Renowned broadcaster and biologist Sir David Attenborough is set to take viewers on an extraordinary journey into the heart of Africa in BBC Earth’s “Planet Earth III”.
The eight-part series, which is set to premiere on the channel on Monday (February 19), will showcase the continent's diverse ecosystems and wildlife, including parts filmed in South Africa.
“In this new series of ‘Planet Earth’, we travel to the most astonishing wild places, see mysterious creatures, witness rare, spectacular wonders, and reveal breath-taking animal dramas,” Attenborough explained.
“The natural world continues to surprise us, but since Darwin’s time, it has changed beyond recognition, being transformed by a powerful force – us.”
“We will see how animals are adapting in extraordinary ways, to survive the new challenges they face.”
A journey into the heart of Africa
“Planet Earth III” takes South African viewers on a journey across the planet.
This includes remote jungles, scorching deserts, dark caves and the depths of the ocean.
The series also comes nearly two decades after the original series.
It will highlight the unique wildlife adaptations and survival strategies in the Kalahari Desert, the wildebeest migration in the Kruger National Park across vast grasslands, the unique flora and fauna found at the Drakensberg Mountains' high altitudes, and the aquatic life of the Okavango Delta.
The first episode titled, “Coasts”, delves into the heart of South Africa’s wild heart as it reveals the struggle for survival in the country's Robberg Peninsula.
This is where thousands of Cape fur seals face off against the world's most notorious predator, the great white shark.
New behaviour, new technology
The series also unveils the resilience and adaptability of wildlife.
Viewers will catch a glimpse of this through the crew’s footage, in which they captured the first lions to return to Namibia's Coast in 40 years.
This remarkable event was filmed at night, using cutting-edge thermal imaging technology.
The series also features two orphan lion sisters whose lives have consisted of scavenging for food.
Using a military-grade thermal camera to film the sequence enabled the crew to capture footage of lions hunting cormorants at night, a behaviour these sisters had to teach themselves as they lost their mother when they were young.
African wildlife under the spotlight
“Planet Earth III” allows viewers to immerse themselves in Africa’s wildlife ecosystem and experience the beauty of nature and the diverse species that inhabit it.
The series is set to include:
– The Kalahari Desert's survival strategies.
– Kruger National Park's wildebeest migration.
– Drakensberg Mountains' flora and fauna.
– Okavango Delta's aquatic life.
– Ostrich family in the Namib Desert
– Desert baboons' quest for water.
– Leopards' aerial hunting tactics.
– Zakouma National Park's elephant herds.
The show’s producers added that the local scenes “Planet Earth III” are a testament to the rich natural heritage of South Africa and the broader African continent.
“They serve as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts to protect these unique environments for future generations.”
“By featuring these local stories, ‘Planet Earth III’ aims to inspire South African viewers to take a closer interest in the natural world, its conservation challenges, and what can happen if we help protect these precious ecosystems.
∎ “Planet Earth III” will premiere on BBC Earth (DStv Channel 184) on Monday, February 19, at 8pm.