Top Gear (2002–…): Season 19, Episode 6 - Africa Special, Part 1 - full transcript

In the first of a two-part Top Gear special, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are in Africa with a simple mission - to find the definitive source of the Nile. Over the years many explorers claim to have already done just that, but the Top Gear trio believe that they can do better by traveling using only grit, ingenuity and three ageing estate cars.

Hello! Thank you,
everybody, thank you,

and welcome to what is
a Top Gear Special,

a two-part adventure
around the heart of Africa.

We were each told to buy
a second-hand estate car

here in Britain for not more
than 1,500 quid.

And then we were told to report,
with our cars,

to the start line, which was
in a small village in rural Uganda.

So, you've seen Sir David
Attenborough's take on Africa,

now it's time to see ours.

'I was the first to arrive
and I was feeling a bit nervous.'

As you can see, I've gone for
a BMW 528i, and on the internet,

it looked fantastic.

But, I've now had the chance to
examine it more closely,

and one or two things are giving me
cause for concern.

For example,
it's got a manual gearbox.

Now that tells me the previous owner
was the sort of chap that

likes to take it to the max
between gear changes.

the front tyres are Pirellis,

the back tyres are made by a company
I've never heard of.

So that tells me
it's been run on a tight budget.

I don't know what the challenge
is going to be,

but I'm going to be doing
it like that.

Oh, hang on, that is the throb
of a turbocharged flat-4 engine.

A sound which, all over the world,

heralds the imminent arrival
of a moron.

'And it did here, too.'

It's Richard Hammond, everybody,

who I suspect has started
to dye his hair.

See what you think.


And there it is.

It is, yes.

Well, there can be only one word.
Legend. Subaru Impreza WRX estate.

And driven by emeritus professors
all over the world.

Yes, yes. No, no.
Just hang on. Here's my thinking.

I don't know what challenges face us
here, but think about it.

Subaru stands for

WRX stands for world rallycross,
which the Impreza just owned.

It's all there. Four-wheel-drive,
turbocharged estate.

But you're going to look
stupid doing it.

I don't have to look.

I know I'm wearing double denim,
and that is a mistake,

but you've got Daktari trousers on,
and the wheels of the agri-yob.

Actually, it looks a bit like you.


You know, small, and with
a sort of surprised expression.

"A tree!" Yes.

"A house!"

Well, then, that's perfect.
My face in that car.

Honestly, I'm so chuffed.
This time, I've done this right.

Big boot. Practical.


So, what have you got?


528i, rear wheel drive,
2.8 straight-6.

How many miles has it done?

151,000. This, though, is the last
of the mechanical 5-series.

After this,
they started using computers.

What, their solid state?

This is simple, mechanical
engineering. Anywhere, listen.


James isn't here. No.

No surprises there.

I know for a fact what he's got.

Go on.

He'll have a Volvo.


He'll have gone...
Yes, yes, yes.

Because you know he's got
no imagination at all.

'As it turned out,
James did have a Volvo,

'but not the sort of Volvo
we were expecting.'

That isn't an 850 R, is it?

It is, it is!

That's a bold call!

Gentlemen. Yes?

You bought an 850 R?

It doesn't matter, it's a Volvo.

This defines the estate car. Nothing
else is an estate car, only this.

Have you seen the tyres on an 850 R?

Well, there aren't any.

It has tyres.

It's just a thin veneer of paint
on a wheel.

But they're high-performance tyres.
It's a high-performance car.

I know. It does 146mph.

Do you remember
British Touring Car Championships?

These were great fun to watch.

Yes. And they were on dirt tracks,
weren't they? No.

Racetracks. Yes.

Do you think when Volvo sat down to
the design the 850 R,

they said, "Now, Africa."

"We need to try
and get some market share over there,

"so let's lower the suspension,
fit very low profile tyres."

They didn't think that in
so many words,

but when you design a Volvo,
you design it for everything.

It doesn't look at home, does it?

That looks at home.

That looks at home on the M4
in the outside lane,

too close to the car in front,

being driven by an embittered
toner distribution manager.

He's right.

Let's be honest.

That's going to beach.

It's not. It is!

'As we argued, a challenge arrived.'

Oh, hello.

Thank you.


"You will find
the source of the River Nile."

That's it? That's it.

Oh, so we're Livingstone, Burton
and Speke!

Yes, we are.

And I have the right car!

Oh, come on, for exploring.
If Livingstone was still alive...

He's not, is he?

