Disney Parks ares packed with talented entertainers and eye-popping live performances and the Africa section of Animal Kingdom park features some of the best of these. Spend a few hours strolling through the Mombasa Marketplace of Harambe Village where you can shop for authentic African goods, sample some delicious fare, and while away the afternoon with live music.
Dance Your Way Through Disney Parks
Jambo everyone! Today we’re taking a stroll through the village of Harambe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, where the sounds of rhythmic drumming and a bustling marketplace combined with the sights of thatched huts and colorfully-clad dancers immerse you into east African culture.
In Swahili, Harambe means, “come together,” and that’s exactly what the live entertainment in the Africa section of the Animal Kingdom Park succeeds in doing. Whether it’s a family exclaiming over the sight of baby giraffes at Kilamanjaro Safaris, people clapping in a circle in time with the Tam Tam drummers, or a crowd dancing along with the members of the Burudika Band, Harambe is a festival of talent for everyone to share.
Climb aboard a rustic, open-air jeep and head out on a two week safari through Harambe Wildlife Reserve on Animal Kingdom’s headlining attraction.
In true Disney storytelling fashion, your experience begins the moment you enter the queue, where the tale is spun of how Harambe Village, once popular with big game hunters, has worked toward protecting the animals from poachers and preserving the land. Remarkably themed, visitors view footage about animal conservation narrated by a wildlife researcher and the reserve’s warden, Wilson Mutua, as they make their through what is supposed to be the safari office.
The trip itself is what Walt Disney dreamed of when he first created The Jungle Cruise, a perennial favorite at both Disneyland and Disney World. Guests are treated to the sight of some incredible live animals as they travel through the African wilderness. Each vehicle is staffed by a driver who narrates the entire journey, sharing detailed information about each animal throughout the ride.
Okapi and bongo hide in the forest while black rhinos, hippopotamuses and crocodiles populate the reserve’s watering holes. As the safari continues, graceful Masai and reticulated giraffes and impressively horned Ankole cattle stroll around the Serengeti Savanna and beautiful African music is piped over the jeep’s speakers.
Festival of the Lion King
One of Walt Disney World’s most popular live shows, the Festival of the Lion King is a circus-like performance featuring more than 50 tumblers, singers fire dancers and aerial acrobats in a circle-in-the-round theater.
The story behind the show is that a troop of African tribal performers have been traveling around with Simba and his friends to spread the message of the “circle of life.” Lead by four hosts and enormous puppets of Simba, Pumba, an elephant and a giraffe, audience participation is encouraged throughout the show, especially at the end with a rousing rendition of The Lion Sleeps Tonight. The music from the Lion King film accompanies the performers and the entire experience is truly breathtaking.
Burudika Band and the Tam Tam Drummers
The streets of Harambe Village come to life with performances throughout the day by the Afro-pop Burudika Band and the energetic drumming of the Tam Tam Congo. Both of these groups manage to create a party atmosphere throughout Harambe and love it when
they get the guests moving and shaking.
Featuring male and female singers and a variety of instruments, Burudika plays everything from African music with a techno beat to songs from Paul Simon’s Graceland to Hakuna Matata. The brightly costumed Tam Tam Drummers are experts at energizing the crowd with the pulsating rhythms of their authentic conga rhythms.
The Dawa Bar
Burudika means, “to be refreshed,” and that is what you can do right next to the stage at the Dawa Bar. Pull up a stool, have a snack, grab a refreshing Safari Amber on draft and take a load of your tired feet for a while while the kids dance along to the music!