Encounters of a very special kind are the hallmark of the famous German wildlife filmmaker Andreas Kieling. He has the ability to amaze viewers on a regular basis by establishing close contact with the most charismatic creatures on our planet, observing them in their natural surroundings and capturing their essence in unforgettable pictures. In very many cases these are creatures which also attract our attention because of a rather menacing fact: they are among the last of their species and are in very real danger of becoming extinct.
In the area around the Cape of Good Hope Andreas Kieling finds opportunities both on land and under water to experience thrilling adventures in the pursuit of his profession. Again and again he places himself in situations which cause even the most experienced filmmakers to catch their breath.
Accompanied by acknowledged experts, Andreas Kieling dives down into the kingdom of the shark. First, from the safety of a cage, he establishes eye to eye contact with the biggest predators of the ocean, the great white shark. But then he decides to go further and enjoy even closer contact with blacktip reef sharks as he searches for tiger sharks.
His work on land is no less spectacular: in Shamwari Wildlife Reserve Andreas Kieling attempts to track down the most charismatic big cat on the African contact. And with great good fortune the wildlife filmmaker really does get extremely close to a shy female leopard. He is rewarded with staggering pictures of this beautiful, elegant creature.
The coastal areas of South Africa, in all their breathtaking beauty, are famous for large colonies of sea lions and penguins. Andreas Kieling moves around freely in the middle of these animals and witnesses everyday life for the fascinating creatures: mating and building nests, bringing up the young and squabbling with neighbors.
When Andreas Kieling undertakes a gripping expedition to the Arctic region of Canada, the contrast could hardly be greater. His aim on this occasion is to be present when mother polar bears and their cubs leave the caves where they have been hibernating for three months during the winter and undertake the tiring journey back to the pack ice region. The mothers have not eaten for over six months; they dig their caves in the fall, give birth to the cubs in the winter and then feed them from their own bodily reserves.
Being too close to human settlements has turned out to be dangerous for brown bears in Romania. Known there as "garbage bears", they have discovered that the villages here are an easily accessible source of food, which makes the bears a very real danger to the local population. For a long time the chosen method of driving away these persistent intruders was to shoot them. Now Andreas Kieling follows the trail of these creatures to an isolated region of the Carpathian Mountain, where he encounters bears and wolves which are virtually extinct in the forests of Europe.
But the wildlife filmmaker does not restrict himself to bears by any means: off the coast of the Dominican Republic Kieling intends to take a close look at humpback whales. Each year almost the entire Atlantic population of these gigantic sea-creatures congregates here - as many as 5000 of them. They come from the extreme north of the Arctic Ocean in order to mate in the warmer water here and give birth to their calves. But on this occasion it appears that the oceans and the humpback whales have conspired to foil the filmmaker: for weeks on end the weather is terrible, and the seas are so rough that filming is quite impossible. The adventure turns into a nightmare of seasickness, although the story does have a happy end.
With his easy, knowledgeable manner, Andreas Kieling guides the viewers on these extraordinary journeys around the world, presenting his close encounters with fascinating wildlife in beautiful natural settings.