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Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened to the public on Earth Day, April 22, 1998. The theme park is dedicated to nature and animal conservation. The Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction also made its debut on the theme park’s opening day. The attraction is an adventurous safari ride across the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. Here’s a look at some of our favorite animals and features on Kilimanjaro Safaris!

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Kilimanjaro Safaris

The safari ride offers a special experience for guests of all ages. Kilimanjaro Safari is located in Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s actually one of the longest rides for visitors given that it takes at least 20 minutes for the safari journey.

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Guests board a safari truck to go on a guided tour of the Harambe Wildlife Preserve. You’ll discover 34 wildlife species as you travel through the 110-acre animal preserve. Kilimanjaro Safari is truly the star of Disney’s Animal Kingdom since the attraction represents the message of animal conservation to daily visitors.

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Related: Rehearsals have begun for Disney’s Animal Kingdom “A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King”

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Animals and Environments

You’ll see a diverse amount of animal wildlife throughout the different environments of Harambe Wildlife Preserve. What’s great is you’ll get to see animals in their natural habitats.

The safari journey takes you though forests, wetlands, and other habitats to make you feel like you’re really at an African savanna.

You’ll find exciting animals such as elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes, and more! One of my favorite memories is watching the elephants play in the water during a rain shower.

Be sure to pay attention to the driver! They will provide fun facts and information about the animals as you drive by them. It’s a good learning experience and you might learn something cool!

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Designed by legendary Imagineer Joe Rohde

Are you familiar with the name, Joe Rohde? In a nutshell, he is the Disney Imagineer who brought life to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He spent months traveling for research and design before the theme park was built. Joe paid attention to details when planning for the safari attraction. His goal was to make Kilimanjaro Safari look like a genuine African preserve and he succeeded! His hard work and vision made Kilimanjaro Safaris an unforgettable experience for visitors.

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Original theme featured a different story

The modern day version of the ride is different from what guests experienced years ago. The original version of the safari took you on an adventure that involved saving an elephant from poachers. It was a thrilling experience since you had to race to find a baby elephant. Of course, the baby elephant would be found safe and brought in for protection at the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.

Also, the safari ride used to feature an experience where the truck drove across a shaky bridge on the verge of collapse. But that bridge experience has ended and exists no longer.

Related: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park Guests can Connect with Nature for Earth Day

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Have you ever been on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride? It’s an amazing experience and we hope you try riding it on your next trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There’s a lot of attention to detail through the landscape and environment of the safari ride.

If you’ve been on ride before, then share your favorite memories of Kilimanjaro Safaris!

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Kevin Koszola