Rafiki is tall in stature and thinly built, composed of lanky limbs and a hunched back. His main pelt is scruffy and blue-gray in color, while his chest is pale gray. Both his hands and his feet are coated in black fur, his palms a pinkish-brown, and his muzzle matches his palms in color. His face itself is pale blue, broken only by sky blue cheeks, navy blue eye rims, and a bright red nose. His eyes are bright yellow, and his teeth are unexpectedly sharp. He also sports a white mane and goatee. His short tail has a bend in the middle.
In addition to all of this he also carries a staff, which is almost always near him.
Though he may talk in a cryptic manner which may be hard to understand at first, he is nevertheless very wise. Being a shaman, he has the power to talk to spirits like Mufasa. He is very excitable, as seen when Kion uses the Roar of the Elders for the first time. He is constantly shown to have great knowledge about a variety of different subjects. However, it is easy to nettle him.
In Eye of the Beholder, Rafiki becomes frustrated when his painting doesn't look right, which shows that he is very determined that all of his paintings result in the way he desires for them to. In Paintings and Predictions he grows annoyed by Kion and his friends when they are unable to keep quiet. In Beware the Zimwi, Rafiki is shown to get a little irritated when the focus is turned away from his storytelling and onto Beshte's story, thus further proving his petulance.
Rafiki served as shaman to the royal family of the Pride Lands and was a close friend of Mufasa. Years after the King's death and Scar's takeover, Rafiki discovered that Mufasa's son Simba was alive. He traveled to find Simba and with the help of Mufasa's spirit, conviced him to return to the Pride Lands and reclaim his title as King. He helped Simba defeat Scar and his hyena army, before watching the young lion become King.
Rafiki is with Simba and Nala on Pride Rock. After hearing Kionroar, he is certain that it is time for Kion to accept his destiny as leader of the Lion Guard. Rafiki attempts to persuade Simba into letting Kion in on the Lion Guard's secrets despite Simba's obvious concerns. Rafiki explains it further for Simba, and together they take Kion and Bunga into The Lair of the Lion Guard. After hearing his new duty, Kion leaves, with Rafiki certain that he'll choose the best lions for the job.
Rafiki is later seen with Simba, Nala and Tiifu, watching as Kion and the new Lion Guard take down the hyenas and save Kiara. Once again, he knows that it is time, and this time, Simba agrees.
In Bunga the Wise, Rafiki appears gathering baobabs after the storm, and mentions that honey badgers are smart as the Lion Guard doubt Bunga's intelligence. However, he drops his fruit and, as he finishes his statement, everyone disappeared. Near the end of the adventure, Rafiki is meditating nearby, when he sees Bunga about to do something foolish. This time, he tells him that honey badgers are only smart when they think before they leap. This came too late for Bunga, however, as he dove into the mud.
Rafiki is painting in The Lair of the Lion Guard, when the Guard arrive with a wounded Ono lying on Beshte's back. Rafiki knows just what to do, and gets to work. He gives Ono a green eye path, advising him to stay out of trouble for three days, much to the egret's disappointment. Fuli soon sees Rafiki's paintings, and the baboon explains that he paints all of the previous Lion Guards and their tales, and that he now has to paint in the new Lion Guard. Rafiki isn't happy with his work, and although Kion asks Ono what he thinks, Bunga doesn't believe that Ono can see anything. Ono takes off in a huff, leaving Rafiki to cerebrate over his art, believing something to be missing.
Later, Kion is posing dramatically for Rafiki, who is still painting. Still not happy with the outcome, Bunga suggests that Kion poses 'more like a lion', and attempts to move his body around for a more powerful pose. Rafiki becomes increasingly annoyed, and Bunga then suggests painting him instead, launching himself into a variety of dynamic poses until a coconut shell covers his head. Kion laughs, though Rafiki's annoyance does not diminish. Kion apologises, but Rafiki ushers everyone out and begins to meditate, stating that he needs some peace. His peace is disturbed almost immediately much to his disappointment, as Beshte comes charging in with some news. After the Guard leave (without Ono this time), Rafiki continues complaining about his paintings, to which Ono admits that he can't see a problem. Rafiki soon realizes that the problem is that Kion doesn't just lead the Guard - they are all friends, something which the previous Guards were not, and that the current Guard belong together. Ono soon takes note of his words, thanking him as he realizes that, eye or no eye, he belongs with them. He takes off through the top to join the others.
As the Guard return from their latest journey, Rafiki has finally finished his portrait. He asks what Ono thinks (whose eye has now healed), who is impressed. Rafiki thanks him, and the Lion Guard watch as the pictures re-assemble together to form a pyramid-like structure. Rafiki closes by saying that this Lion Guard is better off together.
Rafiki is seen with the royal lions entering the Kupatana Celebration from atop a rock. He welcomes the peace ceremony along with Simba, Nala, Kiara and Kion. After Simba makes a small speech, Rafiki steps forward, announcing that it is time. As soon as he speaks, the baobab flowers bloom, scattering their petals.
When Bunga is bitten by Ushari, the Lion Guard take the honey badger to see Rafiki. Rafiki pops down from his tree with some fruits in his hands, but does nothing to help. Although the others are shocked, Rafiki explains that nothing needs to be done as Bunga is in fact immune to snake bites.
