Johannesburg, 2 November 2023: Wilderness explorer and survival expert, Hazen Audel has long been an audience favourite as he takes on journeys in some of the world’s wildest places, braving the elements and navigating challenging terrain. Now, the intrepid adventurer takes on his first extreme safari expedition through east Africa’s legendary Great Rift Valley. Audel’s incredible journey is captured in Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari which will premiere on National Geographic across Africa (DStv 181) from Wednesday 22 November 2023 at 21:00 (CAT). 

As a former biology teacher, he’s always known the valley as the world’s greatest hub for wildlife. The chance to trek 800 kilometers through its diverse wilderness in migration season and survive out in the open amongst magnificent animals, is a life-long dream. Along the way, Audel will cross grasslands, caves, mountains and river valleys, on foot, in his quest to experience Africa’s greatest natural spectacle, the great Wildebeest migration in the Serengeti.

Watch the trailer here:

Traversing the challenging landscapes of east Africa, Audel encounters desert nomads, tracks elephants, navigates treacherous waters, searches for rare black rhinos, explores coastal caves, and forages for food, all while collaborating with local nomadic tribes and facing the formidable forces of nature. Along the way, he is reminded that survival in the wild requires not only physical endurance and survival skills, but also a deep understanding and respect for the indigenous peoples and ecosystems of Africa.

Disney+ Premieres Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory

The episodes include:

Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari: Desert Nomads

For the first leg of his journey through East Africa’s Great Rift Valley, wilderness explorer Hazen Audel treks into the Chalbi Desert. Dropping down from surrounding cliffs he’s plunged into an unforgiving arid expanse, dodging snakes and hyenas as he searches for the nomadic Gabra tribe. To make it across the desert he needs to find their treasured singing well and reach a migrating camel train. 

Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari: Valley of Giants

In the second leg on his journey through East Africa’s legendary Great Rift Valley, wilderness explorer, Hazen Audel, descends the western wall in search of a revered herd of elephants. Harnessing survival skills and vital knowledge from the local tribe, he makes his way down the treacherous escarpment to a join a group of spear fishermen who know the elephants well. With their help he tracks the herd on the banks of the Kerio River. 

Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari: Deadly Waters

On the third leg of his extreme African safari, wildlife enthusiast and survivalist Hazen Audel takes on mighty Lake Baringo. Determined to witness a million strong flock of flamingos before they fly south, he enlists the help of master boatsmen, the Il’Chamus tribe. Dodging hippos and crocodiles, he builds a raft to compete in a tribal lake race and win the right of passage to see the mega flock. 

Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari: Rhino Mountain

Wilderness explorer and survival expert Hazen Audel reaches Hell’s Gate gorge at the heart of the Great Rift Valley, on a quest to find rare black rhino. A group of forest foragers send him towards Mt Suswa, but to reach it he must navigate a warren of forests, caves and canyons. He’ll need all his survival skills to make it to a Maasai village and find the magnificent black rhino.  

Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari: Untamed Coast

On the penultimate leg of his extreme African safari, wilderness explorer and survival expert Hazen Audel tackles East Africa’s Tropical Coast. Enlisting the help of the Indian Ocean masters, the Mijikenda people, Hazen embarks on a gruelling ocean voyage to reach a network of coastal coral caves, home to the largest multi-species bat colony in the world. 

Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari: Serengeti

In an epic finale, wilderness explorer Hazen Audel closes in on the Serengeti. With the help of the hunter-gatherer Hadza tribe he battles through harsh terrain and past apex predators to reach the lush eden of the central savannahs. His ultimate goal, the Great Migration, is finally sight but time and the rains are against him. Can he make it to Africa’s greatest natural spectacle? 

Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari is produced by Icon Films for National Geographic. Executive producers for Icon Films are Harry Marshall, Laura Marshall, Rob Rawlings and Nicholas White. Hazan Audel serves as a consulting producer. For National Geographic, Carolyn Payne and Sarah Peat are executive producers and Tom McDonald is executive vice president, global factual and unscripted content.

Four previous seasons of Primal Survivor with Hazen Audel are currently streaming on Disney+.

