Throughout my 4-year journey to every African country I've been filming to produce:

  1. A TV series that shows The Unseen Africa
  2. A film documentary.
  3. Video stock footage.

Regarding #2, I have absolutely no idea how I plan to condense four years of travel into a 90-minute documentary. No clue. I'll worry about that in 2017. In the meantime, I'll just keep filming. 

Freddie Trimble, who is works with the Sheffield documentary festival in the UK, wanted to share his four favorite travel documentaries. I've only see the first one, but the rest look promising. Check them out.

Guest post by Freddie Trimble and Caroline Schupfer

A travel documentary film gives you an concentrated insight into different cultures and traditions, information on attractions or travel in general, and a greater awareness of different people and their lifestyles. Travel documentaries give you a better understanding of the world, and of the people you share it with, all without trying to sell you some overpriced travel package deal or recommending any commercial tour operators.


As one of the most valuable, yet much underrated and underexposed educational device, travel documentaries supplement your awareness as a human being a little bit at a time. They are filled with real life stories and show you true beauty; triggering your inner wanderlust, appealing to your senses and your true human instincts of wanting to get out there and explore.

Here are some of the best examples of documentaries that will inspire you to backpack to places worth exploring:


Ron Fricke’s visual documentary Samsara is definitely out of the ordinary. With his precise and captivating shots we were whisked around the world, experiencing all walks of life; effectively contrasting the overwhelming beauty of the natural world, along with what we see as manufactured destruction.

We were left guessing about where many of the places were due to the absence of a narrator, although it was exciting to recognise a few places that we have been ourselves. One example being the aftermath of a volcanic eruption in Cappadocia, Turkey.

This visual delight will certainly force you to take a step back, and give you a clearer perspective of the brutal diversity of our planet.

Sahara with Michael PailnSahara with Michael Palin

In his four-part travelogue, Palin travels around Northern and Western Africa, exploring the largest desert in the world.

In the first part, ‘A Line in the Sand’, he develops his taste for Africa in Morocco, a country that delights the all the senses.

Although it’s probably not sensible to visit everywhere, if you do have a desire to explore the desert, we recommend heading to Merzouga.

From there you can truly experience the majestic beauty of the Sahara desert; dune surfing, glimpses of the Algerian border and even stay overnight at a Berber village. 

Welcome to IndiaWelcome to India 2012

Fighting for a living in a life with few opportunities and running away from the mechanic sharks tearing down their very few belongings; BBC’s ‘Welcome to India’ shows us the daily ordeals of India’s people.

Despite this, their resourcefulness and fanaticism is not only admirable but also puts a smile on your face. We’re convinced we could discover a great deal from meeting such people; they’re an inspiration.

In the first of the three part documentary, an impartial voice is given to ‘Kaale’, an ambitious gold sweeper, along with Rajesh and his wife ‘Sevita’; their somewhat unconventional love marriage destined them to an uncertain life on a flyblown beach.

India is definitely an affordable choice for any budget backpacker looking to broaden their horizons. You can expect your daily budget to be in the region of $10-15 per day, accommodation included.

Human Planet

“Only one creature has carved a life for itself on every habitat on earth.”

Human Planet WaterThere isn't much we can say that will fairly justify the power of this series; it has always been one of our favourites. Throughout the extensive 8 parts we are shown the sheer adaptation of human relationships with all types of climates. To be honest, we felt like incompetent and useless humans after seeing what some people are casually capable of. We are shown people sea-diving to 20m depth without oxygen, and climbing 40m trees with no safety equipment: all in the means of their livelihood. The compilation of the individual stories filmed in around 80 locations will definitely have you engrossed and feeling the symptoms of wanderlust.

These are just few of many inspirational documentaries out there that will inspire you to grab your backpack, and become immersed into similar experiences that you see in the films.

About Freddie Trimble and Caroline Schupfer: We’re students that are excited to travel/backpack around the world; we have set up a website that brings together a collection of travel documentaries: 

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