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.
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