This new four-part series follows British explorer Levison Wood’s expedition to walk the length of the River Nile from source to sea. His nine-month journey takes him through jungles, savannah, deserts, cities and war zones in some of the continent’s most remote and spectacular locations. Along the way, he encounters modern Africa, its people and its wildlife face-to-face and at ground level. The Nile remains one of the last holy grails in exploration – no-one has ever completed its entire length on foot. Levison’s goal is to reach the Mediterranean Sea – whatever lies in his way and wherever the Nile takes him for 4200 miles. The river pushes him to the edge of his mental and physical limits as he is forced live off his wits and bushcraft skills.
The first programme follows Lev and his guide Boston for their first 1,000 miles, from the river's source in the Rwandan rainforest, through Tanzania's remote and lawless regions and into Uganda. Heading deep into the Ajai Wildlife Reserve, an impenetrable swamp forces them into remote, barren ground cut off from civilisation. But even with rangers to carry their kit and extra water, nothing can prepare the duo for what lies ahead.
S1E1 • 2015 • Travel
Four months into his journey, explorer Levison Wood arrives in the capital of the world's newest nation, South Sudan, only to be arrested by secret police. After several days' delay he and his guide Boston are allowed to continue onwards and soon enjoy a highlight of the trek - an encounter with members of the Mundari tribe. This community has set up a cattle camp on an island in the middle of the River Nile, where its members lead a very simple and sustainable existence of only drinking milk, burning cow dung, washing in cow urine and covering themselves in ash to ward off flies and mosquitos. After bidding them farewell, Lev finds himself caught up in the worsening civil war as his path winds through minefields and he witnesses increasing numbers of refugees fleeing in the opposite direction.
S1E2 • 2015 • Travel
Five months into his journey, Levison Wood faces a 1,300-mile walk across the Sahara, one of the most inhospitable places on Earth, to reach the Egyptian border. He's joined by a Sudanese guide, two nomads and three badly behaved camels. Together they encounter some of the most spectacular sights of the mission, camping among the ancient Meroe Pyramids. The explorer then tackles his toughest physical challenge - crossing the Bayuda volcanic field - where temperatures can reach 55C. Trekking 20 miles a day through blinding sandstorms, Lev soon starts to run out of water.
S1E3 • 2015 • Travel
After seven months of hiking, Levison Wood reaches his final country - Egypt - and with 900 miles still to go to reach the Mediterranean, the authorities give him just 45 days to finish. After walking the barren shores of Lake Nasser and exploring deserted temples, Lev reaches Aswan and spends a night at a historic hotel. Moving on, he discovers more of Egypt's wonders, from magnificent buildings in the ancient city of Luxor, to the Pyramids of Giza, where he's given a hero's reception. The journey then takes him through strongholds for the Muslim Brotherhood opposition group, and as the security situation deteriorates he finds himself accompanied by police vans and armed officers.
S1E4 • 2015 • Travel