Sibu and Alex’s icy adventure

2009-11-14 00:00

THE attempt by two South Africans to walk to the South Pole is set to enthrall viewers in the SABC series South.

Sibu Vilane, who hails from Swaziland, and Alex Harris from Johannesburg persevere and support each other through the 70-day walk, which sees them deal with isolation, exhaustion and freezing temperatures.

Harris has been climbing mountains for the past 15 years and has been involved in more than 20 expeditions. Having always been an adventurer, he gave up his career in sales and became the youngest person to lead an expedition to Mount Everest.

Harris has climbed the “seven summits” (the highest mountain on all seven continents, including Antarctica) and led trips to both the north and the south side of Everest.

Vilane was the first black African to climb Everest. He is now another of only six South Africans among the 198 members of the Seven Summits club.

This adventurer started his climbing by summiting several peaks in the Drakensberg.

Vilane climbed Kilimanjaro and went on to the Himalayas in 2002. In 2003, he conquered Mount Everest.

While the two are good friends, tensions surface during the expedition, which shows the effects of global warming on the South Pole.

The series reveals the Antarctic region, its islands and continent: a wilderness protected from civilisation by its isolation, making a perfect laboratory to observe our impact on the planet; the worldwide population explosion, ever increasing emissions of carbon dioxide and other waste; the depletion of the ozone layer and climate change.

South also examines the great stories of South Africa’s current and historic participation in the vast Southern Oceans; a place of inspiration, of epic grace, and a reminder of our frailty in the face of nature.

When to watch


South starts on Monday at 7.30 pm and the end is revealed on SABC2 on Monday, November 23.

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