Here’s what the cast of Call the Midwife got up to in South Africa

Helen George, Stephen McGann and the gang visited vineyards, climbed mountains and watched dolphins during filming for the 2016 Christmas special

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The nuns and nurses of Nonnatus House are poised to return to the cobbled streets of Poplar. They have been in South Africa, filming upcoming scenes from the Christmas special, but we can now confirm that filming wraps this week.

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The festive episode will see the Nonnatons head overseas after receiving an “SOS from a tiny mission hospital faced with closure.”

Filming on location has been tough work for the show’s cast. There’s no doubt their storylines at Hope Clinic Mission Hospital are difficult.

“The team are both shaken and exhilarated by the challenges they face – and by the time the mission trip is over, some lives are permanently changed,” teases the BBC. But thankfully the gang also found time to have a little fun.

Here’s Stephen McGann, who plays Doctor Turner, finding time to snap a selfie in the sunshine:

While Victoria Yeates, who stars as Sister Winifred, marvelled at the view from her Cape Town base:

The gang were working weekends to film the festive special, but, as Helen George – aka Nurse Trixie – revealed on Instagram, it wasn’t so bad…

Working on a Saturday has it's perks in South Africa

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The cast also had days off to enjoy their spectacular surroundings, whether they chose to get out of breath…

Mess around on boats…

Hang out with dolphins…

Sample local plonk…

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Or wander through cactus forests.

🌵

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They also met up after shooting to eat together by the seashore:

It’s a tough life, eh?

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The cast of Call the Midwife will finish filming the Christmas special and upcoming episodes, which will see the return of Miranda Hart’s Chummy, in the UK later this year.