Your 13-day luxury family safari of Kenya and Tanzania will embody the wonders of East Africa and immerse you in the circle of life. You will journey into the wilderness that inspired The Lion King movie where warthogs ramble through the underbrush and lions laze on the savannah. From recognizable landscapes to captivating ancient legends, your family safari will bring the dream of East Africa’s majestic wildlife into reality.
Kilimanjaro Region – Inspired by the Opening Credits
Most fictional movies are based on some sort of reality. The original Lion King’s opening credits feature three of Africa’s most famous places. Birds fly alongside Victoria Falls, elephants appear small against the snow-capped backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, and then another flock of birds crosses the Okavango Delta. These scenes are real, but the destinations are many thousands of miles apart. It is Mount Kilimanjaro that will provide your welcome as it is Africa’s highest mountain that is complete with a dazzling vista. As you touch down in Tanzania, you will marvel at this natural phenomena before transferring to a lodge on the outskirts of Arusha. Almost immediately, you will sense the Hakuna Matata atmosphere along with East Africa’s fabulous sense of space.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area – Hakuna Matata and the Circle of Life
Ngorongoro Conservation Area – Exploring the Carefree Lands
Olduvai Gorge to Serengeti – Where Mufasa Was Trampled
Day 5 - 6
Serengeti – Sublime Safari on the Pride Lands
Serengeti to Kilimanjaro to Nairobi – Moments of Intimacy Around Pride Rock
Nairobi – Personal Encounters With Elephants and Giraffe
Day 9 - 10
Lake Naivasha – The Safari Landscapes Where Disney Animators Took Their Inspiration
Victoria Falls – Returning to the Opening Credits (Optional)
Victoria Falls – Beautiful Final Moments on Safari Plus the Smoke That Thunders (Optional)
Victoria Falls – Departure (Optional)
- Explore the legendary safari destinations in East Africa that inspired The Lion King movie and learn about the spirit of Hakuna Matata
- Travel throughout Tanzania and Kenya with expert safari guides who possess encyclopedic knowledge of lions and their environment
- Uncover the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, two UNESCO World Heritage Sites that are home to the Big Five
- Journey to the origins of humankind in Olduvai Gorge and see where Mufasa met his fate by a wildebeest stampede
- Venture on cycling and walking safaris in Hell's Gate National Park, where animators spent weeks understanding specific animal movements and characteristics
- Enjoy intimate encounters with endangered giraffes and elephants at wildlife sanctuaries during a day in Nairobi
- Marvel at Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa at 19,341 ft above sea level, which is depicted in the film's opening credits
- Soar above the landscape on an optional hot air balloon ride over Serengeti for an uninhibited director's view of the world-renowned savanna
- Relive the opening scene of the film by exploring Victoria Falls, one of the seven wonders of the world, and experience the "Smoke that Thunders" on an optional tour extension to Zimbabwe
It will not seem real at first: thousands of wildebeest stampeding through a gorge, lions surveying grasslands from sun-scorched rocks, and a dozen of different animals happily gathering around a watering hole. A hyena that sounds similar to Whoopi Goldberg betrays the fiction, but most of The Lion King movie is based on a reality as old as humanity itself. East Africa is home to vast stretches of wilderness, where the circle of life continues free from human hands. There are places where elephants are so numerous that it takes ten minutes for a herd to pass. There are over a million wildebeest in the Serengeti, and you can hear them throughout day and night with their soft drumroll of hooves being punctuated by panicked yelps when a predator approaches.
This handcrafted itinerary celebrates the destinations that inspired The Lion King with eleven days in East Africa before an optional two-night stop at Victoria Falls. You will discover the Carefree Lands where Simba meets Pumbaa, the location where Mufasa was trampled, the luscious and endless Pride Lands, plus the destination where animators were able to get close enough to really learn about the animals’ movements and characteristics. There will be an opportunity to relive so many of the famous scenes and to then find a reality that is more phantasmagorical than the big screen. From uncouth hyenas to playful warthogs, you will become intimate with all of the significant, four-legged characters and will often enjoy wildlife sightings directly from your luxurious camp.
Abundance is the major disparity between the big screen fiction and the reality of a safari. The movie suggests hundreds of animals, but on this safari, you can be surrounded by hundreds of thousands. There is not a single Pride Rock but many, each with their resident lion pride and a young male who will later be king. At first, you will find a world as unbelievable as any screenplay, but after a week on this safari, you will learn that The Lion King is just one story among many and that even a trilogy of movies does not have time to tell the complete tale of the East African wilderness.
After flying into Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will spend two days in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which is a utopian landscape that inspired the Carefree Lands. A great diversity of wildlife coexists here, giving rise to the local Swahili phrase, Hakuna Matata, which really does translate to “no worries.” Olduvai Gorge is both the canyon where Mufasa was trampled by wildebeest and the home to the oldest evidence of human existence. This is a half day stop on day four en route to the legendary Serengeti grasslands. At first, all you may see is grass here, but then you will witness the rocky outcrops or kopjes, the lions, the wildebeest, and the zebra herds that continue for many miles.
The Serengeti is the landscape that the Pride Lands were modeled upon, and it instantly evokes a famous line from Mufasa to Simba: “everything the light touches is our kingdom.” Just like in the movies, it is your relationships among the animals that will be the most revealing. You will witness species that cluster together in friendly harmony, dramatic battles between powerful males, and the charming rhythm of life. You can search and select your own Pride Rock, follow hyenas and leopards on their daily hunts, and listen to a lion roar that is more heart-raising than hearing Mufasa in surround sound.
After the Serengeti, you will fly to Kenya and spend two days in Nairobi, enjoying very personal moments with elephants and giraffes. This will also be an excellent chance to learn about wildlife conservation. Days nine and ten will be spent in the Great Rift Valley along the shores of Lake Naivasha. There are no lions or very dangerous predators here, so you can venture on walking and cycling safaris. These unique safaris will enable you to move even closer to the wild animals, and this is where Disney’s animators could study and understand different animals in their natural habitat.
To culminate your adventure, you will revisit The Lion King’s opening credits and the first African destination that was featured in the film: Victoria Falls. Here, you will spend two very relaxed days at the natural wonder, combining the waterfall with another inspiring big-game safari. Accommodations throughout will be in a handpicked selection of luxury lodges and camps. Each has been chosen for their quality and service, and most importantly, their location. Not everywhere in Africa looks like The Lion King, and the movies are modeled on specific locales that you will have the pleasure of witnessing first-hand on this once-in-a-lifetime excursion.
This vacation will place you at center stage on the landscapes that the animators used to create a very magical impression of Africa, and witness many of inspirational landscapes that influenced the movie. During this journey, you will be immersed in these unique places where the circle of life endures among an ever-evolving world.
Note: Zicasso and “Lion King Inspired Safari: Pride of Africa” are not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, or Fairview Entertainment.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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