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Harambe Village

  1. pict from
  2. Not only are there security cameras on the safari ride but look up in Harambe Village!
    REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 26 DEC 00
  3. Harambe Village is patterned after the Kenyan coastal town, Lamu.
    REPORTED: TR Shaw 27 MAR 98
  4. The gift shops in Harambe have fake business licenses complete with the official seal of Harame!
    REPORTED: TR Shaw 27 MAR 98
  5. 13 Zulu craftsman from Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, were brought over by Disney to create the thatched roofs throughout Africa including the Harambe Village Marketplace.
  6. Disney recruited college students from Africa and arranging passage to the USA to work in Harambe Village.
    REPORTED: The Klute 26 MAR 98
    CONFIRMED: TR Shaw 27 MAR 98
  7. When you are walking into the Harambe Village, look up and to the left there is a sign that says Computer Classes. I thought this was a little strange.
    REPORTED: Brittany Goode 24 APR 98
    CONFIRMED: Melanie Emmons 25 SEP 98
  8. There is only one live "baobab" tree in Harambe. It stands outside the Tusker House restaurant.
    REPORTED: anon 18 JUL 99
    The baobab at Tuskers is alive and growing. The "white paint" is a nutrient/fungicide treatment to protect the tree.
    CONFIRMED: Kifaru 22 DEC 00
    The baobab at Tuskers died but was replaced by this new one. Its har to tell its a baobob since it had leaves when this picture was taken
    CONFIRMED: Tom & Renée Shaw 16 JAN 06


Harambe Reserve

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Learn more about the animals on Kilimanjaro Safaris.


