Today is the day that the new Lion King movie opens. Lion King safari in real life so you can see the Simba, Nala, Scar, Timon, Pumba and Zazu in the wild. Here’s our tips on where to go.
Our generation have fond memories of the original animation and today’s generation will create their own memories from this new version with its strong characters, many original voices and outstanding realistic animation.
If you want to take the kids to meet the real animals behind the characters, we can recommend some of the best spots on the continent.
Simba and the lion pride on the Serengeti Plains, Tanzania
Just like the movie, the Serengeti Plains appear endless, with impressive expanses of grasslands where the largest lion population in Africa call home.
Lions have a high metabolism and sleep about 20 hours a day and hunt at night outside the great migration. During the migration, it is like a gourmet buffet so the lions can be seen hunting during their day especially because zebra and wildebeest seem to be their favourite meal.
Scar and his pack of hyena friends in the Masai Mara, Kenya
Cross the river and you will land in Kenya where the banks break under the pressure of panicked herds migrating in search of fresh grass. You will find many a lion including the world famous Marsh pride located near Musiara swamp. Check out their very own Facebook page here . The Marsh Pride and the Ridge pride near Rhino ridge are large and impressive, easy to find because they seem to be more used to vehicles as they are regularly filmed by BBC’s Big Cat Diary.
The spotted hyena, one of Africa’s most fascinating and successful carnivores also dominates the Masai Mara. Their territories are stable here and you can expect 12 hyenas per 100 square kilometres on average. Prey is scattered so the ranges are actually separated by impressively wide bugger zones. You can imagine what happens when the clans do meet, especially when focusing in on the wildebeest migration. Its rather aggressive to say the least!
Pumba (warthog) and Timon (meerkat) Tswalu, South Africa
To see these two famous characters in the wild and in one location you cannot miss the Kalahari and more particularly, the Tswalu Private Game Reserve. Whilst Timon travelled with his buddy Pumba, meerkats in the wild spend their lives in decent size gang. At Tswalu there was easily 30 – 40 meerkats popping up out of their dens before heading off to dig for breakfast.
Warthogs live in small family groups known as sounders. Tswalu has an impressive number of warthog sounders and within each group you see a few females and their young and one dominant male who has the tough job of keeping his sounder safe.
Zazu (red-billed hornbill), Lapalala, South Africa
Zazu is a red-billed hornbill who keeps track of Simba. In real life, there are five species found in different places across the African continent, from Sudan and Tanzania, Gambia and Mali to South Africa and Namibia.
We love spotting Zazu in South Africa’s family friendly Lapalala Wilderness area.
Are you ready for a Lion King safari in real life? We can help.Let’s Chat