National Geographic released its newest instalment in the award winning Secrets of franchise this weekend called the Secrets of the Elephants. The four part series premiered on Saturday, 22 April on Earth Day on Disney Plus, and is also being shown on DStv.

From Academy Award winning film maker James Cameron, the series is narrated by Natalie Portman and showcases elephants in ways we’ve never seen them in their natural habitat. At the launch event at the Pilanesberg on 20-21 April, we got to watch several episodes of the docu-series and it’s a bit of a given that the storytelling and footage is outstanding.

The series is shot from the savannahs of Africa to urban landscapes in Asia, featuring the Namib desert and Congo Rainforest. The show also reveals how similar elephants are to humans, which is very moving.

You can watch the trailer here if you haven’t yet seen it:

Here’s a synopsis of each episode from National Geographic:

Desert: This episode reveals the secrets of Namibia’s last remaining desert elephants. When droughts, sandstorms and even floods threaten them, their shared knowledge passed down from generation to generation keeps them alive. This is the toughest place on earth to be an elephant, and their story is one of triumph in a land of extremes.

Savanna: Big families and strong relationships are the basis of success for savanna elephants. As we uncover their secrets, we start to understand their remarkable language. It’s not just noise; they communicate like us. Good leadership and close friendships help them through the hard times as they scale cliffs, find their place in the hierarchy and mourn their dead.

Asia: As humans encroach ever further into their environment, Asian elephants are learning to adjust to the challenges facing them. They know how to use tools to break down electric fences, strike deals with farmers, and develop a cooperative arrangement on tea plantations where they do the weeding without damaging the crops.

Rainforest: The Congo rainforest is home to one of the world’s most elusive species, the African forest elephant. Everything about them—their bodies, their behaviors, their families—is adapted to life in the rainforest. But surviving here means more than just adapting. These elephants have shaped the forest around them to their needs and, in doing so, have created a habitat unlike any other on Earth.

If you love animals or nature, or just anything from National Geographic, you’re in for treat.