Smithsonian Channel in the US has commissioned Extreme Airport Africa, a new docuseries and expansion of producer Rare TV’s Airport franchise, that explores high-octane aviation stories across Southern Africa.
The 8 x 60-minute series will launch on Smithsonian Channel on 7 January, with Rare TV having secured access to the region’s busiest airline, private wildlife reserves and national park anti-poaching teams.
In urban Johannesburg helicopter crews fly life-or-death medivac missions, while the airport ground teams fight a daily battle keeping wildlife off the runways. Out in the bush, scientists team up with park rangers and take to the air to monitor the health of rhino and buffalo populations, and veterinarians capture a wild cheetah to fly it to a new home.
The show marks an expansion into wildlife filmmaking for Rare TV and as well as with its relationship with Smithsonian Channel as the prodco is also behind five seasons of franchise stablemate Ice Airport Alaska for the broadcaster.
Rare TV’s VP of US development, Christian Broadhurst, who executive produced, added: “Southern Africa is one of the most beautiful and extreme places on earth. The region relies on aviation, not just for tourism but for protecting its incredible wildlife from poaching and habitat loss.
“Aircraft big and small, alongside a vast fleet of helicopters, makes this aviation series a thrilling watch and we feel privileged to have worked with so many passionate individuals, institutions and government bodies who are all trying to protect the regions stunning biodiversity for future generations”.