Walt Disney’s World Animal Kingdom theme park is a huge hit with all guests, but it has a very special place in the hearts of animal lovers. At the Animal Kingdom theme park, you can see many species of animals in a natural setting that has been carefully created to mimic each animal’s natural environment. The 500 acres provide ample room for the animals to roam while also allowing visitors to observe them in a non-intrusive way.
Animal Kingdom theme park is divided into sections including Africa, Asia, Dinoland U.S.A. and Rafiki’s Planet Watch. The Africa section of Animal Kingdom theme park is home to many of the animals you would see on an African safari. Parts of Animal Kingdom’s Africa have been made into lush rain forests and savannas to give visitors an authentic experience.
Learn about attractions, adventures and dining options that are available in Animal Kingdom’s Africa.
Explore the wilds of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle parade
This parade begins and ends in Africa, but also marches through other sections of the theme park. The parade, which is a tribute to animals, includes animal print Jeeps, huge animal puppets, and costumed cast members singing and dancing their hearts out in a way that is sure to bring a smile to your face. Rafiki from The Lion King leads the way as this afternoon parade makes it way down the street.
There is nothing that can truly compare to an authentic African safari, but the Kilimanjaro Safari tries to give you the feel of such an experience. In this ride, which most consider the flagship attraction and the “must do” at Animal Kingdom, you ride in open air cars where you may see lions lounging by the side of the path or moving through the forest. Giraffes will amble gracefully by or will dine on green, leafy treetops. Because the animals are allowed to freely roam the grounds, the vehicle you are riding in may get stopped in its tracks by zebras or rhinoceroses as they casually cross your path. Since you are riding though different animal habitats, each ride is unique.
This is a wonderful safari experience anytime, but some say that the very best time to see the animals is first thing in the morning. If you stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, you will have access to a special breakfast safari that is just for guests of the lodge.
Pangani Forest Exploration Trail
Step inside a tropical rainforest where you will see hippopotamuses, gorillas, meerkats and many more animals. This walking tour is appropriate for all ages and fitness levels. Guests that are in a wheelchair or using a scooter may remain in those devices while on the Pangani Forest Trail.
Wildlife Express Train
The Wildlife Express Train will take you past some of the buildings that house the animals at night. This relaxing train ride will take you from Africa to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Rafiki’s Planet Watch is not technically part of the Africa section. Instead, it is a separate section within the Animal Kingdom theme park that is dedicated to all aspects of conservation. Because the Wildlife Express Train brings guests from Africa to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, it makes sense to include this in your Africa experience.
In the Rafiki’s Planet Watch section of the park, you can visit the Conservation Station, the Affection, and the Habitat Habit.
At the Conservations Station, you will meet the people that care for many animals that live in the Animal Kingdom theme park. Depending on what time of day that you visit, you may be able to watch as the animal’s food is being prepared. You will have the chance to learn about all that it takes to care for the animals and ask questions of the caretakers.
At the Affection Section, you can get up close and personal with many animals. Pet, feed, and hug a variety of friendly animals such as goats, sheep and llamas. This is fun for the whole family, and even the littlest kids will be able to interact with the gentle animals in the Affection Section.
Rafiki’s Planet Watch is all about conservation and learning about endangered species. One of the most endangered primates at the moment is an adorable little creature called a tamarin. Habitat Habit allows visitors to see these wonderful creatures and learn more about what every person can do to protect tamarins and other endangered animals.
Because there are fabulous food choices just about everywhere you look in Disney World, it is not surprising that Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Africa section has a few great spots to grab a quick bite or sit down for a full meal.
Tusker House is the place to go if you want to sit down and enjoy a relaxing meal that features real African flavors. Menu items include exotic and delicious selections such as Marrakech Couscous, Tabbouleh, and Curried Rice Salad. Everything on the menu is prepared by Disney chefs and served by attentive wait staff. Dining at Tusker House will add another layer to your African experience while at the Animal Kingdom theme park.
Kusafiri Coffee House and Bakery
Kusafiri Coffee House is a great place to stop in the morning for a delicious cup of coffee and a pastry. It is a wonderful way to start your day of animal exploration. It is also a great option for the occasionally chilly day in the winter.
Tamu Tamu offers delicious, juicy burgers, luscious shakes and many more comfort food offerings. Grab a quick bite for lunch and then get back to the business of observing the animals or learning steps that you can take to help save the planet.
Education, Fun, and Animals
Africa in Animal Kingdom theme park provides you a look at another part of the world. It allows you to see how the choices that humans make impact all of the other creatures in the world and reminds you that each person has a responsibility to do their part to protect these beautiful creatures that cannot protect themselves.
Be sure to set aside a day or two to explore all that Animal Kingdom has to offer. Take time to enjoy not just the Africa and Rafiki’s Planet watch sections, but all the other areas too, including Asia and Dinoland U.S.A. as well. This one-of-a-kind theme park will leave you with wonderful memories and a new appreciation for the wondrous planet on which you live.Herb Leibacher