Everything you see in the Bush Hacking series is authentic. Most episodes were carefully prepared and scripted. But for all our meticulous planning, nothing could have prepared us for the surprises and unexpected wildlife we encountered. In fact, some of our most interesting episodes happened totally by chance. Click on the EPISODES links above to view all the programs and get a bit of the back-story. Tony has also agreed to let us upload some of the Bloopers !
Bush Hacking was produced by On Air Media, a production company based in Cape Town, South Africa. Producer, Ilana Gordon, conceived the series after realising how passionate Tony Johnstone is about wildlife. After convincing SuperSport and Sky Sports to broadcast the series of short 2 minute fillers, the crew soon found themselves in the southern part of the Kruger Park. The Kruger Park is the size of Wales, except that here the animals reign supreme and tackling this dangerous environment on foot is not for the faint-hearted.
Director of Photography: Dirk Mostert is responsible for all the visuals in the series.
Additional Camera & Editor: Alexis Dominguez
Final Mix: Gary Rundle of Groove Lab Studios in Cape Town
Producer/Director: Ilana Gordon of On Air Media
And, of course, Tony Johnstone, our intrepid host, whose passion for wildlife is only surpassed by his love of golf. By combining these two, it was a dream come true.
For season 1, filming took place from 15 – 22 May, the start of winter in this region. Our plans to do episodes on scorpions, dung beetles and other insects were scuppered since they were all hiding out from the cold. Not a bug in sight! The chameleon and python were both very sluggish, mainly due to the cold, enabling us to film them up close.
For season 2, we braved the sweltering summer heat and filmed from 21 – 28 January. This allowed us to find some amazing insects, spiders and even a very temperamental scorpion. Added to that a “shongololo” and a very aggressive centipede, and we had a very interesting series of big and small animals, insects, birds and trees.
Season 3 took the team to Shamwari Game Reserve in November. The birds were in full flight during the breeding season and we were there, armed with long lenses, to capture them. Finding cheetahs was an incredible moment, but it’s not all about the big cats. The African Land Snail was a surprise episode, and look out for all the unexpected uses for Aloes.
The series is filmed in high definition – Sony XDCam HD (season 1) and Panasonic P2 / Canon 5D DSLR (season 2).