Each year, thousands of elephants make an incredible journey to the Okavango Delta in Botswana to feed on its lush vegetation, in one of the biggest natural events on the entire planet. WALKING WITH ELEPHANTS follows Levison Wood, a passionate explorer and conservationist, as he is led by these magnificent animals on their annual epic migration across Botswana; a journey fraught with risks and dangers as elephants are coming under more threats than ever before. WALKING WITH ELEPHANTS premieres as a three-hour television event Tuesday, Dec. 15 beginning at 8 PM ET/PT.
WALKING WITH ELEPHANTS gives a deeper understanding of the majestic elephants of Botswana, as Wood follows the migration route from the salt pans of the Kalahari Desert where the journey begins to the nutrient rich lands of the Okavango Delta. Wood and local safari guide Kane Motswana, a San bushman who grew up in the wilds, gives the Animal Planet audience unmatched access to the dangers these resilient animals must overcome – poachers, predatory wildlife and dehydration – to arrive at their destination. But this up-close and first ever on the ground look at this elephant migration doesn’t come without risks; Wood has his own terrifying close calls with wildlife that includes lions, hippos, crocodiles and even the elephants themselves.
Wood, known for his earlier work on “Walking the Nile” and “Walking the Americas”, travels more than 650 miles by foot, as he follows the elephants on their epic migratory route to gain all-new insight into this still mysterious journey – one that the elephants have done for thousands of years, which no person has done on foot. Until now.
Published earlier this month, Wood’s book, The Last Giants: The Rise and Fall of the African Elephant (Grove Atlantic in the U.S.) dives deep into his study of African elephants. Weaving natural science, history, and firsthand accounts, Wood traces the journey of the elephant throughout time and across some of Africa’s most glorious landscapes. African elephants face very troubling realities; droughts and poaching have decimated the population. However, Botswana remains a haven, home to the world’s largest elephant population. In The Last Giants, Wood documents his journey from WALKING WITH ELEPHANTS as he does all he can to raise awareness and the need to protect African elephants.
WALKING WITH ELEPHANTS is produced for Animal Planet by October Films where Managing Director Adam Bullmore serves as executive producer with Alexis Girardet as producer. For Animal Planet, Keith Hoffman is executive producer with Sarah Russell as supervising producer.