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National Geographic Video: Africa's Animal Oasis [VHS]

5 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

National Geographic Video: Africa's Animal Oasis [VHS] + National Geographic Video: Eternal Enemies: Lions and Hyenas [VHS] + National Geographic's Land of the Tiger [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Nat'l Geographic Vid
  • VHS Release Date: July 11, 1997
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304473826
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,877 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Journey to the heart of Africa - Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater. Here abundant plant life and a year-round supply of fresh water transform an extinct volcanic crater into a spectacular wildlife oasis. Discover the dazzling concentration of animals such as wildebeest, zebras, flamingoes, elephants, and rhinos who flourish from the crater's bounty. Their compact presence makes this natural amphitheater a predator's paradise, where each day brings an intense battle for survival. Witness the birth of a wildebeest calf who must be on its feet within minutes or fall prey to resident carnivores. Follow the call of hyena clans on the hunt as they search out their next meal. And feel the tension mount as 280 pounds of lion takes on three tons of hippo. You'll experience the splendor of the natural world as never before in AFRICA'S ANIMAL OASIS.

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Upon the African continent lies Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater, the middle of an extinct volcano with conditions so optimal for animal life that there are 20,000 beasts crowded into it. But the very conditions that allow the animal population in general to thrive also make it difficult for the individual to survive. This drama is played out time and again in this 55-minute video, as viewers watch a nervy lioness enter a hippo enclave to make a meal of one of their dead or as hyenas attack and kill a cub from a rival family. Newborn wildebeest are up on their feet within minutes of birth, running within the half-hour, and yet one in four will perish. Photographers capture images of the Masai who (legally) bring their herds into the protected area for water with apparently little effect. Juxtaposed are images of picnicking tourists on the canyon rim laughing as aggressive birds steal their sandwiches. The documentarians don't hesitate to indict the visitors and the 100 vehicles a day they bring to the canyon rim for threatening the isolation of this unusual place and its wild way of life. --Kimberly Heinrichs

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Yan Gluzberg on January 3, 2001
This is one of the best documentaries on Ngorongoro Crater's wildlife. The footage is spectacular, the place is magnificent, and the wildlife drama is exciting. We experience the trials of predators and prey in this magnificent and unique corner of Africa. The filmmaker also addresses the impact we make on this African paradise. We see multitudes of safari vehicles that surround the wildlife, birds stealing food from travelers, life-stock grazing in the crater. I strongly recommend this video to anyone interested in African wildlife.
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This one hour video provides a good overview of the inhabitants of the African plains ecology by focusing on a relatively small region with a fairly dense wildlife population, the Ngorongoro crater. As explained in the video, this crater, ten miles across, supports permanent populations of many species by virtue of its year round water supply.

The video covers a wide range of species, with at least a few minutes spent on each of wildebeest, zebras, flamingos, acacia trees, jackals, hippos, and visiting storks and elephants. Lions and hyenas, as the dominant predators, get somewhat more time; vultures get less because, unlike most of Africa, they aren't common here, since the Ngorongo predator populations are high enough here that little is left over for scavengers.

The video also shows various interactions between the species: several hunts by lions for wildebeest, for example, as well as one by hyenas and one hostile encounter between two hyena clans. The last is slightly gruesome when an unfortunate hyena is caught by the enemy clan and ends up trailing some of its entrails. In the hunting scenes, one may end up rooting for the mother wildebeest and rhino that defend their young against the hyenas; the baby rhino is also pretty cute when it tries to charge the hyenas itself. Subtler conflicts, such as flies which in earlier years decimated the lion population, are covered as well.

The video generally keeps the focus on the animals, avoiding the occasionally boring scientist interviews found in some other nature videos by putting the information into the voiceover instead.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By RG Wade on May 17, 2002
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If, like me, you're going there, you'll want to see this documentary; but it's nothing out of the ordinary.
Try "Eternal Enemies: Lions & Hyenas" for something special.
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By JulyUnique on November 20, 2012
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This National Geographic film is wonderful! I teach high school science and the kids love this video! Integrating Nat Geo films in our curriculum has been great for the students. They appeal to audio and visual learners and teach kids valuable lessons about human impact on the biosphere!
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By Ichewkola on September 3, 2004
This is a to predictable image of Africa. Why must Americans always treat AFrica like a giant zoo?
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