Survivor: Africa

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Survivor: Africa is the third season of the famous American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. It was filmed in Kenya’s Shaba National Reserve from July 11 to August 18, 2001, and aired weekly from October 11, 2001, until the live finale on January 10, 2002. Ethan Zohn was named the Sole Survivor over Kim Johnson by a jury vote of 5-2 and won the $1,000,000 grand prize.

The premise of Survivor: Africa follows 16 contestants isolated in a remote location where they must provide food, fire, and shelter for themselves. The season is known for its unique location and challenges, including encounters with African wildlife and harsh weather conditions. It also introduced new twists to the game, such as the tribe swap and the first-ever tiebreaker vote.

Survivor: Africa received critical acclaim and is considered one of the most memorable seasons in Survivor history. It is known for its diverse cast and emotional moments, including Ethan Zohn’s battle with cancer and his alliance with fellow contestant Lex van den Berghe. The season also set the standard for future Survivor seasons with its intense gameplay and strategic alliances.

Most Famous Survivor Winners

Premise and Location

Survivor: Africa is the third season of the American reality TV show Survivor. The series follows a group of participants isolated in a remote location, where they must provide themselves with food, fire, and shelter. The show was created by Mark Burnett and Charlie Parsons and based on the Swedish show Expedition Robinson.

The location for Survivor: Africa was Kenya’s Shaba National Reserve, a wildlife reserve in the eastern part of the country. The reserve covers a huge area, and is home to various wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, and elephants. The reserve is known for its thorny enclosures and extreme heat conditions, making survival challenging for the participants.

The location was chosen to provide the participants with a unique and challenging environment. The producers of the show wanted to test the contestants’ survival skills in a location vastly different from the previous seasons. However, the location also posed a significant risk due to dangerous wildlife, extreme heat conditions, and other potential hazards.

Despite the challenges, the location provided a stunning backdrop for the show, with the African savannah and wildlife adding to the drama and excitement of the season. The location also allowed the producers to incorporate African culture and tradition elements into the show, providing a unique and authentic experience for the participants and viewers.

Overall, Survivor: Africa provided a unique and challenging location for the show, with the Shaba National Reserve adding to the drama and excitement of the season. The location posed a significant risk to the participants, but it also provided a stunning backdrop for the show, with the African savannah and wildlife adding to the overall experience.

Cast and Characters

Survivor: Africa featured a cast of 16 players divided into two tribes named Boran and Samburu, after the real-life Borana and Samburu tribes. The castaways included Ethan Zohn, Lex van den Berghe, Tom Buchanan, Kim Johnson, Clarence Black, Kelly Goldsmith, Brandon Quinton, Frank Garrison, Lindsey Richter, Diane Ogden, Jessie Camacho, Carl Bilancione, Linda Spencer, Silas Gaither, and two others.

Ethan Zohn, the eventual winner of Survivor: Africa, was a professional soccer player from Massachusetts. He was known for his athleticism and likability and was a key member of the Boran tribe. Lex van den Berghe, a marketing manager from California, was another standout player. He formed a close alliance with Tom Buchanan and was a strategic force throughout the game.

Kim Johnson, a retired teacher from Michigan, was the runner-up of Survivor: Africa. She was a member of the Samburu tribe and was known for her strength and determination. Clarence Black, a high school basketball coach from Michigan, was another notable member of the Samburu tribe. He formed a close bond with Kelly Goldsmith and was a key player in several challenges.

Other memorable castaways from Survivor: Africa include Brandon Quinton, a bartender from Texas known for his outspoken personality, and Frank Garrison, a telephone technician from Illinois who clashed with several members of his tribe. Lindsey Richter, a hairdresser from Oregon, was also a memorable player. She was known for her athleticism and was a key member of the Samburu tribe.

Overall, the cast of Survivor: Africa was a diverse and memorable group of players who brought their unique personalities and strategies to the game.

Season Overview

Survivor: Africa was the third season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The season was filmed from July 11, 2001, to August 18, 2001, in Kenya’s Shaba National Reserve and aired weekly from October 11, 2001, until the live finale on January 10, 2002.

The season featured 16 castaways split into two tribes named Samburu and Boran, named after two real-life Kenyan tribes. The tribes were given camps that included fencing to help protect them from wildlife. During the first nine days, Samburu dominated in challenges, while the depleted Boran lost three members.

