The Lion King character
Lion king rafiki
First appearance The Lion King

FH User


Voiced by Robert Guillaume



















Born Group

Born Rank







Rafiki resembles most closely a mandrill with an unnaturally long tail, though as mandrills live in the forests of West Africa, it is more likely that he is a baboon with the facial coloring of a mandrill. He lives in a baobab tree somewhere in the Pride Lands. He is a dear friend to Mufasa and Simba. He performs shamanisticservices for the lions of Pride Rock.

Rafiki means “friend” in Swahili.

Personality Edit

He is an enigmatic character, tending to speak about himself in the third person, who drops in unexpectedly to lend advice. Although very wise, he also has a very funny, playful side. As a bipedal animal, Rafiki is able to use props more easily than most of the films' animals. He is never seen without his stick, which is topped with gourds that he uses for ritual purposes, painting and food.

Physical appearance Edit

He is a slender gray mandrill. He looks elderly and has broken and bent-looking tail. He is half bald, with white hair and yellow eyes.

Dark ShadowsEdit


In films Edit

The Lion King Edit

Rafiki is introduced in the opening scene when he travels to Pride Rock to perform newborn Simba's presentation ceremony. Mufasa greets him like a friend he has not seen in a long time. Rafiki anoints Simba and presents



him to the gathered animals, and later draws a stylized lion cub on the walls of his treehouse home to represent Simba's birth. When Simba is believed to be dead, Rafiki draws his hand across the Simba painting, obscuring it in grief. Years later, after picking up his scent on the dust in the air, Rafiki realizes that Simba is still alive and joyously restores the drawing, adding the full mane of an adult lion. He travels to the jungle where Simba lives with Timon and Pumbaa, then observes Simba and recognizes that he is suffering from a ponderous emotional burden. To treat it, he approaches the young lion (who does not recognise him) and teaches him a few playful, and sometimes painful, lessons about learning from the past, not running from it. He shows Simba that his father Mufasa lives in him, resulting in the appearance of Mufasa's ghost which gives Simba the courage to face his past. During the battle for Pride Rock, Rafiki displays highly trained martial arts against the hyenas and saves Simba from a hyena who tried to attack him by bashing the hyena in the head hard with his stick. Simba embraces him before ascending Pride Rock as king telling him "It is time", and at the end of the film, Rafiki presents Simba and Nala's newborn cub.


"Asante sana, squash banana, wewe nugu, mimi hapana".

During the film, Rafiki sings a nonsense chant: "Asante sana, squash banana, wewe nugu, mimi hapana." This is a Swahili playground rhyme which translates to "Thank you very much (squash banana), you're a baboon and I'm not!" Like "hakuna matata" (no worries), the chant was heard by the filmmakers on their research trip to Kenya.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride Edit



Rafiki is more closely involved with the affairs and politics of the prides and is often seen with the lions. Mufasa's spirit persuades him to bring Simba's daughter Kiara and Zira's son Kovu together as a way of uniting the prides. He then asks if Mufasa is crazy and doubts that the plan will work, and is then immediately buffeted by a strong gust of wind from Mufasa's spirit. Rafiki tries to make them fall in love by singing to them about a place called "Upendi", which means "love" in Swahili. When Simba exiles Kovu, blaming him for the attack set up by Zira, Rafiki sighs sadly on seeing Kovu leave, knowing he is not part of the attack and Simba is defying his father's goals. In the end, he blesses the union of Kovu and Kiara and Kovu is welcomed into the pride.

The Lion King 1½ Edit

Rafiki appears briefly in The Lion King 1½, teaching Timon the philosophy of "Hakuna Matata" and later convincing Timon to follow Simba to Pride Rock to confront Scar.

In TV series Edit

Rafiki appears in a few episodes of the Timon and Pumbaa TV series and has his own series of skits called "Rafiki Fables" in the same show.


He has a special scent of herbs.

If we could choose for him a song it would be .

Quotes Edit

The Lion King Edit

"Simba? He's alive... He's alive!"

"Asante sana, squash banana, wewe nugu, mimi hapana."

"Oh yes, the past can hurt, but the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it."

"It doesn't matter - it's in the past!"

"The question is: whoooo ... are you?"

"You're Mufasa's boy!"

"He's alive! And I'll show him to you!"

"He lives in you."

"Good! Go on! Get out of here!"

"The King has returned."

The Lion King II: SImba's Pride Edit

"Kovu... Kiara... Together? Are you crazy?! This will never work! Oh, Mufasa, you've been up there too long; Your head is in the clouds!"

The Lion King 1½

"Life without worry... You seek Hakuna Matata."

"Look beyond what you see."

"Remember! The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step."