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  1. Safari in Swahili means journey
  2. The actor who plays Warden Wilson Matua also stars in George of the Jungle as one of the swahili tour guides.
    REPORTED: anon 07 JAN 99
  3. The safari vehicles are converted GMC trucks. They were converted to run on propane.
    REPORTED: anon 05 OCT 97
    CONFIRMED: Tom and Renée Shaw 29 MAR 98
  4. The safari covers over 110 acres.
    REPORTED: Ben Michalik 16 OCT 96
    CONFIRMED: TR Shaw 27 DEC 96
  5. To create the 110-acre Serengeti, Imagineers moved 1.5 million cubic yards of earth and planted some 2.3 million exotic plants.
  6. As Animal Kingdom matures, the savannah will become a naturalized forest as the trees grow up and the young plants underneath thin out.
  7. Over 300 grasses (75 African) were seeded so that there would be ever flowering grass
  8. Animal Kingdom is the first theme park where the show eats the landscape. Gorillas play with plants, elephants trample tender grasses, giraffes tend to strip leaves from trees. Disney has planned an 8-acre browse farm that will help feed the animals, with a crop of acacia, hibiscus, mulberries and shrubs to replace natural forage for giraffes, gorillas, baboons, elephants and antelope.
    Orig Art
    Original Art
  9. All the trees in the safari portion of the park are natural except for 7. Seven of the nine are the "Baobabs" in the safari area are concrete and are used to feed the giraffes. They contain lazy susans that rotate every hour luring giraffes with Willow and Acacia shoots.
    REPORTED: TR Shaw 27 DEC 96
    CONFIRMED: anon 06 OCT 97
    The animals haven't taken to some of the park's innovations. The giraffes didn't like Lazy Susans on the top of trees that were to be used to rotate water and leaves. They are instead munching on real trees.
    UPDATE: TR Shaw 26 APR 98
    There is only one live "baobab" tree in Harambe. It stands outside the Tusker House restaurant and can be seen here showing its very rare leaves. There are no live "baobabs" on the safari. Most of the safari baobabs have surveillence cameras in them.
    UPDATE: anon 18 JUL 99
  10. Disney has trained all their animals to come on cue. That his how they get them off the savanah at night and off stage at the lodge for their checkups in the early afternoon.
    REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 26 JUN 06
  11. hippo entrance
  12. The hippos used to enjoy mixed company but miss labeled birth control pills which were actually expired led to too many births so the park had to go back to the old fashion way - isolation. Now the boys are in the right pool and the girls are in the left pool. The boys enter and exit stage via this hidden ramp.
    REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 26 JUN 06
  13. The sausage trees are actually natural Florida live oaks with imagineered seed pods glued to the trees
    REPORTED: TR Shaw 22 MAR 98
    The sausages on the trees on the actual savannah have been removed because the giraffes were knocking them off.
    LOST: anon 11 SEP 98
    Sausage trees are back but now they are real. The hortoculture department has them growing here and there throughout the safari.
    UPDATE: TR Shaw 27 JAN 06
  14. Many of the "acacia" trees are actually natual Florida live oaks trimmed to look like acacias
    REPORTED: TR Shaw 27 DEC 96
  15. The elephant area is 6 acres surrounded by hidden moats. Every evening the elephants are called back to their pens with duck whistles and cow bells. Every night, repair cast members replant the environment (an adult elephant eats between 125 and 300 pounds of vegetation per day) and remove all the manure.
  16. Due to the distructiveness of the elephants, much of their food, such as the Japanese Blueberry tree, has to be replanted once a month.
  17. East Africa Railroad Bridge
  18. The is only one bull elephant. He is in the first show area. You can see him across from the Mandrells, just before the hippos and to your right on the "rickety bridge." But how does he get there? The East Africa Railroad bridge is actually the path that he walks over to get to his stage area.
    REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 26 JUN 06
  19. Only 1/4 of the Safari habitat can been seen from the vehicles. The animals are free to roam about. The day I was there, the two white Rhinos crossed the road in front of the jeep.
    REPORTED: The Klute 26 MAR 98
    CONFIRMED: Tom and Renée Shaw 29 MAR 98
    There are from 3-6 white rhino on show on any given day.
    UPDATE: Kifaru 22 DEC 00
  20. The big cats that look so close are actually separated from you by strategic fake rocks and a plant covered moat.
    REPORTED: TR Shaw 27 DEC 96
  21. Disney developed climate-controlled rocks for the big cats, who generally want to go lie in the shade where they can't be seen by guests, so that the lions will want to sit on these rocks, in full view of all who pass by.
    REPORTED: Ben Michalik 16 OCT 96
    CONFIRMED: TR Shaw 27 DEC 96
    The climate controlled rocks were not originally deployed due to cost. Disney now realizes that asking a lion to sit up on a rock that has a surrounding temp. of 120 degrees during the middle of summer instead of sitting down in a moat which is only 80 degrees might be a little much to ask. So now they are going to have to make some adjustments while still keeping the ride open.
    UPDATE: anon 25 OCT 98
    Climate controlled rock have now been installed. Disney also affixes a frozen rabbit treat to an anchor to keep the lions in view.
    UPDATE: TR Shaw 25 FEB 98
    Today, the animals are often provided with rabbit, usually frozen and thawed, but it is not anchored to anything. It is usually hidden around the exhibit so that the cats keep moving.
    UPDATE: Kifaru 22 DEC 00
  22. Originally, Crested Cranes, Egyptian Ducks and Guinea Fowl used to be in the pen in the beginning of the queue but they were thought to be not interesting. The birds and moving to the Tree of Life area and will be replaced by small mammals from the Tree of Life Gardens. These were then replaced by a Crowned Crane and native Folrida ibises.
    REPORTED: anon 27 FEB 99
    UPDATE: Tom & Renée Shaw 26 JUN 06
  23. Safari Cast Member drivers have been accosted by many animals when they have driven through the savanaha alone. Nipped by ostrich, rammed by rhino, pushed by elephants...
    REPORTED: anon 27 FEB 99
  24. For the safari, the plant bed lines were laid out using spray paint from a motorcycle motoring at the same speed as the ride vehicle.
  25. The rutted safari road also is part of the landscape design. Imagineers matched concrete with the surrounding soil, then rolled tires through it, and tossed stones, dirt and twigs into it to create an appropriately bumpy experience duplicating an African game trail.
    REPORTED: anon 19 APR 98
    Almost all of the mud tracks you see on the Safari Tour are pressed into cement. The tires that are actually on the "Jeeps" are very similar to normal touring tires.
    CONFIRMED: Justin 26 APR 98
  26. The carefully rutted and grimed concrete path your safari car drives on is know by Cast Members as "the most expensive dirt road in the world"!
  27. The biggest giraffe has learned that he can step over the cattle grates. Once he got out of the savannah and was found walking down towards the hippo pools. To stop this activity, cast members have added "chain lines" just after the cattle grates. Giraffes don't like somthing moving under their hooves so the addition on the chains now stopped freedom loving giraffes.
    REPORTED: Tom & Renée Shaw 26 JUN 06
  28. "Our Lions are the same as wild ones during the 22 hours a day when both are sleeping and resting. These are captive-born wilds. They look like lions but they are not - they don't know how to hunt," said Rick Barongi
  29. Imagineers had considered allowing the Lions to hunt but they would have needed 50,000 acres instead of the 500 that they had.
  30. While waiting in the queue near the office, you may hear the phone ring. Listen carefully and you can hear the answering machine answer the phone and then you can hear the recording! Originally it was answered by the same voice as Wilson now it's answered by the same voice that delivers the safety-welcome speil on the ramps and load dock. The recording talks about the different types of safaris available.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw 29 MAR 98
    CONFIRMED: Melanie Emmons 25 SEP 98
    CONFIRMED: Kifaru 22 DEC 00 pict from
  31. Overnight, the trucks are parked off of the actual Safari track some distance away. The trucks have a governor on them, limiting their top speed to 10 mph, and the drive (at most) is 10 minutes to the attraction. If you were to include the time spent in checking out a vehicle, getting a hand radio, and doing the first half of the start up checklist, it takes less than 30 minutes. There are actually a couple of places to take trucks onto the track, though only one of them is used nowadays.
    REPORTED: anon 05 AUG 98
    CONFIRMED: anon 11 SEP 98
    It is more like a 15 minute drive at 10 mph.
    CONFIRMED: anon 07 JAN 99
    The vehicles have now been fitted with a cattle catcher and side curtains to eliminate any possibility that an animal can sneak under the vehicle while on stage.
    UPDATE: Tom & Renée Shaw 26 JUN 06
  32. There are 5 exits off of the safari, they use one to enter and one to exit--the others are for emergencies only.
    REPORTED: anon 07 JAN 99
  33. There is one place where we can bring on safari vehicles and two places that we can exit our vehicles. Just so you know there is a third load dock being built for wheelchair guest.
    REPORTED: Michelle 27 FEB 99

