Physical Attributes


Biographical Information

Jelani's Troop

Familial Information

Jelani (nephew)
Rafiki (cousin)

Karibu: Don't you know me anymore, Rafiki?
Rafiki: Karibu! This is my cousin, Karibu. We played together when we were young. Karibu could hunt bird's eggs better than anyone in the troop.
—Karibu reunites with Rafiki

Karibu is a female baboon. She is Rafiki's cousin.



Karibu is a baboon who lived during the reign of Jelani. Before Jelani rose to power, she lived under the leadership of Khalfani and was good friends with her cousin, Rafiki.

The Lion King: Six New Adventures

Follow the Leader

What I wouldn't give for a cool, deep river and a shady forest right now. I feel so unprotected out here.
―Karibu to Simba as her troop journeys across the desert
When Rafiki returns to his homeland of Grass Walls, he is greeted by many of his old friends. Karibu limps up to him and grasps his hand, smiling happily at the return of her cousin. But when Rafiki doesn't recognize her, the baboon asks if Rafiki remembers her. Slowly, a smile spreads across his face, and he recognizes the baboon as his cousin, Karibu. Turning to Simba, who has come with him, he explains that he and his cousin used to be very good friends when they were young and that Karibu was the best in the troop at hunting bird eggs. He then introduces Karibu to Simba.

Jelani helps his aunt, Karibu

Simba greets her politely, then asks what's going on. Karibu explains that the water supply is drying up and that food is scarce. The other animals had left long ago, and now the baboons are slowly dying. Rafiki asks why Jelani hasn't found them a new dwelling place, and Dalila cries out that her nephew is a lazy leader and only cares for himself. Simba and Rafiki wonder how anyone could be so selfish. Rafiki then explains that they're on their way to see Jelani and asks Karibu if she knows where he is. Karibu turns and points at a tree, revealing Jelani resting in its shade.

As Rafiki confronts Karibu's nephew, Karibu, Dalila, and Simba stand off to the side. In the midst of the argument, Rafiki angrily asks Karibu why no one has challenged Jelani, and Karibu explains that they have all tried, but Jelani is still the strongest baboon in the troop. Rafiki tries to object but finds nothing to say.

Eventually, Rafiki wins out over Jelani, and the troop is put under his wise leadership. The hard journey begins, and Karibu, being one of the oldest baboons in the troop, struggles to keep up with the others. Simba paces along beside her and worries for her health as she puffs for breath. She murmurs about "what she would give for a river or shady forest" and comments on how vulnerable and unprotected they are. Simba surveys the landscape and quietly agrees with her. But as they pass through a grove of leafless acacia trees, Karibu suddenly yells, "Watch out!" At the same moment, a leopard that had been perched in the dead branches leaps and lands on Dalila's back. The baboons began shrieking and barking as they scatter across the plain.

When the danger is over and the baboons are once more on their way, one of the mother baboons tells Rafiki that she's thirsty and that her baby has nothing to drink. Rafiki assures her that they'll find land soon, but Karibu asks how soon, for they are all growing steadily weaker. Rafiki merely replies, "Soon." But later into the journey, he hears a baboon calling Rafiki's name. The baboons stop and begin clustering around a baboon lying on its side. Simba realizes with a jolt that it's Karibu. She lies on her side with her eyes gently closed. Rafiki kneels beside her and urges her to keep walking, but Karibu tells him that her walking days are over and that the troop must go on without her. Rafiki, however, refuses and tells her that her time has not come yet. Jelani pushes through the crowd and urges his aunt to get up, but once again, Karibu refuses. Finally, Jelani reaches down and gently hoists his aunt onto his shoulders. When the troop finally finds a new home, Jelani carries his aunt to the edge of a pool of water and sets her into the pond.

Physical appearance

[Karibu's] coat looked dull and shaggy. Nevertheless, she gazed at Rafiki and gave him a toothless grin.
―A physical description of Karibu
Karibu has the ordinary baboon appearance. In addition to being elderly, she is considerably thin and weak and has lost all her teeth. Her fur is dark gray, and she has a pale underbelly, black-and-brown hands and feet, and a shaggy white mane.

Personality and traits

Rafiki: Karibu! We must keep walking.
Karibu: No, no. My walking days are over. Leave me here. You must go on without me.
—Karibu and Rafiki

Karibu is shown to be a kind and selfless character. She has a strong attachment to her family, as she immediately recognizes Rafiki after not seeing him for countless years, and continues to watch over Jelani even after he becomes a lazy and selfish leader. She has a stunning amount of bravery, as she is willing to be left alone in the desert so the rest of her troop can reach a new home safely. Despite being old and weak, Karibu is best known for her strength and courage.


Our water supply has nearly dried up. The other animals left long ago. There's nothing more to eat.
―Karibu about Grass Walls
Rafiki: Why hasn't anyone challenged [Jelani]?
Karibu: They've tried. He won't let anyone else take charge. He's still the strongest baboon in the troop.
—Karibu explains Jelani to Rafiki