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C4 to follow River Nile challenge in real time

C4 to follow River Nile challenge in real time
Pippa Considine
20 November 2013

Channel 4 is to broadcast expedition leader, writer and photographer Levison Wood’s year-long challenge to become the first person to successfully walk the entire length of the River Nile.

The project is co-produced by October Films and Group M Entertainment.

The trip is being filmed by Wood himself, with visits at key points from a crew for a four-part TV series to be broadcast in 2014.

Between now and then people can follow every step of Wood’s progress on a dedicated Channel 4 website (, Twitter (@WalkingTheNile) and Facebook. The website will host regular updates from Levison including video diaries, photos and blog posts to bring followers closer to the action.

On 1st December, Wood will take the first steps of his 4,250 mile expedition, walking every step of the Nile from source to delta and in the process encountering modern Africa at ground level.

Wood’s journey will take him through rainforest, desert, savannah and swamp. From its source in the highlands of Rwanda, he will follow the river along its course through the jungles of Tanzania and Uganda, skirting Lake Victoria before entering South Sudan – the world’s newest country. Wood will cross into Sudan and then traverse the Sahara desert, around Lake Nasser and into Egypt for the final 1000 mile walk to the Mediterranean coast. 

Wood will be met by local guides at points along his route, but apart from the crew’s visits, he will not be followed by a support team or a vehicle of any kind.

The trip will test Wood’s mental and physical limits as well as his bushcraft skills as he travels with only his backpack through some of Africa’s most remote, hostile and spectacular locations. He’ll encounter hippos, crocodiles and lions, pass the Mountains of the Moon and cross the Sahara, meet people forging new countries out of the ruins of war and revolution, stand where Stanley met Livingstone and trace the old Arab slave routes, wrestle with the Dinka of South Sudan and stay in Bedouin tents, and meet mercenaries, poachers and missionaries before his final arrival at the Mediterranean.

Levison Wood said: “Walking the Nile is not just the most memorable and demanding expedition I’ve ever undertaken, but an amazing opportunity for me to report on all the incredibly positive stories that come out of Africa. It will be both physically and mentally challenging, pushing me to the limit of human boundaries which requires a level of resilience and determination that cannot be prepared for but, despite the inherent risks, I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Mark Atkin, multiplatform commissioning editor at Channel 4 said: “We’re excited to bring such intimate access to Levison’s incredible journey along the Nile throughout the next 12 months. Online followers will have a rare opportunity to gain an up close and personal view of contemporary Africa, step by step, as Levison makes his way to the delta, sharing the highs and lows from his challenge in a parallel narrative to our own daily lives.”

The executive producers are Adam Bullmore for October Films and Melanie Darlaston and Tony Moulsdale for GroupM Entertainment.

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