Real Life Lion King – The Serengeti

Real Life Lion King – The Serengeti

A trip to Africa would be incomplete without a visit to the seeming endless Serengeti. Said to be a major inspiration to the movie the lion king the Serengeti did not disappoint.

Pride RockThe Real Life Lion King

The Serengeti means endless plain in Swahili and once you are in the park it’s easy see to how it got its name. The only interruption are the large smooth rocks that seemed to have been sprinkled into the grass of the plains. Pride rock was not fabricated by the animators of Disney, it’s a very real place. The lions in the Serengeti use these rocks to scope out prey, sunbathe, and just hang out.

On our second morning in the park we came across one of the rock formations and from a distance we could see something moving high on top of the rocks. As we got close we found two beautiful adult Simba’s. Another word taken from Swahili, Simba means lion and was used as the main character’s name in the movie.

These two large males used the vantage point of the rocks to stalk a herd of buffalo in the distance. They posed nicely for us staying far into the plains give a very regal and thoughtful look. From our position looking up at the lions we had great shots of the lions nicely lit and a bright blue backdrop. The golden colored lions really pop out of the picture, as they stood on the tall sand colored rocks. This was my favorite scene we came across on our entire safari so far.

15 lions in a treeThe Real Life Lion King-4

The lion population in the Serengeti is very strong and we saw great evidence of that in my second favorite scene in the park. I like to call this scene 15 lions in a tree. We happened upon a tree and at first we saw just two lions in the center part of the tree. Two lions in a tree is a remarkable scene in itself, but once we got closer we saw that the tree was full of lions. Lounging on the thick branches of the tree the lions were beating the midday heat of the sun. I think I took nearly 1000 photos of these lions in a tree. It goes to show you that every safari is different, last year we didn’t see a single cat in a tree. This year we saw 15 in a single tree, and not to mention the other lion and two sperate leopard sightings in trees.

Lions at nightThe Real Life Lion King-3

One place you might not want to see, or rather hear, lions would be at camp. During the night, we could hear the lions roaring through the thin walls of our canvas tent. It’s simultaneously awesome and terrifying. There is something about that sound that is deeply engrained into your primal brain.

Inopportune time for a flatThe Real Life Lion King

As we were on the way out of the park we spotted two massive male lions just resting along the path out of the park. We stopped and snapped a few hundred pictures and then continued on our way our of the main gates. About 200 meters from where the lions were our safari truck veers hard to the left and we begin to stumble down the road, a flat. Great timing, you couldn’t get any closer to lions if we tried.

Behind us we could still see another safari truck watching the lions. Another 300 meters ahead there was another set of safari trucks. They were watching what we would later learn was a cheetah devouring a fresh kill. So we as quickly as possible changed our flat tire. All the while hoping that the other vehicles standing still meant the predators were staying where they were and not coming from us.

The Real Life Lion King-2

We did take the time to hop out and document our break down with a breakdown selfie. Looking back it probably wasn’t the smartest our safest thing to do, but how else are you supposed to remember an event like that. Plus the night before we slept out in our tents in the park, so we were feeling pretty brave after hearing lion roars while we sleeping.

The Serengeti is the real-life Lion King!

Now that you know what to expect on an African safari you have no reason not to go. If you are looking at taking a safari on your own, we cannot recommend Acacia Africa enough. You can book with them on Tour Radar, check price


For More On Africa Check Out:

What to pack for an overland safari - Featured Images  Life on an overland safari - Featured Images

7 weird things to pack for an overland safari   What to expect on an overland safari - Featured Image800 gorillas - Featured Images    Real Life Lion King - Featured Images8 things to do in Victoria Falls - Featured Images   Cheetah Featured Images

Stanley Safari Lodge - featured image 2  Diving in Zanzibar video post - Featured Images

5 Tips for better safari photos- Wildlife Photography - Featured Image  How to take night and star photos in Africa - Featured Image

Sunrise Namibia - Featured Images    Spitzkoppe night photos - Featured Images

5 Comments
  • Helen
    Posted at 19:04h, 17 June Reply

    HOLY crap, you really hit the lion jackpot. 15 in a tree? Glad you guys enjoyed your safari. Looks like you guys had an amazing time.

  • Marc Timmins
    Posted at 12:24h, 25 June Reply

    Great read. Gets me excited for our visit to the Serengeti in August!

  • John
    Posted at 04:04h, 30 July Reply

    Pride Rock is real! That is so cool! I had no idea.
    And I seriously can’t believe all of those lions in the trees. Absolutely incredible! Would like to see some of the other 999 photos! 😉

  • Alouise
    Posted at 23:16h, 19 September Reply

    I remember hearing that the animators for The Lion King went to Africa to see the animals and landscape up close, so there would be more details, but I didn’t know Pride Rock was a real thing. That’s blowing my mind, as are you’re amazing photos. I don’t really consider myself an adventure traveler, but I definitely want to go on an African safari at some point in my life. It looks like you had an amazing experience.

  • Megan
    Posted at 18:33h, 26 October Reply

    Okay so Africa is the very top of my bucket list!!! I have to ask, what was your favorite country while visiting Africa?

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