Disney+ Premieres Animals Up Close with Bertie Gregory

Johannesburg, 17 August 2023: The best stories are often the hardest to get to, but if you’re National Geographic Explorer and BAFTA Award-winning cinematographer Bertie Gregory (@BertieGregory), that’s part of the fun! In the new National Geographic series ANIMALS UP CLOSE WITH BERTIE GREGORY, the filmmakerembarks on a new set of adventures to capture wildlife behaviors like never before. Armed with drones, state-of-the-art gimbal-mounted cameras and underwater tech, Bertie follows individual animals for weeks at a time, building up an intimate picture of their daily battles. He and his team travel to the most spectacular corners of our planet — Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, Botswana, Patagonia, Indonesia, and the Central African Republic — to take viewers deep into the natural world and showcase extraordinary animal lives. The six-part series will stream only on Disney+ from 13 September 2023.

Bertie Gregory in Patagonia. (National Geographic for Disney+/Will West)

In ANIMALS UP CLOSE WITH BERTIE GREGORY, viewers will get the chance to see unique and rare moments, like humpback whales purposely disrupting the hunt of an endangered pod of B1 killer whales — just 100 are in existence — in Antarctica. Other standout moments include a male sea lion defending pups from a huge Galapagos shark and, by using a military-grade thermal imaging camera in Patagonia, Bertie and his team filmed a guardian shepherd dog defending his flock of sheep from a hunting puma.

Bertie and his team brave subzero seas, climb snow-capped mountains, and sleep suspended 120 feet in the air to reveal the challenges animals endure, their fierce rivalries, and the threats they face on our changing planet. Throughout the series, there are emotional highs and lows as Bertie comes face-to-face with the shocking truths about the impact of humanity on the wildlife he is so passionate about. 

The immersive series captures the challenges of natural history filmmaking and shows the behind-the-scenes moments Bertie and his team face while adapting to unpredictable wildlife in remote environments where filming rarely goes as planned. There is no script for this unique wildlife series, but through it all, Bertie brings the audience with him every step of the way.

Close up of a puma’s face. (National Geographic for Disney+/Sam Stewart)

The six-episode series includes the following:


Bertie searches the wilderness of Patagonia in southern Chile, hoping to find and film a female Puma that he first met four years ago when she was just a cub. When he finds her, she has two cubs of her own which she must feed and protect from the many dangers of this harsh mountain landscape.


Bertie and the team cross the infamous Drake Passage, the roughest stretch of ocean on Earth, to reach Antarctica, where they witness and film the staggering intelligence and adaptability of a group of killer whales. Known as B1’s, they use an extraordinary strategy to hunt seals resting on ice. Working as a team, they create a powerful wave to push the seals into the water. Bertie wants to find out why the B1 population is declining and film the other surprising ways they catch prey in their rapidly changing world.


Bertie travels to Botswana to film one of the planet’s most successful land predators: the African wild dog. Despite their hunting super skills, wild dog population numbers are dramatically declining. By following a family pack with 14 young pups, he wants to find out what it will take for the next generation of these endangered predators to survive. They face threats from lions, hyenas and elephants, and it’s clear that these African wild dogs don’t go down without a fight.


Bertie travels to the remote islands of the Galapagos to find and film three rare animal behaviors seen nowhere else on the Earth, each with an extreme challenge. He will face huge Pacific waves, shark-infested waters, and ultra-fast hunting sea lions on the rugged Galapagos coast, teaching Bertie how these unique animals survive in a rapidly changing world.


Bertie is on a stakeout deep in the jungles of the Central African Republic, searching for the biggest and most secretive of the forest elephants: the tuskers, huge males with tusks that reach down to the floor. Working with a specialist camera team and local elephant trackers, he sets up a filming HQ high in the rainforest canopy.


Bertie travels to Indonesia to dive amongst some of the most exquisite coral reefs left on Earth, hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the reef’s most elusive predators: the mysterious devil ray. His best chance of finding one is to track down a huge annual spectacular, an anchovy feeding frenzy.

ANIMALS UP CLOSE WITH BERTIE GREGORY is produced by Wildstar Films for National Geographic. Bertie Gregory is host, creative contributor, co-producer and director of photography. For Wildstar the executive producer is Anwar Mamon and the series producer is Jennie Hammond. Will West, Maddie Close, Spencer Millsap, Mark McClean and James Brickell produce and direct across the series. For National Geographic, Janet Han Vissering is SVP, Production and Development, and Drew Jones serves as executive producer.

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