Africa

 
Fascinating hi-def documentary has some intensity, too.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Viewers are able to observe animal behavior and glimpse remote corners of the vast continent, learning how the inhabitants of one of some of the harshest environments in the world survive the elements. There's something to learn in every story told.

Positive messages

The series exposes viewers to the diverse nature of the African continent, touching on animal adaptation, geological history, and evolution as they relate to the modern landscape. Though environmental issues aren't referenced specifically, the content does encourage thought about how humans interact with the natural world as well as other factors that have helped shape modern-day Africa. Some animals' stories have themes that translate to humans as well, like brains over brawn and forming symbiotic relationships.

Positive role models
Not applicable
Violence & scariness

Animals kill and eat prey, sometimes in bloody ways. Territorial fights leave the players bruised and battered. There are some surprise appearances or tense moments that might startle viewers, especially young kids.

Sexy stuff

Many references to mating practices, and some scenes show animals preparing for the act (a male rhinoceros mounts a female, for instance).

Language

Rare use of "hell."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Africa is another documentary project from the award-winning team behind Life. It takes viewers on a tour of Africa's natural diversity, focusing on awe-inspiring, unlikely, and sometimes bizarre animal behavior to be found in the far reaches of the continent. As with any nature show, expect to see the subjects in their natural habitats and practicing their instinctive behavior like hunting and eating prey (and hunters' tendencies to target young or weak victims), territorial fighting and killing, and reproducing. If your kids don't know the basics of this kind of behavior, you may want to outline the main points before watching and be on hand to answer questions as they arise.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

From the team behind the documentary Life comes AFRICA, a nature series that crisscrosses the continent studying animal behavior, climate, and geology throughout the vast land. Using cutting-edge film technology, the series captures close-up images of never-before-seen places and previously undocumented practices among species ranging from tiny insects to towering giraffes.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

A seven-part series that took four years to make, Africa is a fascinating visual tour of a continent with secrets around each corner. Every animal species, every cavern, every watering hole has a story to tell about how the land evolved and its inhabitants adapted, often in environments so harsh that each day poses a new test to their survival. As in Life, there are many firsts documented here, which is testimony to the cutting-edge technology that allows the crew to observe the subjects' behavior without disruption but also inspires new questions about the many mysteries of the wild that still exist.

Africa accomplishes precisely what Life did before it; it makes learning about the world just as fun as tuning into a favorite TV series. The show has it all: drama, comedy, romance, and even some sweaty-palms moments when the stars' fates hang in the balance. Not only will your family enjoy the stories as you watch them unfold, they'll also retain a lot of what they see and hear because of the quality of its presentation, which makes this a fantastic option for watching together. Just be sure your youngsters are prepped on what it means to be an animal in the wild so they won't be surprised by the predatory hunting and the occasional mating ritual.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how different animal species adapt to their specific environments. Which ones have special traits or abilities that let them evade capture or hunt better? Is any one species perfectly adapted? Which traits do you think are most valuable in each environment?

  • Kids: What is the value in learning about other areas of the world? How does seeing these animals in their natural habitats change your views toward conservation issues? Which ones are threatened by pollution, deforestation, or population sprawl? Are any safe from their effects? What, if anything, do you think is our responsibility toward their well-being?

  • What did you learn from this show? How much of the TV you watch would you say is educational? Do you ever pick up things from TV or movies that your parents might not like? What are your family's rules about media consumption?

TV details

Network:Discovery Channel
Genre:Educational
Topics:Science and nature, Wild animals
TV rating:NR

This review of Africa was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass