On this trip Cameron heads to Africa with singer Justin Timberlake, actor Jimmy Fallon, and rapper Talib Kweli. They lift off to their first destination in a hot-air balloon. Destination: Tanzania. Tanzania's main attraction is the Serengeti. It's...... Read Full Episode Summary »
On this trip Cameron heads to Africa with singer Justin Timberlake, actor Jimmy Fallon, and rapper Talib Kweli. They lift off to their first destination in a hot-air balloon. Destination: Tanzania. Tanzania's main attraction is the Serengeti. It's a vast plain with a fragile ecosystem that is home to some of the world's most exotic wildlife.
Their guide, zoologist Markus Borner (of the Frankfurt Zoological Society), and driver meet them. Cameron is in awe of the flat-top African trees that are commonly seen in movies about Africa. While riding in the range rover past hippos, Cameron checks out the zebras with her binoculars. The celebrities wonder what they'd be doing right now if at home. Justin replies, "I'd probably be home being chased by paparazzi." With that thought, they are more than thrilled to be far away in Africa.
It's off to Sunset Rock. Markus says the Serengeti is the place where we all come from. Its preservation is important because it's one of the last truly untouched ecosystems in the world, where you can witness nature as it has existed for thousands of years. Agricultural development in the Serengeti would disrupt vital migration and grazing areas.
The next morning, Jimmy awakens and thanks the lions for not eating him overnight. Their Masai driver takes them to a Masai village with permission from the tribe's elder. Before they get to the village, a swarm of flies welcomes them.
The Masai way of life has remained unchanged for six hundred years. They raise cattle and sheep for survival. The older Masai men make decisions for the tribe. The women take care of the children and livestock. The young men, known as the Masai Moran, care for the Masai border. Many of the Masai have never seen a video camera so they're excited to see their images in Cameron's camcorder. Talib tells the Masai that he feels a connection as an African-American visiting Africa. The whole experience of visiting the Masai is unforgettable for everyone.
Next, they head out to collar a lion. The lion wears a collar with a radio signal so that her movements can be studied and tracked. The collar and battery need to be replaced. Once the lion is tranquilized, she cannot move but she's still able to hear and see. The veterinarian puts a cloth over the lion's head so that she can't see what's happening.
Once on the site, Cameron carefully removes the dart from the lion. Talib jokes that with the lion tranquilized on the ground, all the zebras feel safe: "They're just chillin'." The veterinarian removes the collar and takes a blood sample. With Cameron and Justin kneeling by and caressing the lion, the group helps measure the lion to update her information chart. A dental mold is taken of the lion's teeth and water is poured on her to keep her cool and comfortable. When the lion purrs, Cameron says, "This is a salon break for her." With her new collar attached, the group moves her into the shade where she wakes up after the group is at a safe distance.
The next adventure is a safari tour of the animals in the Serengeti. Cameron and friends look in awe at groups of animals running, climbing, sleeping and grazing. After watching the monkeys, an elephant crosses the road! This really excites everyone. Elephants help preserve the Serengeti's ecosystem by knocking down trees and eating large amounts of vegetation. Its manure provides nutrients for the soil, which in turn helps grazing lands for all of the animals. "Nothing goes to waste in nature," Cameron notes.
The Serengeti National Park has the largest concentration of migratory animals in the world, including over 200,000 zebras. The day comes to an end for Cameron's group and nearby cubs resting by their mothers in the grass. "They're all going to be around us while we sleep," Cameron says.
It's up, up and away in another hot-air balloon to the middle of an untouched area of the Serengeti. Tanzania has put aside over a quarter of its land area for conservation. After landing, they celebrate with wine and do a toast in Swahili.
Next, they jump in the truck and head with Markus to the place historians think may be where man discovered music. At the large, grey rock with craters, Justin makes a rhythm by tapping smaller rocks in the holes on the large rock. This creates a hollow, melodic percussion sound. It's time to jam! Justin plays an acoustic guitar, Jimmy and Talib sing vocals and Cameron plays...the rock. Later Jimmy plays the guitar and makes up a song that makes everyone laugh. Cameron plays Toto's "Africa" song on her portable mp3 player with speakers. They get a kick singing the song called "Africa" in Africa.
After having a blast, Cameron thanks Markus for an amazing, life-changing experience that put everything into perspective.
Wanna learn more about Tanzania? Check out these links below:
The Frankfurt Zoological Society is dedicated to the conservation of Serengeti National Park, providing a range of services, including tracking the number and health of the park's wild animals. Learn more about their commitment to Serengeti National Park.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) protects and preserves the Serengeti for its cultural and natural heritage. Read more about UNESCO's commitment to preservation.