Filmed during a brutal drought in central Africa, this brilliantly photographed video from National Geographic follows the punishing predicament of animals living along the dwindling Luvuvhu River. As the water level sinks during the dry season, animals, including baboons and impalas, are forced to seek water in pools filled with hippos and deadly crocodiles. At one point the crocodiles, who are the focus of the filming, are described as "artists of violence," and the term seems entirely apt when they are seen striking out with lightning speed from places of total concealment in the water and mud. As the camera lingers on the watering hole, the behavior of increasingly desperate and thirsty animals is shown in all its brutal detail, and portions of this video will have the squeamish averting their eyes. Even though the violent outbursts are handled as tastefully as possible (it is, after all, a National Geographic production), some scenes, such as a violent confrontation between crocodiles and baboons, are heartrending. And while some of the video is inevitably difficult to watch, the photography is always spectacular; some of the shots, such as scenes of a baby hippo blithely wallowing among the crocodiles under the mother hippo's watchful eye, are astounding. This video is both brutal and beautiful, and puts the viewer as close as possible (and desirable) to some of Africa's most amazing wildlife. --Robert J. McNamara
In the daily struggle for survival, terrible thirst drives wildlife to water...even when the water is just inches away from the jaws of a crocodile. During one harsh season, a punishing drought draws some of Africa's most magnificent creatures to the shrinking pools of the Luvuvhu River. Its dwindling waters provide relief for baboons, impala, elephants, lions, water birds and bee-eaters - but also a refuge for scores of hungry crocodiles. Amidst the stunning scenes of nature at its harshest, strange things happen. A baby crocodile basks on top of a hippopotamus. Baboons attack a crocodile that has taken a youngster from the troop. Crocodiles harass a heron and steal its hard-won catch. And hippos calmly wade into the middle of a crocodile feeding frenzy. But the power of nature and her relentless drought may prove greater than even that of the most fearsome beasts. This cruel season may turn out to be the LAST FEAST OF THE CROCODILES.