Boma – Flavors of Africa is a buffet in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World. This review features photos and thoughts about dinner at Boma, how it compares to other WDW buffets, and our thoughts on the experience of eating here.
The menu at Boma features a wide variety of American and African cuisine, and features both adventurous cuisine and more conventional options, making it one of the most diverse buffets at Walt Disney World. Arguably the best buffet at Walt Disney World, participates in the Disney Dining Plan, and accepts Tables in Wonderland for a 20% discount. While it’s not a great use of a Disney Dining Plan table service credit if you’re trying to maximize your value on the Disney Dining Plan, it isn’t a bad option either.
Boma is located on the lower level of Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House, adjacent to Jiko – The Cooking Place (one of our favorite restaurants at Walt Disney World) and The Mara (one of the best counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World). With this hard-hitting trio plus the often-overlooked Sanaa in Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village, Animal Kingdom Lodge has arguably the best dining of any resort hotel at Walt Disney World. Only the Grand Floridian really gives it a run for its money.
We’ve dined at Boma for dinner on a few different occasions, and each time have been really full. It’s certainly not the cheapest buffet on property, but we think it’s the best due to its huge range of high quality options, especially the soups, meats, and desserts (especially those delicious zebra domes pictured above). It’s not a character buffet, so if that matters to you but you still want the kids of foods found at Boma, we recommend lunch at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom (the park) instead. In terms of cuisine, it’s like Boma-lite.
In terms of ambiance, Boma is solid. The lighting is low and moody, and to the extent that a Walt Disney World buffet can be romantic, Boma is. (That extent isn’t very great for those wondering, but still…) Its design features motifs of pillars, thatches of sticks, huts, and animal carvings.
It reminds me a bit of an open air African marketplace, although it definitely is not themed to one. I’d say it has an evocative design more than themed design, meaning that it draws inspiration from locales in Africa rather than trying to replicate them directly. In that regard, it’s definitely not like Tusker House.
Here’s one of the animal carvings. Also notice the bottles of wine–Animal Kingdom Lodge touts its exhaustive wine list. Apparently, Animal Kingdom Lodge has the most African wines in North America or something like that.
I can’t imagine many restaurants in North American try for long lists of African wines, so I’m not sure what kind of bragging rights that entails. Perhaps about the same as being the toy store in Canada with the most authentic Australian kangaroo toys.
Everyone knows beer > wine, and fortunately, Boma also has some solid African beer choices.
Boma works just like every other Walt Disney World buffet. You’re seated by a host or hostess who gets your drinks, and you’re free to then go to the buffet line and pile plates of meat so high that you’d make a velociraptor blush.
Among the best meat options (in my opinion) are the salmon, spiced chicken, and pork ribs. The pork ribs have an African twist but will still appeal to an American palate. They’re absolutely delicious.
Here’s a plate full of various meats. Besides what’s mentioned above, the highlight is definitely the Spice Crusted Beef Striploin, carved to order. This is always juicy and tender, and perfectly spiced.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll become close friends with the Cast Member carving the striploin by the end of your meal. 😉 As you can probably guess, I focus on the meats and only have small samplings of the “other stuff” at Boma during an average meal.
Sarah loves the soups at Boma, and from what I’ve tasted of them, they are very good. I’m not huge on soups (especially when unlimited meats are available), but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by them. Definitely don’t overlook them.
Boma also has a variety of salads, ranging from conventional stuff like greens salads and cole slaw to more exotic choices like watermelon, couscous, and quinoa salads.
Sarah likes interesting, healthy options, and she is a huge fan of Boma due to this incredible range of salads.
There’s also a pita station with a variety of different flavors of hummus.
Boma only has a handful of dessert choices (about an average amount for a buffet, but considering how many entrees they have, it seems like not much), but they are pretty much all good to excellent.
The highlights from dessert include the coffee tarts, banana bread pudding, and cheesecake. Of, and of course, the Zebra Domes. Ahhh, those Zebra Domes. These are some of the most hyped up Walt Disney World snacks, and we think they totally live up to the hype. What is a zebra dome? Glad you asked! Contrary to popular belief, these are not made of milk from a lactating female zebra, but are instead domes of Amarula Liqueur mousse, coated in a white chocolate ganache, with a dark chocolate ganache drizzle, all on a white cake base. What’s Amarula Liqueur? Glad you asked! Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just a fancy name for Kahula, but instead is liqueur from the African Marula tree, and has a slightly fruity, caramel flavor. This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about Zebra Domes, but seriously, these things are good. Save some room for a baker’s dozen of them!
Tip: if you’re at Animal Kingdom Lodge but aren’t dining at Boma, you can purchase a 6-pack of Zebra Domes from the cooler at The Mara.
Overall, there should be little question why Boma is the #1 buffet at Walt Disney World (perhaps #2 if you care about characters). Its versatility means it can be different things for different people. For me, it’s an all you can eat restaurant with the (almost) refined ambiance of a table service restaurant, and some incredible meats and desserts that offer a slight African flair. For Sarah, it’s the rare Walt Disney World buffet that makes an earnest effort on something more than just comfort food (the salads and soups here aren’t just token offerings). Its a buffet where kids or picky eaters can get very standard options, and, at the other end of the spectrum, those looking for a more exotic meal will be able to find an impressive buffet. If I were looking for a table service restaurant to take a large group of diverse, big eaters, Boma would probably be the top location on my list. While it’s not of the same quality as the nearby Jiko, it’s also a cheaper, all you can eat buffet, so there’s really no comparison. As far as buffets go, Boma is not cheap and it can get very busy, but we can really think of no reason not to recommend Boma.
