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Africa at Animal Kingdom (Kilimanjaro Safaris, Festival of the Lion King)

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Africa at Animal Kingdom (Kilimanjaro Safaris, Festival of the Lion King)

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.

Overview

africa panoramic photo

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, Dino-Bash 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
Characters: None
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 Map

africa map animal kingdom

Dining

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

mahindi popcorn cart africa

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.

mahindi popcorn cart africa animal kingdom

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

tamu tamu refreshments animal kingdom africa

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.

tamu tamu refreshments africa animal kingdom

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.

tamu tamu refreshments seating area

Next to Tamu Tamu Refreshments, there’s a partially covered seating area.

Harambe Market

harambe market animal kingdom

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.

harambe market dining animal kingdom

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.

harambe market dining animal kingdom

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.

harambe market seating area animal kingdom

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 you most beautiful wall harambe market

“You Are Most Beautiful” wall location:

you are most beautiful wall animal kingdom location

Harambe Fruit Market

harambe fruit market animal kingdom africa

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.

grilled corn on the cob harambe fruit market

There is also fruit, chips, Mickey Pretzels, hot dogs, bottled beverages, and more available here for purchase.

Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery

kusafiri coffee shop and bakery animal kingdom

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.

kusafiri coffee shop and bakery spiced potato hand pies

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.

Dawa Bar

dawa bar animal kingdom

The Dawa Bar is a fun spot to grab a drink, take a rest, and watch the Tam Tam Drummers and Harambe Village Acrobats.

dawa bar animal kingdom

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

snack and drink cart africa animal kingdom

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

snack and drink cart africa animal kingdom

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

tusker house animal kingdom

Tusker House is the only character meal at Animal Kingdom — and it’s a great one.

tusker house animal kingdom character dining

In addition to a buffet serving African dishes (with many kid-friendly choices), you get to meet Safari Donald, Mickey, Goofy, and Daisy!

safari mickey tusker house animal kingdom

This is one of the best character dining options and is super fun. You can book it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Seating Areas

Here are the different seating areas you can find around Africa.

Near Tusker House and Dawa Bar:

dawa bar seating area animal kingdom

By the Harambe Fruit Market:

harambe fruit market seating area

Next to Tamu Tamu Refreshments:

tamu tamu refreshments seating area

At Harambe Market:

harambe market seating area animal kingdom

Shops

There are several shops that you should definitely take the time to explore while you’re in Africa.

Africa Hub Cart

africa hub cart pins animal kingdom

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.

africa hub cart pins animal kingdom

Kilimanjaro Safaris Cart

This cart has different Animal Kingdom and Disney souvenirs, including plushes.

Zuri’s Sweet Shop

zuri's sweet shop animal kingdom

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.

zuri's sweet shop animal kingdom

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 africa animal kingdom

Mombasa Marketplace/Ziwani Tarders is the main gift shop in Africa. There are so many fantastic items available for guests to take home.

african beaded jewelry mombasa marketplace animal kingdom

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.

national geographic merchandise mombasa marketplace
ziwani traders mombasa marketplace animal kingdom

You can even visit the wood carver outside, who transforms wood into beautiful one-of-a-kind wooden animals and more.

african wood carver animal kingdom

Mariya’s Souvenirs

Mariya's Souvenirs africa animal kingdom

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.

Mariya's Souvenirs africa animal kingdom

Tours

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.

  • Wild Africa Trek: A privately-guided, VIP expedition full of close encounters with exotic African wildlife.
  • Caring for Giants: Get a closer look at African elephants and learn what it takes to care for them.
  • Up Close with Rhinos: Meet and learn about rhinos in a special viewing area backstage.
  • Savor the Savanna: Enjoy the savanna with a private safari, African-inspired tapas, beverages and more.

Attractions

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

kilimanjaro safaris animal kingdom lightning lane

Kilimanjaro Safaris is the ride at Animal Kingdom allowing you to see all kinds of African animals.

kilimanjaro safaris queue

You board a Safari truck and head out on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve as if you’re going on an actual safari.

kilimanjaro safaris ride vehicle

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.

elephant kilimanjaro safaris animal kingdom

There is a Standby Line and a Lightning Lane available.

Entertainment

Africa has some of the best entertainment. The land wouldn’t be the same without the following.

Kora Tinga Tinga

kora tinga tinga animal kingdom

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

tam tam drummers africa animal kingdom

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

harambe village acrobats at animal kingdom

You don’t want to miss the Harambe Village Acrobats. They either perform by the stage across from Dawa Bar or near the Harambe Market. They are beyond amazing. You won’t believe what the acrobats they’re capable of. Find daily showtimes and location 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.

harambe theatre festival of the lion king

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.

festival of the lion king animal kingdom

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.

bird - festival of the lion king

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).

Dino-Bash Flotilla

goofy and pluto on dino-bash flotilla at animal kingdom
  • Features: Goofy and Pluto

Discovery Island Drummers Flotilla

discovery island drummers animal kingdom
  • Features: Discovery Island Drummers

Discovery River Character Cruise

meeko and pocahontas animal kingdom cavalcade from flame tree barbecue
  • Features: Pocahontas and Meeko from Pocahontas or Timon and Rafiki form The Lion King

Adventurer’s Flotilla — Disney Ducks

Adventurer's Flotilla — Disney Ducks at Animal Kingdom
  • Features: Scrooge McDuck and Launchpad McQuack

Adventurer’s Flotilla – Up

up flotilla at animal kingdom
  • Features: Russell and Dug from Up

Trails

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

gorilla falls exploration trail animal kingdom

The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is located next to Kilimanjaro Safaris and gives guests the chance to see and learn about different animals.

gorilla falls exploration trail animal kingdom

Keep reading for more information about the trail and its animals.

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.

lion kilimanjaro safaris animal kingdom
  • 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

Save this map for future reference when you ride Kilimanjaro Safaris:

kilimanjaro safaris animal location map

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.

cheetah kilimanjaro safaris animal kingdom

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:

gorilla falls exploration trail animal map

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.

gorilla falls exploration trail animal kingdom

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.

Okapi

okapi gorilla falls exploration trail animal kingdom

Yellow-Backed Duikers

yellow backed duikers gorilla falls exploration trail

Colobus Monkeys

Colobus Monkeys gorilla falls exploration trail

Naked Mole Rats & More

In the “Research Center,” you’ll find Naked Mole Rats, snakes, mice, and more creatures.

naked mole rats gorilla falls exploration trail animal kingdom

African Birds

african birds gorilla falls exploration trail

Hippos

hippos gorilla falls exploration trail

Meerkats

meerkat gorilla falls exploration trail

Zebras

zebras meerkats gorilla falls exploration trail

Western Lowland Gorillas

gorillas gorilla falls exploration trail

Activities

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.

coin press tusker house dawa bar animal kingdom

This machines has Animal Kingdom and The Lion King designs. You can purchase 1 for $1.00 or all 3 for $3.00.

Drum Area

drum area africa animal kingdom

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.

africa photopass animal kingdom

Don’t forget to ask if they have any fun Magic Shots!

africa photopass magic shot animal kingdom

Sometimes your photo may even include Expedition Everest in the background, making for a stunning picture.

expedition everest from africa animal kingdom

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.

Restrooms

Near the stage in the center of Africa there are a set of restrooms.

restrooms africa animal kingdom

You’ll also find restrooms past the Festival of the Lion King as you take the path from Africa to Pandora.

restrooms africa animal kingdom

Africa Checklist

africa checklist

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What’s your favorite thing about Africa in Animal Kingdom? Tell us in the comments!

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