Back in October, we reported here on Inside Survivor that Survivor South Africa was preparing to film its eighth season domestically due to international travel restrictions caused by COVID-19. Filming wrapped earlier this week and the season, titled Survivor SA: Immunity Island, looks set to premiere in 2021.
The season was filmed in an “extremely strict COVID-19 safety bubble,” according to News24.com. As we previously reported, cast members were made to quarantine for up to 10 days before filming began, and the entire Afrokaans production team lived and worked within a social bubble set up in an area of South Africa that M-Net describes as “a place of isolation, deprivation, and deception.”
According to News24, M-Net plans to reveal the season’s exact location on Sunday’s edition of current affairs program Carte Blanche. Sources previously told Inside Survivor that the season would be filmed on the Wild Coast—a section of the Eastern Cape coast, a province of South Africa. The untamed and desolate beaches of the Wild Coast would certainly make an ideal location for a Survivor social bubble.
Update 12/20/20: The official Survivor SA Twitter account has now confirmed the new season was filmed on the Wild Coast of South Africa and will premiere on Thursday, June 3, 2021.
“When international borders started shutting down in early 2020, we scouted for a local alternative in order to relocate the shoot to South Africa,” M-Net told News24. “However, lockdown measures thwarted this option. When levels were lowered, we reinvestigated those options and decided to shoot on home soil.”
M-Net continued: “The fundamental principles were, how do we keep the cast safe and allow them to play an authentic game within a safe environment? How do we keep the crew safe? How do we preserve the reality storylines by ensuring that there are no stoppages required due to COVID-19?”
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The cast and crew remained isolated from the rest of South Africa during the entirety of filming. There was a support team on the outside that dealt with suppliers. Local hotels made sure that certain areas were off-limits to non-crew, ensuring that hotel guests and the production team were kept separate at all times.
“All cast and crew did quarantine time, under supervision of production, before entering the production bubble,” M-Net explained. “Health and safety functions were paramount to the operational structures and support services like marketing and publicity operated outside the bubble.”
On Friday, the official Survivor South Africa Twitter account posted a video from host Nico Panagio on location, suggesting an announcement of a premiere date is coming soon. Finally, we might have some new Survivor to watch!
Stay tuned to Inside Survivor for more info over the coming weeks.