The first episodes of “Team Wild”, a 26 part programme aired weekly on YOTV, has had a fantastic reception. At a recent screening in Skukuza, it had adults and children alike laughing and learning about the unique experience of growing up in the Kruger National Park, and in the process, exploring issues pertaining to biodiversity and conservation in a fun and informative way. Three local children from Skukuza Primary School present the series. The inserts will be part reality, part documentary, aimed at 6 to 9 year old viewers.
Each programme covers different animals, their behavior and aspects of nature. The SABC, like SANParks, is very particular that the content, information and stories should always be “adventurous” and “fun” but must remain factual and accurate at all times. The programmes will see our Skukuza presenters telling the young viewers about game capture, biodiversity surveys, fishing adventures, bird watching and what it’s like to grow up in the Kruger National Park.
“We are very excited about this opportunity as we feel that it will expose the Kruger National Park to a whole new audience of younger viewers, while also showing them that the children living in the Park have a completely different way of life from kids living in the cities” says Antoinette Goosen of SANHU. But perhaps most importantly, it will create the opportunity and platform to expose these kids to nature and conservation issues at an early age.
So who will get to lead the show? Kayla Yelliah, Katekani Hlongwane and Timothy Whitfield showed the most talent for the challenging role of presenter and they will be leading “Team Wild” and their viewers through the next 26 adventurous programmes.
With filming being done on location in the Kruger National Park, a specialized and experienced film crew is needed. The Southern African Natural History Unit (SANHU) is a husband-and-wife team of Jacques and Antoinette Goosen, who are fully equipped with high quality television and photographic equipment and have considerable experience in regional, local and international television productions. SANHU has been based in the Kruger National Park since 1999.
Director and specialist cameraman Jacques Goosen has more than two decades of experience in filming natural history and travel programmes during which time he has worked on several well-known programmes, such as Parklife Africa, for both the local and international market.
Antoinette has been in the television industry since 1985. As a freelance production manager/producer, Antoinette was a contributing producer for programmes such as “Lets Go” and “Eco Act”. In 1997 she worked on “Great African Wildlife Rescue/Animals on the Move”, a 13 part series produced for the Discovery and Disney Channels, and thus became involved in the fascinating world of wildlife filming. With this formidable team, Team Wild is going to be an exciting series!