BBC Earth’s highly anticipated  Planet Earth III  will premiere on Monday, 19 February at 20:00 on BBC Earth, DStv Channel 184.

The eight-part series, presented by Sir David Attenborough, takes viewers on an extraordinary journey into the heart of Africa, showcasing the continent’s diverse ecosystems and wildlife, including parts filmed in South Africa. Planet Earth III not only brings the wonders of the natural world into viewers’ homes but also holds a special connection to South Africa and the African continent. The series, which was filmed over nearly five years, features several segments that were shot in the diverse and breathtaking landscapes of South Africa, offering local audiences a sense of pride and connection to the stories we’re telling.

“In this new series of Planet Earth, we travel to the most astonishing wild places, see mysterious creatures, witness rare, spectacular wonders, and reveal breath-taking animal dramas. The natural world continues to surprise us, but since Darwin’s time, it has changed beyond recognition, being transformed by a powerful force – us. We will see how animals are adapting in extraordinary ways, to survive the new challenges they face. At this crucial time in our history, we must now look at the world through a new lens.” – Sir David Attenborough on location near Down House, Charles Darwin’s family home, Kent

A journey into the heart of Africa

Planet Earth III uses pioneering filmmaking technology to reveal the greatest wonders of life on Earth. It takes South African viewers on a journey from remote jungles to scorching deserts, from the darkest caves to the depths of the ocean, bringing them closer to nature than ever before.

Nearly two decades since the original series, Planet Earth III highlights the unique wildlife adaptations and survival strategies in the Kalahari Desert, the wildebeest migration in the Kruger National Park across vast grasslands, the unique flora and fauna found at the Drakensberg Mountains’ high altitudes, and the aquatic life of the Okavango Delta. Delving into the heart of South Africa’s wild heart, the first episode, ‘Coasts’, reveals the struggle for survival on South Africa’s Robberg Peninsula, where thousands of Cape fur seals face off against the world’s most notorious predator, the great white shark.

This gripping narrative showcases the raw beauty of Africa’s marine life and underscores the intricate balance of the continent’s ecosystems.

The struggle between the Cape fur seals and the great white shark has been a developing story on the South African coast for the last few years. The sharks’ increased presence on this stretch of coast is still poorly understood, as is their behaviour generally. And, of course, they are notoriously dangerous predators. The crew had to capture this nail-biting scene over four years,” says Coasts Producer and Director Nick Easton

New behaviour, new technology

Planet Earth III unveils the resilience and adaptability of wildlife, as seen when the crew captured footage of the first lions to return to Namibia’s Coast in 40 years, a remarkable event filmed at night using cutting-edge thermal imaging technology.

The series also features two orphan lion sisters whose lives have consisted of scavenging for food. The coast provides a veritable feast for the tiny pride in the form of roosting seabirds, allowing the sisters to specialise in hunting these flocks, perhaps saving them from starvation. Using a military-grade thermal camera to film the sequence enabled the crew to capture footage of lions hunting cormorants at night, a behaviour these sisters had to teach themselves as they lost their mother when they were young.

African wildlife under the spotlight

Planet Earth III allows viewers to immerse themselves in Africa’s wildlife ecosystem and experience the beauty of nature and the diverse species that inhabit it, including:

  1. The Kalahari Desert’s Survival Strategies: Witness the unique wildlife adaptations and survival strategies in the harsh environment of South Africa’s Kalahari Desert.
  2. Kruger National Park’s Wildebeest Migration: Experience the awe-inspiring wildebeest migration in the vast grasslands of South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
  3. Drakensberg Mountains’ Flora and Fauna: Explore the unique flora and fauna of the Drakensberg Mountains, showcasing the biodiversity found at high altitudes in South Africa.
  4. Okavango Delta’s Aquatic Life: Dive into the aquatic life of the Okavango Delta, highlighting the rich and diverse ecosystems of Southern Africa’s freshwater habitats.
  5. Robberg Peninsula’s Marine Drama: On South Africa’s Robberg Peninsula, observe the tense struggle for survival as Cape fur seals navigate the dangerous great white sharks.
  6. Namibia’s ‘Desert Lions’: Follow the story of Namibia’s ‘desert lions’ as they return to the coast after 40 years, showcasing new behaviours and the use of new technology in wildlife filmmaking.
  7. Ostrich Family in the Namib Desert: In the heart of the Namib Desert, watch an ostrich family’s poignant journey as they raise their chicks in one of the world’s most extreme environments.
  8. Desert Baboons’ Quest for Water: Join a troop of desert baboons in their relentless search for water, highlighting the challenges wildlife in arid landscapes face.
  9. Leopards’ Aerial Hunting Tactics: Observe Southern African leopards demonstrating unique hunting tactics by leaping from treetops, showcasing their impressive adaptability.
  10. Zakouma National Park’s Elephant Herds: Witness one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife gatherings at Zakouma National Park in Chad, a beacon of hope for conservation in central Africa.

The local scenes are a testament to the rich natural heritage of South Africa and the broader African continent. They serve as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts to protect these unique environments for future generations. By featuring these local stories, Planet Earth III aims to inspire South African viewers to take a closer interest in the natural world, its conservation challenges, and what can happen if we help protect these precious ecosystems.

Planet Earth III: Official Trailer | BBC Earth (