Africa

9:00pm Wednesday 16 January on BBC ONE

The Congo rainforest is one of the most competitive habitats on Earth, which means its residents must fine remarkable ways to adapt to their crowded living space.

Deep in the jungle a sweet-toothed female chimpanzee is filmed for the first time using a complex array of tools to access honey from a bees’ nest. One of David Attenborough’s favourites, the elusive and mysterious Picathartes bird, feeds its nest of dinosaur-like chicks with unsuspecting frogs.

A massive female python reveals her maternal side as she sunbathes to incubate her eggs before tending to her new babies, filmed in a specially constructed filming burrow. Smaller residents – tiny leaf-folding frogs – battle it out kung-fu style before laying their precious eggs in folded blades of grass.

And as darkness falls, the forest elephants gather under cover of darkness to socialise and to battle rivals.

Eye To Eye goes behind the scenes on the trail of the elusive honey-hunting chimp deep into the jungle. And cameraman James Aldred describes a night up a tree being shaken by a bull elephant.

Ep 3/6

9:00pm Wednesday 9 January on BBC ONE

From dense forests , to snow-capped peaks, steamy swamps to endless savannah, East Africa is a haven for life, supporting a higher density of large mammals than anywhere else on Earth. It’s also a land of unpredictable extremes where, in order to survive, creatures must adapt to the environment.

In an incredible TV first, the Africa team travels to the rocky outcrops of the Serengeti, in Tanzania, to film a tiny lizard as it risks its life to eat flies from a sleepy lion’s face. The nesting habits of the four-foot-tall shoebill – one of the most bizarre-looking birds in Africa – is also filmed for the first time. The giant bird has two chicks but, due to extreme sibling rivalry, only one will survive.

On the sun-parched plains of Amboseli, the extreme weather conditions take their toll – a baby elephant dies in the drought and its mother leaves the herd to stay with her offspring until the end.

Eye To Eye goes behind the scenes with an expedition to the summit of the Ruwenzori Mountains. And the heart-rending reality of filming the dying baby elephant is explained.

Ep 2/6

9:00pm Wednesday 2 January on BBC ONE

David Attenborough takes a breathtaking journey through the vast and diverse continent of Africa as it’s never been seen before.

From the soaring Atlas Mountains to the Cape of Good Hope, the brooding jungles of the Congo to the raging Atlantic Ocean, filmed over four years, Africa explores the whole continent, uncovering an astonishing array of previously unknown places, bizarre new creatures and extraordinary behaviours.

Using the latest in filming technology, including remote HD cameras, BBC One takes an animals’ eye view of the action. The journey begins in the Kalahari, Africa’s ancient southwest corner, where two extraordinary deserts sit side by side and even the most familiar of its creatures have developed ingenious survival techniques.

Clever meerkats are outsmarted by a wily bird’s use of mimicry; remote infrared cameras catch the familiarly solitary rhino exhibiting previously unseen sociable behaviour; terrifying giant insects prey on baby birds; while in a previously unexplored cave, the rarest fish in the world is filmed for the first time.

The neighbouring Namib desert receives almost no rain but instead makes do with a vaporous vanishing fog. The harshness of life here means there is acute competition for scant resources, even between the seemingly gentler residents. In an astonishing television first, the Africa team capture a ferocious fight for supremacy between desert giraffes.

Eye to Eye goes behind the scenes at a secret location to witness probably the last great rhino gathering on Earth. Using specially build HD starlight-sensitive cameras, the crew captures never-seen-before rhino behaviour. It also reveals how the remarkable footage of the battling giraffes was achieved.

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