The Serengeti, recently awarded as Africa’s leading national park*, is world-renowned for its vast open plains and abundance of wildlife. This unspoilt corner of Africa has been beautifully captured in Serengeti 2, which airs from Sunday 14th November at 4.10pm on BBC Earth (DStv channel 184) and shares the dramatic and emotional interconnected stories of the iconic animals that inhabit the area.

Produced by Simon Fuller and John Downer and narrated by Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, this five-part pioneering wildlife drama series follows the journey of characters such as Kali the lioness, Duma the cheetah, Bakari the baboon, Zalika the hyena and Nalla the elephant. There’s humour, heartbreak and nail-biting tension as new characters move in, and familiar faces return.

Watch the promo here

Over 2600 hours of footage was captured, over a two-year period, to bring these untold stories to life and narrate the bigger picture of what daily existence looks like in the Serengeti.

Character portrait: Duma (cheetah cub)

Discover some of the series highlights, as well as some fun filming and animal facts, below.

  • The flood seen in the series is a phenomenon known as an “extreme positive Indian Ocean Dipole” – a rare event that led to unprecedented rainfall and flooding in east Africa during 2020. It is likely to become more common due to climate change.

  • Despite extreme weather conditions the production team managed to continue filming and captured the Serengeti cast as they struggled to escape the never-ending floods. This led to some extraordinary footage, from Bakari the baboon leaping from his flooded tree to Punda the elephant racing to save calf Shani as she was washed downstream.

  • Baboons have at least 10 different vocalisations, which they use to communicate with each other. Bakari uses different calls to achieve different goals, from comforting his youngster or defusing a tense situation, to rallying support.

  • Elephants mourn dead relatives by smelling, touching and moving their remains, and may return to the same site many years later. The huge gatherings of multiple families, like the one that assembled in series 2, has rarely been witnessed. It shows just how vast elephant social networks can be.

  • Spotted hyena clans have been known to contain up to 130 individuals. They have complex greeting ceremonies to reinforce social bonds before embarking on dangerous activities like hunting or attacking an enemy predator. Zalika uses ceremonies like these to rally her clan before an important hunt.

Character portrait: Bakari (baboon)

Serengeti 2 marks the launch of BBC Earth’s Eco Season of programming, which aims to provide viewers with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world we live in.

Be transported from the Serengeti into deep space with the upcoming series Universe, which starts from Sunday 18 November at 7PM on BBC Earth. Watch the birth of a star in a stellar nursery, experience the power of a supermassive black hole as it consumes an entire planet, and witness the chaos created as another galaxy collides with our own, The Milky Way.

For more information on upcoming shows go to

* The World Travel Awards (WTA) 2021.

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