The Wild is a South African soap opera created by Rohan Dickson, Richard Nosworthy and Bronwyn Berry and produced by M-Net's in-house production arm Magic Factory and shot entirely on location which revolves around three families – the Lebones, the van Reenens and the Tladis - who, because of past conflicts, struggle to negotiate a cohesive future, despite being bound together by their relationship to a special piece of land.
Instead of being studio based, The Wild was filmed entirely on location, on various sites, in a manner similar to South American telenovelas.
The main backdrop to the story is a stretch of land that is home to a five-star game lodge. The story revolves around three families – the Lebones, the van Reenens and the Tladis.
Because of past conflicts, these families struggle to negotiate a cohesive future, but the families are bound together because of their relationship to a special piece of land.
This is also where you will find an exclusive lodge renowned for its fine dining, expensive champagne, pampering sessions, game drives at sunset and private chalets.
It attracts staff and guests who are up to all kinds of shenanigans.
The Wild is an M-Net Original Production created and executive produced by Rohan Dickson, Richard Nosworthy and Bronwyn Berry for Magic Factory. The senior writers are Iain Paton, David Gordon and Julie Barker, with storyliner Salah Sabiti and junior writer Carmen Sangion.
Music is by Joel Assaizky with title music by It Sounds Like This.
The Buffalo: charismatic and powerful protector of his community and heir-apparent to the chieftaincy
Played by: Shona Ferguson
When Itumeleng Tladi enters the dining room at Dinaledi Lodge, heads turn: all the men want to be him; all the women want to sleep with him. He is a powerful presence, well built, strong featured and sporting a smile that supports the shining humour and intelligence in his eyes.
He knows he is charming, he knows he is powerful, and he knows he is on the verge of becoming the chief of his people.
He has no qualms about taking over the chieftaincy from his father, Rratladi; he carries the confidence of his birthright and knows he has been groomed for the job since the day he was born.
The Leopard: Itumeleng's wise and principled younger brother, on the cusp of a hot career in advertising
Played by: Tumisho Masha
Modise has it all worked out - he has made a great life for himself in the city. He's a man at the top of his game. A gorgeous girlfriend, great friends, generous income; he has the quintessential good life.
He and his group of university friends have founded a successful Advertising Agency: Umeme. He is without doubt one of the more eligible bachelors in Johannesburg - his easy smile and calm self confidence combine to make a very attractive package.
The Lioness: a helicopter-mom and the matriarch of the Lebone family
Played by: Connie Ferguson
Marang is an extremely intelligent and influential presence who, on the surface, comes across as being selfless and kind.
Tragic circumstance propelled her prematurely into the role of mother and protector of her two younger brothers, Tiro and Khumo. The familial fabric of these bonds dominates her life to such a degree that her own relationship with her husband and children has started disintegrating.
Having “martyred” herself to protect and nurture her brothers, like the lioness, her defence of them is instinctive and uncompromising. For their safety and well being she would fight off any enemy with her full might.
The Elephant: the BEE millionaire who has everything but the love of his life
Played by: Putla Sehlapelo
Tiro has is a young BEE millionaire who stands out as honest and full of integrity. He has everything that he wants in life – wealth, success, respect, power and siblings that love and support him.
His sister has often sacrificed her own happiness for his while Khumo has always looked to him for guidance and help.
Tiro has everything but love has so far been elusive. He is the most eligible bachelor who gets the attentions of all women yet he is still hasn't met a woman that captures his heart.
The Butterfly: the young and sexy Fashion Editor, in search for a real love connection
Played by: Gail Nkoane
Lelo is young, sassy and sexy; living the high life in the City of Gold and loving every moment of the fast paced life. The überfashionista is the fashion editor of the most successful magazine in the country, Chic Magazine.
She has found success and is now looking for love and to be protected by a strong man. She doesn't realise that she doesn't need a man to make her happy; the power within her will be unleashed and she'll become the one to take care of herself and others.
Lelo is in a relationship with Modise but is searching for a deeper connection.
Karel van Reenen
The Rhino: the unshakeable patriarch of the van Reenen family
Played by: Ian Roberts
When Karel stands on his porch and looks out all that he sees once belonged to him but is now lost to the Tladis, the Lebones and the wild.
Karel refuses to flee and even though he's seen as the last of his kind in this region, he is an important figure in this community. He became instrumental in brokering a tenuous peace between the feuding Tladis and Lebones and as a result gained a stake in the lodge.
Karel's fight to keep a grip on his little piece of land is spurred on by the need to keep his family together. But inevitably that need leads him to push his children, Tristan and Sarah, away from him.
What he's failed to do as a father he makes up for as a grandfather – he and Amber are inseparable.
