Wildlife of Africa Documentary #1 – Wild Zambezi
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Wildlife of Africa Documentary #1 – Wild Zambezi

December 31, 2019

(Leo) Welcome to Africa. In this documentary,
we’ll be exploring some of Africa’s diverse wildlife In its natural habitat. The Zambezi river flows through most of southern
Africa, carrying with it the main ingredient needed for life to flourish. It travels through
6 countries on the journey from its source in north-west Zambia to the Indian ocean,
covering an amazing 2700 km. In Botswana, the Zambezi meets the Chobe river
before becoming the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. The river then flows another 80km
down towards Victoria Falls. The land around the falls is constantly watered by the spray,
which has transformed into a lush rainforest housing plants rarely found elsewhere in the
continent. (Leo) The Zambezi river is very important
for Africa, carrying the lifeblood of the continent; water, which supplies the plants
and animals with life. A large proportion of Southern Africa is desert,
the arid lands of the Kalahari seemingly bare and lifeless. Temperatures here can reach
over forty degrees Celsius, meaning trees like this baobab have adapted the ability
to store large amounts of water. There is almost no greenery, only bare trees and dry
grasses, but life somehow still manages to thrive even in the harshest of environments. The wildlife that can be found here would
not be alive if not for the Zambezi river. Like a vein, it meanders through southern
Africa attracting wildlife from miles around like these cape buffalo; gathering in their
masses to drink from the river. Elephants can be found here as well, feeding
on the lush vegetation which has grown much greener than in surrounding areas. During the course of its journey, the Zambezi
passes through one of the most spectacular feats of nature. Victoria Falls. It is the world’s largest waterfall and
considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Sitting at the border
between Zambia and Zimbabwe, it is a magnificent curtain of falling water. The spray from the
falls rises to a height of over 400 metres and occasionally twice as high. The spray has transformed the surrounding
lands into a magnificent rainforest, supplied with rain all year round. The falls are known
to the indigenous as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or ‘the smoke that thunders,’ and is visible from
up to 30 miles away. There is a great contrast between the green rainforest created by the
spray of the falls and the dry deserts nearby. A tower of giraffes, wandering through the
scrub in search of fresh plants. These animals are well adapted to dry habitats, being able
to survive for days without water since they gain most of their moisture from plants. Without even knowing it, they have become
very important in helping to sustain the Kalahari ecosystem. These mammals are browsing herbivores,
which means they feed on high-growing vegetation at the tops of trees. By continuously eating
leaves from the very tops of the plants, they help to stunt the growth of trees and prevent
them from becoming too tall. This ensures that the trees grow closer to the ground,
enabling smaller herbivores like impalas to reach the low growing leaves and shrubs. These small birds are ox-peckers, and play
their own part in the ecosystem, forming a symbiotic relationship with the giraffes in
which both animals benefit. They act as cleaners, eating up ticks and
parasites living on the giraffes. In return for helping to clean the mammals, the ox-peckers
receive a meal of parasites. Giraffes aren’t the only animals who help
to sustain their environment. Warthogs are grazers, and help to naturally cut the long
grasses to prevent them getting too tall which can kill off young trees. They are effectively
nature’s gardeners. (Leo) So, we’ve just come across some warthogs
here. They’re omnivores and they feed by scratching their tusks on the ground to dig
for food. They also eat grass. To encounter some more of the wildlife of
Zimbabwe, we set off into the dry arid lands of the Kalahari. (Leo) So, we’re just about to head out on
our first game safari. Join me and we’ll see what animals we can find. (Polite) Hi, how are you? Nice to meet you. (Leo) So, this is our safari guide, Polite.
What’s your favourite animal that you’ve seen? (Polite) It is a very hard one. It is very
difficult for me to pick one. I would go with giraffes. It’s one of my favourites. Very
smart animals. The way they conduct themselves, the way they interact among themselves, how
they look after their babies. How all members of the family were looking after that tiny
baby. That is amazing, it’s just like exactly what we do. So I think giraffes are also even
close to us (laughs). (Leo) We’ve just driven past this herd of
cape buffalo here. The reason they hang out in groups is partly for safety because if
they encounter an attacker they can circle it and lunge at it with their huge horns. (Polite) Buffalos are the animals in the African
savannah which are the main challenge of lions; lions being the chief predators and buffalo
being the chief challengers. They don’t just give up. That is the baby which is calling
the mother on this side. Advantages of being social. See the baby? it is able to pinpoint
the sound of the mother in hundreds of buffalo. That’s amazing. Twenty eyes are better than
two, that is very important. African cape buffalo may be herbivores, but
are formidable in their own right. Lions often target the large bovines, but buffalo are
not easy pickings even for a large pride. (Polite) Ok. There are many, huh? (Leo) So, we’ve just spotted these bull
African elephants, and these are the world’s largest living land mammals, characterised
by their long curved tusks, grey skin and those huge ears. Unfortunately, those long
ivory tusks have made them a target for poachers since the material has become so valuable. Standing at around 4 metres tall, African