The tribes merged into Moto Maji on Day 19, with nine castaways remaining. The merge was followed by a tribe switch, where the castaways were randomly divided into two teams of four. The teams competed in a reward challenge, with the winning team getting to choose which members of the losing team would go to the tribal council.

The season featured several memorable moments, including a visit from wildlife such as elephants and baboons and a reward challenge where the castaways had to eat a goat’s eye—the season also had its fair share of drama, with several castaways clashing over alliances and strategy.

Ultimately, Ethan Zohn was named Sole Survivor over Kim Johnson by a jury vote of 5-2, winning the $1,000,000 grand prize. The season was praised for its beautiful location, unique challenges, and diverse cast of individuals with different backgrounds, personalities, and skills.

Challenges and Immunity

Survivor: Africa is known for being one of the most challenging seasons of Survivor. The season’s first challenge, “Quest for Fire,” set the tone for the rest. The challenge required the contestants to race across a field, retrieve a torch, and use it to light a series of fires. The first team to light all their fires would win immunity.

Throughout the season, the contestants faced various physical and mental challenges. Some challenges required the contestants to work together as a team, while others were individual challenges. The challenges tested the contestants’ endurance, strength, agility, and problem-solving skills.

In addition to the regular challenges, there were also immunity challenges. The immunity challenges were similar to the regular challenges, but the winning team or contestant would be safe from elimination at the tribal council. The immunity challenges added a layer of strategy to the game, as the contestants had to decide who to vote off without knowing who would win immunity.

The individual immunity challenges were critical, as they guaranteed the winner a spot in the final few contestants. These challenges were often intense and required the contestants to push themselves to their physical and mental limits.

Overall, the challenges and immunity challenges played a crucial role in Survivor: Africa. They tested the contestants’ abilities and added an extra layer of strategy to the game. The challenges were a major factor in determining who would make it to the end and ultimately win the game.

Key Episodes and Twists

Survivor: Africa was a season filled with memorable episodes and game-changing twists. Here are some of the key moments that defined the season:

Question of Trust

In the episode “Question of Trust,” the Samburu tribe faced a difficult decision. They had to choose between keeping their tribe strong by voting out the weaker members or sticking together and voting out one of their own. Ultimately, they chose the latter and voted out Silas Gaither, a strong player some of his tribemates saw as a threat.

Who’s Zooming Whom?

The episode “Who’s Zooming Whom?” featured a twist that would become a Survivor classic. The castaways were allowed to win a reward by correctly guessing who their fellow tribemates had voted for in previous Tribal Councils. This twist added a new layer of strategy to the game and forced the players to pay closer attention to each other’s voting patterns.

The Twist

In “The Twist,” the tribes were merged into one, and the game entered its phase. This episode also featured a memorable immunity challenge in which the players had to balance on a small platform while holding onto a rope. Ethan Zohn emerged as the winner of the challenge and secured his safety for another round.


Survivor: Africa was notable for its strong editing, which helped to create compelling storylines and characters. The season featured memorable players like Ethan Zohn, who won the game with his likable personality and strong gameplay. Lex van den Berghe, who formed a close alliance with Ethan but ultimately fell just short of the final two.

Survivor: Africa was a season filled with twists and turns, memorable characters, and exciting challenges. It remains a fan favorite and is a key moment in the show’s history.

Tribal Council and Eliminations

Tribal Council is a crucial part of Survivor: Africa. It is where the contestants are held accountable for their actions in the game and where they vote to eliminate a member of their tribe. Every cycle, one person is voted out of the tribe until only two contestants are left, who then face the jury vote.

At Tribal Council, the contestants must sit before the host, Jeff Probst, and answer questions about their gameplay, strategy, and alliances. Afterward, they cast their votes privately, and the person with the most votes is eliminated from the game.

The number of votes required to eliminate a contestant varies depending on the stage of the game. A simple majority is enough in the early stages, but in later stages, a more significant percentage of votes may be required.

The eliminated contestants become part of the jury, ultimately deciding the game’s winner. The jury consists of the last seven contestants voted out of the game, and they vote for the winner in a final Tribal Council.

In Survivor: Africa, the contestants voted out at the Tribal Council include Diane, Jessie, Carl, Lindsey, Silas, Brandon, Kelly, Kim P., Frank, Teresa, and Clarence. The season’s winner was Ethan Zohn, who received five votes from the jury.

