The BEST episodes of Natural World

Every episode of Natural World ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Natural World!

Expeditions that take the viewer far away from the urban jungle to present the life of animals that live in the real jungle.

Last Updated: 1/30/2023Network:BBC Two
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Victoria Falls - The Smoke that Thunders
star
10.00
28 votes

#1 - Victoria Falls - The Smoke that Thunders

Season 29 - Episode 2 - Aired 11/4/2009

Wildlife documentary. A tale of life on the Zambezi River, set against the epic backdrop of Victoria Falls. The story is told from the point of view of a local fisherman, Mr White, who has fished these waters for 69 years, and whose riverside companions are elephants, baboons, hippos and kingfishers. Follow the fortunes of these animals through his eyes, and learn how their lives are ruled by the moods of the river and the rains.

Directors: Jamie McPherson
Birds of Paradox
star
10.00
1 votes

#2 - Birds of Paradox

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 12/4/1983

Watch Now:Amazon
Elsa: The Lioness that Changed the World
star
10.00
28 votes

#3 - Elsa: The Lioness that Changed the World

Season 30 - Episode 10 - Aired 2/1/2011

In the 1960s, 'Born Free' captured the world's imagination with the story of Elsa, an orphaned lioness who was taken in by George and Joy Adamson and returned to a life in the wild. The book and film sparked a new love of nature that has blossomed ever since, but the true story of what happened afterwards was far more tragic as both George and Joy were murdered. Fifty years on, this emotional and revealing drama documentary re-lives those events - with intimate contributions from Virginia McKenna and David Attenborough.

Hokkaido: Garden of the Gods
star
10.00
1 votes

#4 - Hokkaido: Garden of the Gods

Season 18 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/10/1999

A look at the unique wildlife of Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island, and the island's few remaining members of the ancient Ainu race, who see all animals as sacred. Swept by winds from the high Arctic, Hokkaido is an island of towering volcanos and fairytale forests, where cranes perform dances in the snow, brown bears plunge for salmon in rivers and eagles plunder the spoils from winter fishing fleets. The unique wildlife of Hokkaido has long been worshipped by an ancient race of hunter-gatherers, called Ainu, a few of whom still survive among modern Japanese. Even today, they honour the natural world around them through ritualised dance and prayer.

Directors: Patrick Morris
Sperm Whales: Back From the Abyss
star
10.00
28 votes

#5 - Sperm Whales: Back From the Abyss

Season 15 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/6/1996

Wildlife film about sperm whales, revealing the secret lives led by these often misunderstood ocean giants. Scientists all over the world are now learning about the secret lives of sperm whales, the world's largest hunters that spawned the legendy of Moby Dick. Although Mellville painted them as fearsome beasts of the sea, they are actually shy creatures, and cameraman Rick Rosenthal needed patience and persistence to film them at close quarters. They turn out to be efficient hunters with a close family network involving sophisticated and vocal social lives.

Directors: Rick Rosenthal
Titus: The Gorilla King
star
10.00
28 votes

#6 - Titus: The Gorilla King

Season 28 - Episode 1 - Aired 11/11/2008

Abandoned as a baby, removed from normal gorilla family life as a youngster - so profound were the misfortunes that Titus suffered in his early years that no gorilla scientist could have predicted his eventual rise to power. His moving life story is pieced together here for the first time, based on archive film and the memories of field workers who have studied the mountain gorillas since Dian Fossey's pioneering work more than 40 years ago. At 33 years of age, Titus is not just one of the most powerful Silverbacks in Rwanda's Virunga Mountains, he is possibly the most remarkable gorilla ever known. His life story is as full of drama, intrigue and tragedy as any human soap opera. Against a stunning backdrop of misty volcanic peaks cloaked in bamboo and giant lobelia, Titus has successfully steered his family group through thick and thin. Now he is under pressure again. With his ally-turned-rival, Kuryama, jockeying for position, is the final chapter in Titus's extraordinary reign about to occur?

Naabi - A Hyena Princess
star
10.00
1 votes

#7 - Naabi - A Hyena Princess

Season 27 - Episode 13 - Aired 4/23/2008

The story of Naabi, a young hyena growing up in Tanzania. Here hyenas aren't just scavengers, they're also skilled hunters when they work together in the clan. But life is still a struggle, and except for the few weeks a year when the wildebeest pass through, there isn't enough food to go around. Lions are their mortal enemies - they are quick to attack hyenas and often scavenge their kills. After Naabi's mother is killed by lions, life becomes even more difficult for the young hyena and she's forced to leave the clan, braving the perils of the outside world as she travels alone in search of food.