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Have you been to Boma – Flavors of Africa? What did you think of it? Is it something you’d like to try? Any specific recommendations from the buffet? If you have any questions or thoughts to share, please post them in the comments. We love hearing from readers!
Boma is one of our family’s favorite places to have breakfast. The variety of foods to choose from is outstanding, and there are so many delicious items to sample. It is a great way to start the day with an early breakfast before making your way to Animal Kingdom.
I was ambivalent on this as the review is quite old and I had read negative reviews since, but I really enjoyed my meal at Boma. The variety was incredible and a lot of the items were above average quality.
It wasn’t remotely close to the best buffet I’ve ever had, but that’s because I’m comparing against buffets in luxury hotels in Asia (including Tokyo Disney Resort), as well as Las Vegas buffets set at almost double the price point. Without wanting to stereotype, I think Western buffets have an issue in that their audiences have larger appetites, so the quality gets reduced.
As a point of information my family has eaten here over the past 10 years and had been quite pleased with the selection and quality. Tonight, however, this was not the case. My wife and I had the misfortune of choosing to have dinner at Boma this eve, November 19,2019. Whereas the ambiance and service is stellar, the food presented is anything but. Pork shoulders are the cheapest pork cuts and they were a featured item! The salmon tasted undercooked and not firm. The soups which used to be a hallmark along with the desserts were both bland. We two spent $100+ for dull, bland, and/or cheap fare . Do yourself a favor and go elsewhere.
Can’t believe the exceptionally CRAPPY service at this Disney restaurant on Saturday night! MARTIN was horrible, “I” even had to tell him the name of the coffee they serve! He checked with another server and then came back and said “You’re right!” DUH!
But I really enjoyed when I brought the service issue to the attention of the manager on duty ALEX!
If I heard another “Hummm, Oohh, Humm” I would have thrown up!! GREAT customer interaction and service!!
We’ve eaten here usually once a month for quite some time. And at $50 plus per head I expected better.
It’ll be quite some time before we go back here again!!
Good luck to you, if your server is MARTIN…. RUN!!!
Settle down, dude. Sometimes CM’s have off days, just like you and me.
I have an ADR for Boma in November. I have recently heard that it is not as good as it once was. I was last there 3 years ago. How about a new review to see if anything has changed?
Does Boma still have Zebra Domes? They aren’t on the menu. They have zebra cupcakes but no domes.
I love Boma every time! Breakfast and lunch/dinner. I wish they would bring back cassava cakes, those were my favorite.
I went to Boma for the first time during my last trip. It’s my new favorite/must eat place at WDW now.
Tom- your rating of Boma is spot on! As others have said, the breakfast there is top-notch as well, and a great way to start the day, especially if you’re heading to Animal Kingdom later that morning- you can start your adventure that much earlier! I would recommend it for your next trip!
I first had a meal there with a large group back in 2003, and it’s become a must-visit restaurant on every trip since- my wife and I adore it for sentimentality as well as culinary reasons!
This will be my first time going to Disney, I was wondering if the only way to get the dining plan is through Disney Resorts or can I purchase the dining plan seperate since we are thinking of staying off Disney property
You cannot purchase it if you’re staying off-site.
100% agree with your review! We eat here at the end of the day every time we go to Animal Kingdom. It is actually ours kids favorite place to eat in all of Disney.
Can’t decide whether we should dine at Boma or Sanaa! The Zebra Domes alone make me want to choose this place.
My family loves Boma! It is our favorite buffet in WDW (and arguably the best meals we have had in WDW). I particularly enjoyed the BBQ pork ribs, beef strip loin and peanut stew. I liked the zebra domes, but a true standout dessert for me was the banana bread pudding. Everything was so good we wanted to keep eating, but simply ran out of stomach real estate!
We’re going in Dec and will at most have 2 dinners in Animal Kingdom (staying at Cornado w/Park Hopper so it’s possible) and I was wondering which you thought was best picks between Tusker House and Boma. It’s just the wife and me and we’re more interested in the food (and a relatively adventurous palate). I figure the second meal would be Sanaa unless you recommend that to be first (we’re on the meal plan so no Jinko).
We are going to Boma for the first time during our trip next month. I’m very excited to try it!
Unfortunately for my nephew, it took the place of his favorite, Chef Mickey’s, but I hate the food there and he’s always too distracted by the characters to eat anyways. I figure he will get more than enough character interactions in the parks, so I just made an executive decision to get my way 🙂 lol.
Tried Boma for the first time when I went back in Jan of this year. My GF and I went for breakfast though and it was amazing!! Best breakfast of the vacation by far. I’d go back again next time simply to get the French Toast Bread Pudding with Pecan Praline Sauce, OUT OF THIS WORLD!!