elephants must eat between 200-600 pounds of food a day. Due to their massive size,
elephants generally have no natural predators. In fact, the biggest threat to this mammal
is us. For years, elephants have been hunted for their ivory, in some cases to near extinction. (Polite) So we find out that elephants are
known to be emotional. Just like human beings they pay tribute to fallen heroes. So when
they come to that same area, they are known to pick the bones of fallen heroes, smell
them, toss them around, grouping together as if they’re paying some kind of respect. A troop of baboons appears, foraging in the
dry scrub in search of food. Baboons are opportunistic feeders, and will
eat pretty much anything they can find from fruits and grasses to small birds. The sun sets over the Zambezi river, marking
the end of an eventful day out in the bush with Polite. The birds return to their roosts for the night,
like these bee-eaters, diving into their dug-out nests in the side
of the riverbank. We were all tired and ready for bed, but it
seemed the wildlife was not so keen to sleep. (Polite) Look at the trunk pushing the baby.
See that? Guiding the baby. A pair of lions, worn out after a day of hunting,
settled down in the glare of the headlights. We savoured this moment as our first lion
sighting, but little did we know of what was to come. (Leo) That concludes our stay here at Victoria
Falls in Zimbabwe but now, we’re moving on to Botswana to see some more wildlife at
the Okavango delta and Chobe national park. Leaving Zimbabwe and the falls behind us,
we said farewell to Polite and traveled to the next location on our African adventure. Botswana. 130 km upstream from the falls lies the great
Chobe river, a vast expanse of water in the Chobe National Park, Botswana. It belongs to the the same river system as
the Okavango delta and Zambezi, and marks the border between Botswana and Zambia. (Leo) So we’ve just arrived here in Botswana
and already we’re greeted by three African elephants. That’s amazing, they’re beautiful. Having already encountered a small herd of
elephants, we set out on a boat into the vast waters of the Chobe river. Much like the Zambezi, the Chobe river attracts
masses of wildlife to its waters. Chobe is well known for containing possibly
the greatest elephant population in Africa who, each day, undergo a truly incredible
spectacle. At the middle of the river is a large island;
a rich green pasture covered with unspoiled grasses and reeds where buffalo and elephants
gather to feed on the fresh vegetation. Every day, on the banks of the Chobe river,
herds of elephants will converge with the ambition of crossing the waters to reach this
getaway island. The migration takes a while, as the elephants
await their opportunity from the sandy banks. Eventually, the matriarch takes the first
step. She is the dominant female and the lead individual of the herd. Slowly, she makes
her way across toward the island, enjoying the refreshing paddle and cooling her skin. The others watch from the bank, waiting for
the ‘all-clear’ from their leader. As the matriarch reaches the other side safely,
the rest of the herd start to follow. They tend to cross in a straight line, with the
babies clinging onto their mothers for safety. The herd has safely managed to cross the river,
but the slippery banks can prove difficult to climb, especially for the young ones. (Baby elephant roars) As the sun sets over Chobe National Park,
the elephants enjoy their meal, ready to make the return trip the next morning. The next day, Chipo, our guide, takes us out
for a drive across the Chobe national park. We’ve now come here to Chobe National Park in Botswana, the second largest national park in Africa. Home to a huge variety of animals, including impalas, lions, wild dogs and even leopards. The amount of wildlife that could be found
here was astounding, as animals from miles around journey here to drink from or play
in the cooling river. It wasn’t long before we encountered a small
pack of wild dogs, the great hunters of the savannah. When hunting, these dogs rely not
on stealth but on their incredible stamina, successfully herding and running down their
prey as a group. But at this time, it seemed, they were enjoying relaxing in the shade and
bonding with fellow pack members. Another name for these beautiful creatures
is the ‘painted dog,’ due to their spectacular mottled colouration. (Chipo) So when they see impalas, they just
run after them, very fast, they just keep on running, and if they manage to get on one
of them they just start cutting pieces and swallowing them whole. So they don’t kill
first, they just keep on cutting pieces and swallowing them whole like that until the
animal falls down and dies. Because, you can sometimes see the intestines of the animal
whilst the animal is still alive. The alpha female of the pack seemed very inquisitive,
and settled down in the shade of the vehicle. A large pride of lions, wandering casually
through the plains, crossed our path soon after. This was the first time we had seen
these beautiful animals so close on our journey, and it was all thanks to Chipo. The large
female lions led the group. They are the pride’s primary hunters, working together to bring
down large prey which can even include buffalo. (Leo) So we’ve just found this massive pride of lions, and these are the apex predators of Africa, so this is amazing. It’s huge! There was a herd of impala down there but they fled when the lions started coming. And so as the first part of our journey draws
to a close, it’s time to depart this land of astounding beauty. But don’t worry, our
African adventure isn’t over yet. Leaving Chobe and the Zambezi behind us, and saying
goodbye the incredible people we met along the way, we sight our sights upon the next
destination on our trip. The Kalahari’s secret oasis of the Okavango Delta, which
we will explore in the next part of ‘Wildlife of Africa.’