The Peacock: the life of the party and devoted husband to Diksie
Played by: Nathaniel Ramabulana
Red carpet events, personalised plates, overpriced Italian suits, luxury cars, designer outfits for the Durban July – flash and pomp is what Khumo is about.
Having lived his entire life under Tiro's shadow, Khumo just wants some success of his own. But he struggles to make any of his club ventures successful.
What Khumo lacks in business sense he makes up for with street smarts, charm, charisma and his ability to relate to just about anyone.
Diksie is Khumo's cheerleader and rock; her unwavering love and belief in Khumo gives him the confidence to keep trying to succeed.
Tristan van Reenen
The Fish Eagle: the head of conservation and loyal employee of Tiro, a loving husband and father
Played by: James Alexander
Tristan is the passionate, sometimes obsessive, protector of the conservancy on which the Dinaledi Lodge operates. He wants to conserve the environment for future generations and often ends up on a crusade when a crime is committed against nature.
Although his wife, Kate, understands his passion, she can't help but feel neglected at times. Tristan loves his wife and daughter, Amber, more than his work but sometimes he lets the work take over.
Tristan has a tenuous relationship with his father, Karel; they often have opposing ideas about what's best for the family and for the land.
The Meerkat: the streetwise girl from wrong side of the tracks and loving wife of Khumo Lebone
Played by: Lele Ledwaba
Diksie is a rough diamond; she's a kasi chick, streetwise and full of spunk. She's Khumo's rock – protective, supportive and passionately in love.
Diksie will passionately defend her husband's dreams because she wants him to succeed. His success is her success; it validates her and makes her acceptable to high society.
Diksie recognises that she married up and works hard to look like she's part of high society – even when she goes about it clumsily.
Diksie loves the bling and limelight as much as Khumo does and together they always want to out-bling, out-party and even out-love everyone.
Mama Rose Tladi
The Hippo: pillar of the community, mother to all
Played by: Clementine Mosimane
If you had to walk through the Tladi village and ask who was second in command, everyone and maybe even the chief himself, would tell you Mama Rose.
Mama Rose is a leader in the community, unofficially Kgosi Rratladi's right-hand. She serves the community loyally and lovingly and is loved by all and deeply respected.
Mama Rose is above reproach - she is regarded as infallible, so if anyone ever found out about her secret and unrequited love for the chief they would be devastated.
Mama Rose loves her children and through her own hard-headedness has remained in a loveless marriage. She wishes that she had a better relationship with her son, Isaac, but can't shake the feeling that there is just something not right with her first born son.
She feels like a failed parent where Isaac is concerned.
The Jackal: the self-involved rogue superstar ranger
Played by: Melusi Yeni
Isaac is like a lone cowboy straight out of the Wild Wild West. Devilishly handsome and sexy, Isaac is the centre of his universe. Women love him fiercely; it is common for them to get into physical fights over him.
But Isaac is a love-'em-and-leave-'em kind of guy. There's a long trail of broken hearts behind him and there's sure to be many more.
Isaac is on a rise and is set to become the ultimate superstar ranger. He's ambitious and wants to unseat Jack. His ambitions will lead him down a dark path and he'll ride this journey with reckless abandon and great flair.
Jack van Reenen
The Wild Dog: Itumeleng's trusted second in command, head ranger and hunter
Played by: Tyrone Keogh
Jack is the ultimate alpha dog. He's the leader of the pack who has no qualms about asserting his position aggressively. Jack loves to hunt and loves to take risks even more. If it will earn him more spark, he will cross over to the illegal side of things.
He loves the thrill and the pay off and covets Tristan's life. He wants Tristan's success but most importantly Tristan's family. He will do anything to get it but if he does he'll never be satisfied because for Jack, the grass is always greener on the other side.
As Itumeleng's sidekick, Jack is pretty much second in command at the lodge and he loves the power. But ultimately Jack wants more.
Kgosi Rratladi Tladi
The Eagle Owl: the wise chief of the Tladi clan
Played by: Sam Phillips
Rratladi has been the rock of this community that was once scattered and splintered. His wisdom, vision and love for the community have earned him the respect and love of his subjects.
Duty and tradition has kept him from acting on his love for Mama Rose all these years.
Rratladi has started to feel that his days on earth are numbered and so he's watching his heir-apparent, Itumeleng, to see if he'll be a worthy leader.
Rratladi will shock many when he makes a radical decision about the future of the Tladi community and the future of his sons.
Kate van Reenen
The Cheetah: restless, artistic, beautiful wife and mother
Played by: Milan Murray
For Kate, the romance of the African bush is waning. She came to this place because of love. The romance and seemingly idyllic African bush promised to give her the peace that she has been longing for all her life.
