It so frustrates me when I hear someone call Disney’s Animal Kingdom a zoo! When you visit Animal Kingdom and encounter the animals on the Kilimanjaro Safari, you realize that this is anything but a zoo! As you ride in a open-air jeep through the savanna, you will see animals on both sides of the jeep and we have had to stop to just let an antelope or another wild animal cross in front of you.
Unlike most rides at Walt Disney World, this ride is free-driven and does not ride on rails. The jeeps are driven by your guide as they exit the station and enter Harmbe Wildlife Reserve. As you ride along, you will see cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, hippos and many other wild animals living in harmony through the reserve. While they all seem to be loose to go where they want, there are hidden obstacles in their way to keep them from entering areas where their natural enemies or food live. Most of these “so-called” fences are unseen by most people, unless you are very observant!
On a recent trip we were able to even see the hyenas, which had only been in the reserve about 2 weeks! That was a special treat!
On the back of each row of seats, you will find a picture chart showing all the animals you could encounter. It is highly recommended children sit toward the middle since there are no side rails, but don’t worry – you can see animals from any seat and the driver slows down for those who are a little harder to see or are hidden in the bushes.
Debbie and her husband live in Collegedale, TN where her youngest son is going to college. She is a huge Disney fan who dreams of someday retiring and working as a tour guide at Walt Disney World. She has enjoyed many trips to WDW with children, grandchildren and sometimes adults only. It is her ultimate goal to make sure everyone who visits WDW has the same magical time that she enjoys every time she visits.