Finale and Winner

The finale of Survivor: Africa aired on January 10, 2002. The final four contestants were Ethan Zohn, Kim Johnson, Lex van den Berghe, and Tom Buchanan. At the final tribal council, the jury consisted of the seven previously eliminated contestants.

During the questioning, Lex confronted Tom about a plot to oust him. However, in the end, Ethan Zohn was declared the Sole Survivor of Survivor: Africa. He won the million-dollar grand prize and became the third winner of the popular reality show.

Ethan’s win was attributed to his strong social game and ability to form alliances with other contestants. He also won four individual immunity challenges, which helped him secure a spot in the final two.

Overall, the finale of Survivor: Africa was a tense and exciting episode, with the jury members asking tough questions and the final four contestants fighting hard to win the million-dollar prize. Ultimately, Ethan emerged as the deserving winner of Survivor: Africa.

Production and Filming

Survivor: Africa was the third season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The season was filmed in Kenya’s Shaba National Reserve from July 11, 2001, to August 18, 2001. The season premiered on October 11, 2001, and the live finale was aired on January 10, 2002. The 39-day format was followed in this season as well.

The production of Survivor: Africa was challenging due to the dangerous wildlife in the filming location. The contestants were not allowed to move freely due to the presence of creatures that could kill people. As a result, the production team had to ensure the safety of the contestants while filming the show. The show’s producers stayed with the contestants to capture all the necessary footage.

The filming location of Survivor: Africa was chosen due to its unique terrain and wildlife. The contestants were isolated in a remote location, where they had to provide themselves food, fire, and shelter. The show’s production team faced several challenges while filming, including dealing with harsh weather conditions and ensuring the safety of the contestants.

Overall, the production and filming of Survivor: Africa were successful despite the challenges faced by the production team. The show’s unique format and location made it a memorable season for fans of the series.

Reception and Criticism

Survivor: Africa received mixed reviews from both critics and fans alike. Entertainment Weekly gave the season a B- rating, praising the location and challenges but criticizing the cast and gameplay. On the other hand, CBS touted the season as a success, with high ratings and positive viewer feedback.

One of the main criticisms of the season was the lack of diversity among the cast. All 16 contestants were white, leading to accusations of racial bias and a missed opportunity to showcase the diversity of African cultures. Additionally, some viewers felt that the season was too focused on the physical challenges, with less emphasis on strategy and social dynamics.

Despite these criticisms, Survivor: Africa remains a fan favorite and is often cited as one of the most memorable seasons of the show. The season’s winner, Ethan Zohn, has become a beloved figure in the Survivor community and has gone on to use his platform to raise awareness for cancer research.

Overall, while Survivor: Africa may not have been perfect, it remains a significant and influential season in the history of reality television.

Legacy and Future Seasons

Survivor: Africa may not be considered one of the best seasons of Survivor, but it significantly impacted the show. Regarding legacy, it was the first season to feature a tribe swap, which has since become a staple of the show. The season also introduced the concept of the tribe leader, which has been used in subsequent seasons.

Survivor: Africa also featured many memorable castaways, including Ethan Zohn, who went on to win Survivor: All-Stars, and Lex van den Berghe, who returned for Survivor: All-Stars and Survivor: Winners at War. The season also introduced the world to Kim Powers, Kelly Goldsmith, and Teresa Cooper, who have all become fan favorites.

In terms of future seasons, Survivor: Africa has had a lasting impact on the show. The season’s use of a tribe swap has become a standard part of the game, and subsequent seasons have also featured a tribe leader. The season has also been referenced in later seasons, such as Survivor: Pearl Islands, which featured a tribe named after the location of Survivor: Africa’s final immunity challenge.

Survivor: Africa’s castaways have also had a lasting impact on the show. Ethan Zohn’s win in Survivor: Africa helped establish him as one of the show’s most beloved winners, and his subsequent appearances on Survivor have only solidified his status as a fan favorite. Lex van den Berghe’s return for Survivor: All-Stars and Survivor: Winners at War also helped establish him as a memorable castaway.

Overall, Survivor: Africa may not be the most memorable season of Survivor, but it significantly impacted the show’s future. Its use of a tribe swap and tribe leader have become standard parts of the game, and its castaways have become fan favorites with lasting impacts on the show.

