8 Things You Need To Know About The Lion King Before Going On An African Safari

8 Things You Need To Know About The Lion King Before Going On An African Safari

The Lion King Movie released in 1994 is probably the best-animated feature film of all time. Any movie lover will unanimously confess that they've seen the movie multiple times and have longed for more. The movie also increase the temptation of people to visit the plains of Africa of a safari trip so they can to sing along "Hakuna Matata" or see their beloved "Simba" right in front of their eyes. So if you're planning to go on an African Safari trip, here are the eight things you need to know about the movie Lion King which will make you a more intelligent traveller.

1. The Inspiration For The Pride Lands Was Taken From The Serengeti

The Inspiration For The Pride Lands Was Taken From The Serengeti

If you loved the Pride Lands which is the main location of the Lion King movie, then you'd be glad to know that similar plains do exists in the world and you can visit it one day. The Savannah which is teeming with numerous animals was actually inspired from the plains of the Serengeti, which in Swahili means "Endless plains." A trip to the Serengeti National Park will surely be reminiscent of the movie.

2. The Behaviors Of The Animated Animals Were Astonishingly Accurate

The Behaviors Of The Animated Animals Were Astonishingly Accurate

Disney put in a lot of work and effort to get under the skin of African Wildlife to bring the characters to life. Prior to production of the movie, they sent a separate research team consisting of animators and directors to Africa to extensively study the animals up close. This is evident in the way the pride is portrayed. For example, the structure of the pride was more or less similar to what was presented in the movie. There's only one male lion in the pride that is the head and sire offspring, the lioness strays away from the group only in case of food scarcity, all of which is accurately portrayed in the movie.

3. Disney Portrayed The Hyenas Wrongly

Disney Portrayed The Hyenas Wrongly

There were things that Disney certainly got wrong, and one of that was the portrayal of hyenas in the movie that were in the league with Scar as villains. In fact, a biologist sued Disney for portraying hyenas as villains which he thought created a negative image for the animal as they're not lazy scavengers as depicted in the movie and always find their own meat without relying upon anyone. So don't be scared when you see a Spotted Hyena in the open in any African National Park.

4. Most Of the Names Of The Characters Have Swahili Origin

Most Of Names Of The Characters Have Swahili Origin

After studying Africa for several days, the Disney team decided to name characters that were of Swahili origin. So the characters' name will help you learn some Swahili words too. Some of them are:

  • Simba Means Lion.
  • Rafiki Means Friend.
  • Pumbaa Means Foolish.
  • Shenzi Means Savage
  • Banzai Means To Lurk.

5. Hakuna Matata Wasn’t The First Choice Song For Timon And Pumbaa

Hakuna Matata Wasn’t The First Choice Song For Timon And Pumbaa

For young kids and fans alike, Hakuna Matata became a cultic anthem which couldn't stop humming after they've heard it. The catchy tune along with the carefree meaning of the lyrics helped it become one of the most lovable songs. The song served as a transitional background score when Timon, Simba, and Pumbaa are seen walking along the log enjoying the life. But to the surprise, Hakuna Matata wasn't originally in Disney's plans. Instead, there was a song about bug eating named, "He's got it All Worked Out." It was only after a Safari Tour To Africa that the team came up with the idea of Hakuna Matata which is a Swahili word.

6. There Is No Such Thing Called Pride Rock, But Similar To It Is The Kopjes

There Is No Such Thing Called Pride Rock, But Similar To It Is The Kopjes

The creators of The Lion King have made it clear that the Pride Rock which served as the residence of the King of Pride Land is a fictional creation. But as you traverse through the Serengeti National Park plains and pass through the Kopje formation, you’ll find it strikingly similar to the Pride Rock. The Kopje are small islands of granite thrusting up in the middle of savannah grassland and sometimes also feature lions proudly sitting at the top. The rocky outcrops are important for lions and big cats that frequently hide their cubs in the nooks of the kopjes (just like in movies). The Pride Rock also seems to have been modelled after Hell's Gate National Parks In Kenya.

7. Scar And Musafa Weren’t Actually Brothers

Scar And Musafa Weren’t Actually Brothers

Most of the people have this misconception that Scar, the antagonist, and Musafa, father of Simba, are brothers. Director Rob Minkoff and producer Dan Hahn cleared the air in an interview that it was very likely that both would not have descended from the same parents. The reason is that the way the lions operate in a pride when a male lion gets old, another rogue lion comes and kills the old guy to take over the pride. So Scar was that rogue lion who had less of an importance and wanted the power in his hands. That also explains why they look different from each other.

8. Just Like The Stampede Scene Where Hundreds Of Wildebeests Are Seen Running, They Do Go On An Epic Journey Which Is Called The Great Migration

Just Like The Stampede Scene Where Hundreds Of Wildebeests Are Seen Running, They Do Go On An Epic Journey Which Is Called The Great Migration

Probably one of the most thrilling parts of the movie was the stampede scene where Simba got caught in the way of hundreds of running wildebeests. But in the real world too these wildebeests embark on an epic tour. In fact, they embark in millions along with zebras and elands. The event is famously known as Serengeti Wildebeest Migration. The stampede scene in the movie took almost three years for animators at Disney to complete as a new computer program had to be developed solely for this purpose that will allow hundreds, if not thousands, of the computer, generated animals to not collide with each other and still run through the plains.

For decades, the movie remained as the highest worldwide grossing animated movie and remained exemplary of an outstanding piece of computer artwork. Even if you're not a movie lover, we'd strongly urge you to see this movie to get a sense of what African Safari might be like. If you've already seen the film and looking to go on a safari trip, we're here to help. Kindly visit our Contact Us page to get in touch with us for rates, bookings, or enquiries.