Sometimes getting outside to explore the natural world is easier said than done. However, that doesn’t have to stop you from seeing breathtaking sites, learning about our planet, and becoming inspired for your next outdoor adventure all on your screen.
Luckily, there are plenty of spectacular and informative shows you can watch from the comfort of your own home, so you can still get your nature fix when you’re unable to venture into the wilderness yourself.
So, what are the best shows to watch for nature lovers? Here are the top 10 nature shows which are currently available on Netflix!
Our Planet is a Netflix original docu-series, narrated by Sir David Attenborough and produced in collaboration with the WWF. This was the first nature documentary made by Netflix, and it has been a huge success. It’s even won two Emmy awards, and it’s easy to see why.
With breathtaking visuals accompanied by the soothing sound of Sir David’s voice and a specially commissioned soundtrack, Our Planet depicts the world’s stunning beauty in a very intentional way. It makes you reflect on how we are impacting this extraordinary planet to address conservation issues and celebrate our remaining natural wonders.
Our Universe is a unique 6-part nature documentary that explores the universe’s formation, how the solar system’s elements created our planet, and the interconnectedness of all living creatures to the cosmos.
Narrated by the legendary Morgan Freeman, using amazing CGI special effects and breathtaking nature videography, this series explains the intricate relationships between the creatures on Earth and the wider universe in an easy-to-understand way. In doing so, the individual stories of several animals are told, demonstrating the connection of their behaviors to these greater concepts.
Our Universe is informative, educational, visually breathtaking, engaging, and exciting. It’s a must-watch program for all nature lovers and anyone looking to learn more about our world.
Island of the Sea Wolves
Filmed on Canada’s stunning Vancouver Island, Island of the Sea Wolves is a 3-part series that portrays the lives of several of the island’s animals throughout the changing seasons.
Filmed in the southwest of the island, famous for the iconic West Coast Trail, this show follows the journey of three main characters: Cedar the wolf, Sky the sea otter, and Spiro, the bald eagle. Over the course of the episodes, they all face several challenges, including food shortages, varying climates, predators, and raising their young. We also get a glimpse into the lives of other native Vancouver Island animals, such as bears, marmots, sea lions, and cougars.
This series engages and informs as you become invested in the outcomes of the animals and curious to learn more about their lives on Canada’s west coast.
Set in the Ngogo rainforest in Uganda, Chimp Empire is a Netflix docu-series that follows the lives of a community of chimpanzees. It gives us an intimate look at the Chimpanzees’ sophisticated familial and political structures and territorial disputes.
Although technically a documentary, this 4-part series is more of a story, diving deep into the subjects’ lives, which creates an emotional connection with the audience.
From caring for one another to forming alliances and the ongoing fight for power, Chimp Empire allows us to identify behaviors in natural societies that are also reflected in the human world, helping us to better understand where we descend from.
Our Great National Parks
Narrated by former President Barack Obama, Our Great National Parks is another Netflix production with a calming sentiment and a message of conservation.
This 5-part docu-series covers some of the most astounding protected areas in the world, from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to the magnificent mountain ranges of Chilean Patagonia, and plenty in-between. In doing so, we are shown some of the planet’s most beautiful landscapes and close-ups of the fascinating animals which call these places home.
Through a combination of remarkable visuals and expert narration, Our Great National Parks teaches us more about why preserving the wild is a priority.
With each episode narrated by a different A-list actor, Animal is an immersive and entertaining docu-series that keeps you engaged throughout.
With two seasons, four episodes apiece, each episode focuses on a different animal and goes into much more detail than most documentaries. With topics including feeding habits, pack behavior, mating, evolution, and the impact of climate change, Animal provides a fascinating insight into the lives of some of the world’s more extraordinary creatures.
Plus, with beautiful footage and some never-before-captured moments, this series is a must-watch for any animal lover.
Life in Colour
On a list of shows for nature lovers, there’s no surprise that more than one Sir David Attenborough show is featured!
Life in Colour is a TV mini-series that, throughout its 3 episodes, explores the various ways in which animals use color to survive. From beating a rival to winning a mate or hiding from an enemy, color is an essential feature of nature that has so many more uses than we realize.
The bold and dazzling visuals, combined with Sir David’s commentary, make for an engaging, entertaining and (of course) colorful watch.
Down to Earth With Zac Efron
Not strictly a nature show, but definitely worth a mention, Down to Earth is a documentary series starring actor Zac Efron as he travels the world exploring themes of nature, renewable energy, life experiences, and travel.
This series might not be quite as informative as some of the other shows on this list, but it provides a refreshing view of the world, raises awareness about environmentalism, and is highly entertaining!
Across its two seasons, the series also gives us a glimpse into the innovation, food, culture, and stunning landscapes of various countries around the world in a fun, curious and lighthearted manner.
Finally, for cuteness overload, Wild Babies is a thrilling, informative, and adorable 8-part docu-series narrated by Helena Bonham Carter.
Throughout the show, you will follow the adventures of 17 animal families, including baby penguins, otters, elephants, lions, and more. The series provides a fascinating insight into how these young animals learn, grow, and handle the highs and lows of the wild.
With spectacular footage, the audience is given a close-up view of these baby animals, pulling at your heart strings and getting your heart racing, as you witness the animals’ vulnerability and the danger they face at such a young age.
BONUS: A Life on Our Planet
Although not a show, A Life on Our Planet is still worthy of an honorable mention in a list curated for nature lovers. You’re probably already familiar with this 2020 feature film, but if not, then this is an absolute must-watch.
This feature film is Sir David Attenborough’s ‘witness statement’ about what he has seen of the natural world and its disappearance throughout his (then) 93 years of life. Through his experiences and observations, he shares a key message about the balance of biodiversity and how this is essential to the delicate natural cycles which create stability in our world.
As you watch this moving documentary, the deep concern shared by Sir David is felt as you realize the gravity of our impact on the earth’s ability to survive. Fortunately, the film also addresses the key steps we must take to restore the world’s balance and ensure the future of planet Earth.
This film is fascinating and educates us on the most important issues we will face in our lifetime, and it should be mandatory watching for everyone.
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