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Expedition Africa [Blu-ray]

3.1 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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(Oct 27, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From Executive Producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice) Expedition Africa takes viewers on an adventure of epic proportions as four renowned explorers attempt to follow the historic journey of Henry Morton Stanley and his search for the “lost” Dr. David Livingstone in the heart of Africa. HISTORY™ is bringing this adventure back to life in the 21st century. The twist? These modern-day explorers will have to complete the mission with only a compass, maps and Stanley’s journals from the original undertaking. Can these modern-day adventurers survive the harsh and unforgiving African environment and succeed with nothing more than tools from the past? The explorers face dehydration, deadly animals, disease and each other, knowing that any step could be their last.

This 2-disc set includes all eight heart-pounding episodes of the phenomenal adventure series, presented in stunning high definition Blu-ray for the ultimate immersive experience.

Mark Burnett, I presume? The executive producer of Survivor puts his inimitable stamp on this compelling History Channel series that follows four explorers as they endeavor to re-create one of history's greatest adventures, journalist Henry Morton Stanley's 1871 trek into Africa to find missing explorer David Livingstone. Using only a compass and basic maps, navigator Pasquale, survivalist Benedict, journalist Kevin, and wildlife expert Mireya embark on their 970-mile odyssey through jungles and swamps, over mountains (that Stanley had the good sense to go around), across deserts, and along wild rivers. They face killer snakes and ferocious crocs and harsh, brutal conditions. As Mireya states at one point, "You plan and plan and plan and Africa happens." Expedition: Africa is not a contest, but the quartet has a self-imposed a deadline of completing in 30 days what took Stanley nine months. This would be reality enough for anyone, but as with Burnett's Survivor and The Apprentice, the real drama is in the personality clashes that are heightened in interview segments. Pasquale, who has led expeditions up Everest, takes charge of the group and sets a punishing pace. Where Mireya is apt to stop to impart fascinating facts about the flora and fauna, Pasquale is more "Pick the frickin' flower … and let's talk about it down in the bottom." The resourceful Benedict, an "I don't take orders well" type, also clashes with Pasquale. The challenge at the heart of the series is for the individuals to come together as a team. Armchair Indiana Joneses and vicarious travelers will find themselves enthralled by Africa's magnificent landscapes, captured on this Blu-ray edition in stunning high definition. This series could also inspire a drinking game: raise your glass each time someone says "twende" (which means "let's go") or "expedition," as in "we have to take control of the expedition as expeditionists." Bonus feature segments about the making of the series, Stanley's original expedition, the native Masai, Africa's dangers, and survival strategies further immerse viewers in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Mireya opens the door for a sequel when she says at journey's end that she hopes there will be other expeditions. "Twende." --Donald Liebenson

Stills from Expedition: Africa (Click for larger image)

Special Features

  • All eight episodes
  • Behind-the-scenes documentary: Expedition Africa: The Making of History
  • Additional footage: Stanley and Livingstone, The Maasai, Wild Beasts, Disease and the Elements, Survival Strategies, Dangers of the Wild

