Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

The new BBC series "Africa" starts tonight

Africa has a way of getting inside your skin almost unlike any other continent or country that I have been to on this magical planet, indeed from the first time I travelled down to Namibia to get beaten up by the sharks you catch from those impossibly wild and desolate beaches I guess you could say I have been somewhat obsessed with the continent. I count myself extremely fortunate that working in fishing has taken me to so many wonderful countries on this awesome continent - so far I have worked in South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Gabon, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique and as much as I can't really believe I have been to all those wonderful African countries because of working in fishing, in reality I know that I have not even come close to scratching the surface of what Africa is about. There really is nowhere like Africa...........

And so I bet you can guess how excited I am that a brand new BBC natural history series starts tonight - which surprisingly enough with the title "Africa" is going to be all about this wondrous continent. The majority of anglers I know and speak to tend to love watching nature documentaries, and as we all know, nobody does nature programmes like the BBC Natural History unit, and especially when they are fronted and narrated by the imperious "we can but wish he could go on forever" David Attenborough. I first heard about this new series a couple of years back when a frighteningly competent guide I worked with in Gabon was telling me about how he was employed to help a BBC film crew get the footage they needed from this incredible central west African country, and I have been excitedly waiting to see this new "Africa" series ever since - take a look at this short promo clip on BBC iPlayer here and tell me your heart does not start to pump that bit faster and your eyes begin to mist over with the sheer, outrageous, emotional beauty of it all.

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The moment you step off a plane somewhere in Africa and just the smell of the continent is unlike anywhere else. It's a land of contrasts. The difference for example between the clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean that lap the shores of Mozambique and the cold Atlantic Ocean that washes the Skeleton Coast in Namibia as the desert sun roasts you from behind. The light, the people, the places, the wildlife, the fish, those skies that go on forever. None of us like having to pay our TV licence and I hate that HD on Sky costs a bit more than the already pretty expensive packages, but I am pretty damn hopeful that this new BBC Africa series is going to help those payments feel somewhat more worthwhile. "Africa" starts at 9pm tonight on BBC1 and BBC1 HD. Excited ? Big time. Here's to hoping that the BEEB have gone and done it again with one of their awesome natural history series........

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