Parents' Guide to

Expedition Africa: Stanley and Livingstone

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Adventurers follow in history's footsteps in exciting show.

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It's tough to miss the similarities between this series and the groundbreaking reality hit Survivor, which originally made a household name of Expedition Africa producer Mark Burnett. The four-person cast appears to have been assembled not just on their individual merits but also on the powder keg potential of their collective egos. The explorers often take breaks during intense situations to sound off about their peers for the camera in confession-style asides (a staple of modern reality TV) -- which makes for plenty of personal drama but also detracts a bit from the show's central purpose of documenting a re-enactment of one of history's most remarkable journeys.

That said, Expedition Africa has a lot to offer those who can handle the cast's frequent conflicts. There's plenty of more truly realistic drama as the explorers routinely face dangerous wildlife and the possibility of disease. Their travels offer viewers a look at stunning beauty of Africa's landscape and its diverse population, and the cast's passionate respect for both is inspiring. But even that pales in comparison to the show's celebration of the human spirit and quest for adventure.

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