How to watch Serengeti – what’s it about and who’s the narrator?

Watch the lives of animals in one of the world's most remarkable environments

Serengeti

This BBC nature documentary examines the lives of animals in the Serengeti, in northern Tanzania.

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The area plays host to 70 large mammal species, including lions, hyenas and wildebeest, and hundreds of bird species, making it a stand-out location for wildlife filming.              


Where can I watch Serengeti?

Serengeti is available on BBC iPlayer.

What is Serengeti about?

The series creators made the unusual choice to partly fictionalise the lives of the animals they filmed. In some cases, the lives of multiple lives are combined into one narrative where they are referred to by the same name. This was intended to create a heightened level of empathy for the animals and bond viewers to their stories.

Series director John Downer described the series as a “dramatised natural history series”.

Explaining the fictional elements, Downer said: “The named characters aren’t always the same animal every time we see them. Sometimes they are the same individual throughout but the more complex storylines are enhanced by behaviour captured of similar animals facing the same real-life challenges.”

Who directed Serengeti? Was CGI used?

Series director John Downer explained that, while some footage had been cut together with older footage, for the sake of dramatising individual animal’s narratives, no CGI was used. He told the BBC: “No animals were created using CGI but occasionally composting techniques, which combine real footage, have been used to help the narrative and the dramatic flow of scenes.”

Who narrates Serengeti?

Despite a smooth performance, many viewers argued that John Boyega (Star Wars) just couldn’t live up to the narration of David Attenborough, who has become synonymous with wildlife documentaries. Some also objected to the elements of fictional narrative which were introduced to spice up the animal’s on-screen lives.

Where is Serengeti filmed?

Serengeti was filmed in the Serengeti conservation area in northern Tanzania. The area is famous for its large lion population and the abundance and variety of wildlife. The annual ‘great migration’ of Wildebeest also marks the area out as extraordinarily significant and has led to its classification as one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world.

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Is there a trailer for Serengeti?

Yes, you can watch it below.