Rafiki finishes painting agiraffe just before Bunga slams into the wall of the cave beside his new painting. Pleased, he announces that he is finished before tapping the painting with his staff. The giraffe brightens and begins to walk. Rafiki observes that the neck is much too short, and Bunga, hanging from a vine by his foot, adds that it is also upside down. Rafiki replies that he can fix that, and prods the vine, causing Bunga to fall to the ground. Rafiki erases the painting with his hand and declares, "One longer giraffe neck coming up!"
He later appears painting the mane of the giraffe. He dips his finger into his bowl, then realizes he is out of mango. He fetches more, and just as he returns, Beshte and Bunga leave the Lair. He makes a sound of surprise and picks up his staff upon discovering that another type of juice has been spilled, its bowl overturned completely. <p>Near the end of the episode, Rafiki is surprised to hear that Bunga believed that his paintings told the future. He asks Bunga why he came to that conclusion, and Bunga tells him that they witnessed an event similar to that shown in one of Rafiki's paintings. Rafiki laughs, taps Bunga on the head with his staff, and orders him not to take his staff. He then explains that Bunga had watched the paintings move backwards, and that the paintings did not show the future, but the past. He informs the Guard that the paintings show the history of the Pride Lands. Bunga points out the painting of a cub that resembles Kion falling from a branch, and Rafiki responds that if he leaps to conclusions, he'll leap to confusions. He announces that the cub depicted in the painting was actually Kion's grandfather, the father of Nala. He pokes Bunga on the nose and adds that he did not watch the whole thing. He tells the Guard that Kion's grandfather did indeed climb a tree and fall, but was rescued by the Lion Guard of his time.
After finishing the story, he comments that one painting does show the future and points to it with his staff. It shows Bunga scrubbing the floor of the cave, and Rafiki hands Bunga some leaves, which Bunga then uses to clean the blue liquid that he spilled earlier while Rafiki and the Guard laugh.
Rafiki tells a story to Kion, Bunga, Fuli, Ono, Mtoto, Young Rhino, a hare and two porcupines at night just outside his home. The story refers to a creature known as the Zimwi, which only comes out on a full moon. Bunga promptly points out that it's a full moon already, which frightens the younger animals. They hear a strange noise which is revealed to be Beshte, who explains that he is bellowing for The Bellow Fellows.
Rafiki becomes chafed by their interest in Beshte's story, and starts to walk away. Bunga calls him back, and the animals ask him to finish his story. He then sings the rest of the story to them, explaining how the Zimwi is as tall as two giraffes, has more than eight legs and teeth sharper than a crocodile's. The younger animals are frightened, so Fuli asks Rafiki if it's just a story. He replies ambiguously, ushering the children to bed. Kion thanks him for the story, and Rafiki bounds back up his tree.
Rafiki is in The Lair of the Lion Guard examining paintings on the ground. When Bunga suggests that he race Fuli, Rafiki laughs, considering it to be a foolish idea. Bunga mentions that Kion has gone to talk to lions in the Outlands, which horrifies Rafiki. Using paintings on the walls, Rafiki reveals that the lions in the Outlands are called Outsiders, a pride banished by Simba because they were loyal to Scar. He believes that should they find out Kion is Simba's son, there will be trouble.
During Running with the King, Rafiki can be seen making a mud statue of Simba and Bunga. A little later, he is seen laughing with Simba along a thin path. Simba smacks a bee off his nose and accidentally sends Rafiki flying off the edge. He lands softly on some vines below. When Simba peers down to check on him, Rafiki shrugs it off amiably.
Rafiki is busy painting, but Ono notices that his wings should be a darker shade. Bunga offers to tell Rafiki about it, but instead makes a pose that knocks Rafiki's paints all over the place. Rafiki then tells everyone that he can't paint anymore without a specific type of paint, which has rare ingredients at either end of the Pride Lands. Kion offers to go look for them, and the Guard split up to locate them for Rafiki, who gives them a sample of the flowers he needs and points the way for each team.
When they return, they discover that Rafiki is painting again, and he explains how he actually had some left after all. He then tells them the true ingredient to his paintings - peace and quiet.
When Big Springs dries up, Kion and the Lion Guard decide to find the source of the drought, Kion vista Rafiki to ask for directions, and Rafiki directs them to a large mountain. He gifts Bunga with some stones that can be used to find the correct path, and the Gaurs sets off.
Later, Rafiki laughs as Bunga overcomes his dislike of water.
When the members of the Lion Guard come across Rafiki, who is very distressed due to the misplacement of his staff, they agree to help search for it. When they eventually discover it, they realize that the staff has broken, Kion and his friends meet up with Rafiki, and explain the problem, Rafiki warmly praises them for their efforts, and having made a new staff, allows them to keep the broken one.
When Fuli and Kion are mesmerized by a certain flower, Simba explains that it might be the last time they see it since the insects that usually bring pollen to them haven't been seen in a while. Rafiki adds that the butterflies have lost their way, and offers example paintings of the grub which will become the butterfly when Beshte asks about their appearance. He watches the Guard set out to bring them back, commenting that the Guard is always ready for anything.
When they return with the butterflies, Ono shows Rafiki a leaf full of the grubs which excites Rafiki, since they too will become butterflies.