Only registered users can comment.

  1. So yeah, this is what I've been working on for the past year. Sorry for the hiatus, and thanks ever-so-much for sticking with the channel! We filmed this last summer when we got to go to Africa (Thanks, Grandpa!). I filmed every second and now have compiled and edited it into a full-length documentary. This is the first documentary in what will be a two-part series. The next part is yet to be finished and will document the wildlife of the Okavango Delta in Botswana (also filmed by me last summer).

  2. All I can say is that the work done for this video is impressive, I wish you luck in teaching the world about all the great animals of the world.

  3. Fantastic vídeo, I liked it, thank you very much my dear friend! you have a new follower. Visit my wildlife channel, I hope you like it. regards

  4. this is the first time , that i seeing your channel . great job and good luck ..
    know you have follower from libya . 👍

  5. I just found your channel, and I'm so happy I did! This is so well produced. It's obvious how much effort and time was put into this. I can't wait to see the next one, as well. Really awesome work!

  6. Okay, I know I've already commented but I've just sat down and watched it in its entirety on my television and WOW. Seriously, Leo, what you've completed here is outstanding. The filming itself was well done, the post production editing was phenominal, and the music is perfect. I loved the Of Monsters and Men covers atop images of such magnificent animals (and knowing the lyrics to those songs just made me smile because they lined up so well). Even the clip at the end after the credits just to make it more personal (and awkwardly hilarious). I know I said it before, but I am beyond excited for the follow up. Also, it looks great on a big screen, and, frankly, I prefer it that way. Well done. Truly. And now I'll scamper out of your comments section; I just had to say all of that!!! <3

  7. I will never be able to see these magnificent animals and the breathtaking lands of Africa but this is almost as good. Thank you for allowing me to discover Zimbabwe and Botswana through your eyes Leo !!

  8. Wow so beautiful made! Great documentary my friend.
    I especially liked in the dark when you all were in the Jeep mom elephant was pushing baby to hurry and get out of the road.
    Incredible footage and great narrating. Pact with information as we watch the magnificent wildlife all around you. Nice to see also while on this adventure.
    Can’t wait for Part 2.
    Take care friend from Florida🏖☀️

  9. This is so professional! It's amazing! I stumbled onto your channel when I was looking for Roe deer facts, and woah you've improved since that video!

  10. You're like a young Brian Cox, but of our nature on earth instead of space. And that's pretty cool. Keep it up, Brian Jr! I hope to see your documentaries on the BBC in 15 years or so.

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