Journey To The Pride Lands

It is easy to see why The Lion King is one of the bestselling films of all time. From the moving soundtrack and unforgettable songs to the richly developed characters and the incredibly positive underlying message, this feel-good Disney classic has stood the test of time.

Lions on a zebra kill at Sasaab

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the original 1994 movie, Disney’s 2019 live-action remake is set to be a mega-hit. The teaser trailer received 224.6 million views within the first 24 hours and has certainly got all of us all eagerly anticipating its release in July this year.  

A male lion yaws and bare’s its teeth

Directed by Jon Favreau who led the 2016 live-action Jungle Book production, the remake is ground-breaking in its photo realistic computer animation.  The cast contains a host of Hollywood nobility, including Donald Glover who plays Simba and Beyoncé who plays his love interest Nala.

Many mischievous Pumbas at Giraffe Manor

What most people do not know, is that much of the inspiration behind The Lion King was taken from right here in Kenya. Pumbaa and Timon’s ‘Hakuna Matata’ song comes from the Swahili phrase meaning ‘there’s no problem’ and many character names are taken from Swahili.  Cleverly, their Swahili meanings give an insight into some of the character’s personalities or roles: Simba is Swahili for ‘lion’, Rafiki means ‘friend’ and the notorious hyenas Shenzi and Banza translate as ‘savage’ and ‘skulk’. A little less fortunate, Pumbaa is taken from the Swahili word for ‘slow-witted’ or ‘foolish’!

Zazu and his noisy friends like to hang out at Sasaab

Furthermore, the portrayal of the African savannah is incredibly accurate.  In1991 a team of Disney animators carried out extensive research in Kenya, studying the landscape and behavior patterns of the animals. For example, the rivalry between Scar and Mufasa reflects adult male lions fighting for territory in the wild, and the female leader of the hyena trio, Shenzi, mirrors the matriarchal society of actual hyenas.

Male lion relaxes from a rocky look out point

Accompanying the Disney animators on their 1991 safari was the professional photographer and guide Robert Carr-Hartley (cousin to Mikey Carr-Hartley, the owner of The Safari Collection). His knowledge for the Kenyan busy influenced various aspects of the film, including ‘Pride Rock’, inspired by a magnificent rocky outcrop in northern Kenya which can be visited on our Lion King Safari.

The real Pride Rock on Borana Conservancy. @Borana Lodge

If, like us, you are equally excited about the remake of this beloved movie, then ask about our Lion King Safari which captures that magic of Kenya’s real ‘circle of life’. This is a taster of our Lion King Adventure that will throw you into close encounters with all of the ‘real’ characters from the film and enable you to experience the magic and majesty of the breath-taking African Savannah which inspired Disney.


In celebration of Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King, we are thrilled to offer this exciting new privately guided safari to explore the Kenyan locations which inspired the original film. Set to be released in July 2019 with an all-star cast, why not bring the story to life with an unforgettable family adventure of a lifetime, taking you to some of the best safari locations in Kenya and enabling you to meet some of the real-life animals behind the characters.On this journey into the heart of the ‘Pride Lands’, you will meet some of Lion King’s characters, including Simba’s pride, Zazu the hornbill, Pumba the warthog, Ed, Shenzi and Banzai the hyenas.
Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance and respect all the creatures, from the crawling ant to the leaping antelope.Mufasa, The Lion King

Ready to jump on your African Safari adventure? We help with multi generational trips, honeymoon/romance and wellness travel to Africa &beyond.  Contact Donna Salerno Travel today; 888.777.7820 or You’ll love where we take you!  Discover your world!  #DonnaSalernoTravelConnect with us;  Twitter; @DSalernoTravel  Face Book, Donna Salerno Travel You Tube Channel, Pinterest

Source; SC