When it comes to restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, guests have plenty of options. All total, the resort offers three table service restaurants, one counter service restaurant, two pool bars with quick service, and multiple lounges.
This article will summarize all of the restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We’ll preview the must-do dining options at the resort, and I’ll add a few tips for planning specific meals.
I’ll warn you now, all three of the resort’s table service dining options are exceptional. Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to an exquisite signature restaurant, a buffet that any adventurous eater will want to attend, and one of the most popular table service restaurants in all of Disney.
Whether you’re staying at the resort or not, you’ll want to plan a meal here during your vacation. A visit to the Animal Kingdom Lodge can be good for the soul.
This article was updated on February 22, 2022.
Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants List
The following restaurants are located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. They are broken down between the two different resort areas.
- The Mara
- Uzima Springs Pool Bar
- Boma, Flavors of Africa
- Jiko, The Cooking Place
- Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar
- Victoria Falls Lounge
- Sanaa Lounge
- Maji Pool Bar
- Dine with an Animal Specialist
- Jiko Wine Tasting
- Wanyama Safari and Dinner
If you aren’t familiar, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is made up of two resorts. The first is the main resort Jambo House. The second is Kidani Village, a Disney Vacation Club Resort.
Most of the restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge are located at Jambo House. However, there are a few options at Kidani Village.
While the resorts sit next door to each other, there’s approximately a 10-minute walk between them. So if you are traveling to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for a dining reservation, you’ll want to know which portion of the resort you are visiting.
That way, you’ll park at the correct building or exit at the right bus stop.
Related: Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Review
Below we’ll take a closer look at each Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurant.
The Mara (Counter Service)
First, Animal Kingdom Lodge’s counter service restaurant is The Mara. I can’t say enough good things about The Mara.
From my experience, the food at this counter-service has always been a step above. It even ranks second on our list of the best quick services at Disney World.
The Mara serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are usually open from 7:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. However, during high crowd times, those hours are generally extended until 11:00 p.m.
The Mara offers mobile order dining, or you can order at the restaurant. This location can be extremely crowded during popular meal times.
I recommend using mobile order if you encounter a bit of a line.
The Mara is set up similar to other counter services. A line forms in the middle where you’ll order food. The cast member will give you a pager to return and pick up your order when it’s ready.
Here is a picture of the lunch menu I took on one of my visits. There are several made-to-order sandwich options, ribs, rotisserie chicken, and falafel bites for vegetarians.
For breakfast, you’ll find items like Mickey-shaped waffles, a French toast platter, a savanna platter, bacon and Gruyere quiche, and hot and cold cereals. You can preview the menu here on Disney’s site.
First, we have the crispy chicken and bacon sandwich. My dad ordered this and enjoyed it. Coming from him, that says a lot since he’s a picky eater.
In case you can’t tell, it’s a massive sandwich that could easily be split between two people. There are two chicken breast filets between the Ciabatta bread.
On a different visit, I had forgotten how large this sandwich was and ordered one to take back to my room one evening.
I ordered mine plain, which turned out to be a good option. Since there was no way I could eat the entire thing, I stored it in the room fridge and reheated it later.
My mom picked up a Caesar salad out of the grab-and-go section. The salad was an okay offering, but she said it wasn’t anything to write home about.
On this visit, I went with the turkey and avocado club sandwich. It’s a delightful sandwich if you like avocado. You can probably tell all the portion sizes are pretty significant.
On another visit, I had the Tamarind pork sandwich (not pictured). The pulled pork was tasty, but my only complaint was the sauce made the bread pretty soggy. You’ll want to eat it fast.
Lastly, The Mara has several fun options for kids’ meals. I often order a kids’ meal and highly recommend those with a light appetite or on a budget to do the same.
Make sure you get all the components that come with the kids’ meal after you order. The cast member at the checkout will usually point out if you are missing something.
Additionally, Zebra Domes are usually available at The Mara. Zebra Domes are a popular treat around the Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can usually find them on the dinner buffet at Boma, Flavors of Africa.
Most of the resort restaurants usually have a specialty cupcake. The African Sunshine cupcake was on display when I took pictures for this review.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll take anything that involves sunshine and chocolate. If you catch me on the right day, I might even share it with you. Might.
Here is an overall look at the pastry case. Again, there are plenty of options.
The Mara has a nice indoor dining area with plenty of space.
