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Animal Kingdom Lodge - An Afternoon Outside the Parks

I recently had out of town house guests who didn't have park passes but wanted to visit WDW. We decided on lunch at Sanaa in Kidani Village followed by a tour of the savannahs.

Kidani Village

Animal Kingdom Lodge is made up of 2 complexes, Jambo House and Kidani Village. Jambo House opened first and initially was totally a "regular" resort. Then the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) took over some of the rooms and transformed them into villas and construction on a total DVC resort, Kidani, was underway.

Kidani Village

Kidani Village has 2 animal savannahs, Sunset Savannah (which is shared with Jambo House) and the Pembe Savanah.

You don't have to look far at Kidani for animals especially if you dine at Sanna. We saw several giraffes wander by the windows during lunch.


After dining, we went out to the overlook and enjoyed seeing lots of animals and birds wandering around.


Kidani Village


Kidani Village


Kidani Village


Kidani Village


Kidani Village


Kidani Village

Next we headed over to the Pembe Savannah. To reach this one, you must go back out the lobby and turn right. Pass the swimming and recreation areas and finally you will reach a small viewing area. I had hoped to see the Okapi, but they were not visible.


Kidani Village

Kidani Village


Kidani Village


Kidani Village


Kidani Village

We went back to the car and headed to Jambo House. (There is a shuttle that runs between the two resorts). Three savannahs at Jambo, from left to right, Sunset, Arusha and Uzima.

Not much happening at the Sunset Savannah so we went to Arusha Rock.

Jambo House

Jambo House

Jambo House

Jambo House

Jambo House

And our last stop, the Uzima Savannah, near the pool and recreation area. There are several viewing areas so be sure to visit them all.

Jambo House

SABLE ANTELOPE - notice the horns. The male have the curved horns, the female's horns are straighter.

Jambo House

Jambo House

Jambo House

There you go, a wonderful afternoon at the Animal Kingdom Lodge enjoying the wildlife!

The previous post in this blog was Lasseter Family Winery Beverage Seminar Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

The next post in this blog is Collectables for a Cause.

Comments (11)

Heather Young:

Out of all the deluxe and dvc resorts in WDW, Animal Kingdom Lodge is my favourite. When staying there (I'm a very bad sleeper), I would go out onto the balcony and watch the animals grazing on Arusha Savannah. I could be there for about an hour just watching, it really relaxed me and helped me to sleep.

My daughter who was four years old on our last stay there, told everyone when we were back home that we had "Giraffes and Zebras in our garden at the hometel".

I'm thinking we need to go back....

One of my friends spent her Disneymoon at AKL. Their routine every morning was to brew a pot of coffee and sit out on their balcony. Their room was right near the place where they released the animals each day and they just loved watching all of them settle in for the day.

Nathaniel powe:

Hello Deb,

Absolutely stunning pictures! Some of the animals like the WATERBUCK and the SCIMITAR-HORNED ORYX are new to me. I need to get to the Animal Kingdom Lodge to see these beautiful animals.


Thanks for the pictures. I'm somewhat new to the world of Disney so I apologize if this question seems very basic but...are those areas open to anyone? In other words, if I'm not staying or eating at either complex, will I be able to access the viewing areas?

DEB: Except for the one photo of the giraffe from Sanaa (restaurant), we were in public areas that anyone can visit. If you have not been to Animal Kingdom Lodge, I would suggest trying to put aside a couple hours to explore. The complex is amazing!


Awesome pictures! They have added quite a few animals since their opening. Have always wondered though what they do with all the animals there and at AK, during severe storms, hurricanes etc. Do you have
any idea?

DEB: I know there are barns for all the animals and I am certain there is a safety plan for severe weather.


Hi Deb!

AMAZING pictorial of the wonderful animals that grace Kidani Village.
My family and I have stayed countless times since Kidani opened in 2009. Actually , my daughter choose to have her sweet sixteen celebration at Kidani. Best buffet any where at Boma loved Sanna and Jiko is amazing. And , yes the night time googles are worth it . However, due to more lights at Kidani you may see less animals than at Jambo House. Therefore, since they are free do the night time viewing at both Kidani and Jambo!


Thanks for this blog! We just joined the DVC and bought at AK. We have never stayed there before and looking forward to it in the year to come! This pictures help take us "home".

Penny from Vermont:

Thanks for the lunchtime tour. Will be staying at Jambo House next April and cannot wait!
Have you done the night-time tour with night vision goggles? Is it worth it?

DEB: I have not done the night goggles yet. If anyone has please comment!

thomas mangano:

you got all those picture on the same day, if so that was a great day Tom

DEB: Yes, all one afternoon after lunch at Sanaa!

Melinda Hankins:

Our favorite accommodations are the Wilderness Lodge, but due to the hurricanes in 2005 we had to switch our reservations and stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The room and animal viewing were fantastic, but I hated Boma. Every time I read a rave review I wonder what restaurant they were at. The food was substandard and the service impossible. We will visit the Lodge but just to sightsee and shop.


Thanks for the pictures Deb. We stayed at Kidani a few years ago for 5 nights in a Savannah room and it was amazing. Wish we had more time to fully enjoy all that the resorts have to offer. The Mara (counter service at Jambo) is one of the better counter service restaurants on property. There is so much to do at these resorts and the lobbys are beautiful. You truly feel transported. Thanks for bringing the memories back. It's definitely on our list again for 2013!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 6, 2012 11:58 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Lasseter Family Winery Beverage Seminar Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

The next post in this blog is Collectables for a Cause.

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