The picture many of us have in our minds when someone says “Africa” is an arid land filled with starving or AIDS inflicted people who are probably in the middle of some sort of civil war. Nothing could be further from the truth. While all those things are true in certain locations in others it is the polar opposite. The continent of Africa is beautiful. In every definition of the word. The landscapes are lush, bright and filled with vibrancy.

Taking four years to make and covering twenty seven countries, very few outfits make the type of high quality documentaries/series as BBC does. This is another one which sheds some light on a region on Earth.  In-depth, easy to follow and beautiful to look at. The continent in a way you’ve never seen it before.

Episode 1: Kalahari: Kalahari is the African word for land of great thirst. Fitting as it is a desert region. Located in the southwest area of the continent where two deserts sit side by side. Water is a precious commodity. Despite all this, it is an area in which something is always going on. Laugh at bird outsmarting a group of meerkats for food. Laugh even louder at a male rhinos pathetic and ultimately fruitless attempts at mating with a female rhino in the dark.

Episode 2: Savannah: Located in the eastern part of the continent it is an area which is in a constant state of change. Adapting to this ever-changing environment is key to the survival of different animals in this area. They have to be able to deal with wet as well as dry, hot as well as cold and plenty of food as well as precious little.

Episode 3: Congo: Right in the heart of Africa is the Congo. A rainforest that is teeming with life, the Congo will have at any one moment chimpanzees stealing food from other species, the rarely seen Picathartes bird have to deal with the demands of their young, really small frogs have to hide their eggs under blades of grass to ensure their survival, and large groups of elephants meet in a kind of social event.

Episode 4: Cape: The oceans are important to Africa. In southeast Africa the Agulhas is important to that area’s survival, to the west it is the frigid waters of the Benguela that is home to a massive amount of sharks and where the two meet is what is most interesting.

Episode 5: Sahara: The Sahara is the greatest desert on the Earth. Situated in the north of Africa, it is immense (about the size of the U.S.) and the sun seems to constantly beat down on it. It is said not to rain in this area for up to fifty years at a time. Follow the daily lives of the species that live here like the zebra, mole rats and silver ants.

Episode 6: The Future: Africa is the continent in which humans have lived longer than anywhere else on the planet. There are a billion humans living in Africa. It is probably at its capacity. If humans don’t pay attention some of the iconic African species of animals can start disappearing.

Special Features: Interviews, Making of Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes