DYNASTIES – Where Best to Spot the Stars of Sir David Attenborough’s Latest Show
Sir David’s dulcet tones are back this Sunday 11th November with the much-anticipated first episode of his new BBC series Dynasties, exploring five different animal families fighting to survive and thrive. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect from each episode, and a synopsis of our top destinations in which to witness the stars of the show in the wild…
Chimpanzees (episode one, Sunday 11 November)
Filmed in Senegal, episode one focuses on David the chimpanzee (not our sainted David) fighting to maintain his leadership, which is in threat from competing males.
Our favourite place to spot wild chimps is Tanzania’s Mahale Mountains, home to the world’s largest population of habituated wild chimpanzees. Head off hiking along steep mountain trails with your scouts and trackers in search of the chimpanzees. When you find them, spend a magical hour with our closest cousins, watching their own dynastic interactions up close. Spending time in the company of primates who share 98% of our DNA is a true once-in-a-lifetime moment.
Emperor Penguins (episode two, Sunday 18 November)
Emperor penguins are the only species in Antarctica that stick around on land during the harsh winter months, enduring one of the most hostile climates on Earth. Episode two sees the colony of penguins battle to keep their chicks alive in conditions which include wind speeds of up to 80 mph and temperatures as low as -44° C.
During the more pleasant summer months of January and February, you can join one of the last great wilderness expeditions in the world. While on an Antarctic voyage aboard a specially adapted ice-breaker, unleash your inner-Attenborough while spotting dynasties of emperor penguins in their natural habitat.
Lions (episode three, Sunday 25 November)
Episode three follows a once mighty lion pride, now abandoned by all the adult males, and battling for their survival with only two adult females feeding and protecting the eight cubs in Kenya’s Masai Mara.
Visit the exact filming location with your own cubs on a family safari and beach adventure, staying at some of Kenya’s most intimate safari lodges. Try and spot The Marsh Pride themselves (the stars of the show in this Dynasties episode) while you’re out on your 4×4 game drives. Your expert guide will be working hard to try and find a wild lion pack and can even teach you and the children tracking techniques.
Wild Dogs (episode four, Sunday 2 December)
During episode four of Dynasties, learn about the family feuds of the so-called ‘painted wolves’ living on the banks of Zimbabwe’s Zambezi river. African wild dogs may be incredibly rare, but there are four destinations that we suggest heading to for the best chance of getting a sighting.
Possibly less well-known than the other four species featured, wild dogs are certainly no less impressive (just wait until the 2nd of December to watch them in action). At the top of our list, we highly recommend heading to the Moremi Game Reserve and the Kwando Concession on a Botswana safari adventure, a great trip for the whole family with young wildlife enthusiasts in tow.
Tigers (episode five, Sunday 9 December)
In the last episode of the five-part series, the BBC team follows a tigress raising her four new-born cubs in India’s Bandhavgarh National Park, and the struggles that ensue. Our Head of Asia and all-round India boffin Miranda was actually in the national park following the BBC team while they filmed.
Take in the highlights of Rajasthan during a luxury trip to Jodphur, Jaipur and Udaipur before travelling to Ranthambore National Park on a 4×4 game drive to catch a glimpse of Bengal tigers in the flesh. Fingers crossed you’ll see one of the park’s growing number of tigers, but even if you don’t see one, hearing a tiger’s roar is one of the most terrifying, memorable wildlife experiences there is.
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