NatGeo launches ‘Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari’ in SA

Hazen poses for a photo. (National Geographic for Disney/Tess Benjamin)

Hazen poses for a photo. (National Geographic for Disney/Tess Benjamin)

Published Nov 23, 2023


In celebration of Africa and the Great Rift Valley as the setting for the latest season of National Geographic’s “Primal Survivor”, titled “Extreme African Safari”, Disney Africa hosted its first National Geographic talent press tour with the show’s host, Hazen Audel, in South Africa. The week-long press campaign kicked off with a special event premiere screening and survival-themed brand immersion in the Cradle of Humankind, followed by a jam-packed press junket and tour activities with DStv, capped off with a filmed content day for owned digital and linear channels.

On Wednesday, November 8, 90 press, influencers and AdSales partners travelled to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. In the heart of the bushveld and the warmth of the South African summer, guests were welcomed to an eventful launch. On arrival, they were immediately immersed into the programming as they had to identify animal droppings and tracks, before heading into the venue.

Popular radio and TV host Zuraida Jardine welcomed the budding explorers before they watched the exciting first episode of “Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari.” Thereafter a question-and-answer session with Audel provided behind-the-scenes information and storytelling nuggets, after which guests were sent out into the fresh air for their own Primal Survivor experience. Four stations greeted the party where they had to learn survival skills and test their mettle with seasoned local survivalists at themed stations: fire starting, water purification, navigation-by-the-sun and knot-tying. This feature focused on the fun Audel had while shooting a full season for the first time in Africa and what viewers can look forward to.

As a teacher, artist, survival instructor and trained ethnobotanist with Native American heritage (his grandmother was Flathead Kootenai Native American from the Plains and mountains of Montana), Hazen Audel was born to the role of Primal Survivor. He moves effortlessly between worlds, making the familiar exotic and the exotic familiar. He is the real deal, spring-loaded with curiosity, fuelled by adventure, but grounded by a profound respect for other ways of life and living. Pictures: Supplied

Participating influencers included Matthew Stone, Martin Meyer, Thobeka Mthembu, Tansey Coetzee, Adre Muller, Nicole Bessick, Jo Judnick-Wilson, Leroy Marc, Rozanne McKenzie, Margo Fargo, Catherine Constantinides, Nina Lambrakis, Taryn Louch and Angela Yeung. Audel participated in various interviews with travelling media before the excited guests departed for home, with newfound survival skills.

Audel was interviewed by 15 titles from across Africa, including a series of journalists from Botswana, Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique, delivering extra reach to viewers across the continent.

The week finished with a shoot of content pieces and inserts for NatGeo Africa’s owned channels, that will be used in the promotion of the series’ premiere and run from November 22 across Africa. When asked what he had enjoyed about his time in South Africa, Audel was most enthusiastic about the people, astounded by the friendly nature and concern for each other, which he had subsequently learnt was driven by Ubuntu.

“Somehow, the Western world embraces the lone wolf mindset, but I think we’re missing the picture because none of us can go it alone. I am inspired by the collective mindset and care people show for each other here,” he shared.

“Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari” will premiere on National Geographic across Africa (DStv 181) from Wednesday, November 22 at 9pm (CAT).

Watch the trailer here:

Four previous seasons of “Primal Survivor” with Hazen Audel are currently streaming on Disney+.

Saturday Star