What to expect in Episode 4 of 50│50 (the 30th Anniversary Season) on 16 September 2013.
Lions return to Mountain Zebra National Park
The Mountain Zebra National Park, in the enchanting landscape of the Eastern Cape, was established in 1937 to preserve the last 17 remaining mountain zebras on earth. With support from, among others, 50|50 and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, the park has increased in size and so has the zebra population, which is now at 800 individuals! Cheetahs were re-introduced to the park in 2007 and brown hyaenas a year later. Now it is time for the lions… we follow the re-introduction of three lions into the park which will hopefully restore a natural balance between predator and prey. How will the cheetahs (of which there are only five) cope with the new arrivals? Will the precious mountain zebras become a favourite prey for the lions?
A group of enthusiastic post-matric students from Treverton journey along the length of the Umkomaas River from source to sea, raising awareness about water-related issues. The GAP programme, which stands for Growth, Adventure and Preparation, has been running since 1986, giving young men and women the chance to take time after school to equip themselves for life. This story follows a group of post-matrics who adventure through rocky mountains, along rural roads and over white rapids, hiking, cycling and kayaking from the start to finish of the Umkomaas. On the way they perform water-quality tests to check how pollution levels have affected the river fauna and flora. They stop at rural schools to help raise awareness about water management and conservation, giving lessons about water in the natural environment and the impact of humans on its availability and quality. Join them on this journey of self-discovery as they face difficult challenges and learn about how their lifestyles and habits influence water quality in their environment.
We take a trip to Mashatu Game Reserve, located in the Tuli Block, Botswana. The reserve has opened a one-of-a-kind photography hide. Situated beside a waterhole, the hide is sunk into the ground so that visitors are at eye level with the water. From this unusual vantage point you can observe the animals towering over you as they splash and drink in the water less than seven metres away. The waterhole attracts large elephant herds and other wildlife such as predators, antelope and amazing birdlife. The unique perspective, proximity to water and low angle of the hide provides an excellent new opportunity for wildlife photographers to capture amazing wildlife moments. The 50|50 camera crew get close and personal with some majestic creatures and bring you some beautiful footage from the hide.
A large African rock python bags a giant meal and another catches some fast food in the form of a colourful bee-eater. In other quarters, it’s a case of reptilian wars with a Cape cobra eating a puff adder and a spotted bush snake battling a Wahlberg’s velvet gecko.
All photos © 50|50