Lion King Safari Experiences for Families | Jumbari Family Safaris
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Lion King Safari Experiences for Families

lion king safari

The Lion King remake has hit theatres this month and it is said to be the most anticipated film of 2019. For the love of the iconic movie that has won over the hearts of both children and parents, we put together an easy guide to help your family relive your favourite scenes from the Lion King. Below, find out where your children can spot the famous characters from the Lion King and where to stay on your Lion King Safari.       

1. Best place to spot Timon – Botswana, Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

Suggested Family Safari Lodge: Jack’s Camp, Camp Kalahari

Timon, the famous meerkat from the Lion King, is a small animal which is most commonly found in Southern Africa. Visit the Kalahari Desert of Botswana, the Namib Desert in Namibia or South Africa to see an abundance of Meerkat. Unlike Timon, meerkat normally spend their life with a group of 10 or more members, some groups reaching up to 50 meerkats! 

timon and pumba

The Lion King, Walt Disney Pictures, 2019. Film still.

To meet these animals on your Lion King Safari we recommend traveling to Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Jack’s Camp offers you and your family the unique opportunity to interact with meerkats. Being inquisitive creatures, don’t be surprised if you find one on the top of your head! The camp is also in the process of pioneering a meerkat habituation project alongside the world’s leading researchers. This will give you a chance to gain insightful knowledge on the meerkat.

meerkats at botswana’s makgadikgadi salt pans

Photo credit: Jack’s Camp, Botswana

2. Best place to spot Zazu – Kruger National Park, South Africa

Suggested Family Safari Lodge: Jock Safari Lodge

The red-billed hornbill from The Lion King, better known as ‘Zazu’, is a large bird famous for its red bill and long tail. Your best bet at spotting this bird will be in the northern and eastern reaches of South Africa. The red-billed hornbill is a common resident in The Kruger National Park because of its trees which provide perfect nesting conditions.

zazu and simba

The Lion King, Walt Disney Pictures, 2019. Film still. 

Our recommended stay in the Kruger National Park is Jock Safari Lodge. This family-friendly lodge accommodates families within the main lodge, as well as in their Fitzpatrick Family Villa. While parents can indulge in the luxury facilities at the lodge your children can enjoy the Junior Ranger Program. This kids program includes excursions in the wild and onsite activities.

red-billed hornbill at jock safari lodge

Red-billed hornbill, Kruger National Park, South Africa

3. Best spot to find Pumba – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Suggested Family Safari Lodge  – Tuningi Safari Lodge, Madikwe Game Reserve

A lover of dust and mudbaths, Timon’s famous accomplice, Pumba, is an animal commonly found on the grasslands, savanna and woodlands in sub-Saharan Africa. Resembling a wild pig, the warthog is a quirky looking animal with four tusks and a snout used for digging up roots and bulbs.


The Lion King, Walt Disney Pictures, 2019. Film still.

If you would like to spot these animals in the wild, Madikwe Game Reserve is the perfect destination to visit on your Lion King Safari. Tuningi Safari Lodge is one of our preferred stays for families traveling to the reserve. They boast luxury family suites and eco-safari practices. You will be able to spot warthog families on your daily game drives in the reserve, specifically around the waterholes. If you are lucky you will be able to witness their peculiar habit of kneeling on their front knees while foraging for food.  

warthog at madikwe game reserve 

4. Best place to spot Scar – Masai Mara, Kenya

Suggested Family Safari Lodge – Sand River Masai Mara

The legend of Scar lives on in Kenya’s Masai Mara. If you are fascinated by this character head to Kenya to witness the famous Marsh pride and their legendary leader, Scarface. Said to be 10 years old, Scarface is a male lion which shares a shocking resemblance to ‘Scar’ from The Lion King. Alongside Scarface, you can also expect to see his three brothers, Morani, Sikio, and Hunter.


The Lion King, Walt Disney Pictures, 2019. Film still.

Your best chance of spotting this lion pride will be around the Mara triangle. Our recommended stay in the area is Sand River Masai Mara. The location of the camp is best known for its large concentrations of big cats including leopard, cheetah and lion. Families are comfortably accommodated in the spacious family tent of 87m2. The tent consists of 2 ensuite bedrooms adjoined by a central lounge area.

scar lion in masai mara kenya

‘Scarface’, Masai Mara

5. Best place to spot Simba and Nala – Serengeti

Suggested Family Safari Lodge  – Serengeti Pioneer Camp

The Serengeti National Park is home to the largest lion population in Africa. Thus, it is the ultimate destination for spotting relatives of the most loved characters in The Lion King, Simba and Nala. With more than 3,000 lions living in the Serengeti ecosystem, wildlife sightings of this magnificent predator is a guarantee.


The Lion King, Walt Disney Pictures, 2019. Film still.

Our recommended stay for families traveling to the Serengeti on their Lion King Safari is Serengeti Pioneer Camp. Located in the South Central Serengeti, you will be able to cover over 90% of the Serengeti, thus maximizing your game-viewing opportunities.

lion at serengeti pioneer camp

Interested in a Lion King Safari experience with Jumbari Family Safaris? Have a look at our 7 Day South Africa Lion Safari inspired by the iconic Disney film. Alternatively, get in touch with one of our experts for a customised safari itinerary.