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157 voters

The Best Nature Documentary TV Shows

Updated May 14, 2021 1.6k votes 157 voters 18.0k views119 items

List RulesShows near the top must be only the best Nature Documentary TV series.

The very best nature documentary shows on television, ranked from best to worst. This list of the greatest nature documentary shows also includes pictures from the shows when available. Popular nature documentary TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about what the most entertaining nature documentary show of all time is. Don't let your favorite nature documentary television programs in history get to the bottom of the list- be sure to vote them up so they have the chance to reach the top spot. The list of nature documentary television shows below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available.

Examples of shows on this list: The Private Life of Plants, In the Womb and more.

This list answers the questions, "What is the best nature documentary show of all time?" and "What are the greatest nature documentary shows?"
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    Planet Earth II

    Sir David Attenborough

    Premiered2016

    Planet Earth II (BBC One, 2016) is a British nature documentary series presented and narrated by Sir David Attenborough. This 6-part limited series explores how animals meet the challenges of...  more

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    56
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    Planet Earth

    avid Attenborough, Sigourney Weaver

    PremieredMarch 5, 2006

    Planet Earth is a 2006 British television series produced by the BBC Natural History Unit. Five years in the making, it was the most expensive nature documentary series ever commissioned by the BBC...  more

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    The Private Life of Plants

    David Attenborough

    Premiered1995

    The Private Life of Plants is a BBC nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, first shown in the United Kingdom from 11 January 1995. A study of the growth, movement,...  more
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    56
    14

    The Life of Birds

    David Attenborough

    Premiered1998

    The Life of Birds is a BBC nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, first transmitted in the United Kingdom from 21 October 1998. A study of the evolution and habits of...  more
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    53
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    The Living Planet

    David Attenborough

    Premiered1984

    The Living Planet: A Portrait of the Earth is a BBC nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, first transmitted in the UK from 19 January 1984. The sequel to his...  more
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    46
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    Life in Cold Blood

    David Attenborough

    PremieredFebruary 4, 2008

    Life in Cold Blood is a BBC nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, first transmitted in the United Kingdom from 4 February 2008 on BBC One. A study of the evolution...  more
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    41
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    The Life of Mammals

    David Attenborough

    Premiered2002

    The Life of Mammals is a nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, first transmitted in the United Kingdom from 20 November 2002. A study of the evolution and habits of...  more
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    36
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    Life in the Undergrowth

    David Attenborough

    PremieredNovember 23, 2005

    Life in the Undergrowth is a BBC nature documentary series written and presented by David Attenborough, first transmitted in the UK from 23 November 2005. A study of the evolution and habits of...  more
  • 9
    Africa is a 2013 British television series created by the BBC Natural History Unit. It focuses on wildlife and wild habitats in Africa, and has been four years in the making....  more
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    33
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    Madagascar

    David Attenborough

    PremieredFebruary 9, 2011

    Madagascar is a British nature documentary series, first broadcast on BBC Two and BBC HD in February 2011. Produced by the BBC Natural History Unit and Animal Planet and narrated by David...  more
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    35
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    Life on Earth

    David Attenborough

    Premiered1979

    Life on Earth: A Natural History by David Attenborough is a television natural history series made by the BBC in association with Warner Bros. and Reiner Moritz Productions. It was transmitted in the...  more
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    28
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    Big Cat Week

    Jonathan Scott

    Premiered1996

    Big Cat Diary, also known as Big Cat Week or Big Cat Live according to the format of the show was a long-running nature documentary series on BBC television which follows the lives of African big...  more
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    30
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    South Pacific

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Mike Rowe

    PremieredMay 10, 2009

    South Pacific is a British nature documentary series from the BBC Natural History Unit, which began airing on BBC Two on 10 May 2009. The six-part series surveys the natural history of the islands of...  more
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    29
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    In the Womb

    Dilly Barlow

    Premiered2005

    In the Womb is a documentary television special miniseries that was premiered on March 6, 2005, on the National Geographic Channel. Originally beginning as a special about human pregnancy, the...  more
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    31
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    The Crocodile Hunter

    Steve Irwin, Terri Irwin

    Premiered1997

    The Crocodile Hunter (Animal Planet, 1997) is an American wildlife documentary television series. Steve and wife Terri educate and entertain on the subject of Australia's all too often dangerous...  more
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    25
    5

    Saving Planet Earth

    Alan Titchmarsh

    Premiered2007

    Saving Planet Earth is a season of nature documentaries with a conservation theme, screened on BBC Television in 2007 to mark the 50th anniversary of its specialist factual department, the BBC...  more
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    22
    2

    Inside Life

    Barney Harwood

    Premiered2009

    Inside Life is a BBC nature documentary series for children's television which aired on the CBBC Channel in autumn 2009. It is a companion to the BBC Natural History Unit's series, Life, which looks...  more
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    23
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    Yellowstone

    Peter Firth

    Premiered2009

    Yellowstone is a BBC nature documentary series broadcast from 15 March 2009. Narrated by Peter Firth, the series takes a look at a year in the life of Yellowstone National Park, examining how its...  more
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    21
    2

    The Secret Life of Elephants

    Sarah Parish

    Premiered2009

    The Secret Life of Elephants is a BBC nature documentary series following the lives of elephants and the work of the conservation charity Save the Elephants in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. It was...  more
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    31
    14

    The Blue Planet

    Tania Zaetta, Sami Lukis

    Premiered2001

    The Blue Planet is a British nature documentary series created and produced by the BBC, It premiered on 12 September 2001 in the United Kingdom. It is narrated by David Attenborough. Described as...  more
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    21
    2

    Wild Africa

    Fergal Keane

    PremieredNovember 7, 2001

    Wild Africa is a British nature documentary series created and produced by the BBC, it explores the natural history of the African continent. It was first transmitted on 7 November 2001 on BBC Two in...  more
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    19
    2

    Crocodile Hunter Diaries

    Steve Irwin, Bindi Irwin

    Premiered2002

    The Crocodile Hunter Diaries is a wildlife documentary television series first aired on cable TV channel Animal Planet. It was created as a spin-off to the original Crocodile Hunter series hosted by...  more
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    19
    2

    Croc Files

    Steve Irwin, Terri Irwin

    Premiered1999

    Croc Files is a wildlife documentary television series focusing on crocodiles first aired on cable TV channel Animal Planet. It was created as a spin-off to the original Crocodile Hunter and The...  more
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    21
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    The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart

    Hugh Quarshie

    Premiered2010

    The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart is a British nature documentary series, which began airing on BBC Two on 24 January 2010. A BBC/Animal Planet co-production, the three-part series focuses on the...  more
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    22
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    Nature's Great Events

    Sigourney Weaver, David Attenborough

    PremieredFebruary 11, 2009

    Each year, the planet is transformed through some of the most breathtaking natural events across our ecosystem, triggered by seasonal changes on a grand scale. These dramatic natural visual...  more