Episode 1 Okavango Water in the Desert – The Okavango Delta, a huge emerald oasis in the burning heart of the Kalahari desert, is fed by the Okavango River and this perpetual cycle of wet and dry is the lifeblood of this extraordinary natural Eden.
Episode 2 Namibia Sands of Time – Namibia has been inhabited for thousands of years, by people as well as animals. The Himba people shows us their strong connections to their ancient ancestors through time tested rituals, further documented by stone and cave paintings. Bizarre desert plants and oasis dwelling baboons reinforce this land as a fascinating story of life and death.
Episode 3 Ngorongoro Born of Fire-Ngorongoro is thought to have formed about 2.5 million years ago from a large volcano, whose cone collapsed inward after a major eruption, leaving the present vast, unbroken crater as its landmark. This fertile land is full of wildlife, from cunning hyena and proud lions to vast herds of wildebeest and elephants. The hardy Masaai tribe use Lake Natron’s salt to tend their cattle, whilst the world’s largest flock of flamingo relax in its almost fail-safe breeding grounds.
Episode 4 Zambezi River of Life – The wild water of Africa’s Zambezi river spills over Victoria Falls. The local people fully aware of its awesome power dubbed it “Mosi-oa-Tunya” or “the Smoke that Thunders”. With a width of 1 mile and a height of 360ft, the Victoria Falls forms the largest sheet of falling water in the world. In the height of the wet season, columns of spray can be seen from 30 miles away, as 546 million cubic meters of water per minute plummet over the edge. The Zambezi is traversed several times by one of the world’s most epic natural events: the wildebeest migration.
Episode 5 Virungas Land of Ice and Fire-Virunga National Park is notable for its chain of active volcanoes and the greatest diversity of habitats of any park in Africa: from steppes, savannas and lava plains, swamps, lowland and forests, to the ice fields of the Ruwenzori mountains, which culminate in peaks above 5000m. The great diversity of habitats harbors an exceptional biodiversity, including endemic as well as rare and globally endangered species, such as the mountain gorilla. The Ruwenzori or “Mountains of the Moon”, sit between the humid forests of the Congo Basin and the monsoon lands of East Africa. The Ruwenzori’s glaciers, frozen at some 5,000m (16,500ft) above sea level drip feed bogs which in turn feed mountain streams, rivers and the great African lakes of Victoria, Albert, Edward and George.
Episode 6 Nile an African Odyssey – This series looks at some of Africa’s most spectacular locations and how these natural wonders are being threatened by environmental pressures. The longest river in the world at 6,700 kilometres, the Nile drains over three million square kilometres. Some of its water takes six months to reach the sea. Though it flows through one of Earth’s harshest deserts and travels the last 2,400 kilometres without a single tributary, it never runs dry.
Episode 7 Madagascar Island of Monsters – Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island and is separated from Africa by hundreds of kilometres of sea and 165 million years of evolution long enough for Madagascar’s plants and animals to evolve into some of the most unusual species on the planet.
Episode 8 Mount Kenya African Heart of Ice – Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing mountain rise in the world, rising 4,600 metres from its base, and providing a dramatic view from the surrounding plains. Nestling in its foothills is Tsavo National Park. Tsavo boasts volcanic hills, four rivers, more than 60 major mammal species and 1000 plant species. The area is known for its herds of “red elephants”, their skins stained by the local ochre dust.
Episode 9 Cape Coast Where Worlds Collide – A look at the abundant marine species to be found off Cape Coast, Ghana, including the Great White Shark.
Episode 10 Congo the Untamed Heart – The Congo, “the dark heart of Africa”, is really a beautiful, bright wilderness. At its heart lies the world’s second largest river system – the Congo River. The Congo River system drains an area the size of Europe fed by ten thousand streams. It takes six months for water to go from the source to the Atlantic 4,700km away.
Episode 11 Sahara Life on the Edge – The Sahara is the largest desert in the world – covering a third of the entire African continent, one of the hottest, driest places on earth. Yet there is life here. Unique creatures adapted to one of the harshest environments on earth. Even people find ways to survive and flourish. The program investigates how the Sahara’s wildlife has found incredible solutions to survival on the edge of existence. We meet the planet’s smallest dog; a fish like lizard; a side-winding snake; and a rare antelope that can survive body temperatures of over 60 degrees Celsius. This episode also reveals the hardy people who make a living here-the Berbers who trade huge distances across the desert with their camel trains;
Episode 12 Lake Turkana Land of the Crocodile – Lake Turkana is both the world’s largest permanent desert lake and largest alkaline lake, and is found in the north of Kenya’s Rift Valley lakes. It is also known to be packed with large Nile crocodiles, thousands of them. It has a deeply-rooted history stretching back many thousands of years, and parts of the Lake and surrounding area have been the location for paleontologists searching for early hominid remains
Episode 13 Ethiopia Land of Extremes – The Ethiopian Highlands are a rugged mass of mountains in Ethiopia, Eritrea and northern Somalia in the Horn of Africa. It is sometimes called the Roof of Africa for its height and the large area it covers. The Ethiopian highlands first began to rise 75 million years ago, pushed upwards by volcanic forces. The main dome was split into two halves, the northern and southern highlands, by the development of the Great Rift Valley. Plants and animals from different directions then colonised these separate massifs.