering is a popular character meal location that has some fantastic food offerings. You can also find great African flavors at the Quick Service restaurants. Plus, Dole Whip.
Quick Service Restaurants
Mahindi is a popcorn stand that you’ll see first thing as soon as you cross the bridge into Africa from Discovery Island. You can also usually purchase seasonal and limited-time popcorn buckets here.
Tamu Tamu Refreshments
Tamu Tamu Refreshments is located in the heart of Africa.
In addition to a range of breakfast options, this is the stand to visit if you’re in need of a cold treat. You can even order pineapple Dole Whip here.
There are also special Dole Whip menu items, including Simba’s Sunset (pineapple Dole Whip with strawberry), Lion’s Lair (pineapple Dole Whip topped with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum and sour apple), and King’s Cooler (pineapple Dole Whip with Parrot Bay Coconut Rum), to name a few.
Next to Tamu Tamu Refreshments, there’s a partially covered seating area.
The Harambe Market has a wide range of African-inspired dishes. This is a good place to grab a bite if you want something healthier or lighter.
From salads, to a rice and chicken bowl, to a ribs bowl, to a plant-based bowl, there are several options. Plus, kids can choose from a peanut butter and jelly Uncrustable, chicken nuggets, or a chicken bowl.
The market area has a big outdoor section with tables and chairs for guests. You can also place Mobile Orders, which we always recommend taking advantage of to make life easier.
The theming here is on point and you can even find the famous “You Are Most Beautiful Wall” tucked back in the corner.
“You Are Most Beautiful” wall location:
Harambe Fruit Market
The Harambe Fruit Market is a small outdoor stand where you can order snacks, including the ever-so-popular Grilled Corn on the Cob (with or without African spices).
Yes, the corn is messy, but we’ve heard it’s worth having the corn get caught in between your teeth.
There is also fruit, chips, Mickey Pretzels, hot dogs, bottled beverages, and more available here for purchase.
Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery
Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery is located across from the Mombasa Marketplace/Ziwani Traders.
It’s easy to miss, so keep your eyes peeled, because this stand has some great menu items.
From breakfast options including sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit and a pistachio honey croissant, to flatbreads, to house-made chips, there are some unique offerings here that are usually pretty delicious.
The Dawa Bar is a fun spot to grab a drink, take a rest, and watch the Tam Tam Drummers and Harambe Village Acrobats.
There’s a small list of beer, wine, and cocktails available, including specialty beverages like the Lost on Safari (Starr African Rum and Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum with Pangani Punch) and the Ngumu Jungle Juice (Snow Leopard Vodka, Bols Peach Schnapps and Tusker’s famous Jungle Juice).
There is a spacious covered area with tables and chairs, too.
Snack & Drink Cart
Across from the Mombasa Marketplace/Ziwani Traders, there is a snack and drink cart if you want ice cream, chips, or a bottled beverage.
Snack & Drink Cart
As you walk the path from Africa to Pandora, you’ll come upon a snack and drink cart selling ice cream, snacks, and bottled beverages.
Table Service Restaurant
Tusker House is the only character meal at Animal Kingdom — and it’s a great one.
In addition to a buffet serving African dishes (with many kid-friendly choices), you get to meet Safari Donald, Mickey, Goofy, and Daisy!
This is one of the best character dining options and is super fun. You can book it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Here are the different seating areas you can find around Africa.
Near Tusker House and Dawa Bar:
By the Harambe Fruit Market:
Next to Tamu Tamu Refreshments:
At Harambe Market:
There are several shops that you should definitely take the time to explore while you’re in Africa.
Africa Hub Cart
The Africa Hub Cart is next to Mahindi and across from Tamu Tamu Refreshments. There is a small offering of pins, hats, and other Disney merchandise.
Kilimanjaro Safaris Cart
This cart has different Animal Kingdom and Disney souvenirs, including plushes.
Zuri’s Sweet Shop
Zuri’s Sweet Shop is connected to the Mombasa Marketplace and Ziwani Traders. While you can buy different souvenirs here, you can also pick out Disney desserts from the bakery case.
There are typical Disney treats, like caramel apples and cookies. But, if you want to try something unique, order the Mickey Dark Chocolate with Chili Pepper. You can only find it at Zuri’s.
Mombasa Marketplace/Ziwani Traders
Mombasa Marketplace/Ziwani Tarders is the main gift shop in Africa. There are so many fantastic items available for guests to take home.
Yes, there are shirts, plushes, and even National Geographic souvenirs, but there are special offerings, including jewelry and other items made my artisans from Africa.
You can even visit the wood carver outside, who transforms wood into beautiful one-of-a-kind wooden animals and more.
Mariya’s Souvenirs is found near the Harambe Theatre, where Festival of the Lion King plays. You can browse hats, plushes, snacks, toys, and more.
There are 4 popular animal-related tours that you can book up to 60 days in advance. You’ll check in for all of these tours at the Curiosity Animal Tours kiosk located near Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Here’s a brief breakdown of each tour. Click the link for more information, including pricing.
There is only one attraction in Africa, but it is a popular and worthy ride. This is a must-do if you’re visiting Animal Kingdom.
Kilimanjaro Safaris is the ride at Animal Kingdom allowing you to see all kinds of African animals.
