Kauai Safaris

Kauai Safaris -- An Delicious Rum-Based Safari Tour Around Kilohana Plantation
Local Expert's Rating:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Kauai Safaris is a fantastic rum-based safari ride on which guests will explore Kilohana Plantation's 105 acres. This is a great tour for those wanting to learn more about Hawaiian agriculture, rum production, and enjoy the countryside in a fun and unique manner. 

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Do you like the idea of sipping Mai Tais and touring tropical valleys? Then make sure you have Kauai Safaris booked on your upcoming vacation of the Green Island.

Kauai Safaris is one of the many attractions offered by the Kilohana Plantation in Lihue. This Located just off of Kaumaualii Highway on the eastern side of the island, this 105-acre former sugar plantation now boasts fruit farms, a luau event location, a historic restaurant and shops, and its own rum distillery. You can see some of these sights on foot and some by train, but one of the best ways to really get out and see the most Kilohana has to offer is by safari ride. 

Kauai Safaris takes place aboard specialized trucks that were cut and re-designed specifically to give visitors maximum viewing capabilities. When you step up to one of their safari trucks, what you will see is an open-air vehicle that may have once been an extra-large truck or extra-small box truck with everything but the front doors and front windshield cut away (including the glass and frame of the front door’s sidewall). Everything behind the front door was also excised and instead raised platform with four rows of seats is bolted in. This set-up enables those riding the safari truck to truly see all around them as they drive throughout the plantation’s 100+ acres. In case of rain, there are removable tops that will get added so that the event can still go on without a hitch. 

Once secured in the raised seats, the safari trucks take off and a guide at the front will introduce guests to the history of Kilohana Plantation. This Kauai Safaris tour will include information not just about the history of sugar in Hawaii, but also that of other tropical plants and, of course, rum.

The first stop on Kauai Safari is at the “jungle bungalow” which is a cozy bar-slash-hut where guests get to enjoy a delicious Mai Tai complete with rum made right at the Kilohana distillery. Plus there’s the added bonus of being surrounded by lush tropical forests. Guides and experienced bartenders are on-hand to answer questions about rum and mixology. 

Once done, it’s off on down the shaded orchard rows and onto trails skirting more wild parts of inland Kauai. Along the route around these plantation outskirts, the safari trucks will come to a stop near pastures where donkeys and horses reside, and where some wild pigs like to appear. Guests are welcome to feet and pet if desired.

Along the final loop of Kauai Safaris, a final stop takes place at a reflective pond where another round of cocktails is served. These cocktails and rum tasting are complemented with local fruits and herbs grown right on the plantation. Fresh rum, fresh fruit; you really can’t get more homegrown fresh than that!

Insider Tips:
-Kauai Safaris is largely a drinking tour. While no, not a get-drunk tour, guests are encouraged to drink cocktails, taste rum, and, in the end, many linger for another with their newly made friends. As such, if you don’t like being around alcohol, this isn’t a good pick. Likewise, it’s a good idea to arrange a shuttle, taxi, or some other alternative means to go between your hotel or resort and Kauai Safaris.
-These safari trucks do not run on island time. They run on a very strict schedule and it is recommended for guests to aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the tour. 
-Consider bringing your own water bottle. Water is available for sale, but a water bottle will make it easy to carry and drink between stops and to cleanse the palate when tasting rum. 
-Yes, there is a lot of riding atop the safari trucks, but there is also some walking as part of this tour. As such, comfortable shoes are strongly recommended.