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Episode 1 of 3

Duration: 1 hour

Visible from space, Africa's Great Rift Valley runs three thousand miles from the Red Sea to the mouth of the Zambezi. It's a diverse terrain of erupting volcanoes, forest-clad mountains, spectacular valleys, rolling grasslands, huge lakes and mighty rivers, and is home to crocodiles, hippos, lions, elephants, flocks of flamingos and a diversity of indigenous peoples.

Using state-of-the-art high definition filming techniques, this series investigates the geological forces which shaped East Africa's Great Rift, and which make it one of the world's most wildlife-rich landscapes.

The valley is the product of deep-seated geological forces which have spewed out a line of cloud-wreathed volcanoes stretching from Ethiopia to Tanzania. Their peaks provide a refuge for East Africa's most extraordinary wildlife, including newly discovered and previously unfilmed species which have evolved surprising survival strategies to cope with their challenging mountain environment.

More episodes

See all episodes from The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart
  • Photo: Gelada baboon

    Photo: Gelada baboon

    A Gelada baboon (Theropithecus gelada) found in the Simien Mountains, Ethiopia.

  • Photo: Kitulo chameleon

    Photo: Kitulo chameleon

    A Kitulo chameleon (Chamaeleo tempeli), which has never been filmed before. It can be found in the Kitulo Plateau (aka ‘God’s Garden’), Tanzania.

  • Photo: Ol Doinyo Lengai

    Photo: Ol Doinyo Lengai

    An aerial view of Ol Doinyo Lengai (The Mountain of God) Volcano, Rift Valley, Tanzania.

  • Wildlife Finder

    Wildlife Finder

    Explore the BBC nature archive and discover more about the animals featured in this programme.

    BBC Wildlife Finder


Series Producer
Phil Chapman
Executive Producer
Michael Gunton
Hugh Quarshie


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