No. Ken Livingstone is,
but it's not Ken Livingstone.

If the other, explorer Livingstone
bloke were alive,

he would drive
a Subaru Impreza WRX estate.

Yeah, but Speke, my favourite of all
the Victorian explorers, Beemer man.

Was he? Yeah.

So do we just go that way?

Well, do you know,
I'd head downhill, personally.

Oh, no, no, uphill!

Right, uphill.

Looking for the source of a river,

Here we go.

The source of the...


The source of the River Nile.

The Nile,
the longest river in the world.

A mighty 4,000-mile ribbon
of year-round water,

running from the heart of Africa
to the Mediterranean Sea,

bringing life and sustenance
to millions.

Finding its source
has occupied the minds

and claimed the lives of explorers
for thousands of years.

Roman legions, Arab traders,
the Victorian British.

All have forged a path through
the fast heat of this awe-inspiring

continent to find where the raging
torrent came from.

And today, we would join that
illustrious band of brothers.

We would take up the challenge
no matter what the perils,

no matter what the hardships,
no matter what...

I'm sorry to interrupt myself,
but I think we have a problem.


We've found it.




That is Lake Victoria.

It is.

Man has known for 160 years
that Lake Victoria

is the source of the Nile,
and it's not like we could miss it.

It's quite large.

It is the size of Latvia.

Is it? Yeah.

This exploring is not as hard as
I thought it would be.

No, my car hasn't suffered at all.

No, I'm fine.

What are we going to
do for the rest of...?

We're only a few minutes in.

We could pretend we haven't.
If we stand like this...

No, because you can hear it.

You can't miss it.


Look, we've already found it,
you idiot.

That is the source of the Nile.

"This is not
the source of the Nile."

It is.

"The source of the Nile
is still disputed.

"The Victorians thought
it was Lake Victoria,

"but today we know this huge body
of water is fed by many rivers.

"One of them is the true source,
and even today, in 2012,

"experts have not been able
to determine which it is.

"You will."

You know what?

This is an opportunity for us

to write ourselves
into the history books.

I mean, finding the source of the
Nile, if we can say this is it...

And then it would be marked
on a map,

and we'd be able to go,
"That was us."

This is quite a big one.

That's quite good, actually.
I quite like that.


It says experts have not been able
to determine which it is.


Well, where do we fit in?

'We broke out the map, and
discovered that two places

'are currently marked
as the source of the Nile.

'One in Burundi, found by
a Dr Burckhard Waldecker,

'and one in Rwanda,
found by Joanna Lumley.

'And since our source had to be
further from the Mediterranean

'than either of these two,
it had to be further south.'

Hang on, hang on.
Here's the Nile, OK, but look.

The Nile also comes here,
into this lake, and then this lake,

which is connected to that lake.

It doesn't say on the map,
but if these two are connected, look,

this will be the source of the Nile,
down here.

but if those two are connected,

I think we'd know about it by now,
and they would have drawn it on.

No, no, you say that,

but David Livingstone thought
the source of the Nile was down here.

So what we need to do is go here

and establish that these
two are joined up,

check it out, we're in business.

And so our epic journey began.

A journey that would see us taking
on nature at its most brutal.

There would be lions, insects
and thick, glutinous mud.

We'd have to climb every mountain
and ford every stream.

And we'd have to do it all in three
second-hand cars we'd bought

for less than 1,500 quid each.

Right, my car.

Well, it's got quite a sticky
throttle, but other than that,

every single thing works,
even the air conditioning.

I've never, ever had a car with
working air conditioning

before on one of these trips,
but I have now, and it is joyous.

The Impreza is all about that engine
and drivetrain.

You're just aware,
constantly, that this is rally-bred.

The other two, they're just sporty
versions of ordinary estate cars.

This is the best car here, fact.

It's a cracking car,
the Volvo 850 R.

This one's done 145,000 miles.

It's just clicked over, in fact,
onto that figure,

and you wouldn't really know.

It's so smooth,
the transmission is excellent,

the engine is silky,
everything works.

Except the air conditioning.

But at least that saves me

the effort of getting really annoyed
when the other two deliberately

break it out of spite,
jealousy and small-mindedness.


Crikey! It's the Ugandan rozzers.

I think the President's
just driven past us.

A couple of rules you need to know,
really, about Uganda,

if you're coming here.

Number one, if you're a male
homosexual and you indulge in

your homosexuality,
it's life imprisonment.

That's very important to know.

Also, it is compulsory here for
motorcyclists to wear crash helmets,

unless you are a woman on her way
back from the hairdressers.

