My latest job has landed me in West Africa where I’m getting a crash course in making documentaries in a jungle. It’s a challenging place to work in.
The first thing you learn is that it’s impossible to stay dry. If I’m not waist deep in murky swamp water, humidity is up to about 85% so I’m soaked to the skin for most of the day. The weather can switch from scorching sunshine to a torrential downpour in minutes but waterproofs don’t help. After a couple of days I ditched mine – they protect you from the worst of the rain but you sweat so much inside, that you feel like a boil in the bag, microwave meal. My jungle boots, thankfully are made by a British company called Altberg and are designed to let the water drain out as you walk. So my feet are just wet rather than waterlogged which makes a big difference.
The locals insist there aren’t crocs and hippos in this part of the river but it’s still a little unnerving wading through an estuary with a camera on my head. A 6- foot snake tried to climb into our lead dug out the other day so there’s definitely a few interesting creatures knocking around.
Despite the mud, sweat and inquisitive snakes, it’s a truly amazing place to be and all the hard work behind the lens should translate to a gritty and exciting new Discovery series. I can’t give away any details yet but it should be a cracker.
Nick is working for award winning, East London indie Raw Television.