'Savage Kingdom: Uprising': Nat Geo Wild's Cool—and Killer—Cats Return Ahead of Big Cat Week

Lori Acken
Natural History Film Unit/Nat Geo WILD

Botswana - Several of the young cubs and Matsumi's daughter have moved over to greet Sekekama who is bearing his teeth.

Ahead of its fierce—and fiercely popular—Big Cat Week, Nat Geo WILD debuts the second installment of the jaw-dropping documentary series Savage Kingdom.

Subtitled Uprising and filmed in remote Botswana, the new episodes feature fan favorites Sekekama, a literal lion king, and his lioness queen Matsumi battling each other as they also fight to maintain their position in their pride. Meanwhile, bold young leopard Neo tests whether or not he’s inherited scrappy mom Saba’s survival skills, and the Pale Pack family of wild dogs struggles to avoid the Pack of Twenty’s brutal fate.

Game of Thrones has nothing on these interwoven clans and warriors, whose daily existence means kill or be killed—but Savage Kingdom and its Big Cat Week brethren are more than just pulse-pounding TV. The programming slate is an extension of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, National Geographic Society’s long-term commitment to halt the decline of the planet’s biggest, boldest felines.

Savage Kingdom: On Safari With the Wild New Docu-Series

Savage Kingdom: On Safari With the Wild New Docu-Series

'Game of Thrones was our shorthand for what we wanted to do,' says the Nat Geo Wild series' director.

Savage Kingdom: Uprising miniseries premiere, Friday, Nov. 24, 10/9c, Nat Geo WILD

Can't get enough of the planet's biggest cats? Mark your calendar now for the Big Cat Week films and specials, all on Nat Geo WILD.

Nat Geo Wild Big Cat Week

Big Cat Numbers

Jaguar vs. Croc
Premieres Sunday, December 10 at 9/8c
World-renowned wildlife photographer Steve Winter and cameraman Bertie Gregory capture the rarely seen, remarkable lives of jaguars in the Pantanal of Brazil. Follow a mother jaguar as she teaches her cub survival while a determined male jaguar, appropriately named Scarface, dives headfirst into the river to tackle the deadliest of opponents – a six-foot long caiman. Clever capybaras and playful giant otters stick with their family members to avoid being jaguar dinner.

Jaguar Vs Croc Scarface

Pantanal, Brazil - Close up of Scarface swimming against current

Man Among Cheetahs
Premieres Monday, December 11 at 9/8c
Here kitty, kitty. Veteran wildlife filmmaker Bob Poole sets out on a madcap adventure following Naborr, a formidable cheetah mother who is determined to keep her cubs alive. Along the way, watch him negotiate the risks and realities of filming in the African wilderness while trying to keep up with the fastest animal on four legs.. This firsthand account of a cheetah chase will have you rooting for the cats and the filmmaker.

Man Among Cheetahs Naborr

Nabosihio Conservancy, Kenya - Naborr and two cubs rest by a tree

The World’s Most Famous Tiger
Premieres Tuesday, December 12 at 9/8c
Known as “Queen Machli,” “Lady of the Lake,” and ruler of her territory in Western India’s Ranthambore National Park, Machli was a legendary tigress that went down in history as one of the most well-known wild tigers in the world. Machli—whose name is the Hindi word for fish due to fish-like markings on her face—was a beautiful and powerful tigress that played a key role in the regeneration of the tiger population in Ranthambore and Sariska National Parks. Discover the incredible stories behind Machli’s rise to power and legacy.

Worlds Most Famous Tiger Machli

Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India - Machli showing her spirit, fights with 'Star male', also known as T28.

Lion Kingdom
Premieres Wednesday, December 13 at 9/8c
Follow the dramatic story of three lion prides battling each other for territory, food and power along the Mwagusi River in Tanzania. When destiny conspires to bring the prides together, it is all out war. Why are these lions intent on destruction? This is the story of life, death and revenge.

Safari LIVE
Premieres Thursday, December 13 at 10/9c
Join us as we head back to South Africa and Kenya to revist the excitement of Safari LIVE for a special two-hour broadcast during Big Cat Week! Get up close and personal with Africa’s most incredible animals — such as herds of elephants, thousands of wildebeest, prides of lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, among many others. Chat with our guides in real time using #safarilive.

Savage Kingdom: Uprising
Miniseries Finale Premieres Friday, December 14 at 9/8c
In the second installment of Nat Geo WILD’s hit global event Savage Kingdom, the drama continues in this volatile, cruel and brutal realm in the remote wilderness of Botswana. Established rulers continue to vie for power while new enemies emerge from faraway lands. Will the aging lion king Sekekama hold on to his bloody crown? Has the leopard prince Neo inherited enough luck from his mother to survive? Can the Pale Pack of wild dogs avoid the fate of the Pack of Twenty? How will the lions of the Northern Pride wreak their revenge on queen Matsumi? Leaders will rise and factions will fall. No one is safe in the Savage Kingdom.

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