Fun Facts about Kilimanjaro Safaris

One of the highlights of visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park is actually getting the opportunity to see real animals! From the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail to the Maharajah Jungle Trek, there are some awesome ways to be introduced to various species that you may not have ever seen in real life.

Then there’s Kilimanjaro Safaris….the experience that most people actually mistake for being the only thing in the park!


Area – Africa
Opening Date – April 22, 1998
Attraction – Open-Sided Safari Ride
Vehicle Type – Safari Truck
Duration – 22 Minutes
FastPass+ Available


When you look at the physical size of the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction (110 acres), it’s actually larger than the entire Magic Kingdom (107 acres). That’s mindblowing when you really think about it!


When Walt Disney was creating the original Jungle Cruise in Disneyland, he wanted real live animals. After looking at the show elements and realizing that animals are unpredictable, the Imagineers decided to use audio animatronics instead.

At Disney, no idea is ever truly forgotten about, so when Animal Kingdom was being designed it was time to bring Walt’s vision to reality.


The experience features custom-built 1990-2002 GMC Topkicks and Ford Super Duty trucks which have a “mud” feature all over the vehicles…actually created while using spray painted cement.

Article Continues Below


To list all the animals would be difficult because the safari has living & breathing real life creatures that get sick, have bad days and sometimes just want to hide away from the view of the ride vehicles.

That being said, you’re able to get a chance to see:

  • Lions
  • Spotted Hyena
  • Hippopotamus
  • Bontebok
  • Greater Flamingo
  • Grant’s Zebra
  • Black & White Rhinoceros
  • Nile Crocodile
  • Masai & Reticulated Giraffe
  • and so many more!


So with as many animals to see, there are creatures that are harder to see than others!

  1. Cheetah
  2. African Wild Dog
  3. Warthog

This is usually due to the time that you ride the safari! Oh, that’s a good topic….


The best time to ride is first thing in the morning (Park open to around 1030am) and then again between 2-330pm in the afternoon.

Top Disney’s Animal Kingdom Attractions To Do BEFORE 10am

Article Continues Below


As a photographer, it’s always worth asking for a specific seat on the vehicle, even if you have to wait a little longer. The goal is to sit directly behind the driver at the front of the truck and to far left.

This will allow you to get great photos AND not have to worry about the crazy bumpy parts at the end!

Related Article – Where to sit on your Favorite Attraction


The Wild Africa Trek is an additional paid experience that takes you behind the scenes and into previously undiscovered parts of Kilimanjaro Safaris as part of a 3-hour guided tour.

Related Article – Best Things for an Adult Only Trip

There are so many amazing facts and stories surrounding the Kilimanjaro Safaris and it’s rich history of how it was brought from a basic concept into the attraction that we see today. Are there any fun facts that you want to share with everyone?

Share them with us on Social Media @StepsToMagic

Dustin Fuhs
I’m Dustin Fuhs, a theme park fanatic that has created this platform to showcase my passion, tools and opinions to create a fun and interactive experience for everyone who visits. My goal is to help you and your family have the most magical experience at Walt Disney World. In reading my articles and ideas, I hope that you can find some fantastic ways to bring your dreams into reality!

Related articles

The Rip-offs of Disney World

As the 'Vacation Kingdom' continues to shift from a place for everyone to catering to a select few, there is still a discussion to be had around getting to experience Walt Disney World without being subjected to being priced-out.

Walt Disney World Golf: A Comprehensive Overview

Explore Walt Disney World Resort Golf's four championship courses, renowned amenities, and storied hosting legacy.

Introduction to Disney Funko Pop! Vinyl

If you're like me, a Disney fan and collector of obscure stuff that looks great on your office bookshelf, this is the post for you. Let's look at the magical world of Disney Funko Pop! Vinyls.

Underrated Attractions at Universal Orlando Resort

Universal has some amazing attractions that folks may undervalue, underestimate and flat out sell let's take a look at them!

How to Eat Healthier at Disney

Healthy eating is in the eyes of the beholder, especially when you may consider cheese dipping sauce as an essential food group.Eating at Walt Disney World can bring you to either ends of the spectrum, from greasy "theme park food" to fine dining that involves truffles and beets.

Things That Rainforest Cafe in Disney World Does Right

The Rainforest Cafe isn't a recommended stop, but what does the chain known for lacklustre food and out-of-date audio-animatronics do well that other restaurants at Disney World could learn from?

10 Unique Disney Springs Experiences

Experiences at Disney Springs that escape the traditional theme park checklist.

Fastpass Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

A good strategy for FastPass+ Reservations can make your vacation memorable or wishing that you did everything differently....

Top Ten Disney Advance Dining Reservations to get ASAP

Discover the essential Disney advance dining reservations for an awesome Walt Disney World experience.

Top 10 Hilarious Jungle Cruise Puns

Embark on a pun-filled adventure! Discover the top 10 Jungle Cruise puns that will make you laugh, groan, and fall in love with Disney humor.

10 Things We Will Never Do Again at Disney World

Learn from our mistakes! Uncover the 10 things we vow never to do again at Disney World for a smoother, happier vacation experience.

Where To Get Free Stuff On Your Birthday In Orlando

Celebrating your birthday in Orlando is better when you can get free stuff.