Product Details

  • Actors: Benedict Allen, Mireya Mayor, Pasquale Scaturro, Kevin Sites, Julius
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, Subtitled, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: English (DTS-HD High Res Audio)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00284EMIM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,658 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Expedition stops every few minutes so that the team can share there feelings/complaints/ fears. After awhile it gets very tiring (perhaps like a real expedition) - but like the Blair Witch Project you find yourself cheering for something to (please) come out of the darkness. The hiking had to be arduous and dangerous - but all of the second guessing and bickering makes for miserable viewing. You wonder if the director scripted some of the drama - or simply encouraged the team to talk about it every five minutes. However, for the excellent footage of the African scenery the dvd set is worth three stars.
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I really thought this would be a great true life adventure program/show, instead it was a long, 30 day hiking trip with the participants doing not much but arguing the whole darn time. It was like a bad reality T.V. show in my opinion and I was ready to see somebody get voted out! There was little about the guides mentioned too and it seemed they were just after thoughts when all said and done during the whole expedition. There was not much in the way of history mentoned along the trip either as I would expect and would have liked. I found it odd too that boats and donkeys were always just available when they were needed in the middle of knowhere. It was a real bad idea adding the part each time the four explorers jumped into a Subaru (sponsor I guess?) that had well panned camera shots of the vehicle before they drove off and around populated areas. May as well had Subaru stickers on their foreheads the whole trip and by the way, what happened to the others in the expedition? Did they get into a cattle truck for their ride or did they get a Subaru too! They just seemed to arrived somehow at the other destination. It also seemed like it was an after thought as well to include the guides and poreters in the celibration at the end of the trip at Ujiji. I would think that Bombay, Sir Richard Burton and Speke's explorer African guide, must have received more kind attenton. Expedition Africa could have been a great program but fell terribly short in my opinion. Bummer!!!
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Tis is the one of the worst shows i have tried to watch in a long time. I lasted for three hours until i refused to watch more. The worst part was the so called wild life expert Mireya Mayor. She decides to wear a sleeveless and nearly backless undershirt that looks like it is 2 sizes too small and intended for a peep show. It looks like she wanted to look like a cheep looking cheer leader romping around trying to get young boys aroused. I tossed my copy in the garbage. This show is boring, tasteless and lacks decor. The scenery is negligible at best. My entire family will sit down and watch RIVER MONSTERS and MAN VS WILD for 2 or 3 hours while eating popcorn or ice cream. We love these types of shows. It would be great if the BBC , DISCOVERY CHANNEL or National Geographic would do a show on the great Livingstone and Stanley episode. Dr. Livingstone i presume? This is really cheesy stuff. You could call it BENNY HILLS GOES TO THE JUNGLE.
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Retracing the steps of H.M. Stanley in his historic 1871 expedition to find Doctor David Livingstone is a notion so rich in possibilities that it's only fair to be amazed at how badly the execution was botched. But botched it was and it starts with the cast of explorers:

The Good: This is Benedict Allen, writer, filmmaker, and "survivalist." Dependable, affable, steady, Allen is the sort of man that once kept the sun from setting on the British Empire.

The Bad: Well, not bad, really, just inexperienced. Kevin Sites is a journalist and the type of hopelessly middle-class American who wants to hug everyone in sight. He sees his task on the expedition as (paraphrasing) "...bringing together different people and cultures..." Sites takes upon himself the duties of union steward to the expedition's African porters. They seem amused by this.

The Ugly: The expedition's incompetent navigator, Pascuale Scatturo is physically repulsive, intellectually retarded, and personally reprehensible. And he will not, not for one moment, shut his mouth. The producers, one can only guess in an attempt at cleverness, failed to name a leader for the expedition, instead throwing together four people who met only the day before they set out from Zanzibar. Not surprisingly, the loud-mouthed Pascuale, much to the others' horror, takes on the lead role for himself. "I've lead hundreds of expeditions..." he boasts to the camera, oblivious to the fact that such a feat would have required him to lead 2 1/2 expeditions every year since he was two. I found myself waiting for the punch line, the denouement, the moment when the lion leaps out of the bush and devours Pascuale; but no such luck is to be had.

The Wild Life Expert: Mireya Mayor.
Read more ›
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I have traveled to Africa many times (South Africa (3), Kenya (3), Mozambique (1) and Zimbabwe (1)) and read a biography on explorer David Livingstone within the past year. Knowing this, a friend recommended this DVD to me.

The concept is great, recreating Stanley's expedition to find Livingstone. But the reality show format gets old quick. There is too much time spent listening to the latest "drama," some of which appears to be made up or exaggerated.

I felt that of the four characters, Benedict and Kevin were weak. Kevin was billed as a seasoned war correspondent. He seemed way out of place and in over his head. So, the billing seems exaggerated. And Benedict just seemed to not be focused or engaged.

I also did not like that much of the journey was covered by car (to be able to cover the 970 mile journey in 30 days).

The travels across Tanzania were interesting enough to get me to finish the DVD. But I was left wanting much more.
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