Untamed Valley

Three films that take a closer look at certain habitats in Luangwa valley and tell the stories of the animal characters that live there.

At the Big Bend, a large meander on the Luangwa River, lives a large pod of hippos. Females and young spend their days lounging in the deepest pools, while a large male, the beachmaster, sees off any competition. A newborn baby must join the pod for the first time – a daunting moment. But she’s soon welcomed into the crèche, and playing with other youngsters. Alongside them live dozens of huge Nile crocodiles, who luckily know full well that a protective mother hippo could bite them clean in two, and give them a wide berth. They share their Big Bend with a host of other characters. Two prides of lions use the river banks as hunting grounds, and herds of elephants come to drink and bath in the river. An interloping bull threatens the peace of the pod… there’s evidence that males taking over a pod will kill young calves so they can mate again with their mothers. The life of the youngster is in the beachmaster’s hands.