When it comes to dining at the Walt Disney World Resort, no place is going to provide with more magical food and quality service than the Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort area. Within the Jambo House alone you are going to find probably the best buffet on property, Boma Flavors of Africa, one of the best table service restaurants Jiko – The Cooking Place, and the best quick service experience The Mara.
Nestled in the Kidani Village is Sanaa, another hidden gem within the Animal Kingdom Lodge area. Between these four locations alone you are going to experience the best dining at Disney World.
Here we are going to focus on the fantastic eating experience at Boma Flavors of Africa (located right across from Jiko – The Cooking Place) in the lobby of the Jambo House. It fits seamlessly with the theme and has rave reviews from guests of all ages!
Now keep in mind that this is an all you can eat buffet so there will be something to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters at this festival of food!
Boma Decor and Atmosphere
From the moment you walked into the Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House, the mood is going to be set for the entire experience. You will be immersed within an African environment from the sights to the sounds to the smells. While you make your way through the lobby of the resort towards the restaurant you are going to notice the small touches that Disney always makes sure completes the experience.
Once you arrive at the Host Station, you are going to speak with a cast member (inform them whether you have a reservation or not) and begin your way through the restaurant to your table. From the moment you get to the front of Boma, the toxic smell of rich spices and delicious meats are going to slap you joyfully right in the nose!
Now one of my biggest complaints is the lighting at Boma. If you are looking for a romantic evening out with your partner this would be the ideal lightening.. Otherwise, for families like myself it can be a little dark. Now I am not saying bring a flashlight to see where you are going, but it is not the bright and cheery atmosphere that you will find at some locations.
There are beautiful tapestries hanging from the ceiling and a wrought iron fence that creates a walk way throughout the restaurant. Throughout the seating area there are magnificent wooden carvings of any animals you can imagine that would fit in with the African theme including elephants and rhinoceros. The tables themselves are also a work of art. There are intricate and complicated but simple at the same time.
The buffet stations are under little hut roofs to create their own separate ambiance from the dining area. This is part of the reasons Boma is one of my favorite places to eat at. The entire restaurant is its own work of art with magical touches and small nuisances that takes one and sets them in an African dining experience that you will never see anywhere else!
When you are first seated at your table, a server will come over and take your drink order. Before we even touch the food offered we have to talk about the wine menu. Animal Kingdom Lodge has the largest selection of African wines available outside of Africa itself. Take advantage of this opportunity because it may never present itself again in your life.
The wine menu is extensive and a glass of wine can cost you anywhere from $6 to $16 a glass or $35 to $69 a bottle. But wait there’s more! If you cannot decide which wine you want to choose from they do have wine flights from $13 to $18 providing you the chance to taste multiple different wines at one sitting. They also have African Press Pot Coffee and different African beers and liquor as well. If there are no alcoholic drinkers in the family or small children they do also have the standard selection of soft drinks.
Once you have drinks, then it will be all about the food! First we will cover breakfast. Now it is not the splendor that is the dinner feast, but there are amazing options including:
- African Fruit Fool
- Cheese Selection
- Quinoa-Spinach Salad
- Create Your Own Yogurt
- Smoked Salmon
- French Toast Bread Pudding
- Hand Carved Breakfast Ham
- Sweet Plantains
- Corned Beef Hash
- Hand Carved Turkey
- Breakfast Potatoes
- And More
Now the breakfast will be available from 730am to 11am. Once 5p happens, Boma turns into a fantastic and delicious buffet that is probably the best on Disney property. It is an incredibly unique experience.
Unlike other dining buffets at Disney World, this is not a character experience so the food is the main focus and is not a letdown. Some of the food is on rotation so not all of the options will be there, but no matter what is out is going to be delicious. Some of the options include:
- Ghanaian Oxtail Soup
- Coconut-Chicken-Curry Soup
- Cape Malay Lamb Stew
- Boerewors Sausage Stew
- Seafood Gumbo
- South African Curried Lobster
- Tunisian Couscous Salad
- Apple Jicama Salad
- Kool Slaai
- Ghana Tomato Salad
- Artichoke and Preserved Lemon Salad
- Lentil and Hearts of Palm Salad
- Pap and Chakalaka
- Spice Crusted Beef Sirloin
- Pork Shoulder
- Whole Roasted Salmon
- Spiced Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Turkey
- Zulu Cabbage
- Kokonut Rice
- Geel Rys
- Plantain Chips
- Peanut Rice
- Kenyan Coffee Tarts
- Guava Panna Cotta
- Bread Pudding
- Zebra Domes
And that is only the beginning! The list is endless and there is definitely going to be something to try for everyone in the family. If you have any children in your family who may not be as adventurous when it comes to food, they do have options as well including Sea Nuggets, Chicken Bites, Macaroni and Cheese, Penne Pasta with Marinara Sauce and Mealie Dogs.
