Giraffe drinking water on the Uzima Savanna at Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House

Wake Up With the Animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Never in my wildest dreams did I think could wake up, take a few steps to my balcony, and see a savanna filled with a dazzle of zebras, a herd of Ankole cattle, and a tower of giraffes. But that’s what I do every day when I stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is a magical place where you are transported to an African savanna, home to over 30 species and over 200 animals.

Two Ankole cattle graze at Animal Kingdom - Jambo House's Uzima Savanna
Two Ankole cattle graze at Animal Kingdom – Jambo House’s Uzima Savanna
Ankole cattle graze at Animal Kingdom - Jambo House's Uzima Savanna
Two wildebeest graze at Animal Kingdom - Jambo House's Arusha Rock Savanna Overlook
Two wildebeest graze at Animal Kingdom – Jambo House’s Arusha Rock Savanna Overlook
Zebra at Animal Kingdom - Jambo House's Arusha Rock Savanna Overlook
“I have an itch.”

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is made up of two separate buildings that are a short walk apart: the larger Jambo House and the smaller Kidani Village (home to the Villas). If you stay at Jambo House, you can spot animals on three different savannas: Uzima, Arusha, and Sunset. Kidani Village guests can view animals on the Pembe Savanna (you can find this one over by the Samawati Springs pool) as well as the shared Sunset Savanna. Both Jambo House and Kidani have rooms with savanna views.

I can’t say I expected my then 2-year-old to have “Wildebeest” in her vocabulary after watching the animals from our balcony at Kidani Village.


In a savanna-view room, you can literally wake up with the animals. I love sitting on our balcony and watching the first rays of sunlight pierce through the horizon as the savanna comes alive. Did you know that Jambo House has many standard-view rooms that actually look out over the savannas? Now you do!

Giraffe preparing to drink water on the Uzima Savanna at Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House
Giraffe preparing to drink water on the Uzima Savanna at Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House. This photo was taken from our DVC studio.
Pelican at Animal Kingdom - Jambo House's Arusha Rock Savanna Overlook
Pelican at Animal Kingdom – Jambo House’s Arusha Rock Savanna Overlook

If you don’t have a savanna room, don’t worry! You’ll find various observation areas that offer great views of the animals in both resorts. There are lookout points on every floor. My brother insists the very best views are from the upper floors. While at Kidani Village, my favorite morning spot is sitting in a rocking chair on the balcony to the right of the lobby. In addition to the viewing areas sprinkled through both Kidani Village and Jambo House, each resort has a central observation area that extends onto the Sunset Savanna. You can also catch a glimpse of animals on the savanna while eating at Boma (Jambo House) or Sanaa (Kidani Village). During my last stay at Jambo House, I ordered a take-out breakfast at The Mara and went back to my room to dine on the balcony while enjoying the calm of the savanna.

View of the Sunset Savanna from Sanaa
View of the Sunset Savanna from Sanaa

Staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is unlike any other resort experience. My kids never get tired of speaking with Cast Members and learning about the animals they spot on the many savannas. Every visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is as impressive as our very first one; you can’t beat entering a lobby and through the massive floor-to-ceiling window see a giraffe or two wandering by. Take a cue from the giraffes: slow down, look around, and enjoy all the resort has to offer!

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