Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday March 25, 2020 


South African zoologist and ranger Liesl Eichenberger is our guide driving through the savannahs of the Kalahari, in search of 'The Big Five' animals of South Africa's wilderness reserves. Considered to be Africa's most dangerous animals, they are the lion, the leopard, the Cape buffalo, the rhino and the elephant.

Review by Louise Keller:
You may get better close ups of the animals in wild life documentaries, but Wild Safari 3D, offers us a sense of being there. The first wildlife documentary to be filmed in 3D, the film takes us on a 3,000 mile ride in the back of a jeep, through the game reserves of South Africa. And of course, there's the impact of the giant Imax screen, which allows us to almost smell the dusty air.

For those who dream of driving through Africa in search of wild animals in their own habitat, this may be as close as you get. With zoologist/ranger Liesl Eichenberger at the wheel, our vantage point is from the back of a large open top 4WD, as we adventure down dirt tracks and through thick bushland. Even experienced trackers sometimes have difficulty finding the species of animals they are looking for, and we get clues along the way, such as animals heading for a water hole. There's a herd of elephants drinking their fill and trunks come in handy to dust off the parasites. A baby elephant plays close to its mother and manipulates its little trunk, as though it has discovered a new toy.

The African musical rhythms are compelling in this context and add to the anticipation as we search for buffaloes, rhinos, leopards and lions. Various trackers assist in helping us located the animals. Throughout, there's a sense of immediacy and we feel vulnerable.

It's informative, exhilarating and visually spectacular.

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NARRATION: Chuck Hargrove

PRODUCER: Ben Stassen, Charlotte Clay Huggins, Caroline Van Iseghem

DIRECTOR: Ben Stassen

SCRIPT: Ben Stassen

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Sean MacLeod Phillips

EDITOR: Tom Kugler, Wade Bartlett

MUSIC: Peter Soldan


RUNNING TIME: 45 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 8, 2005 (Sydney/Melbourne)

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