Animal Kingdom: Africa

Africa used to be the first place we’d head on our days at the Animal Kingdom. Getting to the Kilimanjaro Safari right after the animals had been fed was supposed to be the best time of day to see them. Now of course we head to Pandora first on our Animal Kingdom days but Africa ends up being our second stop. Africa is located on the north west of the park and is home to the only character dining found in the Animal Kingdom as well as a great stage show: Festival of the Lion King. Find out all there is to do at the African area of the Animal Kingdom in this post.

Attractions

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trails

This walk-through trail is lengthy so be sure to bring the stroller around or wear your child. It can also get very hot in this area so be sure you have plenty of fluids. On this trek you will see Gorillas in a very natural setting. One time on this trail we saw a Gorilla running and then bang on his chest and yell. It was terrifying! But thrilling. There are a wide variety of viewing areas and heights. Some of the viewing points will be at your child’s level where as other they’ll need to be lifted up. If you have a monkey fan than this trail is a must.

Kilimanjaro Safaris

This trek through the safaris has beautiful animals in the closest thing to their natural habitat. You will see elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions, all the animals your children know and love. The guide will also give you information about all these animals as you ride by. We’ve not had issues with our kids sitting still on this because the vehicle is constantly moving and we engage with them to keep them interested. By the way, stroller parking for this attraction is close to the entrance so expect your little to have to be carried for a while. Those who have littles under 6 months, bring a carrier so they can be on you for the length of the safari.

Entertainment

Burudika

Every afternoon and evening, a band takes the stage to perform Afro-pop songs. Dancers will fill the streets and encourage guests to join in. They normally perform for about a half hour. The performance happens in the middle of the street as you head towards the safari or gorilla exploration trail.

Festival of the Lion King

A favourite with our family, check out this live performance of the Lion King, featuring music and minimal dialogue.  This show has such a variety: acrobatics, audience participation, fire breathing and memorable choreography. This show is not to be missed. Performances last 30 minutes. Shows are every hour at the top of the hour. Find the theatre just behind Tusker House at the entrance of Africa. With the first performance at 10am, you can head straight here after an early trek on Kilimanjaro Safaris. You can book a FastPass for this stage show.

Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe

On the street in the middle of all the action, the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe will be playing their drums throughout the morning and mid day. Watch 5 performers play, dance and interact with the crowd. Check out park schedule for specific times.

Dining

Dawa Bar

Enjoy a drink at this bar found at the entrance of Tusker House. They’re open from 10am until park close. Here you’ll find beer, wine, and cocktails. A great way to take a break from the heat. Enjoy the nearby performances of the Tam Tam Drummers or the Burudika in the evening.

Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery

Found on the main path, Kusafiri offers a few sandwiches for quick supper. Choose between roast beef, turkey, or tomato and mozzarella. They also serve a variety of pastries that could work as a snack style dinner. You can also enjoy an Iced Coffee with Amarula Cream Liqueur, giving you that alcoholic drink to go with your quick-service meal for those on the dining plan making the most of your investment. It’s open until 6pm.

Harambe Fruit Market

Open from park open to park close, grab water or your favourite food for a snack. Harambe Fruit Market is your source for bananas, apples, oranges, grapes and so on. Located at the entrance of the Kilimanjaro Safari.

Harambe Market

Harambe Market is found in Africa and opens at 11am. It’s a proper market with a few windows to choose from. You have Kitamu Grill, Famous Sausages, Chef Mwanga’s and Wanjohi Refreshments. You’ll find rice bowls, gyro either the beef and lamb or chicken variety, you can also enjoy sausages. The seating is outside, so may be your best choice on a hot day or a rainy day.

Mahindi

This cart is found as you’re entering Africa from Discovery Island. It’s open from park open until park close. Grab some popcorn or some delicious cinnamon glazed almonds or pecans. They smell and taste amazing.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Found as you’re exiting Discovery Island into Africa, Terra Treats serves hummus and veggies and buffalo wing. Terra Treats is open until 6pm, at this counter service spot you order up, grab and go.

Tusker House Restaurant

This buffet style restaurant is tucked inside Africa. Donald and all of his friends stop in as they take a break from their safari. They are dressed the part. Donald, Mickey, Goofy and Daisy make the rounds as guests grab their food at the buffet. Tusker House offers guests a chance to try some Asian and African dishes while still offering some American favourites. For dinner you can enjoy pita, hummus, curries, black eyed peas salad, and peri peri whole salmon. There’s a special section of kid friendly choices, such as corn dogs, mashed potatoes and mac & cheese. Tusker House gives you a chance to try an assortment of dishes. Tusker House is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You definitely need an advanced reservation for this spot. For a full review of this restaurant check out this previous post.

Shopping

Africa Hub Cart

Your pin location at the Animal Kingdom, head to the Africa Hub Cart for a variety of pins to fill up your lanyard. Open from park open until park close.

Mariya’s Souvenirs

Found by the Festival of the Lion King, Mariya’s Souvenirs is where you’ll find the best plush Lion King toys. Small and large, ideal for the Lion King fan in your group. The store is open from park open until park close.

Mombasa Marketplace/Ziwani Traders

A beautiful shop that sells apparel and accessories. Here you’ll find African clothing, as well as shirts sporting the Animal Kingdom logo. You can find some beautiful jewelry and musical instruments. Open from park open until park close.

Zuri’s Sweet Shop

Your candy shop at the Animal Kingdom. Find fresh snacks, like character apples, rice krispie squares and chocolates. You’ll also find boxed snacks, coffee, and mugs. I’ve missed this spot on our visits to the Animal Kingdom but I’ll make sure to be checking it out on our upcoming vacation in January.

Make the most of your Animal Kingdom day with these tips:

Getting into Animal Kingdom before the park opens

Animal Kingdom: DinoLand U.S.A

Animal Kingdom: Asia

Where to grab Breakfast at the Animal Kingdom

Where to grab lunch at the Animal Kingdom

Where to grab supper at the Animal Kingdom

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