In this first episode, the four expedition members meet one another and work out the dynamics of their trek, as well as those of the group. The team members are all natural leaders and have to try and work that out. The original trek took nine months, but the team needs to make the entire trip in 30 days. They begin to gather supplies and find transportation for the first leg of the journey. They set off on a small primitive sailboat to begin the journey and immediately the weather goes bad. The group makes it to Bagamoyo, the starting point for the original journey. Kevin has a copy of Stanley's book detailing the original trip and has each team member write something in it to set them off. The group engages Julius and other Masai natives to help them on their expedition.
They head out, equipped with the same navigational tools as Stanley (a compass and maps) and almost immediately two of the group become separated from the others. They get back to the team, only to find they have lost Kevin and they have to find him as well. After a water situation arises and is solved, the group sets up camp. The next day begins with an encounter with a spitting cobra. After that, they must cross a very large river that is infested with crocodiles. They find some simple canoes to use, but most of the natives can't swim so in addition to the croc danger, there is the threat of drowning. After the river, they have to cross mud that is up to their knees. It is over 100F degrees and the team is carrying all their supplies through the mud. The rest of the episode continues on the journey with the group finding situations on the way and dealing with them as they come.
This show has a lot of big things - big rivers, big crocodiles, big trees, and big egos. Each member of the team seems to feel they know more than the others about EVERYTHING, not just their own area of expertise. This causes there to be a lot of arguments between the team members, as each strives to prove they are right. Mark Burnett, the man behind Survivor, has managed to bring the same sense of people who must work together but don't trust one another to this show. This takes what could have been an otherwise boring trek across Africa and makes it a dramatic show with a real life-and-death feel.
Back To Pazsaz Entertainment Network's Expedition Africa: Stanley & Livingstone Page