When it comes to filming diverse terrain and stand-in locations, it seems like nothing can beat good old Southern Africa. So when the producers of a brand new adventure series - think Indiana Jones - needed to shoot scenes in Egypt, Ethiopia, the Amazon jungle and the Caribbean, they chose Namibia, KwaZulu Natal and Cape Town instead.
The series, titled Hooten and the Lady, is set to premiere on ITV Choice (DStv channel 123) on Tuesday, 13 December 13 at 20h00 and will run for six weeks. The show revolves around Hooten, a rogue adventurer (Michael Landes) who, in every episode, travels to a different country in search of lost treasure, complete with a British Museum curator in tow (aka the Lady, played by Ophelia Lovibond).
Apart from scenes filmed on location in Rome, Moscow and at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Landes reveals that some episodes were shot in Southern Africa due to various factors: "We werent allowed to go to Egypt or Ethiopia, so we shot those two episodes in Namibia," he says.
"As for the Amazon jungle in which Hooten and the Lady find themselves in episode one, that's really South African jungle. We were in KwaZulu-Natal, about two hours away from Durban, where we filmed for two and a half weeks and where our snake wranglers caught 42 snakes, including black mambas," says Landes.
The last episode in the series was also shot in South Africa, although this time around it doubled for the Caribbean.
"When you go to the jungle in South Africa, it's tropical versus the dry heat of Cape Town it's hard to believe it's the same country, Landes concludes."
Hooten and the Lady was a big hit with critics and audiences alike when it broadcast in the UK recently with The Mirror describing the series as "Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone in this adrenaline-fuelled action adventure ... (that) packs in breathtaking stunts, exotic locations, thrills, spills and romance."