The Mashindano is a physical challenge. It's how the crocodiles determine their leader.

Basi, The Rise of Makuu

A Mashindano is a traditional tournament that takes place in the Pride Lands between two crocodiles. It is used to determine the rightful leader of the crocodile float.


Two crocodiles fight to determine the leader, whilst many other animals watch as spectators. Once a crocodile has 'tapped out', they are the loser, and the winner of the tournament becomes the new leader of the crocodiles or retains their leadership, whilst the former leader is banished from the float. Or, if the challenger loses, the challenger is banished from the float, as was the case with Kiburi. Per tradition, the event is always held at Lake Matope.


The Rise of Makuu

Tired of Pua always bowing down to Basi and the Circle of Life concept, Makuu challenges his leader to a Mashindano. Whilst hesitant at first, Pua chooses not to resign and instead accepts his proposal, declaring that it will take place at Lake Matope per tradition.

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Makuu and Pua battle

That evening, many animals from the Pride Lands gather to watch the Mashindano. Makuu and Pua exchange words, with Makuu's cockiness showing. The battle begins, with Pua using impressive techniques to hold the upper hand over Makuu. However, he eventually gets tired and the younger and fitter Makuu pins him down. After a bit of struggling, Pua taps out, leaving Makuu as the winner. Simba congratulates Makuu on his win, telling him that he has 'very thick skin to fill'. He then walks over to Pua, and thanks to him for his service. After thanking the King for his kind words, Pua leaves, only for Makuu to taunt him as he makes his exit. Kion worries about the win, concerned over the effect it might have in the Pride Lands.

Let Sleeping Crocs Lie

Whilst arguing with Makuu, Kiburi calls for a mashindano, and Makuu accepts his challenge. Shupavu and another of her skinks overhear, and deliver the news to Ushari and Scar, who decide to use the competition as a cover to ambush King Simba.

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The battle begins

Later, the Pride Landers gather, and Fuli, Kion, and Beshte worriedly discuss the possibility of Kiburi winning. Ushari and Kiburi discuss the plan, and one of Kiburi's followers informs him of the start of the mashindano.

As Makuu and Kiburi begin to fight, Ono decides to avoid watching the violence and flies into the air. He notices Kiburi's followers leaving the event, and rushes to tell Kion. Kion asks him to watch the situation, and Ono agrees. Once he'd flown off, Kion informs Beshte, Bunga, and Fuli of the situation.

Ono returns and tells Kion that Kiburi's followers had surrounded Simba. Kion and the Guard rush into action and manage to overtake the crocodiles. Soon, Simba notices the situation and comes to investigate. He questions Kion, and Kion assures him. Simba realizes he was the target of an ambush and recognizes the crocodiles.

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Kiburi tap out

Meanwhile, Kiburi, noticing Simba's absence, tap out, and reveals his plot to the Royal family, and the Pride Landers. Simba interrupts, and Makuu assures him of his unawareness of the plot.

Simba states his knowledge of the true culprit and gives the task of punishing Kiburi and his followers to Makuu. Makuu reminds Simba of the banishment of then crocodiles from his float after losing the mashindano, and Simba steps forward.

He exiles Kiburi and his followers from the Pride Lands, ordering them to never return. Kiburi attempts to protest, and Simba angrily repeats himself. Kiburi then stalks off, stating his eventual reappearance.

The Little Guy

When Kiburi's float attacks Makuu's, Hodari reminds him that he cannot take over Makuu's float without first initiating a Mashindano. So Kiburi states that when he takes over Makuu's watering hole, his way will be the new crocodile way.

Cave of Secrets

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During Wisdom on the Walls, Makini shows The Lion Guard a painting of Makuu defeating Pua in a Mashindano.

Return to the Pride Lands

As the last event in the "Battle of the Lion Guards", when it’s the competition of "the Fiercest", Vitani calls for a Mashindano between her and Kion. Although all the attendees are excited to see it, Kion states to his opponent that she has no chance against him if he uses the Roar. Vitani responds by saying she doesn't need it to win. So Kion, surprised, admit defeat.


  • Mashindano is the Swahili word for 'competition'.
  • As such, the Mashindano ritual is seen as a spectator sport among the other animals of the Pride Lands.
  • When Vitani calls for a Mashindano in Return to the Pride Lands, she becomes the first non-crocodile to do so.
    • It also marks the first time a Mashindano is called between animals who aren't crocodiles.
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