If you have ever wondered what it's like to live on the vast Serengeti plains, or experience the intense beauty of a Sahara night, AFRICA will take you there. A joint venture between Thirteen/WNET New York's NATURE and National Geographic Television, AFRICA is an eight-part kaleidoscopic adventure across Africa's major regions, filmed in 11 countries and visiting the homes of the people who live there. Episodes are:
Savannah Homecoming: Just like the mighty herds of wildebeest, the people who make their homes on Africa's great Serengeti plains are constantly on the move. This episode focuses on two women searching for their spiritual identity. Alice Wangui, a Nairobi hair salon owner, takes a trip to her native Kikuyu village so that her child will be born with a sense of community. On the savanna proper, Flora Salonik lives in an isolated farming hamlet, and struggles with the decision of whether or not to return to her own roots: the bustling metropolis of Arusha, Tanzania.
DESERT ODYSSEY: For centuries, the Tuareg people have braved the brutal Sahara to trade in salt, a precious cargo once worth its weight in gold. In this episode, Adam Ilius, a young boy of nine, crosses hundreds of miles of desolate and dangerous desert on his first trans-Saharan salt caravan.
VOICES OF THE FOREST: Deep in the central African rainforest, a struggle for survival rages. This episode takes a close look at how booming overseas markets for rainforest trees threaten the existence of two groups of Africans. Cameroon's Baka people, a traditional rainforest group, have lived in harmony with the forest for centuries, but now the sound of electric saws deafens the daily music of birds and monkeys. In Accra, the capital of Ghana, Annan Cedi, a coffin maker, needs these precious rainforest woods to construct fantasy coffins for international clients. Will the Baka be able to protect their ancient way of life and with it, an invaluable eco-system? And will Annan be able to maintain his business?
MOUNTAINS OF FAITH: Isolated by mountains, Ethiopia is a center of spirituality. Here, faith is a driving force in the lives of many. This episode explores the depths of Ethiopia's religious beliefs.
LOVE IN THE SAHEL: In the Sahel, the semi-arid border between the Sahara and the savanna, people mark the passage of time with ceremony and tradition. As the hot sun beats down on the Niger River delta, the annual Fulani cattle drive is underway. Young Errou Dajouli must leave his girlfriend and travel hundreds of miles across parched earth with his family's cattle in search of adequate grazing land. Meanwhile, another young man is hoping to mark an important passage of his own. In a cliffside Dogon village in Mali, Dogolo Saye awaits the sacred drama ceremony to honor the spirits of the dead. Without participating in the drama, Dogolo will forever remain a boy, denied the right to raise a family of his own. Will these two young men be successful in their journeys? And will they find love when they reach journey's end?
RESTLESS WATERS: Water is the lifeblood of Africa. It can create famine or fortune. In this episode, two families are hoping for fortune. Charles Tinkewimeru has been working the waters of Uganda's Lake Victoria for several years, building a good business selling fresh fish and dried minnows. But catches are steadily declining and Charles must come up with a new trade. Further inland in Uganda, the Ngwatima family has planted its annual rice crop. But the rains are late this year. A good crop depends on water, and now the Ngwatima must battle the elements in the hope of keeping their crop alive until relief comes from the skies.
LEOPARDS OF ZANZIBAR: Surrounded by gleaming aquamarine waters and fine white sand, Zanzibar looks like a tropical paradise. But life here is not easy. No one knows that better than Issa Simai, who spends his days, spear in hand, in the warm Indian Ocean trying to catch enough octopus or lobster to make a living. Issa is also a member of The Leopards, Zanzibar's most successful soccer team. This season, they have won their way to a playoff on the mainland, Tanzania, in Dar es Salaam. But before the Leopards even reach the field, they face a daunting obstacle: paying for the trip.
SOUTHERN TREASURES: Gold and diamonds have given South Africa fantastic wealth. They also contributed to the rise of apartheid. Now with official discrimination discarded, the opportunities for black South Africans have exploded. And Xoliswa Vanda stands ready to take advantage of them. This 26-year-old is the first black female master blaster in a Johannesburg gold mine. She has now set her sights on a higher goal: becoming a mine manager. But even as Xoliswa works toward her goal, other miners are not faring so well.
This boxed set also includes a special program, The Making Of AFRICA.