Then you are allowed to wear
a carrier bag on your head instead.

I promise that's true!

At this point, the producers
told us to stop off

at the still bullet-scarred
Entebbe Airport.

It was here, in 1976, that Israeli
special forces staged a daring

operation to rescue passengers
from a hijacked airliner.

Oh, wow, look at this!

I'll tell you what, I couldn't be
Israeli special forces.

You'd get out of breath.

I'm exhausted.

They'd be sitting there thinking,
"Help, here comes help," and then...


"Sorry, just give us five!"

More bullet holes.

'Out on the balcony,
we saw something a bit worrying.'

Is that a Ford Scorpio?

Where? There.

It is.


I'd say that's there for one reason!

That's why they brought us here.

Funny. Because what that is...

That's the forfeit car. It is.
If one of our cars goes wrong...

Which, let's face it, James,
yours is going to break in half.

I've always liked the Scorpio!

You have not!

You know that word you like,
James, gopping?

It is gopping!

That was invented. Nothing has ever
been more gopping than that!

'And as we prepared to leave,

'it looked like one of us
would soon be driving it.'


That's full throttle.

It's revving, slightly,
but I'm not doing it.

You know this all-mechanical BMW of
yours? You were very proud of that.


Does it have a fly-by-wire throttle?

Yeah. Ha-ha-ha!

So it's all mechanical,
except that bit?

'Jeremy broke out his vast
and sophisticated toolkit.'

What else is electrical in here?

BOTH: Not the exhaust manifold.

I've done the fuse box,
if that's what that is.

That's an air filter.


"It's all mechanical,
you can mend it with a hammer!"

If this works... Yes?



Soldier on.

With my throttle still not
working brilliantly,

we set off for the lakes.

But first, we had to get through
Uganda's capital city.


This is going to turn out to be
one of those places

with terrible crash statistics.

In fact, Hammond was wrong.

Because to have a crash,
first you have to be moving.

Holy cow!

That is...

We're never, ever, ever
going to get through.

What are we going to do,
seriously, here?

We're never,
ever going to get through there.

'It's probably safe to say
the Victorian explorers

'didn't face problems
as big as this.'

Oh, Jesus!

Sally Traffic, are you watching
this on Radio 2?

Because this is what
we call a traffic jam.

From now on, just go, "Everything's
going very well in England, really."

Oh, my God.

Hammond, this is phenomenal.

It is the heaviest traffic ever,
ever seen.

This is just like a scrapyard
on the road in front.

Cars and vans
piled on top of each other.

Going to finish our days here.

Well, we're all right
if we want supper.

I fancy a banana.

Excuse me?

'Not knowing the exchange rate,
I accidentally bought more than one.'

No, it's all right.
Do I have all of them?

Oh, Christ! Oh, bloody hell!

How do you do that?

How the hell do you do that?

I can't!

Three hours later, our average speed
made for grim reading.

It must quieten down soon.

It's evening now.

'But it didn't.'

It wasn't a dream.

I'm still here.

I can't get over how heavy those
bananas were.

How could she have them on her head?

'By this stage,
we were pretty famished,

'but then breakfast turned up.'

Wow, that's just a meat
feast in front of me here!

Hang on, look, look. Right.

Well, you were here first,
so do I buy yours?

More bones.


What, it's goat bone?

I don't want that.

How much is the water?

Yes. How much is that?

This one. It just happens
to be that.

Obviously, it is. Of course it is.
Thank you very much.

No, thank you. I've got one.

What is it?

Is it a chair leg?

Soon we found a dual carriageway,

and, at last, the traffic
started to move.


That's it, that's the end!

We headed west, towards the lakes,

surprised at how easy this
exploring was turning out to be.

This is just tremendous. This
is like being in northern France.

Look at that ahead.

Ha-ha, Hammond,
you don't need a Subaru.

This road is fantastically smooth.

Apparently it was built
by the Chinese

in exchange for some oil deal.

It's like the Swiss have done it,
or some Austrians.

Yeah, right now,
we could be on the M4.

But the point is, further on,
if things get tough, if we end up

off this road and on tracks,

the other two will be
completely stuffed.

I will have the last laugh.


It's my town!

We've just entered Jezza.

Oh, no!

When I say we've just entered Jezza,
that's a disgusting thought.

We've come into Jezza.
No, we haven't come into Jezza.

Even though we were
on an important mission,

I decided we should pull over
and have a look around.

Jezza church.