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  34. Depending on the attendance of the park, different numbers of vehicles will be on the ride path. Some of the vehicles are wheelchair-compatible, which means they are missing half of the front 2 bench seats. Last I heard, the general capacity for one of our safari vehicles was 35 people. During our peak times, our optimal hourly rate is somewhere around (and above) 2700 people. We are continuosly breaking hourly records, so the maximum is really unknown. Daily totals are very high, with a record-breaking 27,000 people during one day near Easter. I have heard claims that Kilimanjaro Safaris gets 125% of the gate of Disney's Animal Kingdom. What that means, is that EVERYONE who comes into the park rides with us, then 1/4 of them come back again. That's something that we're all proud of, and something that very, very few other attractions (if any) can claim.
    REPORTED: Chip 09 APR 99 pict from
  35. During the extended opening hours over Christmas, Disney World's Animal Kingdom ran the awesome night safaris. New for this year, the safari runs a different show starting at dusk. A whole new audio track accompanies the tour, with animal sounds appearing in the distance, comments from Wilson, an encounter with Miss Jobson, a local tribe wedding, and of course a chase with the poachers! Seeing the tour a night is a totally different experience. Some of the animals were resting in plain sight of the ride, and others, like the lions were more active than they are in the day! The savannah had no lighting, just the light rigs that were attached to each vehicle. The lighting was automated to vary light levels at different points, and the spotter (there were 2 Cast Members in each vehicle) could control one of the spot lights to highlight animals.
    REPORTED: Adrian J. Ofman 06 JAN 00
    Again for the 2000/2001 holiday season. The safari shuts down for 45 minutes at 4:45pm to allow the conversion of the attraction from daytime to night. This transition covers, canging the audio and video for the queue; changing the audio, adding lights and a second cast member to the trucks; removal of elephants, mandrils, cheetas, and warthogs; adding more castmember in the safari grounds itself and programming hidden speakers throught the ride. It is definitely a totally different experience and much like the jungle cruise - good with an OKay skipper but awesome with a good adlibber.
    CONFIRMED: Tom & Renée Shaw 26 DEC 00
  36. There is a great deal of variability in the Safari ride and what animals are seen. The morning appeared best - probably since summer afternoons were very hot and what animal would choose to go out in such conditions unless they had to? (what does that say for us tourists?) In an era of headsets and attraction boards with wait-times, it might be nice if they tried to at least post a list of animals recently seen - we never did see any lions and kept asking when they might be out and only got an answer of "the lions are always there, it's just that they may not be visible to you" - well, they were not visible to anyone else we talked to that had been on the Safari the days we were there - in fact, most people had not seen the cheetah we saw the one morning, nor the whole herd of 8-10 elephants visible that one day.
    REPORTED: anon 14 AUG 98
    Checkout the Webmaster's Photo Tips to maximize your animal viewing
    UPDATE: Webmaster 14 AUG 98
  37. E. B. Effects created the poacher's village props. Checkout their AK-47s.
    REPORTED: anon 14 MAY 01

