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Episode 2 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 Great Rift Valley channels a huge diversity of waterways - rivers, lakes, waterfalls, caustic springs and coral seas - spanning from Egypt to Mozambique. Some lake and ocean deeps harbour previously unseen life-forms, while caustic waters challenge life to the extreme. But where volcanic minerals enrich the Great Rift's waterways, they provide the most spectacular concentrations of birds, mammals and fish in all Africa.

  • Wildlife Finder

    Wildlife Finder

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

    BBC Wildlife Finder
  • Photo: Victoria Falls

    Photo: Victoria Falls

    Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls provide one of the most incredible views in the Great Rift Valley.

  • Photo: Whale Shark

    Photo: Whale Shark

    A photographer provides us with an idea of the size of the Whale shark (Rhincodon typus) while they line up a shot.

  • Photo: Fighting Hippos

    Photo: Fighting Hippos

    Hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius) fighting in the Luangwa River, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.

  • Photo: Southern Carmine Bee-eater

    Photo: Southern Carmine Bee-eater

    Southern carmine bee-eater (Merops nubicoides) on a river bank in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.


Series Producer
Phil Chapman
Executive Producer
Michael Gunton
Hugh Quarshie


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