16 Exotic Animals That You Might Just Be Able to See at Kilimanjaro Safaris


When was the last time you saw a lion face-to-face? Did you know that there is an actual safari inside Disney World?

You guessed it—we’re talking about Animal Kingdom. The one theme park at Walt Disney World Resort that’s dedicated to animal conservation.

As you’d expect, there are tons of attractions from nighttime shows to boat rides. The highlight, though? Definitely Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Tucked away in East Africa, the safari ride offers you a chance to see real animals from a free-moving vehicle. What type of animals, you ask? Lots.

Want to know which species? If so, be sure to read the rest of the post!

What Kinds of Animals Will You Be Able to See At Kilimanjaro Safaris?

Dozens of animals roam the savannah at Animal Kingdom. Which ones will you be able to get a glimpse of?

1. Okapi

Okapis are a type of mammal that is native to Central Africa. Also known as the zebra giraffe, these animals are known for their brown coats and white horizontal stripes, the latter of which is on their legs.

Herbivores, they feed on fruits, grasses, and leaves—something that is made easy with their 18-inch long tongues!

Tip: There are five okapis at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. Not only will you be able to see them on the safari, but you’ll also be able to find them on the Pangani Exploration Trail.

2. Spotted Hyena

Spotted hyenas are noted for their round ears and bear-like builds. Not only do they hunt, but they scavenge for food as well.

They mainly eat birds, snakes, antelope, insects, and lizards. Did you know that they’re able to eat and digest bone?

Tip: Hyenas typically rest during the day. If you want to see them, your best bet is to go on a nighttime safari. They tend to be the most active around dusk.

3. Bontebok

The bontebok is a medium-sized antelope that is extinct in the wild. In captivity, however, their population has recovered.

Upwards of 350 pounds, these animals are brown in color with a noticeable white underside. They also have a patch of white near their tails.

4. Hippopotamus

The hippopotamus is the third largest land mammal in the world—just behind elephants and rhinos. Males can easily weight upwards of 1,500kg!

In the wild, they are found in swamps, lakes, and rivers, where they remain during the day. At dusk, they emerge from the water to feed on grass.

Despite being herbivores, they are one of the most dangerous animals in the world. Why? They are highly aggressive!

Tip: You can often see them basking in shallow waters at the safari. Pay attention when you’re nearing the water, you never know when they might pop their heads up!

5. Greater Flamingo

The greater flamingo is the largest species in the flamingo family. Pinkish white with a black-tipped beak, these birds can be kept in captivity for more than 60 years.

Fond of shrimp, mollusks, and algae, these feathered animals tend to reside in lagoons and mudflats. Their natural habits can be found in Southern Asia, Africa, Southern Europe, and the Middle East.

Tip: You’ll know them when you see them. Their pink feathers are hard to miss!

6. Cheetah

Cheetahs are the fastest animal in the world. Did you know that they can run up to 70 miles per hour?

Known for their distinctive spots, these professional hunters eat fowl, antelopes, hares, birds, ostriches, gazelles, and impalas.

While females are solitary, males form small groups that are called coalitions.

Tip: It’s hard to predict where you’ll be able to see the cheetahs. If you’re lucky, however, you might see one basking in the sun on the grass.

7. Greater Kudu

The greater kudu is a type of antelope that is found in Africa. Narrow with long legs, they have white stripes that run vertically down their torso. Their heads are also darker in color.

Active throughout the day, these horned animals form small groups in home areas. Solitary males, however, only join during mating season.

While they’re not particularly aggressive, it’s not uncommon to see males sparring each other.

Tip: Greater kudus tend to stay near the trees and bushes. Look for their vertical stripes!

8. Nile Crocodile

Nile crocodiles are the biggest freshwater predator that lives in Africa. Widespread, these reptiles can be found in rivers, marshlands, and lakes.

Highly aggressive, they are capable of killing almost any type of animal that comes their way. Their diet, however, mostly consists of birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles. It’s not uncommon for them to wait days, sometimes weeks, for a suitable chance to attack.

Did you know that they’re fully capable of taking down a human? In fact, they’re responsible for hundreds of deaths every year!

Tip: Nile crocodiles tend to wade in shallow waters. You might see them cooling off in a shady area on a hot day.