Now there are some must try items on the buffet. There is an African Bread selection. Do not miss this! The Mealie Bread is by far my favorite. And after you grab yourself some bread, make sure you grab some Lavosh or Pita and enjoy the hummus bar!
Another huge staple of the buffet is all of the stews and soups! You will most likely hear everyone raving about how delicious they are. My personal favorite is the Coconut Chicken Curry Soup! Remember that the soups and stews are on rotation so while your favorite might be there once, it is not a guarantee to be there every time.
My family’s favorite has to be the Fufu. It is basically a blend of mashed and sweet potatoes with some cinnamon. It gets them every time! And because it is an all you can eat buffet, you are not forced to settle down and have just one meal so keep on going back for more to get the best experience you can imagine and a full stomach too!
Now the pricing for Boma is pretty basic mainly because it is a buffet. The price for the breakfast buffet which is served from 730 am to 11am is going to be $25 per adult and $14 per child.
The dinner buffet is one of the more expensive meals on property but remember it does have one the most elaborate, delicious and culturally distinct selections of any buffet you will ever come across. For adults the price is $43 and a child is $24. Dinner is served from 5pm to 930pm.
Currently the buffet is only worth one table service credit and if you use Tables of Wonderland, you also receive 20% off. If you are using the dining plan, book this meal. It is a steal considering the selection available and the fact that it is worth only one table service credit.
Now drink pricing will depend on what you are ordering. Alcohol is always going to be more expensive but a glass of wine can be as little as $6!
IMPORTANT TIP: Boma is a cash free experience so make sure you have your MagicBand, credit card, Google Pay, Samsung Pay or Apple Pay to check out, but you may still pay cash as a tip.
Service and Entertainment
Many of the buffets at the Walt Disney World Resort are known for being fantastic character experiences. Alas, Boma Flavors of Africa is not one of those particular locations. Do not worry, you will not miss the lack the characters at this particular dining experience.
One of the best part about Boma is that you can watch the chefs work their magic to create culinary masterpieces for the buffet every single time you make you way up. It is a show in its own right!. It also allows the smells to just waft through the entire dining room.
The servers will come to your table regularly to take care of drink orders and clear off any plates, but this is still a lot of work so remember to leave a tip!
While there may be no characters coming to your table or musical theater scenes happening during your experience, take that time to not only appreciate the food, but also the beautiful decor. Boma in Swahili means “an open natural place that provides safe shelter in the bush” which is exactly how you are going to feel with the mismatch tables and hidden Mickeys. You will experience the large windows that just swallow you with beautiful natural light or the night sky. You do not need any other bells and whistles to enjoy the view during your meal.
Do I Need a Reservation?
When it comes to Disney dining, I always stress to get a reservation, but even more so with Boma. The Jambo House already has a lot of foot traffic due to its notoriety to have breathtaking views and well, animals. There is always a high demand for Boma. So remember to keep Boma at the top of your list for dining reservations and book as early as you can for reservations. You have 180 days prior to book any dining reservation you may desire that has an opening.
So if I do not make a reservation does that mean I cannot eat there? Well no. You are always welcomed to head on over to Boma and try to grab a table on standby, but keep in mind that they may be a long wait or they could be done taking walk up guests by that time. So while you may not NEED a reservation, you cannot be guaranteed a table without one.
What’s the Verdict?
The verdict is, yes! Five stars! Do not miss! Even if buffets are not your thing, Boma always will be. This is by far my favorite and one of the best dining experiences on Disney Property! You will never be let down and the food is on rotation, so even if you do decide to head over there more than once, you will have a new experience every time. Remember to add this to your list of Disney World dining reservations.
So the lightning may not be the best if you are there for a fun filled family dinner, but who cares what the lightning is when all of your senses are on overload trying to take in every fine beautiful detail! So not only is my recommendation to eat at Boma Flavors of Africa, but I recommend eating there multiple times.
Make it a staple of every vacation you take to the Walt Disney World. Make sure it is in your budget and just indulge because you are never going to experience a meal that culturally tied to Africa unless you go to Africa yourself. And when you are done, go enjoy everything that Animal Kingdom Lodge has to offer. You will never regret it.
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