What to watch on National Geographic this Summer

Cinematographer Tom Fitz stands semi-submerged in the ocean waters of Biscayne National Park, filming the bird life and the surrounding mangrove coastline landscape. (photo credit: National Geographic/Phoebe Fitz)

Do you want to feast your eyes on some of the best programming and content that is due to arrive on screen this summer? I was one of 50 selected media to join a live stream today, to showcase National Geographic’s new slate of programmes in the coming weeks. As a surprise, we were honoured to have none other than Bear Grylls, as a special guest, who answered questions about his National Geographic show called “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge.”

The Walt Disney Company Africa announced the upcoming content slate for both National Geographic and National Geographic Wild for Spring/Summer 2022, with channels that now broadcast in high-definition. With a promise to ignite the explorer in all of us, and with a 133-year legacy, viewers across the continent will also be able to immerse themselves in the very latest and ground-breaking storytelling in stunning high definition for the very first time, taking them further than ever before.

Featuring the best and brightest scientists, explorers, photographers and filmmakers in the world, the coming months’ content highlights offer something for everyone, as several new natural history series, feature documentaries, and programming stunts, will showcase the wonder of the natural world, take them on exhilarating adventures and illuminate historical figures who epitomize the strength and triumphs of humankind.

Team Sayari L – R- Mysha Hodson, Adarsh Nagda, Railey Mugo Mwai, Shanah Serena Manjeru, Marita Nyambura Lucas

In National Geographic’s first locally produced pan-African children’s production, Team Sayari, viewers will follow a group of young conservationists, along with Akili – an AI computer represented as a large DNA helix – as they become Africa’s protectors, working from a fun and high-tech base known as Sayari basecamp. Airing each Saturday at 13:00, Team Sayari premieres on Saturday, 24 September and each episode promises adventures and investigative missions, visiting exciting places across Africa, meeting interesting people, sharing knowledge about the continent’s biodiversity and exploring the need to become champions for conservation.

Host: Elana Afrika Bredenkamp with Bear Grylls

Fan-favourite survivalist Bear Grylls is back with Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge. Premiering on National Geographic on Wednesday 28 September at 21:00, Bear takes the daring adventures up a level by teaching celebrity guests, such as Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Simu Liu, Anthony Anderson and others, essential survival skills that they will have to master and then prove they can use in a high-stress situation.

Wooden gravestones of the Merry Cemetery in Sapanta, lit with candles and decorated with flowers on All Saints Day. (National Geographic)

Viewers will enjoy a new perspective of Europe through the changing seasons across a year in Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Romania, Serbia and Scotland when Season 4 of Europe from Above premieres on Wednesdays at 19:00, from 28 September, revealing how tradition, engineering and natural wonders have shaped this fascinating continent, in a vibrant portrait of the region and the people who keep it alive.

Presenter Ella Al-Shamahi with wall with Egyptian hieroglyphs. (Blink Films)

In Lost Treasures Of Arabia, premiering Friday 28 October at 19:00, we investigate Al Ula’s unsolved mysteries and unravel the many dramas that played out on this ancient stage. This television special reveals the historical heritage, exquisite natural assets and the immense legacy of art that continues to inspire future generations in this middle eastern city.

King Tutankhamen, or King Tut as he is commonly known today, was relatively unknown to the world until 1922, when his tomb was discovered by Howard Carter 100 years ago. To celebrate the centennial anniversary of this remarkable find, National Geographic will premiere Tut’s Toxic Tomb on Friday 18 & 25 November at 19:00, with library content King Tut in Color, on Friday 4 November at 19:00 and Tut’s Treasures, The Golden Pharaoh on Friday 11 November at 19:00, to further explore the many facets of the great Pharoah’s life and legacy.

In November, two sumptuous programmes will take the adventure from the wilderness into the kitchen. In Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted Showdown, premiering Wednesdays at 21:00 from 9 November, the multi-Michelin star chef and Ironman athlete Ramsay, faces off against those closest to him, including going head-to-head with his daughter Tilly, in a culinary showdown. Later that month, Navy veteran Big Moe Cason leaves his culinary comforts behind and embarks on an epic journey to seek out the most mouth-watering dishes cooked over an open flame. World Of Flavour With Big Moe Cason premieres on Wednesdays at 21:00 from 30 November, exploring the connections between American barbecue and cultures around the world.

Dr. Ferguson and Dr. Hodges put their heads together and work as a team on a case. (National Geographic/Sean Grevencamp)

Meanwhile, 100 miles south of Atlanta, Dr. Hodges and Dr. Ferguson are two longtime friends who own and operate the Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital. Between emergency visits to the office and farm calls throughout rural Georgia, the Critter Fixers and their loving staff are constantly bombarded with unique cases only seen in the country. Critter Fixers Season 2 premieres on Fridays at 18:00 from 11 November on National Geographic Wild.

For the world’s top adventure athletes, the line between triumph and tragedy is sometimes razor thin. The epic 10-part series, Edge Of The Unknown by Academy Award®-Winning executive producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, will take audiences inside the minds of pioneering adventure athletes as they recount the most consequential moments of their lives on their journey to perfect the mastery of their craft, will premiere Sundays at 21:00 from 25 December on National Geographic.

Host: Elana Afrika Bredenkamp, with Christine Service and Tracy-Ann Van Rooyen of The Walt Disney Company Africa.

“The exciting line up of National Geographic programming delivers on our core purpose to tell exceptional stories that ignite wonder and inspiration for people of all ages, enabling them to better understand the world and their place in it,” said Christine Service, Senior Vice President and General Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa. “We can’t wait to bring these wildly entertaining documentary series, feature documentary films and extraordinary natural history shows from the best storytellers in the world to viewers across the continent, and especially in HD for the very first time.”

To view programming schedules, click here.

How to tune in:

National Geographic

DSTV: Channel 181

StarSat: 220 on DTH, 220 on DTT (249 on DTT in Uganda)

National Geographic Wild

DSTV: Channel 182

StarSat: 221 on DTH, 221 on DTT (249 on DTT in Uganda)

Note: Programming dates are subject to change.

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