They've actually had a church
where they worship me.

Protect and serve?

I've never seen that
and those close.

That doesn't make any sense at all.

My name is Jezza.

Your name is Jezza?

My name is Jezza.

What do you think of that?

You'll like this, James.

There is Jezza's back alley.
Well found.

At this point, to demonstrate that
Hammond's car was too small,

James and I bought him a present.


Do you like it?

We like it, because it's really
the dralon. Yeah.

Because we know you like dralon
because you're from Birmingham.

And we know that you like
the peacock and cheetah blend

which gives an African and
yet Birmingham flavour. Yes.

And I've put it in my car
and we know it fits.

We know it fits, and mine.
It fits in both our cars.

Does it? Yes, it does.

Does it really? Yes.

Precisely into your car?

It's snug.


Anyway, Hammond. There are plenty
of people here who can help you.

Good. Let's pop it in
the back of my car.

OK, now, maybe I could...

I think he's started
to dye his hair.

Do you?

Have a look. He's 45 and
there isn't a grey hair.

You know Paul McCartney? Yeah.

Have a look at that.

I think if I maybe...

Oh, easy, yeah. That'll fit.



Is it nearly in? Let's have a look.

Pretty close.

What you've got now is a big
rear spoiler.

That's how it runs.

Right, I think it's time to
pull out of Jezza.

I just hope no-one sees me doing it.

'As we headed further West,
we discovered that rural Uganda

'is the world capital
of the speed hump.'

Oh, God!



James is now regretting
selecting the R.


If they get any bigger,
I've had it, if I'm honest.

'Annoyingly, though,
the speed mountains

'didn't seem to worry the agri-yob.'

Easy. No problem, goodbye.


'But Jeremy and I suffered,
for mile after graunching mile.'


That's it, no more.

Apart from that one.

But that really was
the absolute last one.


Oh, my God!



Not yet.

'As night started to fall,
it was time to look for a hotel.'


'And Hammond thought we'd stand
a better chance of finding one

'if we switched to the side roads.'

'Which was a great idea(!)'



I can't stop!

Oh! You idiot!

I can't stop it!

Well, I can't stop it, either!

I'm enjoying the sounds
of disaster behind me.

Hammond, there had better
be a really good hotel

at the end of this.

These buildings down here,
there'll be a very nice hotel.

One of those with a posh book in it.

So, in your mind, because
there's tea being grown,

there's a sort of plantation house
with a veranda and somebody saying,

"Would you like a gin sling?"

People in white linen suits with
hats on have to come to tea

plantations to test and buy tea
for supermarkets.

I've seen it on the television.

They will need hotels to stay in,

there will be one near the tea
plantation, if not in it.




If we're about to rejoin
that main road,

I'm going to have to get out and
kill you very slowly, I'm afraid.

I believe that is what has happened,

Still, at least it's
a lovely evening.

There you go. I told you there
would be a hotel, and there it is.

I don't see anybody coming out to
help with our luggage.

So, let's go and check in.


That is characterful, isn't it? No.

Have you heard of those
boutique hotels?

with a style all of their own?

You're getting that room.

This one's got a chair and a table.

I don't think you'd even notice
the smell after a while.

Oh, my God.


The next morning,
desperate to redeem himself,

Hammond called an emergency
breakfast meeting.

Let's just face reality here.

We're in Africa, and we're not in a
big, touristy bit of Africa, are we?


All the hotels are going to be like
that or worse, and I've had an idea.

If you suggest camping,
there will be a live

and celebrated television death.

Your love affair with tenting...

No, I'm not camping.

It's not, I...

Let me finish. I haven't said tents.

We've all three got estate cars,
yeah? Yes.

Why don't we sleep in the cars?

We can control it, it's ours,
they're dry, warm...

Just get in the car.

Actually, that's not a bad idea.

Get a sleeping bag,
sleep in your car.

I could get a mattress that hasn't
got excrement all over it.

But seriously, you could get
a mattress in your car, easy.

I could easily get one.
I'm not sure about you.

Did you have that as an idea?

He sort of did, yeah.

Come on, it's like camping,
but it's not camping,

because there's no tents.

No, you're right, it's a good idea,
but don't do that, "Come on,"

as if we're supposed to go,
"Hammond, you're brilliant,

"you've redeemed yourself with quite
a good idea." He hasn't.

And this is where you've brought
me for breakfast.

No breakfast, then, obviously,
because Christ The King,

as it turns out, is shut.

