First transmitted in 1965, David Attenborough follows the River Zambezi from its source in the centre of Africa 2,000 miles to the Indian Ocean.
Part 1: Lord of the Land
At the start of his journey, Attenborough meets some of the people and animals that have made their home along the river in Zambia.
He is invited to witness the Kuomboka festival, featuring the Litunga, chief of the Lozi people of western Zambia, and his people. In the festival they migrate from Lealui to Limalunga, before Lealui is flooded by the Zambezi.
The spectacular ceremony consists of a fleet of barges, many containing the Lotungas possessions, making the journey up the river accompanied by heavy drumming of the royal Maoma drums.
Other highlights include David Attenborough joining the Litunga as he opens the court and presides over the inauguration ceremony.
Part 2: The Ancient Highway
This episode begins at Victoria Falls, the largest waterfall in the world. At the foot of the falls, with its moist climate, a wealth of plants and animals can be found, such as hyraxes. To coax the hyraxes out of hiding, David Attenborough illustrates why taking a dog whistle with you while on an African adventure is a very good idea indeed. Other highlights encountered on the way include an estivating lungfish and a herd of elephants washing and dust bathing at a water hole.Further along his journey David Attenborough explores a Portuguese fortress at Tete, believed to have been built over 400 years ago, and assesses the impact of the then newly constructed Kariba Dam, one of the largest dams in the world, on the displaced Tonga people and surrounding countryside.
Part 3: Livingstone’s River
David Attenborough starts his journey in Sesheke, on the northern bank of the Zambezi river in the Western Province of Zambia. Retracing Livingstones Zambezi expedition takes him from Sesheke to Victoria Falls, named by Livingstone in honour of Queen Victoria, through to Zumbo and Tete in Mozambique.Using extracts from Dr Livingstones journal David Attenborough revisits African traditions and ceremonies that shocked Livingstone at the time, such as a masked dance featuring the Makishi devil.