Expedition: Africa follows the exploits of four adventurers as they attempt to re-create the journey of Henry Stanley and his expedition into the heart of Africa to locate the missing Dr. Livingstone.
The journey will take us from Zanzibar, off the east coast of Africa, over 900 miles into the interior, to the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
The premise is for the explorers to re-trace Stanley's journey, following the same route, with Stanley's journal as their guide. Using only the same tools and technology available to Stanley in the 1870's they will attempt to replicate the journey in thirty days rather than the ninety it took Stanley.
Our four explorers are only introduced to each other on the day they are to begin their journey. Pasquale is an experienced expedition leader and navigator. Benedict is a survivalist. Meriya is a wildlife expert. Kevin is a journalist, and will keep a video diary.
The Producers insure that there will be conflict by not naming an expedition leader. It is left to the four individuals to work it out.
The ploy becomes apparent right off the bat as Pasquale wants to take charge but Benedict is not ready to cede control to someone he has never met. They are both A-type personalities accustomed to getting their way.
The show wastes no time in sweeping us up into the adventure. Our explorers rent a dhow to cross the twenty miles from Zanzibar to the east coast of Africa, then immediately gear-up and start on the expedition. The only help they have are several porters, hired to carry their gear, and two knowledgeable Massai warriors, there to help them cope with an attacks by wild animals. The going gets tough right off as they cross a crocodile infested river, and have to scratch, claw, and slog their way through a snake infested mangrove swamp. The camera does a good job of placing the viewer right into the middle of the muck and mud.
Tempers flair on the first day over disagreements as to how much water they should carry, what route to follow through the swamp, and where and when to set up camp. Pasquale, being the navigator, has asserted himself as de-facto leader, but his overbearing personality rubs everyone the wrong way. His chauvinistic remarks to Meriya have insulted her. He has denigrated her abilities without even knowing what she is capable of. By days end tempers are frayed, egos bruised, and the team has only traveled nine miles.
It is apparent that one of the largest problems the expedition will face is whether or not the explorers can put the personality conflicts aside, and work together toward their ultimate goal, or dissolve into fractional in-fighting, which will surely doom the expedition. There is no accepted leader at this point and the journey will only get harder as they trek onward. There is no Tribal Council to resolve issues, there is no immunity, and the dangers are real.
If you ever wanted to know what a journey on foot through the wilds of Africa would be like then this is a show you can't miss.