You board a Safari truck and head out on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve as if you’re going on an actual safari.
The attraction spans 110 acres and is home to 34 species! The ride is also 22 minutes giving you the chance to see elephants, giraffes, rhinos, hippos, lions, and so many more amazing creatures.
There is a Standby Line and a Lightning Lane available.
Africa has some of the best entertainment. The land wouldn’t be the same without the following.
Kora Tinga Tinga
Kora Tinga Tinga plays a hand-crafted African harp with 21 strings, aka the “kora,” outside the Harambe Market. It’s a beautiful performance. Find daily showtimes in the My Disney Experience app.
Tam Tam Drummers
The Tam Tam Drummers play on the stage across from Dawa Bar. You won’t be able to stop dancing to the African rhythms the drummers deliver. Find daily showtimes in the My Disney Experience app.
Harambe Village Acrobats
You don’t want to miss the Harambe Village Acrobats. They perform by the stage across from Dawa Bar and are beyond amazing. You won’t believe what the acrobats they’re capable of. Find daily showtimes in the My Disney Experience app.
Festival of the Lion King
Festival of the Lion King tells the story of The Lion King with some of the most talented and best performers at Disney.
You’ll hear songs from the film performed, along with standout acts, like a fire dancer, the Tumble Monkeys, and the gorgeous flying blue bird.
You can either wait in the Standby Line or use the Lightning Lane. Regarding the latter, using Genie+ here isn’t totally necessary, because the theater holds a lot of people.
But, you will want to plan accordingly, because this is the most popular show at Animal Kingdom.
Find daily showtimes in the My Disney Experience app.
Note about the following cavalcades: All of the character flotillas can be seen sailing around the Discovery River. They have set showtimes that are posted in the My Disney Experience app and we recommend checking the schedule ahead of time. You usually have to be in the right place at the right time to catch them (crossing a bridge, walking a trail, dining at Nomad Lounge or Flame Tree Barbecue, or taking a break in the Discovery River Amphitheater).
Mickey and Friends Flotilla
- Features: Mickey and Minnie
Discovery Island Drummers Flotilla
- Features: Discovery Island Drummers
Discovery River Character Cruise
- Features: Pocahontas and Meeko from Pocahontas or Timon and Rafiki form The Lion King
Adventurer’s Flotilla — Disney Ducks
- Features: Scrooge McDuck and Launchpad McQuack
Adventurer’s Flotilla – Up
- Features: Russell and Dug from Up
There is one trail in Africa and it’s a must. Plus, you get to see a ton of animals and what’s better than that at a park all about animals?
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is located next to Kilimanjaro Safaris and gives guests the chance to see and learn about different animals.
Keep reading for more information about the trail and its animals.
You can find a range of animals in Africa when you walk the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail and ride Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Tip: You can also find select animals in the My Disney Experience app under the “attractions” category. Plus, at the park entrance next to the park guide map, there should be literature on the animals and their locations.
Kilimanjaro Safaris Animals
Below is a list of the animals you may see when riding Kilimanjaro Safaris.
- Black Rhino
- Nile Crocodiles
- Sable Antelope
- Ankole-Watusi Cattle
- African Wild Dogs
- Greater Flamingos
- White Rhinos
- Greater Kudu
- Scimitar-Horned Oryx
- Long-Horned Eland
- Nigerian Dwarf Goats
Save this map for future reference when you ride Kilimanjaro Safaris:
We say “may see,” because depending on the animal, the time of day, the weather, or the time of year, certain animals might not be out.
What makes Kilimanjaro Safaris so fun is it’s a different ride every time. You never know what animal you’ll see.
Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
Save this map for future reference as you explore the Africa animal trail:
The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is located near Kilimanjaro Safaris and features a range of animals. The star of the trail are the gorillas, of course, but there are also other animals not to be missed.
Note: There are no shortcuts or exits mid-way for this trail. Once you enter, you have to walk through all of it in order to exit. The time it takes to walk through depends on how long you linger and watch the animals. But, overall, it’s not super lengthy.
Here are the main animals you can see as you walk the trail.
Naked Mole Rats & More
In the “Research Center,” you’ll find Naked Mole Rats, snakes, mice, and more creatures.
Western Lowland Gorillas
There are a few activities in Africa that little ones, especially, will love.
Coin Press Machines
You’ll find one coin press machine in Africa near the Dawa Bar and Tusker House dining areas.
This machines has Animal Kingdom and The Lion King designs. You can purchase 1 for $1.00 or all 3 for $3.00.
This drum area is located across from Tamu Tamu Refreshments and is a great spot for kids.
Disney PhotoPass Photographer
While not officially listed in the My Disney Experience app, you should be able to find a PhotoPass photographer on the bridge leading into Africa.
Don’t forget to ask if they have any fun Magic Shots!
Sometimes your photo may even include Expedition Everest in the background, making for a stunning picture.
Remember: unless you have Memory Maker, Memory Maker Day One, or a PhotoPass entitlement with your Annual Pass, you will have to pay to download or print these photos.
Near the stage in the center of Africa there are a set of restrooms.
You’ll also find restrooms past the Festival of the Lion King as you take the path from Africa to Pandora.
What’s your favorite thing about Africa in Animal Kingdom? Tell us in the comments!
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