- "Hmmm, what do you think, Sarabi?"
- —Sarafina to Sarabi
Almost identical to her daughter in appearance, Sarafina is long-bodied and lithe with strong limbs and a groomed pelt. Her fur is tawny, while her muzzle, paws, and underbelly are all paler in color. The tip of her nose appears to be a paler than her main pelt as well. While both her upper and lower eye shades are light, her paws are colorless, and her eyes are apple-green.
Though Sarafina's personality is not explored in the film, she is an important character in an inspired book series, which reveals her to be a protective mother with a good amount of sense and resourcefulness. She can be pretty easygoing with her daughter when times are good, but when danger runs rampant, Sarafina is sure to be guiding Nala to safety.
- Nala: "Mom, can I go with Simba?"
Sarafina: "Hmm...what do you think, Sarabi?"
- —Nala asks permission from Sarafina
In the film, she is first seen inside Pride Rock, sleeping with Nala in her paws. She later washes Nala as the cub converses with Simba. When Nala asks to accompany Simba to the water hole, Sarafina asks Sarabi her thoughts, and the queen agrees to the cubs' proposition. The following day, after Mufasa's death, Sarafina is seen at the coronation of Scar, mourning the death of the king and his son alonside the rest of the lionesses. Her further fate is unknown.
- "Don't leave Pride Rock. There are hyenas all over the Pride Lands now...It's dangerous."
- —Sarafina warns Nala
Sarafina allows her daughter to leave her protection in order to visit Chumvi and Kula, Nala's two best friends. As Nala goes to talk to an outsider named Ni, Sarafina and a few more Pridelanders scare him off with a loud roar. Afterward, Sarafina herds the three cubs back to Pride Rock. She and Ni later save Nala from five hyenas.
- In 1987, there was a musical titled Sarafina!, which was adapted into a film, starring Whoopi Goldberg in 1992.
- Originally, Sarafina had more lines in the film, such as "Nala, you just had a bath!"