9. Black Rhinoceros

Black rhinos are one of the biggest types of rhinos in the world. Despite their name, they are actually grey in color.

Due to poaching, they are critically endangered in the world. As a matter of fact, three subspecies have already gone extinct!

Herbivores, they mainly eat leaves, bushes, shoots, and grass. They also like to pluck fruit from branches. Interestingly enough, they have been shown to prefer quality over quantity.

Tip: Black rhinos can often be seen near the trees in the savannah.

10. African Wild Dogs

African wild dogs are known for their irregularly-colored coats, which are white, black and yellow. Social animals, they live in packs in the savanna, woodlands, and scrublands.

High-stamina hunters, they often engage in long pursuits to chase down antelope. They also hunt bushbucks, impalas, and greater kudus. One pack of African wild dogs generally eat four pounds of meat every day.

Tips: These wild dogs are diurnal; they generally move at night. Going on a nighttime safari is probably the best choice. Still, there’s no guarantee that you’ll see one!

11. Lions

You’re probably familiar with lions. King of the jungle, they form prides that consist of males, females, and cubs. Over the past couple of decades, however, their population has dropped significantly.

An apex predator, they hunt most mammals including zebras, wildebeests, giraffes, and buffalos. Oddly enough, they avoid hippos, elephants, and rhinos (assuming that they’re full grown).

Due to predation, starvation, and abandonment, 8 out of 10 lion cubs will die before the age of two.

Tip: These regal creatures can often be found sunbathing on the rocks. Listen for their roars!

12. African Bush Elephants

African bush elephants are the largest land animal in the world. Due to their sheer size, they have no natural predators (besides humans).

However, calves and juveniles are prone to lion and hyena attacks.

Herbivorous mammals, they mainly eat leaves, trees, and herbs. It’s not uncommon for them to consume 500 pounds of plants every day! They also drink lots of water—more than 50 gallons on a daily basis.

Tip: It’s hard to miss the elephants given their size. Sometimes, they like to play in the water when it’s hot!

13. Ostriches

Ostriches are the largest species of bird in the world. Hunt to extinction in Arabia and Anatolia, these animals are now exclusive to Africa.

Similar to the kiwi in that they’re flightless, these gigantic birds feed on seeds, leaves, and roots. When hungry, however, they’re also known to eat rodents, snakes, lizards, and insects.

Did you know that they purposely swallow sand and stones to grind up their food?

Tip: It’s not uncommon for the ostriches to come right up to your safari vehicle! Don’t forget to check the ground—you might be able to see some eggs.

14. Pink-backed Pelican

The Pink-backed pelican lives up to its name in that it has a pinkish hue on its back. Found in shallow lakes, slow-moving rivers, and swamps, these birds have large bills that can reach up to 15 inches in length!

When eggs are laid, both parents will take turns sitting on them until they hatch. For the first week, they will feed it up to 30 times a day!

15. Somali Giraffe

These types of giraffes are commonly seen in zoos. In the wild, they can be found in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

Due to poaching and habitat destruction, their numbers have dropped by 30 percent over the past few years. As it is, these creatures are slowly inching toward extinction.

To prevent that, many conservation organizations have formed. Scientists have also begun to attach tiny trackers to their “horns” in attempts to study their preferred habitats and home ranges.

Tip: The giraffes at Animal Kingdom tend to be in open areas near the trees. From time to time, however, they might walk on the same path as your car!

16. Warthogs

Warthogs are known for their shovel-shaped heads and long tusks. Native to Africa, they prefer living in the savanna woodlands and grasslands.

However, they can also be found on Mount Kilimanjaro—more than 3,000 meters above the ground!

Despite their fierce look, these animals tend to avoid fights by backing into a burrow or running away. When cornered, often by predators, however, they will attack with their lower tusks.

Tip: The warthogs can often be seen grazing in the grassy areas of the savannah.

Which Safari Animal Do You Want To See?

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park is home to many animals—we didn’t even list them all!

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see all of the animals that you want to see in one “trip”. Remember, different species come out during different times of the day.

Want a chance to see all of the animals? If so, your best bet is to go on multiple safaris—don’t forget to go for the nighttime ones as well!

Which animals were you able to see at Kilimanjaro Safaris? Which was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!


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