The Year Of The Rat
star
10.00
1 votes

#8 - The Year Of The Rat

Season 3 - Episode 13 - Aired 2/3/1985

Watch Now:Amazon
Bear Man of Kamchatka
star
10.00
1 votes

#9 - Bear Man of Kamchatka

Season 25 - Episode 4 - Aired 11/8/2006

The incredible story of Charlie Russell - the man who has devoted his life to the grizzly bears of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The Russian mafia killed Charlie's beloved bears but now he's back with four new cubs and he's trying to prove that Russia can live with its grizzlies. This film follows Charlie as he restarts the project, spending nine months living with the orphaned cubs as they become increasingly independent and make the crucial transition to the wild. But will he be able to keep them safe from other grizzlies and the ever-present threat of poachers?

Andrea - Queen Of Mantas
star
10.00
2 votes

#10 - Andrea - Queen Of Mantas

Season 29 - Episode 3 - Aired 11/11/2009

Manta rays are one of the most intelligent creatures in the ocean and, at up to seven metres long, one of the largest. Yet despite their size and curious nature, almost nothing is known about their lives. Young marine biologist Andrea Marshall has given up everything for a life in Mozambique, diving amongst these beautiful animals. Superb underwater photography reveals new manta ray behaviour including breathtaking footage of their ritual courtship dances. The film follows Andrea as she studies these endangered animals up close. With the discovery of a giant new species and remarkable insights into mantas' secretive lives, Andrea's findings are already rocking the world of marine biology.

Directors: Mark Woodward
Bringing Up Baby
star
10.00
2 votes

#11 - Bringing Up Baby

Season 29 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/26/2009

Natural World investigates the vital bond between animal mothers and their babies. The more we study animals, the more we realise just how emotional they are; all mothers are faced with tough choices as they struggle to bring up babies in a difficult and dangerous world, constantly balancing their own needs with those of their infants. Yet there are many ways to raise your brood, from the fish who looks after her young in her mouth to the extended childhoods of gorillas or orang-utans.

Directors: Mark Fletcher
Watch Now:Amazon
Among The Wild Chimpanzees
star
10.00
1 votes

#12 - Among The Wild Chimpanzees

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired 11/4/1984

A Killer Whale Called Luna
star
10.00
30 votes

#13 - A Killer Whale Called Luna

Season 29 - Episode 9 - Aired 1/13/2010

This is the emotional story of one young killer whale's quest for companionship after he was separated from his family. Luna was just two years old when, alone and confused, he found himself on the rugged, wild coast of Vancouver Island. Following his tumultuous life, the film records the human friendships he developed and the trouble this led him into. From death threats, to numerous capture attempts by the government, the film-makers watched as people tried to determine his fate. Luna shows us how quickly our lives can once again cross with the natural world.

Directors: Suzanne Chisholm
Giant Squid: Filming the Impossible
star
9.91
34 votes

#14 - Giant Squid: Filming the Impossible

Season 33 - Episode 2 - Aired 7/13/2013

The giant squid, a creature of legend and myth which even in the 21st century, has never been seen alive. But now, an international team of scientists think they have finally found their lair, one thousand metres down, off the coast of Japan. This is the culmination of decades of research. The team deploys underwater robots and state of the art submersible vessels for a world first - to find and film the impossible.

Jaguars - Born Free
star
9.88
32 votes

#15 - Jaguars - Born Free

Season 32 - Episode 6 - Aired 1/21/2013

In this Natural World special, three tiny orphaned jaguar cubs are discovered in a Brazilian forest. A family decide to take the place of their mother and train them to become wild again. Over two years they must learn to climb trees, swim, and hunt for their dinner. If they can be successfully released, it will give new hope to these rare animals. Narrated by Zoe Wanamaker.

Watch Now:Amazon
Lobo: The Wolf that Changed America
star
9.87
30 votes

#16 - Lobo: The Wolf that Changed America

Season 27 - Episode 10 - Aired 4/2/2008

Ernest Thompson Seton rode into the wilds of New Mexico just before the turn of the century to kill a wolf named Lobo. The book he wrote inspired many generations of naturalists.

Komodo - Secrets of the Dragon
star
9.85
34 votes

#17 - Komodo - Secrets of the Dragon

Season 31 - Episode 4 - Aired 8/24/2011

The Komodo dragon was discovered one hundred years ago, yet the true nature of the biggest lizard in the world is only just being uncovered. Using hi-tech tools to take a fresh look at this prehistoric beast, Dr Bryan Fry discovers there is a lot more to the dragon than meets the eye - from hidden venom glands to its secret origins.

