Kumba is a steel B&M (Bolliger & Mabillard) “sitting coaster” located at Busch Gardens Tampa. Operating with four trains (only three are on the track at any given time) seating four across in eight rows for a total capacity of 32 riders, Kumba has been one of the park’s premier attractions since it opened in 1993. It features seven inversions.
Kumba was the first B&M coaster with interlocking corkscrews and a dive loop. And it’s one of only three in the world with a vertical loop encircling the lift hill.
The ride begins with a right turn out of the loading station. The train ascends a 143-foot chain lift hill, navigates a pre-drop and drops 135 feet to the left. It then goes up into a 114-foot vertical loop followed by a dive loop. The next element is a zero-g roll which packs a punch. This leads up into a cobra roll, the last element before the block brake. After the block brake the train navigates two interlocking corkscrews and flies through two tunnels before returning to the loading station. Kumba means "roar" in South African congo language - and roar it does, with no sand or other dampener to mute the sound of the trains.
Final Thoughts and Rating
Kumba offers a ride which is both thrilling and wonderfully smooth. The elements flow so fluently that there is no need to brace oneself or ride defensively. It features a great layout which was copied to at least one later, floorless B&M coaster. In addition, the ride duration is 2:54, which is longer than that of a number of operating coasters. Although this coaster is 25 years old it rides as well as the supposedly new and improved models. I really got a kick out of it and ended up riding repeatedly. Kumba rates a 4 on a scale of 1 to 5. For more information about rides at Busch Gardens Tampa, visit buschgardens.com/tampa/https://