Great Rivers of Africa

Great Rivers of Africa

13 Episodes

This series explores 13 dramatically different rivers, each with its own unique characteristics. Each river flows through a different part of Africa, bringing life to dry deserts, flooding great plains and supplying constant water to tropical forests and bushveld. Some of the wildlife surrounding each of the chosen rivers is endemic, each species part of a unique ecosystem.

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Great Rivers of Africa
  • GROA01 - Hoanib the hidden river

    Episode 1

    In the desert wilderness of Namibia there is a river that lies hidden beneath the sand for most of the year. The abundance of water flowing over the desert is short-lived, in just a few days it all seeps into the ground and the plants and animals of the desert have to rely once more on their skil...

  • GROA02 - Zambezi the mighty river

    Episode 2

    Africa’s landscape is sculpted by some formidable rivers and the Zambezi is one of the continent’s mightiest. When the summer rains come to the valley and fill the pools of the land buffalos and elephants leave the river, but some animals, like the resident birds and spotted-neck otters, will alw...

  • GROA03 - Luangwa river of extremes.

    Episode 3

    Hidden between the mountains of Africa’s Rift Valley flows a majestic river that brings an abundant surge of water to the Luangwa Valley. But after six months of no rain life for the animals becomes extremely desperate. Just as there seems to be no hope of survival, the clouds gather over the mou...

  • GROA04 - Okavango the miracle river

    Episode 4

    One of Africa’s most remarkable rivers spreads its waters over the desolate plains of the Kalahari Desert, forming the largest inland delta on earth, the Okavango. Fed by the summer rains that fall over southern Angola, the Okavango River flows into the heart of the desert in Botswana. As the wat...

  • GROA05 - Mara river of strife

    Episode 5

    The seasons bring life to the valleys forged by the African rivers, but they also play a part in nature’s tragedies. For most of the year, the Mara River flows peacefully through the wide plains of southern Kenya, but during the dry months, it displays the ultimate life-and-death struggle: the cr...

  • GROA06 - Victoria Nile river of beginnings

    Episode 6

    The quest to find the source of the Nile built and shattered explorers’ dreams for centuries, until it was eventually discovered that the river’s birthplace is Lake Victoria. Nile crocodiles have been using the banks of the river as nesting sites for centuries, showing a nurturing side unique in ...

  • GROA07 - Shire river of fertility

    Episode 7

    The Shire River is one of the few African rivers that flows steadily and peacefully throughout the year. It flows serenely through southern Malawi, fed by the abundant waters of Lake Malawi. The lake contains more fish species than any other lake in the world, including at least 600 types of cich...

  • GROA08 - Sand river of riches

    Episode 8

    The Sand River is shorter and smaller than many of Africa’s rivers, but it has great importance because it supports such an abundance of wildlife. Lions stay close to the river, knowing that their prey, such as buffalo, must pass regularly through their territory. To avoid competition with these ...

  • GROA09 - Limpopo river of giants

    Episode 9

    The Limpopo river in southern Africa is a giant in size, and in the wealth of animal life it supports. In the dry season, it is the only source of water for the giants such as elephants, predators such as the python and the leopard. The river is a lure for their prey, particularly in winter.

  • GROA10 - Rufiji the perennial river

    Episode 10

    The Rufiji River flows through Tanzania in East Africa, through the vast Selous Game Reserve – the largest reserve in the whole of Africa. It is home to a variety of creatures such as the unique Selous wildebeest and is a precious haven for endangered animals such as elephants and wild dogs.

  • GROA11 - Olifants river of treasures

    Episode 11

    At the southern tip of Africa, the Olifants flows through and nourishes the unique Cape Floral Kingdom. Despite being the smallest of the world’s six plant kingdoms, it is the richest and most spectacular, containing 3% of all the plant species found in the whole world.

  • GROA12 - Pongola the generous river

    Episode 12

    When in flood, the Pongola River creates a whole new wild world of quiet backwaters, hidden animals and ancient rituals. With the summer rains, the Pongola floods, filling its pans which are home to hippos, great white egrets and goliath herons. Cane rats live in the lush vegetation along the ban...

  • GROA13 - Ogooe river of rains

    Episode 13

    The Ogooue River flows throughout the year through the lush tropical rainforest of Gabon in West Africa. The country is an unspoilt wildlife haven where nature is almost untouched by humans, providing a precious refuge for endangered primates such as western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees and blac...