Which means that Christ The King
hasn't risen yet.

That's the problem.

Right, come on. It's a plan,
it's stuff to do.

'We split up,

'and set about getting the stuff
we'd need to convert our cars.'

The best hotel room I ever stayed in
was in South Beach, in Miami,

and what I'm going to try and do
is replicate the decor there

in the back of my Beemer.

Morning. Morning.

Do you have any white cotton?

Oh, and it's got a cockerel on it.

Yeah, I'll have one of them
and the kettle. Thank you.

Nails? Yeah.


There we go.

And this is half inch? Perfect.

That's quite a lot, isn't it?
That's more than I expected.

I didn't think it was this long,
I'll be honest.






This kind of size, for me. Small.

Standard size.

5' 7" is enough.

Well, 5' 7" and a half.

'With all our materials bought,
we set to work.'

This is epic!

'And then met up to
reveal our creations.'

behold the future of exploring.

I've given this some thought.

It'll be a mouse cage.

No. Look! Wow!

Let me talk you through it.

I'm just going to climb into
the sitting area at the back,

but it's not just a sitting area -
note the footwell for the feet.

Where the spare wheel was? Yeah.

Where's that now?

It's gone. There's a bin in here.

But you can't fail to notice
the kitchen.

Burners, gas, taps,
running water, cold and cold.

Do these work? Yes, yes.

So you've got a gas bottle in here?


OK. No, that's fine.

And a storage cupboard,
full of useful things for me.

Along here, everything
I need for cooking and eating.

And where do you sleep? There.

There's the bed. You see?
Let me get out.

Leopardskin sheets.

We are in Africa.
Come and have a look, see.

You can go in by the side entrance.


Yes? Our gift.

Well, there wasn't room for it.

Actually, that is
now my upstairs sitting room.

Is it?

Well, let's move on to have a
look at May's car, shall we?

You will see a gentleman
explorer's quarters.

It's got a globe,
it's got a telescope, it's got maps,

it's got music.

It's a library, James. Yeah.

Things you don't need when you're
looking for the source of the Nile.

Number one, library.

Well, if you look carefully, you'll
see some of the books are about

exploring, plus there's a selection
of English poets to read in bed.

Do any of the books contain the
exact location of the true source

of the Nile, in which case it's
a rather wasted exercise anyway?

No, but it's inspiration.

So there's a library in the front.

And I'm guessing, in the back,
some kind of dungeon.

Whoa! That's not a dungeon, is it?

It's a living quarters
combined with a workshop.

That's... I'm genuinely astonished.

Would you like me to run through
what's in there? Not really.

May I just sneak in, do you mind?

That doesn't look terribly

It's been good enough for the Army
for several hundred years.

And this will just make you itch.

It's an itchy blanket. It's designed
to remind you how lucky you are.

So you can cook food for us, you can
mend mechanical things that go wrong.

Keep us going. What have you done?

What have I done? Yes.

You might want to come
and have a look.

I should warn you, there are two
electronic things on this car.

The throttle, which is broken,
and the electronic boot release,

which is broken,
so I've fitted a manual replacement.

And there you are.

What I've done is I've filled it with
Egyptian cotton and duck down.


Is that a coffin? Yeah.

Who knew a coffin was dual purpose?

But it is.

It could be used for bodies, or I've
used it as a chest of drawers.

Washing things, clean clothes,
dirty clothes and shoes.

Can I just say, it's all very nice,

but you haven't
considered your colleagues' needs.

Well, there are two features on this
car that you might be interested in.

In the front, gentlemen, we find
here, instead of a passenger seat...

Oh, so you have thought
of sustenance, a fridge.

That's good, that's good.

And it runs off the cigarette
lighter in the car.

That's a tradable commodity
you've got there.

It is, but something even more
useful than beer.

No, actually, no.

Nearly as useful as beer is
what I've fitted over here.

A shower.

And if we peel back the curtain...

Oh, it's a complete
bathroom in there.

Oh, yeah.
So, you lower this window...

It lowers it automatically?

Hang on. Yes, it does, but...

It's not going.

There are three electrical components
on this car, as it turns out.

I get it. The window goes down, and
that lowers the bog seat,

is that right? Yes, exactly.

That's quite theatrical.
It doesn't work, but it's very...

Well, the battery's somehow
gone flat.

I suspect the fridge is drawing
quite a lot of power. Mmm.

Can I have a jump?

'With the BMW re-energised,
we set off once more for the lakes.'

