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NHFU Features In Latest Multimillion-Dollar Netflix Nature Series

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

Every once in a while, along comes a nature series made by true masters of their craft, packed with visuals that must be seen to be believed, and guided by our unanimously elected spokesperson for the natural world. On June 14th, Netflix is set to release a series that—if its impressive lineage is anything to go by—will tick all of these boxes.

In Botswana’s wild North lies a treeless expanse stretching from horizon to horizon. The remains of an ancient paleolake, this is Mababe—and it would otherwise be a largely lifeless place were it not for the geological forces slowly but surely ripping Africa in two. Every so often, when the summer rains swell the Savuti River, fault lines guide the waters towards Mababe, giving rise to a wetland spanning over a thousand hectares. But the life of this wetland is brief, with much of the water disappearing just a few months later as the dry season takes hold. Yet in its wake, expansive plains of green grasslands spring up, setting the scene of a battle for survival so epic that it features as the opening sequence—captured by the NHFU—in Netflix’s latest landmark series, Our Planet II.

From the Emmy award-winning team that brought you Planet Earth and Our Planet comes the next chapter in a series that has already left audiences transfixed. Awarding Our Planet 4 out of 5 stars, the Guardian commended the series for placing a strong “emphasis on the fragility and interconnectedness of all the species and eco-systems on display...” as well as acknowledging “the huge impact humanity has had on them in so short a time.”

Bringing to life a story of spectacular behaviours pitted against the reality of the pressures that humans are placing on the natural environment was always going to be an ambitious task. Especially as audiences struggle to navigate a world of information overload and fake news. Which is why the production team turned to one of the few voices that we’d trust to speak on behalf of the natural world: Sir David Attenborough.

Now, in Our Planet II, Sir David Attenborough returns to guide us through the world of animal migrations. According to Netflix, this stunning new docuseries will explore how migrations are not only vital to the animal kingdom’s ability to feed, reproduce, and find shelter but are also integral to the health and posterity of our planet. Unfortunately, with the looming dangers of climate change, these migration journeys are riskier than ever before.

Back in Mababe, the NHFU—led by award-winning filmmaker Brad Bestelink—was selected to capture the extraordinary hunting behaviour of Africa’s biggest cats for Our Planet II. Let me paint you a picture. It’s September, the peak of the hottest, driest time of the year. Yet the life-giving waters of the Savuti River have transformed Mababe into a sea of lush grasslands. The sounds of snorting, stomping, and grunting fill the air as Cape Buffalo gather in the thousands. Weighing in at almost a ton and armed with a metre-wide set of horns, a single buffalo is a formidable force. Now imagine hundreds lumbering across the Mababe Depression. But this incredible abundance of prey hasn’t gone unnoticed. On their heels, haunting their every move, wait prides of African lions. Even for these predators, tackling such a large and dangerous target could potentially be fatal. These lions will have to rely on teamwork and experience. As the lions close in, probing the herd for weaknesses, the buffalos turn and charge their pursuers, sending plumes of dust into the air. It is into this exhilarating arena that the NHFU heads. The biggest challenge will be positioning their state-of-the-art camera equipment in just the right place at just the right time if the cats make a strike.

It’s a game of patience that requires the crew to spend days exposed to the blazing heat. But soon, patience and determination pay dividends. As the lion pride closes in on a lone buffalo, the crew races to get their RED-V Raptor, Shotover F1, and drone cameras into position. Suddenly, a big pride male leaps up, attempting to force his opponent to the ground. But this buffalo isn’t giving up without a fight. And to find out how this astounding event unfolded, head on over to Netflix on June 14th, 2023, to tune in to the opening sequence of Our Planet II.

The NHFU is deeply honoured to have collaborated with Netflix on this exciting new series, and we hope it serves as a powerful reminder of how deeply interconnected our lives are with the natural world. In the words of Carl Sagan, “Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. You are, by accident of fate, alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.” Let the powerful stories captured in Our Planet II move you to action.

By Nick Roosen

Our Planet II airs on Netflix on 14 June 2023.


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