The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart

Watch The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart

  • 2010
  • 1 Season
  • 7.9  (659)

The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart is a breathtaking six-part documentary series of BBC Two that explores the natural wonders of East Africa's Rift Valley. The series is narrated by Hugh Quarshie, and it was broadcasted in 2010, produced by Martin Dohrn and Justin Maguire.

The Great Rift Valley stretches over 4,300 miles through East Africa, and it is an area of immense natural beauty and diversity. The series takes the viewers on a journey along the Rift, from the Red Sea in Ethiopia to Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, to discover the hidden treasures of the region.

The series begins with an introduction to the geology of the Rift Valley and its impact on wildlife. Viewers are informed that the Rift was formed by the separation of the African and Arabian tectonic plates about 20 million years ago. The collision created a vast valley that is home to some of the world's most fascinating creatures, including the rare and elusive Ethiopian wolf.

Throughout the series, viewers are taken on a journey through the different habitats of the Rift Valley, including savannahs, forests, and deserts, to discover the unique species that call these areas home. In each episode, a different aspect of the region's ecosystem is explored, such as the complex predator-prey relationships, the role of fire in maintaining the grasslands, and the adaptation of animals to survive in harsh environments.

One of the standout episodes of the series is 'The Fire and the Grass,' which highlights the importance of fire in the savannah ecosystem. The episode shows how the annual burning of the grasses allows new growth to emerge, providing food for herbivores such as giraffes and zebras. The episode also shows how predators such as lions and hyenas rely on the grasses to hunt their prey.

Another unforgettable episode is 'The Survivors," which takes a closer look at the animals that have adapted to the harsh desert environment of the Rift Valley. The episode showcases the incredible resilience of animals such as the gerbil, the addax, and the desert elephant, who have found ways to survive in an environment that seems inhospitable.

The series also explores the role of the Rift Valley in human history, showcasing the ancient landscapes that have been inhabited by humans for millions of years. In the episode 'Rivers of Life,' viewers are taken on a journey down the Nile River, where they discover the Pharaonic temples, the magnificent pyramids, and the bustling markets of Cairo.

Overall, The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart is a remarkable series that showcases the beauty and diversity of East Africa's Rift Valley. Through breathtaking footage and insightful commentary, the series provides a window into an awe-inspiring ecosystem that is full of wonder and complexity. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in nature and wildlife conservation.

The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart
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3. Grass
February 7, 2010
The Great Rift Valley provides the stage for an epic battle between trees and grass - its course influenced by volcanic eruptions, landscape and rainfall. On its outcome rests the fate of Africa's great game herds. In the Rift's savannas, grazers and their predators struggle to outwit each other, forcing one group of primates to develop a social system that paved the way for the evolution of mankind.
2. Water
January 31, 2010
The Great Rift Valley channels a huge diversity of waterways - rivers, lakes, waterfalls, caustic springs and coral seas - spanning from Egypt to Mozambique. Some lake and ocean deeps harbor previously unseen life-forms, while caustic waters challenge life to the extreme. But where volcanic minerals enrich the Great Rift's waterways, they provide the most spectacular concentrations of birds, mammals and fish in all Africa.
1. Fire
January 24, 2010
The valley is the product of deep-seated geological forces which have spewed out a line of cloud-wreathed volcanoes stretching from Ethiopia to Tanzania. Their peaks provide a refuge for East Africa's most extraordinary wildlife, including newly discovered and previously unfilmed species which have evolved surprising survival strategies to cope with their challenging mountain environment.
  • Premiere Date
    January 24, 2010
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (659)