'So, here we are now,
Livingstone, Burton and Speke

'in full explorer mode.'

James, with those modifications,
will have added,

got to be getting on for a tonne,

which will have reduced his ground

from one inch to much less
than one inch.

What an idiot.

I have made it quite heavy.

'Still, could be worse.'

I've uncovered one design
feature in here that I don't like.

The driver?

No. Every time I brake,
my curtain closes.


'Despite my terrible hardship,
we carried on,

'and soon we turned off the road

'where the speed humps
were frequent...

'..and onto a road where
they were continuous.'

Oh, God!

Nice. Washboard gravel.
My favourite.

'Once again,
though, the agri-yob was unfazed.'

More like it.

Finally, I get to do some




Because we were now off the beaten
track, we started to encounter

more animals, but sadly,
as we saw in Botswana,

the Top Gear cameramen do struggle
when they're not filming cars.

No, there!

Did you see that, Hammond?
It was a monkey.

Did you get it?


What elephant?

Elephant on the right-hand
side of the road.

Oh, this is strangely familiar,

you telling me about animals that
you've just seen that I haven't.


Oh, you evil sod!

That reminds me
of a television programme.

James, can you think what that
television programme was?

Shut up, shut up!

Shut up, shut up, shut up!

Was it Richard Hammond coming to
you from a tent in the dark?

Was it that one?

Hammond, there was a little man,
and he kept saying,

"I've had an amazing day,
I've seen lots of animals,

"but sadly, this is live
and it's dark now."

Shut up!

we arrived at Lake Edward.'

Whoa, that's a beautiful lake.

'So beautiful, in fact, we decided
to stop on its shoreline

'for a night in our new

Right, let's pitch the tents. Done.

Beer? It's already chilled.

That would be lovely.
I'll put dinner on.

Oh, God! What?

My bed's gone out of alignment.

Oh, you've got problems.
There we go.

What's your problem?

No, what's your problem?

Nothing. I think the chair,
the fringe has just slightly...

What is your problem?
Oh, dear!

Is this every single thing?
I'm just going to tidy up.

It's Hammond's kitchen nightmare.

'We sat and watched the sun go down,

'looking forward to Heston Hammond's
delicious dinner.'

I'm enjoying the bean course.
Yeah, good.

What's next? Beans.

Can you honestly not cook anything
other than beans? No.

What's that? Fly paper.

Do you still not like insects?

You know, they've got their place.

In the world, or something.

Is it in your car?


'Then, it was time for bed.'

Nobody in the history of Africa has
ever been more comfortable than this.

I'm under a layer of duck down and
Egyptian cotton,

I'm watching Kristin
Scott Thomas in a film where she's
bound to do lesbionics at some point.

I've had some beans.

Oh, this is just heaven.


What's for breakfast?


'Today, our exploring would
begin in earnest,

'but first, we had to mend
Jeremy's car, again.'

What you need
under here is an M8 screw,

and a home-made little clip made
out of tin, which I've got in there.


'While I was doing this,

'Jeremy had time to develop
one of his theories.'

Gentlemen, this is a map, OK,
of what all these famous explorers

told the Victorian English
was Africa.

Now, look at the Sahara Desert.

Which is really tough and difficult,
we've been there, it's horrible.

All done, every nook
and cranny explored.

This is really tough.

Sudan, impossible.

Awful. All done.

But, here, in this pleasant
garden of Eden where we are now,

unexplored territories.

What was holding them up?



It's not mountainous, every tree
has got food growing out of it.

It's a good point,
when you think about it.

There's nothing here that would
stop you. Gentle wooded hills.

Temperature? Lovely.

Yet they kept coming out here
and saying,

"Oh, very difficult,
I must go out there for five years.

"I shall probably be lost."

It all stinks a bit, doesn't it?

So let's just work it out.
England, go home.

"Would you like to go to Mrs
Simpson's piano recital

"this evening?"

Or they come out here,
dusky maidens, lovely temperature,

very pleasant views,
great food, get a tan.

Write home, tell them it's awful.

Yes, exactly.

Send a letter. "Dear Mrs Hammond.

"It is with a heavy heart that
I write to say

"we have not seen
Richard for three years."

"He's in the vice-like grip of,
what's that name? Fever?

"I'll put that in. Malaria, yeah."

Basically, our conclusion is that
Victorian explorers were just

a bunch of hoorays on a very
long gap year.

Yes. Yes.

Is that right?
Well-funded gap year here.

With all that cleared up,
we set off to do exploring.