But if the weather is nice enough, I prefer to dine al fresco.
Our next Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurant is the pool bar. While it’s not a formal dining option, I felt it necessary to mention it.
Uzima Springs Pool Bar
The Uzima Springs Pool Bar sits on the outskirts of the Uzima Springs Pool. There is bar seating and a couple of tables with chairs around the area. Anyone visiting the resort can access the pool bar since it’s separately fenced off from the pool area.
Related: The Pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Here is their menu.
Additionally, there is a limited selection of food items available at Uzima Springs Pool Bar. However, you’ll likely want to order from The Mara since it’s located right outside the pool area.
A cast member suggested I try the Lava Smoothie. The smoothie consists of raspberry puree blended with flavors of coconut and pineapple. It’s a refreshing sweet treat on a hot day. Warning, though, it is super sweet.
Boma, Flavors of Africa
Back inside Jambo House, we’ll look at the table service Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants and lounge. The lower level of the resort is home to Boma, Flavors of Africa, and Jiko, The Cooking Place.
We’ll start with Boma, a buffet that serves an extended breakfast and dinner service. They are usually closed during traditional lunch service to change over for the evening.
I don’t usually care for buffets, in general. But there are a few exceptions. Boma is one of them.
The other exceptions are the California Grill Brunch and the breakfast buffet at the Ale and Compass.
Related: Ale and Compass Breakfast Review
Boma is semi-open to the lower level of the lobby. However, it has a reasonably private restaurant. So there’s no distraction from the opening, except when the African drummers march through the area.
The buffet at Boma is extensive and boasts an average of 75 different items. Breakfast is usually served from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Here is a look at their usual setup, along with a few items you’ll find on the buffet.
There’s a variety of meat and potatoes.
And sticky buns.
And yes, there are Mickey Waffles. You can eat as many as your heart desires.
If you want to know more, I have an entire article with tons of photos and a video of the buffet. Since Boma reopened, they have made a few changes. However, it’s still one of the best breakfasts at Disney World.
Related: Boma Breakfast Review
Jiko, The Cooking Place
Next up, we have Jiko, which you’ll find right around the corner from Boma. Jiko is only open for dinner and is the resort’s signature dining establishment.
Jiko ranks as one of our top five signature dining restaurants at Disney World.
Related: Disney World Signature Dining
Below is one of their famous flatbreads.
The restaurant has a selection of entree prices that range from $30 and up, along with an extensive selection of South African wine.
A variety of Indian, African, and Asian flavors inspire the menu items. No matter what you order, it’s difficult to go wrong. Everything here is exceptional.
Related: Jiko, The Cooking Place Review
Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar
Cape Town Lounge is located in the foyer of Jiko. This lounge features a wine bar with a few tables and chairs.
If you’re checking in to Jiko and your table isn’t ready, you can order a cocktail or glass of wine. The lounge offers various options, including African wines, after-dinner drinks, brandy, ports, and single malt liqueurs.
You can preview their menu here on Disney’s site.
Victoria Falls Lounge
Victoria Falls is located between the Jambo House lobby and the lower level. This location sits on a landing area that’s accessible from the resort’s large staircase.
Additionally, you can take the elevator down to the second level and access Victoria Falls from the back entrance.
Victoria Falls has lounge hours daily between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. At this time, they have a few appetizers items on the menu, some of which would make a complete meal.
Here’s a sample of their menu:
- Braai Burger with Fries
- Goat Cheese Dip
- Marinated Olives with Almonds
- Cape Town Slap Chips
Victoria Falls has a lengthy cocktail list that includes specialty cocktails, wines, beer, scotch, cognac, and several drink flights.
Preview their menu here on Disney’s site.
Our last table service restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge is the infamous Sanaa. If you have ever heard of anyone having an outstanding bread service at Disney, Sanaa is the place.
Related: Best Table Service at Disney World
You’ll find Sanaa down at Kidani Village.
Related: Kidani Village Resort Review
You can walk down to Kidani from Jambo House or take a bus over. There’s a shuttle service that runs between the two resorts.
You’ll want to tell one of the greeters at either entrance that you wish to take the shuttle, and they’ll direct you where to wait.
The theming at Sanaa is one of the best in the entirety of Walt Disney World. You will feel transported to an African country while dining here.
