Top Wildlife Documentaries

Wildlife documentaries are always interesting. From National Parks to oceans there is something for everyone. Perhaps the best thing about wildlife documentaries is you can enjoy them with your family. You get to discover and obtain knowledge about bizarre animals that were otherwise unknown. Filmmakers spend years catching perfect moments and it is only right that we watch these documentaries to learn about the beauty of nature. Let’s take a look at some top wildlife documentaries you should not miss.

Top Wildlife Documentaries to Consider

Our Planet

Our planet is a documentary that is based on eight seasons. Producers claim that they had spent around 3,500 hours investigating and observing areas of the earth that are both thriving and struggling to survive. The quest led them to different parts of the world to see how climate change along with other external factors is affecting our planet. The documentary was such a hit that it earned an Emmy award for being a high-definition nature film that brings the audience closer to nature. This includes going deep into the forests, oceans, and other dangerous areas. While watching the documentary you will observe and notice extreme details that went into its production. Apart from that, the narration by David Attenborough makes it a worth watching combination for years to come. 

Planet Earth: Miniseries

Like Our Planet, Planet Earth: Miniseries is BBC’s take on observing and tracking earth’s progress. To keep things more informative, easy to understand, and learn, David Attenborough was hired for narration. This documentary or miniseries as named by BBC takes you through the most fascinating areas of the world that house the most exotic animals ever discovered by humans. 

Plus, the documentary aims to study the effect of climate change on the lives of these animals and how survival has changed over the years. The documentary went on to win four Emmy awards including sound editing, music, and cinematography. This goes to show the amount of effort and time put into making the documentary. Critics appraised the use of innovative camera techniques and patient observation behavior to give the audience an insight into the world of exotic animals. 

Blue Planet II: Miniseries

The BBC introduced Blue Planet before the release of Planet Earth in 2001 and it was yet again narrated by none other than David Attenborough. The original documentary won two Emmy awards for music composition and cinematography. Then, a follow-up series was released in 2018 with Attenborough on board. This time Attenborough won an Emmy for his narration as well. However, the series is different than the previous ones released by BBC. It is mostly based on life underwater and focuses on seahorses, squids, and whales that depend on it. At the same time, the documentary has highlighted the threats as well that might make survival potentially difficult for these animals in the future. 

The Ivory Game

The Ivory Game as the term suggests is based on the illegal trade and smuggling of ivory across the world. Produced by Leonardo Di Caprio, this documentary goes undercover to investigate how elephants are killed for their tusks and ivories sold to the highest bidders worldwide. This also gives the audience an insight into how the poaching mafia works and sheds light on the international ivory trade. As stated by Leonardo Di Caprio himself, this documentary was important to make people realize the true reality of the elephant world. Today, some of the most popular and important types of elephants have been wiped out from the earth’s surface or have become extinct. Since the film’s release, international organizations have come together to protect the existing elephants and have also helped send several poachers to prison. 


Virunga documentary is based on a National Park in Congo named the Virunga National Park. It happens to be one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet and is also home to some of the most extinct species of mountain gorillas. This documentary is based not only on the preservation of these exotic animals but also the hardwork of the militias’ hard work that aims to protect them with their lives. Perhaps the best part of the documentary was that one year after its release, Netflix also released a behind-the-scenes look allowing the audience to take a closer look at mountain gorillas and the production. However, due to an increase in violence, the park was shut down for the public a few years after the documentary’s release. 

The Year Earth Changed

With David Attenborough on the narration boat yet again, The Year Earth Changed is a documentary based on the pandemic and how the earth gradually changed as the virus continued its grip on every part of the world. A fascinating fact highlighted and showcased by the documentary is the way nature welcomes itself into virtually empty cities. Since human and animal interaction chances were less, some animals found themselves sharing areas that humans once occupied. This was an unprecedented phenomenon captured by the documentary.

Africa (2013)

Although BBC documentaries tend to cover the entire world but this time the producers chose to focus on Africa alone. Released in 2013, the documentary Africa takes us on a tour of its wildlife along with distinctive locations such as the Sahara Desert and how the wildlife tends to survive in these areas. At the same time, the documentary also highlights the harsh realities of life through a scene including the starvation death of an elephant calf. 

Even though these scenes are heartbreaking but the producers are ordered to observe without meddling. Perhaps it is just the way of nature and to show the world how difficult survival is in such areas.

Life Story (2014)

The documentary Life Story is a bit different than other documentaries produced by BBC and other prominent media channels. Instead of solely focusing on the survival of animals, the documentary attends to the circle of life. From birth until becoming parents, the documentary captures every aspect of life and makes different species stand out. However, the most beautiful and worth watching scenes are the quiet moments. 

For instance, the pufferfish scene highlighted in the video performing the courtship ritual. Such moments and scenes are hardly captured nowadays.

Final Word

Over the years, millions of documentaries have been made on nature, exotic locations, and ecosystems around the world. However, the ones mentioned above stand out. These documentaries have won critical acclaim and several important awards that go to show the amount of hardwork, dedication, and efforts utilized for the purpose. If you are looking for something that provides an insight into how Mother Nature works, these documentaries are your best bet. 

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