With unique access to a pristine and unspoilt corner of the Serengeti deep in the heart of Africa, this series captures the drama of the animals’ daily lives and the emotional moments they face. Join the lonely lioness, exiled from the pride, the passionate baboon desperately trying to win back his lost love and the cheeky, fun-loving mongoose family on the lookout for a free lunch. Packed full of humour, heartbreak and nail-biting tension, their captivating adventures will keep you hooked. Using groundbreaking filming techniques and an original music score to put you at the heart of the action, Serengeti brings this incredible world of real-life animal drama to the screen in intimate and breathtaking detail.
Starting Thursday 4th July at 8pm on BBC1
‘Wild Hearts’ – Music Video
It’s the time of plenty, with food in abundance, but a series of unexpected events turns families against each other and stretches relationships to breaking point. Kali a brave lioness and devoted mother of four cubs, has broken the golden rules of family life, by having cubs with an outsider. When she tries to bring the cubs home, her betrayal is exposed and she is forced into exile. Bakari, a passionate male baboon, starts a deep and jealous rivalry after the female he was devoted to is stolen away by the new, more aggressive, leader of the troop. Zalika, a young hyena, loses her mother in a terrifying attack by some rogue male lions and has to assume the leadership of her family. Somehow, she must prove herself ready for such a huge responsibility. Tembo, a teenage elephant questions his place in the family when his mother Nalla, the matriarch of the family, gives birth to a new baby and he is sidelined. Bakari attempts to win back his lost love until tragedy strikes and Kali finds salvation from an unexpected place. Emotions run high as each of the characters struggles to cope with their worlds being turned upside down.
As the Serengeti starts to dry out, competition hots up between the families we were first introduced to in Episode One. The strong females take centre stage, dealing with wayward males and fighting for the survival of their kin. Lioness Kali and her sister are enjoying time with their seven cubs. Together, hunting is much easier and life is good. But their happiness is short lived as they are being tracked by Sefu, a male lion from the pride. He takes their food and then relentlessly pursues them; but what does he want? A new family has moved into the Serengeti; Kike a first-time cheetah mother with three tiny cubs in tow. If her first litter is to survive, she must learn the skills of motherhood fast. Not only must she learn to hunt and keep her cubs safe, but she must keep them away from the other predators who are out to get them.
Bakari the baboon struggles to raise the baby he rescued when its mother was killed and desperately tries to find a female to help him raise his motherless baby. Nalla, the elephant matriarch, is worried for the safety of her baby when a group of huge male elephants come to fight over one of the family’s females. A young female ostrich attempts to raise an enormous brood of chicks whilst being watched by the hungry eyes of the hyena leader, Zalika. As pressure builds, Kali decides that for the sake of her cubs she must confront the male stalker Sefu – but it’s a dangerous decision. Bakari is threatened by the leader of the troop when their rivalry escalates and the baby is put at risk. Will a kind-hearted female called Cheka help him raise the baby? Only the strong survive in the Serengeti, and the mothers are the toughest of the lot.
In this episode, the incredible anticipation of the annual Great Migration is being felt by all of the Serengeti’s families as they wait with great desperation for it to arrive. The land continues to get hotter and hunger start to bite as food becomes ever more scarce for the predators. But life continues, with Kali the lioness and her sister entrusting their cubs to their new male babysitter Sefu, with near disastrous results. Bakari the baboon is shocked when a trip across the river to collect crocodile eggs looks like it will end in tragedy for his new female Cheka and the adopted baby. His rivalry with the troop leader then puts him and the baby in more danger. A family of wild dogs moves in, led by male Jasari. With a huge litter of pups, Jasari is ready to take advantage of the coming feast, but until the migrating herds arrive, it is a struggle to survive.
Shani, a female zebra is leading her family on the great migration. She is forced to stop temporarily to give birth to her foal, but as soon as he can run, they are off again heading towards the great river. When the herds finally arrive at the river, they find it teeming with crocodiles and zebra mother Shani has to decide how and when she can take her newborn foal across the treacherous water. Lying in wait and watching them carefully is a large mother crocodile, who is determined to eat them if they try. With the Great Migration now in full flow, there are winners and losers on both sides. The awe-inspiring spectacle it brings are part of the deep seasonal rhythms that govern all life in the Serengeti.
In this episode, the long awaited arrival of the Great Migration brings opportunities and food in abundance but it also increases conflict as every one of the Serengeti’s families is put to the test. Tragedy strikes for lioness Kali who is forced to make one of the most difficult decisions of her life. Can she return to the pride who once forced her out? Whatever she decides, it will put her cubs in danger. Shani, the zebra mother, has no choice but to cross the river, but the crocodile is waiting and the currents are treacherous. Will her foal survive? Bakari is finally forced to challenge the jealous leader of the baboon troop, but the violence of their confrontation leaves Bakari facing a devastating decision that will change his destiny. The wild dog family, led by male Jasari, is also facing a battle when Zalika and her clan of hyenas declare war on the young family, hoping to force them out of their territory. A long running feud begins…
When teenage elephant Tembo behaves badly and falls out with another herd, his mother Nalla has to decide his future. How will both Nalla and Tembo handle the difficult decisions they are forced to make?
The dry season is now upon the animals of the Serengeti, the toughest of times for some but a food bonanza for others. The increasing drought turns the waterhole into a death trap for the herds, but for the lions it’s a gift and Kali and her cubs are finally able to enjoy life back in the heart of the pride. Jasari and his wild dog family are under siege from Zalika and her hyena clan, so they must train their pups to fight back if they are going to survive. The black-maned male lions return and kill two cubs from Zalika’s clan, but this is just the start of their murderous campaign.
Bakari the baboon is living in exile from the troop but spies the leader bullying his adopted baby. When a huge storm ignites a devastating fire, the wild dogs are separated from their pups and struggle to save them. When it threatens the troop, Bakari returns to save the baby. The black-maned lions attack the pride and Kali is once again forced to flee for her life. As the fire takes hold and the tinder dry Serengeti is consumed by flames, who will survive and how will the land ever recover?
In this final episode, it’s time to close another chapter in the lives of the animals of the Serengeti, the end of an extraordinary year for them all. But first, all around is a blackened smoking wasteland, the aftermath of the huge fire. Which of the families made it out alive and who is still missing? Torrential rain brings hope and the land is reborn into a green paradise as water quenches the scorched earth. Mirroring the changes in the landscape, the cycle of death and rebirth comes to the fore as the Serengeti’s elders prepare their young for adulthood and a life on their own.
Lioness Kali is alive, but one of her three cubs is missing. Kike the cheetah returns and must train her grown up cubs to survive on their own. The short lush grasslands make the perfect training grounds for her lessons of survival. She teaches them to stalk, chase and trip their prey. A giraffe, grieving over the unexplained death of her calf, interrupts the cubs’ training regime. Leader of the wild dogs Jasari is also showing his pups how to survive on their own, but when he teaches them to fight off hyenas they too are interrupted by the grieving giraffe.
In the flooded river, elephant matriarch Nalla’s baby struggles in the torrents. Bakari returns when a huge fight with a rival baboon troop threatens his family and he shows his bravery once more. Kali has yet more surprises in store which bring hope for her and her pride’s future. Kike has to leave her cubs and hope that they are ready for independence. With the death of an old male elephant, all the families come together and old rivalries end in a remarkable truce. With a new regime in place among the baboons, the harmony of nature is restored and for now, the future is bright for the families of the Serengeti.