Our task was to scour the
perimeter of Lake Edward to see

if any of the rivers we crossed were
flowing into it from the lake below.

If it turned out these lakes
were joined,

we would head south to find the
true source of the River Nile.

Follow me. River this way, gentlemen.

Right, this is actual off-road,
and it's starting to rain.


That's more like it.

Feeling confident about your choices
of car now, chaps?

Are we moving, Hammond, or not?

Yes. The question is for how long,
and James, you've gone very quiet.

Yeah, yeah.

This car is just masterful.


'James's masterful Volvo was now
minus its protective skid plate.'

Oh, dear.

Oh, look, it's all under the car.

"They laboured for six long months
to cut off the plastic spoiler."

You do that, I'll go
and write to your loved ones.

Would you, would you?
Make it sound a bit better.

Put a lion in it, some fever.

Build it from there.

'With the Volvo mostly mended,
we got back to exploring,

'and unlike the Victorian hoorays,
we decided not to shilly-shally.'

This is Top Gear exploring.

High-speed exploring!

This is good.

We will cover some ground.

'In the racing Volvo, though,
life was not so good.'


This is going to be bad.

Ah, ah!

I'm going to have to
stop for a minute.


'Our colleague
was in considerable pain.'

'So we left him behind.'

"Dear Mrs May."

"James has suffered a terrible
back injury wrestling a lion."

"He will be home, in maybe five
years. Please send money."

River, Hammond, river.

Oh, hello, exploring to be done!

'We needed for it
to be flowing north.'

I've got 68 degrees east.


It's no good to us.

Here we go. More exploring.

Yes, now I've got a siren.


It's going that way, east.


That's the angle
I want you to tell me.

East. It's no good.

'When Captain Backache caught up...'


'We still hadn't found a river
flowing in the right direction.'

I think this is our final bridge.
I think it's the last river.

We don't need to throw a stick in
that to see which way it is
flowing, do we? Not really.

It is going that way.

Sort of southeast. Southeast? Yeah.

'Our theory about the two lakes being
connected was in tatters.

'Our expedition seemed to
be at an end.

'So that night in camp,
the mood was despondent.

'But then, while poring over
the maps, I noticed something.'

Wait a minute, wait a minute...

Hammond! May! What? Come here,
come here, come here.

You see it says here, "source du
Nile"? Yes. Source of the Nile.

That is Joanna Lumley's, and that is
the furthest the water has to

fall down a very wiggly river
yes? Yes.

This one is in Burundi,

this is the furthest the crow
flies from the exit of the Nile.

OK? Yes. Yes.

I believe they are both wrong.

Where is the exit of the Nile?

which you can see on this. There.

So their rivers flow through
Lake Victoria

and then go there to another sea,
inland sea, effectively.

The Mediterranean isn't even
tidal, just like Lake Victoria.

The actual exit of the
Nile is Gibraltar,

because that is where it goes into
the ocean. The ocean is here.

Their sources are both to
the west of Lake Victoria.

I see what you mean.

We are looking for a river
on the east side of Lake Victoria.

Do you see what I mean?
Because it is further...

It is further from Gibraltar.

And I have found it.

Gentleman, the actual source of
the Nile is around there.

Southeast of Lake Victoria.

That is as far from Gibraltar
as you can get. You follow a river

called the Grumeti, or it's a
tributary of the Grumeti,

which I have traced back.

I can't work out exactly where
it is but it is about here.

That is the furthest as the crow
flies and it is the furthest
the water flows.

That is extremely good.

We are here, we have
to get from where

we are on completely the wrong side
of Lake Victoria to the other side,

that is going through
Rwanda, Tanzania, to there.

It is such a long way.
It is a long way.

It's worth it though, isn't it?

'The next morning,

'the Top Gear crew prepared for the
long journey that lay ahead.

'Hammond, meanwhile, cooked
breakfast.' Oh, careless.

'And I fitted a new skid plate to
protect the underside of my Volvo.'

'Nobody is allowed to
use my car as a lavatory any more.'


You can hear my improvised
guard working there,

protecting my vital intercooler
from mud and sharp points.

To be honest it is
a bit of an improvisation,

it's not the thickest steel
there is.

You have to work with what you've
got out in the bush.

I had a cold shower this morning,
my penis was like a press stud.


Out into the wilderness, in my
little mobile house. Hello, chaps.

Are you both stuck?
'Are you stuck, James?'

'I have gone into a bit of a soft
bit, are you stuck?'

I tell you what, let's find out.

