The Tides of Kirawira

Animal life in Serengeti's Grumeti river

Filmed in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, The Tides of Kirawira is a part of a huge documentary series called Survival. Survival is series of wildlife programmes which has been producing new episodes since 1961. The Tides of Kirawira was created in 1993 and is part of Survival’s 92th season.

When it rains on the Serengeti plains in Africa, drenching the great herds of wildebeest, days later a flash flood sweeps along a sandy river-bed – it is the Grumeti river, a seasonal lifeline for all the creatures at Kirawira, and especially its giant crocodiles.

The river will ebb away over the next few months – but the creatures that live in it, have developed remarkable lifestyles to survive until it floods again. Trapped in drying pools, they are an annual feast for the riverside predators.

An occasion when crocodiles dam rivers, lizards go fishing, storks spear clams and flowers trap the unwary.

As it dries on the plains, the great herds head out towards Kirawira. There, giant crocodiles and catfish are forced to trek along the drying riverbed, in search of permanent water.
Then, one morning, the wildebeest arrive to play their part in this seasonal drama.

Primordial carnage unfolds as the desperate herds try to drink at the crocodiles’ pools.

The wildebeest will move on, leaving Kirawira in the grip of the seasonal drought – its only salvation, that far away out on the plains: rain.

The Tides of Kirawira
  • Info
  • Release date1993
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Mark Deeble, Victoria Stone
  • Production companyDeeble & Stone