5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2013
I've just finished watching "Africa" on Blu-Ray and in the main must agree with the majority of other reviewers. Each episode is a marvel of natural history film making and the series warrants an unequivocal five stars, however, the episode entitled "Cape" lets the entire series down very badly. The episode is shoddily put together and misleading.
The Cape has its own unique floristic and faunal composition caused by climatic conditions. This was only touched on by the programme. A quarter of the episode was devoted to the reproduction of turtles, which although interesting had nothing to do with the Cape. The episode continued with some film of storks, spoonbills and pelicans fishing. The relevancy of this to the "Cape" was never explained. The Drakensburg Mountains were then considered. Again, interesting but relevant to the Karoo, not to the Cape.
Additionally the episode was littered with glaring errors of which two examples will be sufficient. It was stated that the sardines met an impenetrable barrier when they met the warm Agulhas Current. This is utter hogwash. The arrival of the sardines off the coast of KwaZuluNatal, more than 1 500 kms east of this "barrier" is a well reported event and a highlight for fishermen, dolphin watchers and nature lovers in general. Indeed their arrival was extensively filmed as part of an earlier Attenborough documentary.
Secondly, the assertion that "rainwater flows from Mozambique, south to the Eastern Cape" left me speechless. Where are these westerly flowing rivers? Did anyone look at a map? In the interest of brevity, I'll not go into other errors, suffice to say that the episode gave the impression that the series makers had a lot of excess film which they didn't know what to do with. These were then lumped together under the tenuous title "Cape".
The Cape is in fact an exceptional area of biological diversity. Nearly 4% of the Earth's plant species live in the Cape and the vast majority of these species are unique to the area. I would have thought that such an ecosystem would have been better served from an eponymous episode in an otherwise excellent series.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2013
You know what I like about the BBC? When they do something, they do it right, astoundingly right. Their work is original and exceptional. And when it comes to professionalism, they are the masters. I have seen so many wildlife documentaries about Africa on TV and DVDs, but this one is like no other. I have seen all the six episodes in two days and what a richly rewarding experience it was.
The episodes are arranged 'regionally' rather than by habitat. The BBC team, and in four years, visit some of the striking places in Africa from the Atlas Mountains in North Africa to the Cape of Good Hope in the south to bring us some of the extraordinary wildlife spectacles this ancient continent has yet to offer. Some of these unforgettable events are: two male giraffes fighting in Nambia, black rhinos socializing near a waterhole in the cover of darkness in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, daring lizards catching flies off sleeping lions, chimpanzees using branches to dig honeycombs out of tree barks while the young ones watching and learning, silver ants battling the scorching the brutal African sun to gather food in just 10 minutes, spectacular sand dunes shifting which took months to video, etc. Really really amazing stuff.
In the extra materials, you get to learn what patience, endurance, dedication, and professionalism it all took in order to produce such top notch film making. I really take my hat to all the BBC team members who were involved in this project.
And yeah Sir David Attenborough is the narrator (who also appears in person in some of the episodes). What a joy it was to hear his voice : )
I enjoyed Africa immensely and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in wildlife documentary films. Perfect.
56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2013
Having watched a number of excellent wildlife documentaries on the BBC, I was always expecting this to be brilliant, but this literally made my jaw drop at some point in each episode! The stories told are often funny, moving, and sometimes downright heartbreaking. The photography is just fantastic, and the music is like something out of a film, and completly fitting for the awe inspring, vast land that is Africa. David Attenborough's narration is of course spot on, and the behind the scenes section at the end of each episode is a fascinating insight into the amount of hard work that went into this wonderful series. It also highlights some very important issues concerning our environment, and the treatment of the African wildlife. I can't recommend this enough.
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
The BBC are to be congratulated for producing another outstanding addition to their Natural History repertoire. With a big budget, this painstakingly produced six episode series has presented the viewer with almost six hours of top-class entertainment that took four years to shoot. The initial impact is the stunning effect of the photography that captures the wildlife and landscapes. The technical brilliance of the camera work has revealed aspects of the lesser known species, often small or living in a remote environment previously inaccessable or not filmed before (the Shoebill and chicks nesting, for example). The more familiar animals are pictured in mesmerising slow-motion sequences, sparring giraffes over territory, lions, black rhinoceroses and elephants establishing rank and mating supremacy.
Using starlight camerawork, the rhinos. reveal an unexpected social side, gathering at night around a waterhole, and seemingly communicating picked up by novel sound techniques. The greatest wildlife continent on the planet with its constantly changing environment, climate and landscapes are visualised in a bewildering display. David Attenborough's narration links the scenes with his umatchable professionalism and dulcet style. It is one of inspiration and information without being over educational, often told more as a story, from happy to sometimes upsetting scenes. His forecast for the continent with the changes occurring so rapidly is quite forboding. The music I found unobtrusive but may not be to everyone's taste. The 'Eye To Eye' sections at the end of each episode were revealing in the 'this is how we did it' mode. An extremely enjoyable experience that will lend to repeat viewing.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2013
David Attenborough's Africa is a wonderful DVD. The photography is amazing & animal behaviour is superb... especially the giraffe fight. it arrived very quickly & was well parcelled. Would deal with e the seller again.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2013
The BBC absolutely make the best wildlife documentaries available, so saying this is one of the best is saying a lot, and it is certainly one of the best. I never realized how diverse the continent of Africa is in its wildlife & terrain, some of the views of the plains are simply jaw dropping, you can see for miles & it really comes across on film. After watching this series i have an unshakable sense of how Africa embodies the yin/yang of existence, the droughts/floods, deserts/rainforests, the ebb & flow of life/death, it is all captured in this series. It is a heartbreaking & heartwarming adventure but always awe inspiringly beautiful. Thanks to the makers of this great work, truly a masterpiece.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2013
Born in Africa and having lived my whole live here, this makes me better understand how privileged I am and why I will never be happy in more "civilized" continents, despite all Africa's human problems. We have to preserve Africa's wildness for future generations. These videos make that absolutely clear.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2013
this one pulls out all the techniques of the last few decades wildlife filming, and combines them into a real viewing feast. the photography in this one is beautiful, well, truth is they all are really, but this one manages to present new behaviours using wonderful filming techniques.
its a great way to give the overall view of africa as a continent, which is a big place, and is cleverly done region by region so we get a better "grand" view
this one is my new favourite, as i always love whichever one is current... if i try to be objective, id say overall this one is the best of the lot, well worth it
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2015
You think you’ve seen it all before?
Well this is NOTHING like you saw before!
The photography in this series is more stunning than ever – and happily, after each episode, there is a featurette (“Eye to Eye”) on the filming.
From underground caves, lions and lizards, male giraffes fighting, yellow helmet picathartes birds building nests, naked mole rats and metallic ants to chimpanzees, gelada baboons, strange shoebil birds, buffalo and a blind baby rhino that will bring tears to your eyes. An outstanding DVD – narrated by the iconic David Attenborough.
Simply a must!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 November 2013
A great series all about the species diversity of Africa. Anyone who has ever watched an "Attenborough" documentary will not be disappointed in this series, excellent presentation and with a few added extras as well.