Gameplay and Strategies

Survivor: Africa introduced several gameplay strategies that are still in use today. One of the most significant changes was the introduction of the first-ever tribe swap. This twist allowed the contestants to switch tribes, which made it difficult for them to rely on their alliances and forced them to adapt to new situations. This strategy is now a staple of the game and is used almost every season.

Another significant strategy that emerged in Survivor: Africa was the importance of loyalty. Contestants realized that sticking to their alliances and being loyal to their tribe members was crucial to their success in the game. This was exemplified by Ethan Zohn, who won the season by being a good person and earning the respect and loyalty of his fellow contestants.

The strategic game in Survivor: Africa was still developing, so players had to be creative and adapt to new situations quickly. They had to think on their feet and make decisions that would benefit them in the long run, while also considering the short-term consequences of their actions.

Players also had to be aware of the social dynamics of the game and build relationships with other contestants. This was especially important during the merge, where players had to form new alliances and navigate the complex web of relationships developed throughout the game.

In summary, Survivor: Africa was a pivotal season that introduced several new gameplay strategies and forced contestants to adapt to new situations. Loyalty and social dynamics played a crucial role in the game, and players had to be strategic and creative to succeed.

Behind the Scenes

Survivor: Africa was the third season of the popular reality TV show Survivor. It was filmed in the Shaba National Reserve in Kenya, Africa, and aired in 2001. The show was produced by Mark Burnett and Charlie Parsons and hosted by Jeff Probst.

Behind the scenes, the production of Survivor: Africa was a massive undertaking. According to former contestant Ethan Zohn, there were over 300 crew members on location, including helicopter pilots, camera operators, and set designers. Each contestant also had a camera on them at all times, which made for some intimate and intense footage.

One of the biggest challenges of filming in Africa was the wildlife. The production team had to build fencing around the contestants’ camps to protect them from animals like lions and hyenas. They also had to be careful not to disturb the natural habitat of the reserve.

Another challenge was the weather. Filming occurred during the dry season so temperatures could reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Contestants had to drink plenty of water and wear hats and sunscreen to protect themselves from the sun.

The production of Survivor: Africa took place just a few months after the September 11, 2001 attacks. As a result, security was tight, and the contestants and crew had to be extra cautious.

Despite the challenges, Survivor: Africa succeeded, producing three returning players for subsequent seasons: Ethan Zohn, Lex van den Berghe, and Tom Buchanan. The season was also notable for its unique challenges, which included a tribal dance-off and a game of bao, a traditional African board game.

Overall, the production of Survivor: Africa was a massive undertaking that required careful planning and execution. From dealing with wildlife to navigating the aftermath of 9/11, the crew and contestants had to be adaptable and resourceful to make the season successful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who won Survivor: Africa?

Ethan Zohn was the winner of Survivor: Africa. He defeated Kim Johnson by a vote of 5-2.

What tribe did they merge in Survivor: Africa?

The two tribes that merged in Survivor: Africa were Boran and Samburu. The merge took place on Day 19.

What happened to Ethan from Survivor: Africa?

After winning Survivor: Africa, Ethan Zohn competed in Survivor: All-Stars, where he finished in 11th place. He also appeared on The Amazing Race with his then-girlfriend Jenna Morasca, winning the competition. In 2009, Ethan was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but he underwent treatment and eventually went into remission. He has since become an advocate for cancer research and founded the charity organization Grassroot Soccer.

What happened to Frank from Survivor: Africa?

Frank Garrison, a retired telephone lineman and drill sergeant, was the sixth person voted out of Survivor: Africa. After the show, he returned to his home in Illinois and continued his work as a motivational speaker.

Survivor Africa cast

The cast of Survivor: Africa included 16 contestants, including Ethan Zohn, Kim Johnson, Lex van den Berghe, Tom Buchanan, and Teresa Cooper. The cast also included several memorable characters, such as Frank Garrison, who was known for his no-nonsense attitude, and Brandon Quinton, who was openly gay at a time when it was still uncommon on reality television.

Season 3 Survivor cast, where are they now

Many cast members from Survivor: Africa have continued to stay involved in the entertainment industry or have pursued other careers. Ethan Zohn has become a prominent advocate for cancer research, while Lex van den Berghe has worked as a writer and producer in the television industry. Tom Buchanan has continued to work in the cattle industry, while Kim Johnson has retired as a marketing executive. Other cast members, such as Frank Garrison and Teresa Cooper, have continued their work as motivational speakers.

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