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December 2007, Amazon

Follow Bruce as he films his next series exploring the greatest river on Earth.

The new Amazon website has launched, allowing you to follow Bruce as he explores the greatest river on Earth. A small film crew, who will share his experiences along the way, will document Bruce's breathtaking voyage from the Peruvian Andes to the Atlantic coast. The six-part series they create is due to hit TV screens in the Autumn of 2008, but there's no need to wait that long to see Bruce in action - footage, images and blogs are sent back by Bruce and the team in the field, and updated regularly on the Amazon website*.

The television series Amazon is being made for BBC Two by Indus Films.

* To protect the security of the crew, content is posted on the site three to five weeks after the day it is sent. Sometimes the team's journey will not be represented on the map because of their visits to places where there is illegal activity or to protect team members' safety.

The Team

Coming soon, Amazon

Join Bruce on his next adventure!

Bruce Parry will soon be setting off to film Amazon, a major new series for the BBC, and you’ll be able to be with him every step of the way.

He will be tracing the route of the Amazon river, from source to sea, exploring this unique environment and meeting the people whose lives are shaped by the river.

The new Amazon website, launching in November 2007, will have a blog, written by Bruce and the production team, and have exclusive audio, images and video sent back via satellite phone. You will also be able to track Bruce’s progress via an interactive map.

This promises to be an exciting adventure you can be part of, culminating in the Amazon television series which will transmit in 2008.

Keep checking the Tribe site or sign up to the newsletter to get the latest news about Amazon.

The Team

April 2007, South East Asia

The team manage to sneak into one of the last tracts of rainforest in South East Asia.

This hasn’t been the easiest of journeys in. Some folks here would not be happy (to put it mildly) about us telling the story of the people we are here to visit. However, we ducked and dived, overcame the wild rumours and infectious paranoia, and managed to sneak into one of the last tracts of rainforest still inhabited by nomadic hunter gatherers in South East Asia.

The tribe with whom we stay are totally adapted to a life under the forest canopy. The forest provides for almost all their needs, including all materials used to construct the type of stilt house in which I now sit. A floor constructed of round poles takes some getting used to, especially when you’re trying to sleep on it at night, but our hosts build these shelters in just a few hours. 

Bruce Parry 

Bruce joined his host family just in time to help them move camp, following a procession of heavily laden people through thick jungle and down beautiful rivers. Weighed down with all their worldly possessions, the tribe still moved with greater ease than the sweaty crew, who laboured heavily under their lightweight backpacks muttering about the humidity.  Bruce is out in the forest every day and is slowly becoming attuned to the lifestyle and the rhythm of the place, the cycle of rain and sunshine, strenuous work and long walks under the canopy. 

But the people here are not just teaching Bruce basic hunting and gathering. They are trying to teach Bruce how to feel the forest as they do. Only then, they believe, will he better understand why they feel such anger and frustration at the logging that’s steadily shrinking their territory and destroying their way of life.

Tribe team

February 2007, Tanzania

The team write from the Tanzanian bushveld. Setting up camp, their adventures with the zebras, gazelles and local bees begin.

Bruce set out early in the morning, leaving us behind with the first signs and sounds of the Tanzanian dawn. Carrying all he needed for the day; his yellow box and water bottle. Bruce began the 2.5 mile walk from the village to the camp where he'd be staying. Once the sun came up and we had packed up our tents and equipment, we too began our journey. Crossing the Savannah, zebra and gazelles hid along the horizon, running from the car as we stopped to film. Lanuwki, our local guide, traced the prints of oryx at a nearby waterhole, kudu and baboons crossed our path and dik dik scattered into the shrub as we drove past. The lush bush was alive with life as the midday sun beat down...

Lunch was eaten under a giant babobab tree on a rocky outcrop which looked out over the green of the bush. The radio crackled - an update from Bruce.

A local man creates smoke to relax the bees.

The walk had taken several detours as the local people had spotted tracks of giraffe, elephant and leopard and had gone hunting, somewhat unsuccessfully, for guinea-fowl and honey collecting, even more unsuccessfully, disturbing an angry swarm of bees. Less hurried, we continued on our way and reached our camping spot, sought shade and the tents were set up. Someone climbed a tall tree to get better radio reception but still no news came back from Bruce and so we went off into the bush in search of him.

A heavy blue cloud appeared behind us. The rains had arrived and so had Bruce at last. An auspicious start according to the local people, a little known group of hunter-gatherers who we're staying with. The end of the afternoon was greeted with singing and dancing and once more the Tanzanian bush was alive with life... and our time here begun.

Bruce and the Tribe team

DECEMBER 2006, SIBERIA

Bruce and the team reflect on the latest Tribe shoot in Siberia. They have experienced over a month of migration with the Nenets and have had an incredible journey.

Bruce and the team are just back from Siberia where they've spent the last month with the Nenets on their annual migration with their reindeer herds.

Red Square, Russia

Six weeks ago we arrived at the start of a remarkable journey and now we are on our way home again - 72 tapes of film closely guarded in their box, memories vivid in all of our minds and reindeer-skin coats packed away once more. As we wait at the airport, flight delayed and the snow still falling, we can't help thinking that a reindeer sledge might be more reliable than the aeroplane… and definitely more comfortable than the truck which rattled us for 18 long hours just a few days before...

