Africa is a rich and diverse continent and therefore it comes as no surprise that many nature enthusiasts, photographers and filmmakers choose her as the best place to create the most interesting documentaries in the world. Currently, a majority of the highest rated documentaries are video documentaries on Africa although they have been produced by foreigners.
The documentaries are not just great for entertainment; they are also wonderful in educating people on nature and geography. If you are an Africa documentary enthusiast and you wish to know the top 10 best TV/Video documentaries on Africa, then this post is for you. You will soon find out why they are rated the best and why you should try to at least watch them.
Video Documentaries on Africa That You Must See
1. Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan
Released in 2012, this documentary on Africa is one of the most popular and top-rated films of all times. On IMDb, the documentary is rated 9.4 out of possible 10 stars. There are several great episodes of this documentary and all have scored so high with the best episode being “The Black Hairy Thick Tail Scorpion”. Dominic braves the remote wilderness of the African country of Namibia to hunt for Africa’s biggest, deadliest scorpion referred to as parabuthus villosus. I’m pretty sure you will love the documentary.
2. Witness (Colony)
This documentary on Africa tends to examine China’s aggressive economic colonization of Africa especially the West African country of Senegal. The film, which debuted in 2010, shows how the Chinese work inside Senegal to change the economic landscape of the world’s second-largest continent. Historians believe that Chinese work in Africa actually began in Senegal and it is there her economic effects in the continent can be easily appreciated. The documentary also looks at a myriad of ways in which Africans are affected by the actions of the foreigners.
3. The Queen Of Trees
Released in 2005, the queen of trees is a remarkable story of one of Africa’s most wonderful trees known as fig tree and the kind of relationship that exists between it and the animals of the jungle. The most interesting part is that the documentary examines the relationship between the enormous size of the fig tree and the small size of its evolutionary fig wasp. This is one of the most amazing stories you can find in the natural world. The story was written by Mark Deeble.
4. Rwanda: The Untold Story
Everyone knows what happened in Rwanda in 1991. The genocide in that country was the worst this world has ever seen. However, there are still so many deep-seated secrets surrounding what really happened in this East African Country. The documentary ‘Rwanda: The Untold Story’ seeks to unearth some of the secrets that have never come to light. The cast in the documentary features some of the world’s most respectable personalities including Kofi Annan and Tony Blair. This documentary on Africa is mind-blowing and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
5. Living In Emergency
This documentary TV series, which debuted in 2008, is one of the most educative and the most interesting/entertaining series in the world. “Living in Emergency” is about four volunteers with Doctors Without Borders who struggle against the odds to provide emergency medical cure under terrible conditions in the war-tone zones of Congo and Liberia. I promise you that if you really are a documentary enthusiast, you will find this a great one to choose for entertainment and possibly education. Try and check it out.
6. The Last Lions
Half a century ago there were approximately 500,000 lions in Africa. Currently, there are around just around 20,000 lions left. Even more disturbing is the fact that lions, unlike elephants, which are far more numerous, have no protection under government policies or via international accords. This is has sparked this well-researched and beautifully made documentary from husband and wife team Dereck and Beverly Joubert. These two award-winning filmmakers are Botswana nationals who have been Explorers-in-Residence at National Geographic for over four years.
7. Beautiful People
Are you looking for a documentary in Africa which is hilarious yet informative and entertaining? Then you may love Beautiful People. The title of this documentary was originally named Animals are Beautiful people and that is what the documentary is all about. It exposes the beauty of wild animals in Namibia (Namib desert) as they interact with their immediate environment. You will wonder just how interesting and beautiful animals can be in their natural environment. The documentary was directed by Jamie Uys.
8. River Monsters
The Congo river is known for some of the most interesting and rare freshwater fish species in the world. Jeremy Wade has taken his time to visit this African Country as well as other countries in search for legendary flesh-eating freshwater fishes. You will get to know some monstrous freshwater fishes that have been implicated to be capable of eating flesh including that of humans. The documentary is quite scary and so you need to be prepared.
9. Predators At War
Africa has wonderful wildlife and the most noticeable are the 5-mega-predators including the lion, the leopard, the cheetah, the hyena and tiger. Jeff Morales takes a look at the deadly game of survival via the minds and the eyes of Africa’s 5-ultimate predators. You will appreciate the hunting tactics employed by the predators as well as the survival tactics used by the prey to escape death in the hands of these mega-predators. You will enjoy this game to the fullest.
10. Trek: Spy on the Wildebeest
Completing our list of the top 10 best TV/video documentary on Africa is “Trek: Spy on the Wildebeest”. Every year over 1.2 million wildebeests move across the wide Tanzanian Serengeti plains and Kenya’s Maasai Mara National park on some 1,800 kilometer circular journey, relentlessly stocked by all the big African predators. Revolutionary spy cameras that are swimming, airborne or disguised as rocks, dung or skulls, reveal the Great Wildebeest Migration from completely new perspectives. It is a two-part film that takes a look at the life of wildebeest from calf up till the time of migration. This documentary was released in 2007 and was written and directed by John Downer.