A few years ago an author told me about the cover they first suggested for her novel, to her dismay (novel was set in Africa - keeping it vague to avoid identification). It featured an acacia tree, a goat, a drum, a slender African woman AND a bit of kente cloth for good measure.
Well, here's more on the subject of Lion King book design:
"Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, whatever kind of writing you do, if you write a novel “about Africa,” chances are you’re going to get the acacia tree treatment. And the orange sky... In short, the covers of most novels “about Africa” seem to have been designed by someone whose principal idea of the continent comes from The Lion King."