We've been constantly on the move since we arrived in Siberia and joined the migration of the Nenets people and their herds of deer. Every journey has been different as the landscape changes and the daylight fades. It took us all a while to get used to the rhythm of life on the tundra, but by the end of our time we all had our own places on the sledges and inside the choom (tent) as well. Not sleeping elbow to elbow and listening to a chorus of snores each night will feel a little lonely - and there'll be no more breakfasts of reindeer meat and bread, served with steaming tea at the end of our beds each morning. I suspect the family won't miss the ritual morning search of gloves, camera batteries or anything else that we accidentally misplaced once more.

No matter how many trips we've planned and packed for over the course of many series, we'll never come close to the organisation and efficiency of the Nenets migration - everything has its place on a sledge. As we count our bags once more at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow, after visiting Red Square en route (see photo), we wait for our flight to Heathrow knowing the herders are continuing their journey towards their winter pastures. Snow fall does not stop reindeer from moving at least...

Bruce and the Tribe team

November 2006, Siberia

Bruce writes with news from the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia.

Bruce writes with news from the latest Tribe shoot. Accompanying Nenet reindeer herders, he braves the frozen landscape of the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia.

A reindeer in Siberia

N     67 degrees  59'   57''
E     070 degrees 27'   19''

Wind: 12 knots westerly
Temperature: minus 26 degrees Celsius

I'm trying to warm my hands and toes, sat wearing my reindeer skin boots and having just come back from a short fishing trip.

My fur hooded coat is drying on the wood burning stove which is the only source of warmth in this beautiful double lined tipee, known locally as a choom. I'm one of sixteen people living and sleeping here.

I've joined the never-ceasing migration of the Nenet reindeer herders. Tomorrow we will be moving again. Yesterday our caravan stretched out over the frozen skyline - well over a hundred sledges, all pulled by reindeer. The main herd of eight thousand animals moved separately. It was minus thirty degrees Celsius and windy but we had to constantly find new grazing grounds.

The difficulties of the daily chores are exaggerated by the weather. Never have I felt so woefully inadequate. In two weeks we will take our chosen reindeer to be slaughtered in the local town. This is the biggest event of the year for these Nenet people and there's so much to do before then.

I'm having a really great time - the vodka certainly helps - with the cold that is...

Love to all,

Bruce's signature

September 2006, Siberia

Researcher Willow Murton is preparing for the next shoot in Siberia.

Willow Murton, a researcher for Tribe, is preparing for the next shoot in Siberia.

A reindeer in Siberia

"While Bruce and one team were coming back from the South Pacific I've been working with Matt, my fellow researcher, on plans for the next shoot - one of our most ambitious to date. We will be joining Siberian reindeer herders on their winter migration.

With temperatures around minus thirty degrees and light levels very low it's going to be a tough shoot. Before we head off vaccinations, medical checks and training for survival in the cold all have to be done. Sourcing and taking care of equipment is an important part of the preparation for every shoot. And then there's the detailed risk assessment to be written. It's not just the freezing temperatures that Bruce has to be aware of; apparently toilet breaks can attract unwanted attention from reindeer...

Travelling by reindeer sleds means that all the kit will have to be well packed to survive the bumps of the frozen ground. It has to be able to cope with the cold as do the team which is why the first thing that Bruce will do when he gets to camp is make sure that his reindeer skin coat and boots fit. In the meantime, we're all fattening ourselves up ready for the cold tundra of Siberia where the next postcard from Bruce will come from."

Willow's signature

August 2006, South Pacific

Bruce and the team are in the South Pacific, shooting for series three.

Renee Godfrey, a researcher on the latest shoot in the South Pacific, is out on location with Bruce and the rest of the Tribe team. Here's her glimpse of daily life on the island and as a member of the team on location.

South Pacific island

“Here we sit on this tiny island in the middle of the Pacific. The day's blustery winds and stormy weather are a welcome relief from the sweltering, tropical, mosquito ridden heat of the nights; but not so practical for filming!

The local children follow me around like a dozen shadows intrigued by what my daily tasks entail. They gaze in wonder at what I could possibly be doing with the spaghetti of cables I have arranged under a tarpaulin, waiting for the sun to come out so I can recharge the camera batteries with our solar panels.

The translations provide perhaps the most entertainment and the camping table which I work on has become the local cinema. When the children finish school at midday, their first port of call is outside our hut to see what hilarious moments Bruce has experienced on camera, or to see if they can catch a glimpse of themselves on screen. They can't quite get their heads around the underwater pole camera we used to film a communal fish drive last week. The brilliant blue waters here provide crystal clear images of fish, swimmers, spears, and of course the children whose smiles are even wider than when they are on dry land.

And so another morning begins and the smell of rain on frangipani flower necklaces fills the air - a gift for the team from the people of the island. A freshly fallen coconut for breakfast, perhaps? Life is good.”

Renee's signature

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