Sanaa boasts a variety of African and Indian flavors. In addition, they have a unique cocktail menu with signature drinks like this Malawi Mango Margarita.
This drink is described as a frozen blend of Tequila, Van der Ham Tangerine Liqueur from South Africa, Mango Puree’ and fresh lime juice. It packed a punch and offered a nice fruity flavor with the mango.
Coming from someone who doesn’t enjoy many frozen drinks, this was an excellent option. I would reorder it.
Additionally, Sanaa’s bread service is considered the main even when dining here. Here is a look at what you can expect.
There are five different flavors of Naan bread to choose from and nine different accompaniments. The Naan bread choices include Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kulcha, or Paneer Paratha.
The sauces include Cucumber Raita, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Mango Chutney, Tomato-Date Jam, Tamarind Chutney, Coriander Chutney, Garlic Pickle, Red Chile Sambal, or Spicy Jalapeño-Lime Pickle.
Here is an entree I ordered on a previous visit. The beef skewer dish was described as a Braai Beef Kabab with Kenyan Mukimo and braised greens.
It was a very hearty dish, and the greens were similar to collard greens or maybe even cabbage. The bean puree was unexpected and something I wouldn’t usually enjoy but did here.
Additionally, Sanaa offers several items that are cooked in a Tandoori oven.
Related: Sanaa Review (with Bread Service)
Sanaa has a lounge that accepts guests with no reservations on a first-come-first-serve basis. The entire restaurant menu is available in the lounge.
And while I haven’t had an opportunity to try it, Sanaa does serve breakfast. Breakfast at this Animal Kingdom restaurant is considered fast, casual dining.
Sanaa does not take reservations for breakfast. However, you can expect a variety of entrees ranging from $14.00 or less. The menu is available here on Disney’s site.
Maji Pool Bar
The Maji Pool Bar is located out at the Kidani pool area. This pool bar provides an opportunity to pick up a drink and a few food items.
In addition, it serves as the only quick service at Kidani Village. Here is a look at the menu available on my last visit.
Quick service items included a Kenya Coffee barbecue sandwich, an all-beef hot dog with chili and cheese, a tuna pita platter, Caesar salad, Berbere black-eyed peas harvest salad (plant-based), and a roast turkey sandwich.
There were two kids’ meals options, a turkey sandwich and a PBJ Uncrustable.
Special Dining Experiences at Animal Kingdom Lodge
The following special dining experiences are located at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. You will need to check Disney’s site for availability. Unfortunately, not all of these experiences have returned as of early 2022.
- Dine with an Animal Specialist
- Jiko Wine Tasting
- Wanyama Safari and Dinner
Dine with an Animal Specialist is a four-course lunch at Sanaa, where you sit at a reserved table with an animal expert. You’ll learn about animals and bread service is included with the meal. Check availability here.
The wine tasting at Jiko is usually held in the afternoons and includes a series of wine flights. Unfortunately, there is no further information for this experience at this time.
Perhaps, the most popular experience is the Wanyama Safari and Dinner at Jiko, The Cooking Place. You can check Disney’s site here to see if the experience has returned.
Final Thoughts Restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge
While visiting Kidani Village to dine at Sanaa, make sure to tour this portion of the resort. They have a beautiful savanna with animal viewing areas.
You might even see a giraffe.
And if you remain up at Jambo House, take some time to explore the resort. They have two different savanna viewing areas. You’ll find the viewing area in the picture below is back behind the resort’s pool.
It’s just a short walk away from The Mara, Jiko, and Boma. And then, there is a larger viewing area located off the back of the main lobby.
Make sure to spend a little time wandering around the resort. You never know what kind of animal you might encounter!
The grounds are absolutely breathtaking.
Everywhere you turn, there is beautiful scenery to behold.
I have a few other mentions before we wrap things up. First, all of the restaurants above are generally on a deluxe Disney dining plan when it’s available.
And if you want to learn more, we have every article available for the Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort here on the site.
If you are interested in other Walt Disney World dining, I have the following resort dining guides available:
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort Restaurants & Dining
- Coronado Springs Restaurant Guide
- Wilderness Lodge Dining & Restaurant Guide
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort Restaurants
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort Restaurant Guide
Now, I’d love to hear from you. What are your thoughts about these Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants? Have you tried any of them yet? Do you have a favorite?
Let me know in the comments below. And if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them based on my travels.