Staff Picks: 15 Nature Documentaries to Watch Right Now

Natural Habitat Adventures April 6, 2020 0

We’ve all been staying at home for a few weeks now, and you may have burned through all the binge-worthy TV shows on your watch list. So, what to tune in to after you’ve finished every episode Game of Thrones, Homeland and The Crown?

Nat Hab to the rescue! While you can’t get out into nature right now, you can take a deep dive into nature documentaries, which we would contend are just as compelling as our favorite TV drama series! They can be entertaining and educational, riveting and relaxing, chilling and heartwarming, and occasionally, all of those at the same time. These films will whisk you away to remote wild places and stunning landscapes without leaving the comfort of your own couch—and many of them will enhance your understanding of what’s at stake for the natural world, and what we can do in the quest to conserve the magnificent ecosystems and wildlife we treasure.

Following the popularity of our staff book recommendations from last week, the Nat Hab team is excited to share this list of our favorite nature documentaries.

Our Planet

Recommended by: Megan Koelemay, Director of Digital Marketing

A Netflix original documentary series and groundbreaking collaboration between WWF, Netflix and Silverback Films, Our Planet showcases the world’s natural wonders, iconic species and wildlife spectacles that still remain. We’re all a part of this amazing planet, but we’re changing it like never before. Discover the story of the one place we all call home.

Available to stream on Netflix

 

Mission Blue

Recommended by: David Jacobson, Adventure Accountant

This documentary follows oceanographer Sylvia Earle’s campaign to save the world’s oceans from threats such as overfishing and toxic waste.

Available to stream on Netflix

 

Leave it to Beavers

Recommended by: Davis English, Voyage Manager & Adventure Concierge

From PBS: The fascinating story of beavers in North America—their history, their near extinction, and their current comeback, as a growing number of scientists, conservationists and grass-roots environmentalists have come to regard beavers as overlooked tools when it comes to reversing the disastrous effects of global warming and world-wide water shortages.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube

 

One Strange Rock

Recommended by: Camie Kirkevold, Administrative Assistant

The extraordinary story of Earth and why it is special and uniquely brimming with life among a largely unknown but harsh cosmic arena; astronauts tell the story of Earth through unique perspective.

Available to stream on National Geographic Channel, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime Video

 

The River and the Wall

Recommended by Wendy Redal, Editorial Director

The River and the Wall follows five friends on an immersive adventure through the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands as they travel 1200 miles from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico on horses, mountain bikes, and canoes. They set out to document the borderlands and explore the potential impacts of a wall on the natural environment, but as the wilderness gives way to the more populated and heavily trafficked Lower Rio Grande Valley, they come face-to-face with the human side of the immigration debate and enter uncharted emotional waters.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube

 

Virunga

Recommended by: Corrin LaCombe, Adventure Specialist

A powerful combination of investigative journalism and nature documentary, Virunga is the incredible true story of a group of courageous people risking their lives to build a better future in a part of Africa the world’s forgotten, and a gripping exposé of the realities of life in the Congo.

Available to stream on Netflix

 

The Dawn Wall

Recommended by: Amanda Rofheart, Adventure Specialist

In an unbelievable story of perseverance, free climber Tommy Caldwell and climbing partner Kevin Jorgeson attempt to scale the impossible 3000ft Dawn Wall of El Capitan.

Available to stream on Netflix 

 

Chasing Ice

Recommended by: Rachel Milton, Adventure Prep Specialist

Follow National Geographic photographer James Balog across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video

 

Blood Lions

Recommended by: David Jacobson, Adventure Accountant

Blood Lions follows acclaimed environmental journalist and safari operator Ian Michler, and Rick Swazey, an American hunter, on their journey to uncover the realities about the multi-million dollar predator breeding and canned lion hunting industries in South Africa.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube and Google Play

 

Dancing With the Birds

Recommended by: Camie Kirkevold, Administrative Assistant

From ruffling their majestic feathers to nailing im-peck-able courtship routines, birds in paradise flaunt their best moves in hopes of landing a mate.

Available to stream on Netflix

 

The Blue Planet I & II

Recommended by: Davis English, Voyage Manager & Adventure Concierge

This definitive natural history of the world’s oceans covers everything from popular shores and teeming shallows to the mysterious open depths. Two-thirds of the planet is covered by the oceans and yet they remain largely unexplored and certainly under-filmed. This series changes all that and subsequently changes our views of the deep. Advances in underwater photography have opened the doors to unknown territories never before explored.

Blue Planet I available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube
Blue Planet II available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube

 

Seven Worlds, One Planet

Recommended by: Janet Wood, Adventure & Voyage Concierge

Millions of years ago incredible forces ripped apart the Earth’s crust creating seven extraordinary continents. One Planet Seven Worlds, presented by Sir David Attenborough, reveals how each distinct continent has shaped the unique animal life found there.

Available to stream on YouTube

 

Chasing Coral

Recommended by: Kendal Bower, Senior Marketing Manager

Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

Available to stream on Netflix

 

Sea of Shadows

Recommended by: Wendy Redal, Editorial Director

The vaquita, the world’s smallest whale, is near extinction as its habitat is destroyed by Mexican cartels and Chinese mafia, who harvest the swim bladder of the totoaba fish, the “cocaine of the sea.” Environmental activists, Mexican navy and undercover investigators are fighting back against this illegal multi-million-dollar business.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube

 

Planet Earth I & II

Recommended by: Davis English, Voyage Manager & Adventure Concierge

This jaw-dropping, award-winning, landmark series from the BBC’s Natural History Unit presents the epic story of life on Earth. Planet Earth I was four years in production, over 2000 days in the field, using 71 cameramen filming across 204 locations in 62 countries, this is the ultimate portrait of our planet. Using a budget of unprecedented proportions, HD photography and unique, specially developed filming techniques, Planet Earth shows you our world in a way you’ve never quite seen it before.

The sequel, Planet Earth II, explores the unique characteristics of Earth’s most iconic habitats and the extraordinary ways animals survive within them. New technology has allowed individual stories to be captured in an unparalleled level of detail. From spellbinding wildlife spectacle to intimate encounters, Planet Earth II will take you closer than ever before.

Planet Earth I available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube
Planet Earth II available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and YouTube

 

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