Kilimanjaro Safari Facts and Figures

Orig Art
Original Art




Modified GM Truck




April 22,1998

Safari Length


Ride Time

Approx 19 minutes


5 mph (avg); 10 mph (max with governor)


35 riders per safari vehicle

Safari Truck Length

45 feet

Safari Truck Capacity

19,600 pounds


2700 people per hour; 1 vehicle per ? seconds; ? vehicle at once

Animals on Kilimanjaro Safaris


Bongo Nyala Pelican Yellow Billed Stork Black Rhino


Guinea Fowl Nile Hippopotamus Nile Crocodile Ostrich Grant's Zebra

White-Bearded Wildebeest

Sable Antelope Thompson's Gazelle Reticulated Giraffe Eland Mandrill Baboon


Marabou Stork Greater Flamingo Egyptian Geese Scimitar-horned Oryx White Rhino

Mhorr Gazelle

Cheetah African Lion Warthog Greater Kudu Abyssinian Ground Hornbill

Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

Learn more about the animals of the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
  1. Gorilla Falls, was the original name for Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. In Swahili, Pangani means place of enchantment for such is the trail.
    REPORTED: anon 12 AUG 98
    CONFIRMED: Michelle 27 FEB 99
  2. The gorillas are named:
    1. Hope
    2. Gino
  3. The thin bamboo that separates you from the gorillas is actually steel bars that are formed and painted like bamboo.
    REPORTED: Ben Michalik 16 OCT 96
    CONFIRMED: Tom and Renée Shaw 29 MAR 98
  4. After the first gorilla exibit you pass through a short cave and exit onto a bridge. Walk about half way out on the bridge and turn around. The rock outcropping on the left side of cave is a large (20 ft high) 3D representation (carving like Mt Rushmore) of Jafar's head/face - turban and all.
    REPORTED: Jim Weir 28 MAY 02
  5. A second rock carving is also seen from the same bridge. Continue on almost to the far end of the bridge and turn to the left. Look out through the small trees and the rocks, now on the left side of the valley. Mufasa's head is carved here in the farthest rock out. Again about 20+ feet in height. I am told that this is a bit harder to see sometimes as a small tree about half way between the bridge and the rock partially obscures it, but is trimmed now and then to make this more visible.
    REPORTED: Jim Weir 28 MAY 02

Wildlife Express to Rafiki's Planet Watch Train Ride

  1. There is a sign that reads, services to Shabi and points beyond has been interrupted due to "an outbreak of kindupindu." Kindupindu is Swahili for cholera.
    REPORTED: TR Shaw 27 MAR 98
  2. The train is a diesel locomotive, since a steam train could never make it around the narrow curves on the way to Rafiki's Planet Watch. It starts to move once the driver revs it up to 1100 rpm with a control board similar to the ones in the monorails. The train whistle is push-button operated. The train has a maximum speed of 20 mph.
    REPORTED: Peter Stepniewicz 10 MAY 98
  3. The conductors like to add in a few extra lines to the "no eating, drinking, etc." spiel, such as no fishing, cooking, or African line dancing.
    REPORTED: Peter Stepniewicz 10 MAY 98
    There's a sign inside the cars that says, among other things, "no cooking."
    CONFIRMED: Melanie Emmons 25 SEP 98

African Animals

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