When Sora first arrives in the Pride Lands, Nala took him to see Rafiki, in the hope that Sora could save the Pride Lands and become king. Rafiki, however, saw that it was Simba's destiny, not Sora's, and reluctantly sent him on his way. Later, however, while communing with the spirits, he saw that Simba was still alive, and caught up with Sora and Nala and told them the news. When Simba succeeded in defeating Scar, Rafiki was there to officially induct him as the rightful king.
A while after Simba embraced the throne, a multiple number of ghosts of Scar began to appear around the Pride Lands and haunt the denizens. When Simba and Sora visited Rafiki for advice, he revealed that Scar's ghost is accessed from his evil power and Simba's insecure heart. Though it was hard at first, he eventually overcame his fears and saves the Pride Lands from Scar's ghost. When Simba asks Sora about the end of his quest, Rafiki informs them that the struggle will never end, because that is the circle of life, but also advises him to remember to be strong noting that it is the key to victory.
Rafiki is the wise shaman of the Pride Lands. He is held highly by all animals of the Pride Lands as possessing prophetic status. Although Rafiki is full of wisdom, the mandrill is also known to have silly moments which are often expressed through a mad fit of cackling. Rafiki provides important and necessary counseling to those seeking his aid. This is shown in Kingdom Hearts II when Nala confronts Rafiki about Sora.
Rafiki is a mandrill with mostly grey fur, with the exception of the fur on his forearms and lower legs, which is dark grey, and his belly, which is light grey. He also has a wild "mane" of long, shaggy, white fur on the back of his head and on his chin, creating a beard of sorts. Rafiki has tan skin and eight small, sharp teeth, four on his upper jaw and four on his lower jaw. He sports the distinctive mandrill facial features, including the upper half of his face being a light shade of blue, blue rings around his yellow eyes, and a very large nose. He also has a blue posterior. Rafiki always carries a staff made out of a long, bent tree branch with what appear to be two hollow orange gourds tied to one end, which are used as rattles.
Rafiki originates from the Disney 1994 film The Lion King. In the film, he acts as the visual narrator, and a good friend to Simba's father Mufasa. At the beginning of the film, he presents Simba to all the animals in the Pride Lands once he was born, and paints a stylized image of him on the walls of his treehouse to represent his birth. When news of young Simba's apparent death reach him, Rafiki obscures his painting of Simba with his paw in grief. However, when he learns that Simba is alive years later, he rejoices and restores the drawing, adding he full mane of an adult lion before leaving to seek out Simba in order to free the Pride Lands from Scar's tyranny. Finding Simba living in a jungle with his companions, Timon and Pumbaa, Rafiki observes Simba and notices that he is suffering from an emotional burden. To help ease Simba's doubts, Rafiki appears before him to teach him a few playful (and painful) lessons about learning from the past and not to run from it. In addition, he points out that Mufasa's spirit and values still lives inside Simba. When Simba decides to return to Pride Rock and fight Scar for the kingship, Rafiki accompanies him and demonstrates his martial art skills in battle against the hyenas. At the end of the film, he presents Simba and Nala's newborn daughter Kiara for the kingdom to see.
It is also revealed in The Lion King 1½ that he gave Timon and Pumbaa their motto, hakuna matata, when Timon was looking for a better life. He also makes several appearances in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, listening to Mufasa's spirit, who tells him to get Kiara and Scar's successor, Kovu, to fall in love. Rafiki also makes several appearances in the animated television series Timon & Pumbaa.