Celebrate Earth Day with ‘Explorer: The Last Tepui’ on Disney+

Entertainment Television

Deep in the Amazon jungle, steep cliffsides create massive “islands in the sky” known as tepuis. Because of their isolated location, these tepuis could be areas of unique biodiversity similar to the Galapagos Islands. Unknown species of flora and fauna could live along their vertical drops as well as on their flat tops. In order to explore these tepuis, it will take experienced climbers and scientists as documented in the new National Geographic special, Explorer: The Last Tepui.

Climber Federico Pisani makes a first ascent up the cliff face of Weiassipu, a tepui in Western Guyana. (National Geographic/Renan Ozturk)

What Is Explorer: The Last Tepui?

The Disney+ Earth Day special Explorer: The Last Tepui, follows elite climber Alex Honnold (Free Solo) and a world-class climbing team led by National Geographic writer and climber Mark Synnott on a grueling mission deep in the Amazon jungle as they attempt a first-ascent climb up a 1000-foot sheer cliff. Their goal is to deliver legendary biologist Bruce Means to the top of a massive tepui. The team must first trek through miles of treacherous jungle terrain in an effort to help Dr. Means complete his life’s work: searching the cliff wall for undiscovered animal species. The one-hour special is the newest installment of National Geographic’s long-running Explorer series.  Explorer: The Last Tepui begins streaming on Friday, April 22nd on Disney+. The show is directed by Taylor Rees and Renan Ozturk and produced by Jeanmarie Condon and Drew Pulley for National Geographic and ABC News Studios.

Bruce Means
Biologist Bruce Means in front of the pristine Double Drop Falls of Guyana. (National Geographic/RYAN VALASEK)

Why You Should See Explorer: The Last Tepui

Explorer: The Last Tepui offers incredible cinematography as the cameras follow the team through beautiful environments while trekking through jungle or making a vertical ascent up the side of the tepui. What makes this expedition even more challenging is that Bruce Means is 80 years old! The goal is to not only get Bruce to the tepui, but also to hoist him up along the cliffsides so he can seek out new species. The trek through the difficult jungle terrain is challenging. However, once the team arrives at the tepui, Alex Honnold then takes the lead as he scales up the side to get to the top and provide a way for other team members to follow. The expedition offers many different dangers and challenges that the team must overcome. There are no trails through the jungle and the terrain is rarely flat or level and so overgrown that at times the team is walking on slippery roots and branches while the ground drops down into deep crevices. When the team finally gets to the wall of the tepui, new difficulties present themselves. 

wall camp
The climbing team is settled into their wall camp at night on a tepui face deep in the Amazon. (National Geographic/Renan Ozturk)

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Explorer: The Last Tepui. It is very engaging as it focuses not only on the difficult trek, but also on the wildlife found along the way. I gained a greater appreciation for the sacrifices scientists make to discover new species of flora and fauna that are only found in remote and isolated parts of our planet. I also have immense respect for Dr. Means’s passion for his work as well as his perseverance and grit to trudge through thick jungle to continue his life-long work. I highly recommend watching Explorer: The Last Tepui. It is great for the entire family. So for this Earth Day, learn why the tepuis – much like the Galapagos – are a treasure trove of biodiversity worth protecting.

Be sure to watch Explorer: The Last Tepui when it premieres on Disney+ on Friday, April 22nd Here is a trailer for the show.

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