Winner becomes or remains the leader
A mashindano is a traditional competition involving combat between animals in the Pride Lands. Mashindanos between crocodiles have determined dominance over the float, and lions are known to compete by this means as well.
When a crocodile grows old or is deemed unfit to be leader, another crocodile may challenge him to a physical fight. Refusing to accept the challenge results in the leader's automatic loss of authority. Whoever gives up first - by tapping out - is banished from the float, while the winner takes control of the remaining crocodiles. It traditionally takes place near Lake Matope at sunset.
It is uncertain what rules or setting may be involved in a mashindano between lions.
It is assumed that the mashindano is a tradition among the crocodiles and lions of the Pride Lands.
When Makuu attempts to become leader, he challenges the old leader, Pua, to a mashindano. The two brawl until Makuu pins Pua down, and the old crocodile taps out, giving up. Simba then comes forward, congratulating Makuu, and thanks Pua for his service. Makuu, on the other hand, taunts Pua as he is exiled from the float. Kion watches all of this with worry, wondering if Makuu's appointment is bad news for the Pride Lands.
In the meantime, Ono grows tired of the violence and flies away from the mashindano to avoid watching the fight. As he hovers over the battlefield, he notices several crocodiles leaving the event and wonders why they would abandon such an important fight. Ono realizes that the crocodiles are attempting to ambush Simba, and he hastens to warn Kion of the danger. Just in time, the Lion Guard arrives and thwarts the crocodiles' efforts to assassinate Simba.
Simba overhears the fight and arrives to find Kiburi's lackeys defeated. He studies the crocodiles and recognizes them as being too dim-witted to have come up with such a scheme on their own. No sooner has Simba realized this when Makuu defeats Kiburi in the mashindano, and Kiburi relinquishes the victory. However, when he stands up, Kiburi declares to the onlookers that his followers have killed Simba and that he is now the ruler of the Pride Lands.
Simba interrupts Kiburi's speech, and Kiburi realizes that the Lion Guard has outsmarted him. Makuu approaches Simba and assures him that he had had no knowledge of Kiburi's scheme, to which Simba defers Kiburi's punishment to Makuu. Makuu declares that Kiburi is no longer a part of the float, so Simba takes back over, banishing Kiburi and his lackeys from the Pride Lands.
Given the choice of event in which she will compete against Kion in the Battle of the Lion Guards, Vitani chooses to face him in a mashindano. Kion warns her against this course, noting that the Roar of the Elders virtually guarantees his victory. When Vitani expresses a willingness to fight despite this disadvantage, Kion declares that she has proven herself to be the Pride Lands' Fiercest. He thus relinquishes his role as leader of the Lion Guard to her.
- "Mashindano" means "competition" in Swahili.