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RIVERS OF LIFE

Experience the extraordinary animals, epic landscapes, and remarkable people who live alongside three iconic rivers - the Amazon, the Nile and the Mississippi in this landmark three-part series.

Nile crocodiles can reach over 5 meters long, and are a common sight on the river banks of Murchison Falls National Park. With one of the strongest bites in nature, few will get in their way.

Nile crocodiles can reach over 5 meters long, and are a common sight on the river banks of Murchison Falls National Park. With one of the strongest bites in nature, few will get in their way.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC/Lydia Baines

Huge islands of floating papyrus flow down the Nile in Uganda - these are an irresistible feast for the elephant, who will spend most of their waking hours chewing through this lush vegetation.

Huge islands of floating papyrus flow down the Nile in Uganda - these are an irresistible feast for the elephant, who will spend most of their waking hours chewing through this lush vegetation.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC/Lydia Baines

Hippos spend most of their day in the water, to keep cool from the heat of the African sun. Hippos have glands underneath the skin that secrete a sweat like substance that acts as both a sun screen and an antibiotic.

Hippos spend most of their day in the water, to keep cool from the heat of the African sun. Hippos have glands underneath the skin that secrete a sweat like substance that acts as both a sun screen and an antibiotic.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC

This was once the country house of brutal Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin. Its last human inhabitants left in 1979, and it has now been reclaimed by nature, housing quite a plethora of new guests.

This was once the country house of brutal Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin. Its last human inhabitants left in 1979, and it has now been reclaimed by nature, housing quite a plethora of new guests.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC

In Uganda, the 50 meter wide Nile is squeezed through a 7 meter chasm in the rocks. This creates one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world - Murchison Falls. The thunderous noise of the falls can be heard miles away.

In Uganda, the 50 meter wide Nile is squeezed through a 7 meter chasm in the rocks. This creates one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world - Murchison Falls. The thunderous noise of the falls can be heard miles away.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC/Lydia Baines

Juan Flores is an Ashankinka shamen or "Sheripiari." He is a reknowned spiritual healer who mixes extracts from wild medicinal plants with water from the "boiling river" at Mayantuyacu in Peru.

Juan Flores is an Ashankinka shamen or "Sheripiari." He is a reknowned spiritual healer who mixes extracts from wild medicinal plants with water from the "boiling river" at Mayantuyacu in Peru.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC/Mark Flowers

The "Blue Lagoon" is spring fed and very unusually for the Amazon has wonderful transparent water making it a window into it's secret underwater world. It's a natural aquarium.

The "Blue Lagoon" is spring fed and very unusually for the Amazon has wonderful transparent water making it a window into it's secret underwater world. It's a natural aquarium.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC

The Cristalino river is especially rich in butterflies with more than 1500 species. They flock together on river beaches to feast on salts in animal urine and bird droppings.

The Cristalino river is especially rich in butterflies with more than 1500 species. They flock together on river beaches to feast on salts in animal urine and bird droppings.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC/Joao Paulo Krajewski

Hoatzins are some of the most unusual birds in the world, often called stinkbirds due to the side effects of their strange diet. They eat leaves, and have a specialized gut to help them digest their food. They are essentially flying compost heaps. Their young are some of the only birds in the world to have claws on their wings.

Hoatzins are some of the most unusual birds in the world, often called stinkbirds due to the side effects of their strange diet. They eat leaves, and have a specialized gut to help them digest their food. They are essentially flying compost heaps. Their young are some of the only birds in the world to have claws on their wings.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC/Joao Paulo Krajewski

The Atchafalaya Swamp in La., fed by the Mississippi, is the largest swamp in the United States.

The Atchafalaya Swamp in La., fed by the Mississippi, is the largest swamp in the United States.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC

River guide, John Ruskey paddles through the Atchafalaya Swamp in La., fed by the Mississppi, this is the largest swamp in the United States.

River guide, John Ruskey paddles through the Atchafalaya Swamp in La., fed by the Mississppi, this is the largest swamp in the United States.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC/Chris Vile

Huge groups of American White Pelicans flock to feed on migrating fish, coralled beneath a dam at the outflow of Marsh Lake in Minn.

Huge groups of American White Pelicans flock to feed on migrating fish, coralled beneath a dam at the outflow of Marsh Lake in Minn.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC/Simon Blakeney

The Madison River, a distant tributory of the Mississippi, which is kept flowing year round by the steaming geysers of Yellowstone National Park.

The Madison River, a distant tributory of the Mississippi, which is kept flowing year round by the steaming geysers of Yellowstone National Park.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC/Simon Blakeney

Aaron Mulkey climbing a frozen waterfall as the ice is constantly moving and creaking. He must try to pick the safest route to the top.

Aaron Mulkey climbing a frozen waterfall as the ice is constantly moving and creaking. He must try to pick the safest route to the top.

Credit: Courtesy of BBC/Simon Blakeney

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