Do you want to spend a break or before bedtime activity watching movies? Are you game for some adventure and wildlife exploration? Are you someone who supports animal welfare and conservation? Do you want your children’s screen time to be meaningful and educational?
According to Wikipedia, a wildlife (or nature) documentary is a film or series about animals, plants, or non-human living creatures. It is a video taken from natural habitats. It is done mainly to showcase how animals and other creatures live and survive. Moreover, this kind of documentary is made to raise awareness about wildlife conservation.
We all know how rich Africa is in terms of its biodiversity. A leading conservationist once said that wildlife is the brand for Africa. No one can deny this claim. So, we want to bring you the feel of being in Africa and the wonders this continent offers.
Observe wildlife with your kids on screen. These won’t cost much. The more you and your kids spend time watching these kinds of films, the more you get to have a shared commitment towards animal welfare and nature preservation.
So, here’s the top 10 list of African wildlife documentaries that you can watch.
It is a true story of four rangers who risked their lives to protect one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. Created in 1925, Virunga National Park is located in the Albertine Rift Valley in the eastern part of Congo- the planet’s last remaining mountain gorillas and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Four brave men risked their lives to shield this place from the M23 rebellion, poachers, and greedy politicians.
Director Orlando von Einsiedel and executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio combine investigative journalism and nature documentaries. You can watch this on Netflix.
2. Blood Lions
It is a documentary feature film presented by Regulus Vision and Wildlands that exposes the cruel practices against lions in South Africa. The documentary is led by an acclaimed environmental journalist and safari operator, Ian Michler, and American hunter Rick Swazey. It has received many awards.
3. Eye of the Leopard
Directed by Derek and Beverly Joubert, the film is about the life of a female leopard named Legadema set in the Mombo region of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. You will see Legadema’s growth from cub to a fully grown leopard running against her life and surviving every day.
It was Jeremy Irons who narrated the film. He was the voice actor behind Scar of Disney’s Lion King 1994 animation.
In October 2006, the Eye of the Leopard premiered on the National Geographic Channel in the US. This film was recognized by BBC Wildscreen, Panda award for Best Sound Wild Screen, and an Emmy. A book and an app were released, named after this film.
4. Vanishing Kings: Lions of the Namib
This 2015 film presents the secret lives of Namib’s Desert lions. A small population of lions in this desert has adapted to the unique condition of this habitat. In 1990, desert lions became extinct due to trophy hunting and persecution by livestock farmers. But in 1997, a pride of lions returned to the area and increased the population since then. Go on Youtube to watch this film or purchase the book on Amazon.
5. Solo: A Wild Dog’s Tale
It is a story of a lonely female African Wild dog named Solo. She lived in Mombo Island in the Okavango Delta region of Botswana. After losing her pack from an ambush, Solo was thought to be wandering off and fighting for her life against predators. But a truly fascinating event happened. She formed a new pack but not with his kind. But instead with hyenas and black-backed jackals. Usually, these animals are competitors. Isn’t it strange? Visit National Geographic and see for yourself.
Africa is a British television series created by the BBC Natural History Unit in 2013. After four years in the making, the documentary featured Africa’s wildlife and wild habitats. It has six-hour-long episodes and six 10-minute-long featurettes. Fall in love with Africa and watch this on BBC Earth Africa series.
7. Queen of Trees
It is a documentary about the relationship between a fig tree and a wasp. After camping for two years near a giant sycamore tree, filmmakers captured how the fig and the wasp mutually depend on each other for survival. The video is available on YouTube.
8. Eye of the Pangolin
It is a documentary film directed and narrated by Bruce Young, co-director of the award-winning Blood Lions documentary. Pangolin Africa, a non-profit organization that works towards conserving the most highly trafficked wildlife species on the continent – the African Pangolin., initiated the release of this film on Youtube in May 2019 to observe the Endangered Species Day.
It features the five iconic animals: chimpanzees, lions, wild dogs, tigers, and penguins—a BBC Earth Series narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
The film showcases how these animals thrive to reach the top and secure their rank. Each episode features each animal species, respectively.
10. Brothers in Blood: The Lions of the Sabi Sand
For over 16 years, professional filmmakers and rangers documented the story of the six male lions named Mapogo Lions. The team’s one-decade and half journey captured the everyday battles of these lions against other lions and their cubs.
The Mapogo coalition showed no fear of expanding their territory, thus proving that hunger for domination exists in the animal kingdom.
Do you wish to know more about the Mapogo Lions? You may check it out on YouTube or purchase it on Amazon.
If you have watched these films, which one do you like most? Perhaps, you excited about your coolest binge-watching this weekend. Which one do you want to try first?
With this list of wildlife documentaries, you are making your “wildest” contribution to protecting animal welfare and our Earth! Make your movie marathon counted to raise the advocacy of wildlife preservation. Share this with your families and friends. Brace yourself for the real adventures of some animal species in the animal kingdom.