Directors: Stephen Dunleavy
Heligan: Secrets of the Lost Garden
star
9.83
30 votes

#18 - Heligan: Secrets of the Lost Garden

Season 31 - Episode 3 - Aired 8/17/2011

Looking at the secret lives of the wildlife in one of Britain's favourite gardens. Shot by Charlie Hamilton-James, this film follows various animals, from the family of foxes that play after hours in the pleasure gardens, to the toads in the Italian garden and the badgers that clear up the tea rooms at night. Set against the background of the gardening year, these stories reveal life behind the scenes at Heligan.

Meet The Monkeys
star
9.81
31 votes

#19 - Meet The Monkeys

Season 33 - Episode 5 - Aired 9/6/2013

Peanut, Hero and Tarzan are three cheeky monkeys. They live on the paradise Indonesian island of Sulawesi with the rest of their gang of crested black macaques. These very special primates are found nowhere else in the world. Twenty-five years ago, wildlife cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson visited Sulawesi for the first time and now he's returned. Fascinated by the monkeys, Colin hopes to reveal their sometimes violent, often playful and, just like our own, highly political world. What he discovers leads him on a much bigger journey than he was ever expecting.

Directors: Rob Sullivan
Watch Now:Amazon
Great White Shark: A Living Legend
star
9.78
32 votes

#20 - Great White Shark: A Living Legend

Season 28 - Episode 6 - Aired 1/2/2009

Wildlife film. South African naturalist Mike Rutzen is crazy about great white sharks. He never saw Jaws, so he doesn't share the terror that makes these sharks the world's most feared predator.

Giant Otters of the Amazon
star
9.78
36 votes

#21 - Giant Otters of the Amazon

Season 32 - Episode 9 - Aired 2/9/2013

Diablo the giant otter lives in a lake in the jungles of Peru, with his unruly family of six cubs. Even at the tender age of six months, they need to learn how to survive in this dangerous paradise. Their dad teaches them to swim and eventually to catch piranha for themselves, but they must also learn to stay away from the neighbours from hell - the giant caiman. These large members of the crocodile family are a real threat to the giant otter family and Diablo must go to extraordinary lengths to try to protect his cubs. Renowned cameraman and otter specialist Charlie Hamilton-James returns to the place he first filmed Diablo thirteen years ago. Following the family over several months, sometimes in very difficult conditions, he discovers how perilous a home this is for the cubs and watches them develop under the careful guidance of their father. He also films remarkable scenes of the giant otters fighting the caiman.

Watch Now:Amazon
Kangaroo Dundee: Part One
star
9.74
34 votes

#22 - Kangaroo Dundee: Part One

Season 32 - Episode 7 - Aired 1/26/2013

A Wolf Called Storm
star
9.68
34 votes

#23 - A Wolf Called Storm

Season 32 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/26/2012

Storm is an extraordinary wolf - the head of a pack in Canada's frozen north that hunts the giant buffalo herds. This pack came to fame in Frozen Planet and now cameraman Jeff Turner spends a year with Storm and his wolf family, learning how they survive in this harsh wilderness and whether Storm can pass his hunting skills on to the new generation of wolf cubs.

Directors: Jeff Turner
Watch Now:Amazon
Attenborough's Ark
star
9.63
38 votes

#24 - Attenborough's Ark

Season 32 - Episode 5 - Aired 11/9/2012

David Attenborough chooses the animals that he would most like to save from extinction. He shows why they are so important and shares the ingenious work of biologists across the world who are helping to keep them alive.

Directors: Sally Thomson
Watch Now:Amazon
Nature's Misfits
star
9.57
37 votes

#25 - Nature's Misfits

Season 34 - Episode 4 - Aired 5/2/2014

Bill Bailey introduces a delightfully eccentric cast of creatures that have chosen to do things differently. Odd, unconventional and unusual - these are animals that don't normally grab the limelight. From the parrot that has forgotten how to fly, to the bear that has turned vegetarian, a chameleon that is barely bigger than an ant, and a penguin that lives in a forest. Nature's Misfits reveals the extraordinary and rarely seen lives of these evolutionary oddballs, their strange habitats, unusual forms, and the incredible hurdles they overcome.

Directors: Gavin Boyland
Watch Now:Amazon

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