Top Gear

Season 19 Episode 7

Africa Special: Part 2

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Mar 10, 2013 on BBC Two
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Episode Summary


In the second part of the African special, Jeremy, James and Richard travel through Rwanda and Tanzania. After a perilous river crossing and many punctures, their adventure reaches a dramatic climax as they race against each other, on foot, to claim the glory of discovering the true source of the River Nile.


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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • This week's audience figures are 6 million - 1.28 million of whom watched on BBC HD - giving Top Gear a 20.4% audience share.

      These figure are 'overnight' figures and do not include iPlayers figures.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • James May: If Richard Hammond beats me in this race, he will be knighted by the queen. She will say 'arise Sir Richard. Oh, you already have'.

    • Jeremy Clarkson: Americans... I don't know why, but American tourists - and I know we're watched in America, we're not saying you're all like this, but when you travel, you're hysterical.

    • James May: D'you know, I'm going to put my hand on my heart and say that this is the best Top Gear adventure we have ever had. It's a noble quest in a truly stunningly beautiful country full of utterly hospitable people.

    • Jeremy Clarkson: I don't know how James is going to cope with this because he can only concentrate on one thing at a time. And when he's driving, that is normally an obscure poet.

  • NOTES (1)

    • In the end credits, the presenters are listed as:

      Dr. Clarkson, I Presume?
      Dr. Hammond, I Presume?
      Dr. May, I Presume?

      All crew members are also listed similarly.


    • Dr. Clarkson, I Presume?

      This refers to the famous quotation from Henry Stanley, a newspaper reporter, who was sent to find Dr. David Livingstone in 1871.

      In 1864, Livingstone has returned to Africa to explore the continent's interior and find the source of the River Nile.

      Many years passed without word from Livingstone. Back home, in Great Britain, rumours about his whereabouts were rife. Some believed he was being held captive. Some feared he was lost or dead.

      The fascination from the British public was so great, that the story made its way across the Atlantic and captured the imagination of George Bennett, publisher of the New York Herald. It was he who commissioned Henry Stanley to travel to Africa to find Livigstone.

      On 21st March 1871, Stanley left with 200 men for the eastern shore of Africa. He travelled inland... eventually, eight months later, he arrived in a village called Ujiji in Tanzania. It was here that a man named Susi introduced himself to Stanley as Dr. Livingstone's servant. Susi took Stanley to meet Livigstone.

      This is what Stanley wrote about the moment he was about to meet Livingstone:

      As I advanced slowly toward him I noticed he was pale, looked wearied, had a grey beard, wore a bluish cap with a faded gold band round it, had on a red-sleeved waistcoat and a pair of grey tweed trousers. I would have run to him, only I was a coward in the presence of such a mob, - would have embraced him, only, he being an Englishman, I did not know how he would receive me; so I did what cowardice and false pride suggested was the best thing, - walked deliberately to him, took off my hat, and said, 'Dr. Livingstone, I presume?'