Oh, come on! Ha-ha-ha!

I've improved
the style of the Subaru no end!

I'm free as well. Ha-ha-ha!

Thank you, guys, that was a trap,
wasn't it? A bit, yes.

You evil sods.

We pointed our cars at the border
with Rwanda and set off on

a 600-mile journey to what we now
knew was the true source of the Nile.

I wonder if we are heading towards
that massive rain cloud.

Yes, we are, aren't we?

MUSIC: "Africa"
by Toto

As the miles rolled by, we started to
climb into the mountains.

Oh, wow, this is
very, very pretty, here.

'But, we couldn't really admire the
view, because the road was starting

'to be a bit of a test for two
of the 1,500 quid second-hand cars.'

My bash plate is
earning its keep today.

Oh, cock.

Oh. We are both in the same boat
here, James and I.

It is called the HMS Careful.

Meanwhile, far ahead,

my four-wheel-drive Subaru was
scampering along.

Come on, come on!

I am king of the forest.

Bloody hell, look at this one.

Come on, beemer! Come on!

How is it doing this?


Absolutely no chance.

'Annoyingly, I had to ask the
agri-yob to come back and help.'

What is the expression about pig
in... It's Hammond in mud?

Yeah, it'll pull out.
Give him a tug. I'm going to.

Did it hit you? Yes, it did
What was that?

It was a huge chunk of
tree just bounced off...

And smashed my windscreen. Has it?
Yeah. We probably should get
a move on. I will back it up.

James, get your tow rope out.
Go, go, go.

'As I pulled James free...'

Yes! Bloody brilliant, Hammond.

'..some locals arrived
and Jeremy decided

'to give them a quick lecture
on his theories
of off-road driving.'

Now, I believe in speed. Power.

Power and speed solves many things.

Right... James, how far?
Middle of the puddle.

(THROUGH MEGAPHONE) Speed and power!


Go faster! Speed and power doesn't
work. It was doing quite well.

To be honest,
I was surprised you got that far.

Do you think you could push it out?
Yeah. Yes? OK.

Which way...? Oh, I've got
to get out of the way. These guys
are immensely strong.

Drive back, drive back. OK.

Good going!

There you go.

'Having freed Jeremy, the men
started to build him a new road.'

I wouldn't do that bare
feet, I can't watch.

I am assuming
he has never got it wrong

because he still has
an entire right foot.

OK. Three, two, one!


Yes! Well done, that
was amazing. Well done.

Thank you, guys, that is amazing.

'With my dues paid...'

Thank you, thank you.

'..we were back on our way.'

It is amazing, those guys actually
turned out to be Ugandan army.

Up here training.
God, they are strong.

'We hoped that that would be
the last of the mud,

'but as the day went on
it got even worse.'

Oh, no, I have no steering.
No, no, no!

Go! Thank you.

It is beached.

Bloody hell.

Thank you. Hit it.

Oh, cock.

We are just going to blow the
clutches to pieces.
Going to have to pull it out.

Go on, go on, go on,
you son of a... Ha-ha-ha!


That was so damn close.

'And then, to add to the misery, I
discovered there had been treachery.'

How long has that been there?
Good grief! You must have...

Hammond, I know what your panto face
is. Hammond, where is that?

What are those really big things?
They could rip steel.

I know exactly where it is.

I have no idea and you will never
get it out of me. May!

Is that thing on the front
of your car made out of my door?

(Yes, it is.)

Is that my door? What?

It is from my door,
I know it is from my door.

You're not using that bit
and it was more useful on my car.

You didn't even notice. That's it,
that's it. Can you give me a tow? No!

As evening drew in,
conditions started to improve.

This is all feeling a bit Gorillas
In The Mist. It's a bit mystical.

It is kinda wonderful.

'Thanks to my door,
the Volvo had survived the ordeal.

'But in the BMW,
my throttle problem was even worse

'and my handbrake had broken.'

Hammond, keep moving, I can't stop,
I can't do hill starts any more.
Keep going.

This has to be one of the toughest
days we have ever had on Top Gear.

There hasn't been a single moment
when one of us wasn't stuck.

No car is built to survive
conditions like this. None.

Not one.

'And there were still more
than 500 miles to go.'

Hammond is hot on my tail in the
quest for the source of the Nile.

And now Rwanda.

Oh, my God.
That might have killed the car.

There she goes. Oh, yes!

Gently, gently. We are going in.

30 seconds.


I'm through.

BLEEP Hammond is not having this.

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd