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Gift of the Rains: Africa’s Great Rivers (2001)
In this series we choose 13 dramatically different rivers, each with its own unique characteristics, from the powerful Zambezi to the dry Hoanib River – a river that flows for only a few days a year. 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. The rivers have a formative influence on the lives of animals and plants that live along its banks and in its waters.
Uniquely for television, we show detailed underwater sequences of creatures that live and hunt in the rivers of Africa. We follow the hunting techniques of the tiger fish, the protective instincts of mouth-brooding tilapia, the migratory instincts of barbel to reach spawning grounds, the eating habits of scavenging eels, and the hunting strategies of the fishing spider. Along the water’s edge, we show the nest-making rituals of migrant birds, the fishing methods of shoebills, herons and cormorants and the life cycles of frogs. And when the waters dry up we will show how terrapins, fish and mammals manage to survive in the harshness of their arid habitat.