Lion King

5 Things You can Learn From The Lion King Before You Go on Safari in Tanzania

For many of us, our first lion encounter was with a sleekly animated cub. The Lion King is an iconic movie, but it’s more than just a touching tale of a lion finding his way to the throne. The film is packed with tidbits of information that might come in handy when you go on safari in Tanzania.

These five interesting facts justify re-watching the movie as legitimate research!

The Serengeti inspired the Pride Lands
The Pride Lands film setting is a reflection of the Serengeti (which means “endless plains’’ in Swahili). When you drive through the Serengeti, the resemblance is easy to see. The savannah is teeming with herds of zebra, impala, and wildebeest, while among the long grasses cheetah and lions stalk their prey – the circle of life in action.Nearby, the Olduvai Gorge supposedly served as inspiration for the spot where Mufasa was trampled by wildebeest. The gorge is a significant archaeological site where Mary Leakey discovered a 1.8 million-year-old hominid skull.

Lion King

The animated animal behaviour is accurate (most of the time)
Disney sent a research team to Africa, so some details of the natural world are spot on. For example, the structure of a pride is more or less as it’s presented in the film, led by one dominant male who is the only one to sire offspring. Lionesses will only stray away from the pride when food is scarce, which explains why Nala was hunting alone during the famine caused by Scar. Fact and fiction part ways where Simba’s diet is concerned, though – there’s no way a lion could survive off bugs as an adult male eats around 10 kilograms of meat a day.Meanwhile, female hyenas run the show which is why Shenzi calls the shots in the hyena clan. One thing that Disney got wrong – hyenas are successful hunters and kill most of their own meat, so they aren’t quite the lazy scavengers the Lion King makes them out to be.

Lion King


Several characters’ names are Swahili words
Discovering the meanings of the characters’ names can help you learn some Swahili vocabulary.
– Simba 
means lion.
– Rafiki means friend.
– Pumbaa means foolish or silly.
– Shenzi means savage while Banzai means to skulk or lurk.

Hakuna Matata really is a wonderful phrase
Thanks to a catchy tune, everyone is familiar with ‘Hakuna Matata’. The phrase was originally picked up by Disney’s research team during their time in Africa. It really does translate to ‘no worries’, and you’ll hear it often from locals when you travel Tanzania. It’s typically only used for tourists’ benefit though, with Tanzanian Swahili speakers preferring to say hamna shida instead.

Lion King


Pride Rock doesn’t exist – but kopjes do
As you rumble across the Serengeti plains on your Tanzania safari, you’ll pass kopje formations which are eerily similar to Pride Rock. Islands of granite thrusting up out of the grassy savannah, kopjes often feature lions draped across the top.The rocky outcrops are important vantage points for lions and the big cats frequently hide their cubs in the nooks and crannies of the kopjes – just like in the movie! So keep your binoculars handy for a closer inspection.

Lion King

If you’ve ever been on our Tanzania Wildlife Breakaway, you’ll know just what we mean about the parallels between the Serengeti and the Lion King. Share your own favourite Lion King crossovers in the comments section below!

Still haven’t been? Now is the perfect time to experience the majesty of the real-life Pride Lands for yourself, with a special 10% discount on all Tanzania Wildtierausbruch bookings made before the 30th April 2018. Contact us today at to book or find out more.

Verwandte Touren

Journey to the Pride Lands | Lion King Family Safari

Reise zum Königsfelsen

Ab: $ 3,715.00 pro Person

Tauchen Sie ein in die reale Pracht des legendären Films „Der König der Löwen“ und entdecken Sie die markanten Landschaften, die diesen Disney-Filmklassiker inspiriert haben. Sie starten in Nairobi, Kenia, überqueren den Äquator und reisen durch weite offene Ebenen voller Wildtiere. Sie spüren den Ruf der Wildnis in einigen der ursprünglichsten Naturgebieten Afrikas und erleben, wie das kulturelle Herz Afrikas schlägt. Kinder können auf den Spuren Simbas wandeln und werden zu Ehrenrangern ausgebildet, wobei sie vieles über dieses außergewöhnliche Land und den Kreislauf des Lebens lernen. Anschließend führt Ihr Weg durch die Region der Seen, den Großen Afrikanischen Grabenbruch hinunter und in die Masai Mara – der atemberaubenden Inspiration zu den berühmten Pride Lands. Hier werden Sie verstehen und selbst erleben, warum diese unvergleichliche Landschaft die Herzen von Millionen erobert hat!

Read More
Tanzania wildlife

Tanzania Wildtierausbruch

Ab: $ 2,050.00 pro Person

Die Tansania Wildlife Breakaway Lodge Safari bietet Ihnen die Möglichkeit, die besten Wildgebiete Tansanias zu erkunden, wo die Tierwelt reichlich zu sehen ist. Sie besuchen den weltberühmten Serengeti Nationalpark, den Tarangire Nationalpark, den Ngorongoro Krater und vieles mehr.

Read More

Tanzania Wildlife Explorer

Ab: $ 2,900.00 pro Person

Our Tanzania Wildlife Explorer mixes the very best of East Africa’s culture with Tanzania’s best wildlife! Enjoy this lodge safari as you explore the rich culture and stunning scenery that only Tanzania is known for and visit world-famous places such as the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park and many more.

Read More

Jenman African Safaris Collection