In celebration of Africa and the Great Rift Valley being the setting for the latest season of National Geographic’s Primal Survivor, titled Extreme African Safari, Disney Africa hosted its first National Geographic talent press tour with the show’s host, Hazen Audel, in South Africa last week.

The week-long press campaign kicked off with a special event premiere screening and survival-themed brand immersion in the Cradle of Humankind, followed by a jam-packed press junket and tour, activities with Pay-TV broadcaster DStv, capped off with a filmed content day for owned digital and linear channels. 

On Wednesday 8 November, 90 press, influencers and AdSales partners travelled to the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. In the heart of the bushveld and the warmth of the South African summer, guests were welcomed to an eventful launch. On arrival, they were immediately immersed into the programming as they had to identify animal droppings and tracks, before heading into the venue. 

The MC, popular radio and TV host Zuraida Jardine, welcomed the budding explorers before they watched the exciting first episode of Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari. Thereafter a question-and-answer session with Hazen provided behind the scenes information and storytelling nuggets, after which guests were sent out into the fresh air for their own Primal Survivor experience. Four stations greeted the party where they had to learn survival skills and test their mettle with seasoned local survivalists at themed stations: fire starting, water purification, navigation-by-the-sun and knot-tying. 

Participating influencers included Matthew Stone, Martin Meyer, Thobeka Mthembu, Tansey Coetzee, Adre Muller, Nicole Bessick, Jo Judnick-Wilson, Leroy Marc, Rozanne McKenzie, Margo Fargo, Catherine Constantinides, Nina Lambrakis, Taryn Louch and Angela Yeung. Hazen participated in various interviews with travelling media before the excited guests departed for home (with new-found survival skills!).

See the event video here:

The following day, Hazen was the special live interview guest on Breakfast with Martin Bester on regional radio station Jacaranda FM, which brought out the light side of filming in the wild (& avoiding lions!). Thereafter, he did a second breakfast interview on coastal regional station, East Coast Radio. This feature focused on the fun Hazen had had while shooting a full season for the first time in Africa and what viewers can look forward to. 

He then journeyed to the head office of affiliate broadcast partner DStv, for a jam-packed Pan-African press junket. Hazen was interviewed by 15 titles from across Africa, including a series of journalists from Botswana, Namibia, Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique, delivering extra reach to viewers across the continent. 

Thereafter Hazen took part in a special Q&A with National Geographic Society Regional Lead for Africa, Shivan Parusnath in front of an audience of DStv staff, Nat Geo Explorers, NEWF fellows, filmmakers and guests. A live interview on national youth radio station 5FM with plenty of fun moments, rounded up a very busy, but fruitful, day. 

On the last day, Hazen spent the morning at the Lesedi Cultural Village on Friday morning, filming a profile piece for a local television magazine show. The week finished with a shoot of content pieces and inserts for Nat Geo Africa’s owned channels, that will be used in the promotion of the series’ premiere and run from 22 November across Africa. An additional fun content piece was shot with Nat Geo Explorer Paleoanthropologist Keneiloe Molopyane. 

When asked what he had enjoyed about his time in South Africa, Hazen was most enthusiastic about the people, astounded by the friendly nature and concern for each other, which he had subsequently learnt was driven by Ubuntu. “Somehow, the western world embraces the lone wolf mindset, but I think we’re missing the picture because none of us can go it alone. I am inspired by the collective mindset and care people show for each other here,” he shared.

Primal Survivor: Extreme African Safari will premiere on National Geographic across Africa (DStv 181) from Wednesday 22 November 2023 at 21:00 (CAT). 

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