The producers of Life, Galapagos and Yellowstone bring us The Great Rift. Visible from space, Africa’s Great Rift Valley runs four thousand miles from the Red Sea to the mouth of the Zambezi – a diverse landscape of erupting volcanoes, forest-clad mountains, spectacular valleys, rich grasslands, vast lakes and mighty rivers. Home to the greatest concentration of animals on earth – lions, crocodiles, elephants, hippos and flocks of flamingos – and pastoralists such as the Maasi – this is a land of constant geographical turmoil. It will take you to another world – a world of exotic extremes, where the forces of nature have shaped the landscape and so created a hotbed of evolution. It is the very cradle of mankind.


Spectacular landscape and wildlife photography, including glimpses of previously unknown species, enliven this BBC documentary series about the Great Rift Valley, a massive and unique ecological zone that stretches across Eastern Africa. Hugh Quarshie narrates this three-part examination that focuses on game herds of the savannah, the wildlife of Tanzania’s highlands, and the plant and animal life of the region’s volcanic mountains.

The three episodes are themed and titled as such: “Fire,” “Water,” and “Grass.” Each of them at least go over briefly about what the Great Rift is and how it was formed: by a plume of lava that pushed up on the middle of Africa and essentially formed cracks at the edges of the plume which eventually created great big volcanoes and valleys and all sorts of geographical wonders. Really though, it’s just a big valley with some zoological favorites inhabiting it. The filmmakers introduce us to some of these creatures and teach us how they interact with each of their unique habitats.

The Blu-Ray comes with a making-of featurette at the end of each section. But, it’s only ten minutes long and covers the basics. When it’s all said and done, it’s a rather basic TV on Blu-Ray presentation for a nature documentary mini-series. The A/V Quality is impressive with a flawless 1080p transfer matched by HD-lossless audio. I couldn’t quite peg it as TrueHD audio, as the receiver kept saying it was a master audio mix. In the end, I’d recommend a cautious purchase.



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