Disney’s The Lion King has been a family favourite film ever since its release in 1994. It has also been adapted for the stage, becoming a hugely successful West End musical. More recently, a live action version of the film was released on the big screen.
Are you interested in seeing the amazing animals from this film in their natural habitats? Going on safari in Africa is one of the most incredible travel experiences in the world! Here’s where to find your favourite Lion King characters in the wild.
Lions are the kings of the African safari! To see lions in the wild is considered a highlight of any African adventure. Aside from witnessing African elephants in the wild, this is an experience that cannot be matched. One of the best places to see lions is in the preserved savannah wilderness of Kenya’s Masai Mara reserve. The reserve covers some 1,510 square metres and is part of a vast ecosystem including the Serengeti in Tanzania. Famous for its lions, the Masai Mara is home to around 18 prides. Therefore, it has one of the largest lion populations in the country! There is nowhere better on earth to encounter these beautiful beasts. An additional bonus is that the rest of the Big Five can also be spotted on a Masai Mara safari. A trip here is a no brainer!
Meerkats are one of Africa’s smallest mammals. However, they have also become one of the continent’s most iconic, gaining worldwide popularity from the well-rated TV show, ‘Meerkat Manor.’ Namibia’s Etosha National Park is unique in Africa, and worth a visit for its incredible landscape alone. Here you can also see one of the world’s largest salt pans which can even be seen from space! But it is also one of the most accessible game reserves in Africa and is home to multiple colonies of around 10-40 meerkats!
Warthogs may not be one of the most exciting animals to see on safari, but the character of Pumba has helped to increase their popularity. It’s actually really interesting to observe these creatures in the wild. You may be able to witness firsthand their peculiar habit of bending onto their front knees to feed. The best place to see them is in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Hwange is home to over 100 mammal species including giraffe, zebra, cheetah, and baboons. During a visit here you’ll also have the opportunity to get up close to the animals and learn some tracking techniques on a walking safari.
Red billed hornbills are found across much of Africa. You can easily identify them by the physical feature from which it gets its name. If you’re a keen bird watcher,
your best bet is to head to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The most interesting fact about this bird is the special relationship it has with mongoose. Hornbills will alert mongoose if a predator is nearby. By cleverly keeping them safe, they are then able to feed on the insects disturbed by the mongoose as they forage for food. Aside from observing hornbills, a trip to the Okavango Delta has so much to offer. You can even go canoeing upriver to see hippos, elephants and crocodiles in their natural habitats!
Rafiki is commonly mistaken for a baboon, but he is actually a type of monkey known as a mandrill. These colourful primates are only found in the rainforests of equatorial Africa. Nestled between the countries of Cameroon and the Republic of Congo, Gabon is a haven for African wildlife with a grand total of 13 national parks! Venturing into this little-visited corner of Africa, you’ll be able to track large groups of mandrill in Lope National Park! Gabon is a great choice for a more unique safari experience away from the big name reserves and busy tourist crowds.
Hyenas are one of Africa’s top predators. Their existence adds an element of drama and excitement to a safari. You will see them prowling the plains and hear their piercing laughter and calls. The Serengeti National Park in the north of Tanzania is a fantastic choice for encountering hyenas in the wild. Like the Masai Mara reserve over the border, the Serengeti is one of Africa’s most famous and celebrated national parks. It is notoriously known as the home of the Great Migration and a location commonly used for films set in Africa. You can make your Serengeti adventure the trip of a lifetime by embarking on a hot air balloon safari at sunrise. Soar over the plains and get a bird’s-eye view of the animal’s kingdom to appreciate the true beauty of this remarkable region and its natural wonders.
Hunt down your very own safari adventure by checking out our Africa tours now!