What Is The Best Time To Ride Kilimanjaro Safaris?

Kilimanjaro Safaris Animal Kingdom best time

One of the hardest parts about going to the Animal Kingdom in Disney World is trying to figure out what the best time of day is to ride the Kilimanjaro Safari?

The best time to ride the Kilimanjaro Safaris in the Animal Kingdom is the first thing in the morning or at the end of the day when the climate is cooler. 

This isn’t your local zoo! But animals are still animals. The animals at the Animal Kingdom are most active in the morning hours and later in the day when it gets cooler and they can avoid the midday sun.

So get yourself a fast pass as early in the day as you can or be prepared to get in line first thing in the morning when the park opens.

Best Time To Ride Kilimanjaro Safari

What Makes Kilimanjaro Safari Different From A Zoo?

You could fit the entire Magic Kingdom theme park, which is 107 acres in total inside the 110 acres of Kilimanjaro Safari. It is the largest attraction in all of the Disney parks with regard to actual acreage.

According to disneyfanatic.com in order to create the Kilimanjaro Safaris, Disney had to move over 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt and place 2.3 million trees, bushes, and plants.

I don’t know about you, but personally, we live in New England and have many zoos within driving distance. Not one of them comes close to that in pure size.

But what really makes Kilimanjaro Safari slightly (or majorly) different from your average zoo is that you get the Disney experience of going on an actual Safari.

You’d be hard pressed to find that kind of experience in almost any other zoo in the United States.

If you or your family members are animal lovers then this experience is definitely made for you either way.

Rhino Kilimanjaro Safari

What Animals Can I Expect To See On The Kilimanjaro Safari?

One of the greatest things about the Kilimanjaro Safari is the wonderful assortment of animals you will find here!

Some of the animals that you can see on Kilimanjaro Safari are:

  • Antelopes
  • Cheetahs
  • Crocodiles
  • Elephants
  • Flamingos
  • Gazelles
  • Giraffes
  • Hippopotamuses
  • Lions
  • Okapis
  • Ostriches
  • Warthogs
  • Wildebeest
  • Zebras
  • Black Rhino

Although you may not see the same animals every time or in the same quantity, this is a general list of the animals that you might be able to catch on the ride.

Are The Animals I See At Night Different From The Daytime?

No, primarily you will see the same types of animals on both the day and nighttime tours.

Although you may see more animals in general after it has rained during the day according to several online sources and people that I know who go frequently.

What Is The Worst Time Of Day To Ride The Kilimanjaro Safari?

During the heat of the day and at the end of the day, you will want to steer clear of Kilimanjaro Safari.

I can say this with conviction as we have been on the ride a few times during that more oppressive time of the day, in general, we don’t see nearly as many animals and I have heard this from many other people as well.

Kilimanjaro Safaris is absolutely worth checking out in the evening hours, but once the sun actually sets, this ride simply isn’t as exciting as it is during daylight hours.

It’s certainly a ride you won’t forget, and the way the park creates the “eternal sunset” is something to be admired, but in general, it is much better in the evening (before the sun goes down) and in my opinion the absolute best during the morning hours.

animals you see while riding Kilimanjaro Safari

Can I Take Photos On The Kilimanjaro Safari?

Absolutely! I even have a few tips for you to get the most out of your photography while you are on this ride.

  1. Make sure that you know everything there is to know about your camera before you go on the trip.
  2. Try to have your family spotting out animals and make sure they speak up and say something the minute they see an animal that you are looking for.
  3. Have the adults that can take the best pictures on the outside end of the seats if you are with your family. You don’t want to be the man in the middle when you are trying to take good quality shots of these magnificent creatures.
  4. Sometimes you may have to ride Kilimanjaro Safari several times to get the exact shots you want, but if you are persistent you will get what you came for.


There are so many fun things to do at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom that it can be as hard to plan your day as any other Walt Disney World Park.

You need to make sure you are prepared and I’m sure that’s why you are reading this article and asking these questions.

Kilimanjaro Safari is one of those things at Disney World that you need to do at least once. So if you are going to do it just once, and want to get the most out of it, then follow the tips mentioned in this article and you won’t go wrong.

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Click here for more information about Disney’s Animal Kingdom


Heather Noyes, the visionary behind this website and a former Disney travel agent, has woven her lifelong passion for Disney into the fabric of her daily life. Nestled just 3 miles away through the enchanting trees lies Cinderella's Castle, a magical neighbor to Heather's everyday adventures. From her earliest days, Disney has captured her heart, and this enduring love has translated into the meticulous planning of numerous trips for her family, friends, and cherished clients, all destined for the enchanting realm of Walt Disney World.

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