The more that Tristan is lost in his conservation work, the more restless Kate becomes. She feels that being a mother and wife should be enough but it's not. She wants more and feels she should be getting it from Tristan.
Kate's restlessness will lead her to self-destruction. Ultimately she'll have to make the hardest decision a wife and mother could ever make.
The Lynx: tenacious, sexy, strong and talented chef at Dinaledi Lodge
Played by: Faye Peters
Bernie is in control. Her career, the kitchen, the life, her finances... everything is in order.
Everything, that is, accept her love life. Bernie struggles with commitment and her need to control everything makes her a terrible girlfriend.
Bernie watched her mother lose control of her life after her father abandoned them. She fears that every man will be like her father and abandon her so she always keeps her wall up, not wanting to be like her mother.
The Giraffe: the no-nonsense Head of Housekeeping at Dinaledi Lodge
Played by: Michelle Bradshaw
Unlucky in love, Lindsay dreams of being a wife and mother but her chances seem to be diminishing. Lindsay has been badly burned by love, she still dreams of being the perfect wife and mother.
When in love she tends to smother the man and becomes too clingy. Her expectations are always too much for the man to handle. Her lack of tact and abrasive nature has held her back from rising up the ranks to a more front of house role at the lodge.
Lindsay is pretty much stuck behind the scenes. She should be moving on but her conservatism and fear of change keeps her here.
The Vervet Monkey: sexy, vibrant and witty, loyal friend to Lelo
Played by: Briony Horwitz
Zoe knows Lelo better than she knows herself. She's a great friend and colleague, always having Lelo's back no matter what.
Zoe is always very clear about what she likes or dislikes and is very quick to let people know that. She lives in a heightened state of reality so everything is always emotional and dramatic – everything is important and never mundane.
Her attraction to bad boys always lands her in tears yet she can't help but fall for the next sexy bad boy.
The Honey Badger: laidback tracker
Played by: Wandile Molebatsi
Quiet, contemplative and laidback, Blessing is often mistaken for a fool. Many think that he's a softy because he doesn't strut around the lodge like the rangers and throw his weight around. Few realise that he's a strong man who prefers the simple and noble things in life.
Blessing learnt to be quite and observe the environment from his father, who taught him all his tracking skills and even though Blessing is a better tracker than his father ever was, he still doesn't think that he's half the man that his father was.
Blessing is content with his life; it'll take his love for the spontaneous, free spirited Christina to open up his eyes to his own potential.
Amber van Reenen
The Baby Warthog: outgoing, compassionate, adventurous daughter of Tristan and Kate
Played by: Amber van Rensburg
Amber's only issues at the moment are how to avoid wearing frilly dresses and stay out in the bush as long as she can. She's outspoken, headstrong, and loves to spend her time in the bush.
She's a girly girl who is crazy about Justin Bieber and the Jonas brothers but also a tom boy who isn't afraid of creepy crawlies and wildlife.
Amber is inspired by Bindi Irwin and never dreams of living anywhere else but in the wild.
Season 1 originally aired on M-Net and M-Net HD from 4 April, 2011 to 29 March, 2012. New episodes broadcast daily, from Mondays to Thursdays initially at 18h00 and later at 19h00. On Monday, 16 January 2012 the show changed time on M-Net Satellite and M-Net HD to 19h00, Mondays to Thursdays. It remained on at 18h00 on M-Net Terrestrial/Analogue.
Season 1 originally aired on e.tv on weekdays at 18h00, premiering on 21 January, 2019. After 125 episodes it was moved from e.tv to eExtra for the remainder of the season, beginning with Episode 126 on Monday 15 July, 2019.
Season 1 Cast
(scroll to bottom for actor bios)
Shona Ferguson ... Itumeleng Tladi
Tumisho Masha ... Modise Tladi
Connie Ferguson ... Marang Lebone
Putla Sehlapelo ... Tiro Lebone
Gail Nkoane ... Lelo Sedibe
Ian Roberts ... Karel van Reenen
Nathaniel Ramabulana ... Khumo Lebone
James Alexander ... Tristan van Reenen
Lele Ledwaba ... Diksie Lebone
Clementine Mosimane ... Mama Rose Tladi
Melusi Yeni ... Isaac Tladi
Tyrone Keogh ... Jack van Reenen
Sam Phillips ... Kgosi Rratladi Tladi
Milan Murray ... Kate van Reenen
Faye Peters ... Bernie Cupido
Michelle Bradshaw ... Lindsay Barnes
Briony Horwitz ... Zoe Harris
Wandile Molebatsi ... Blessing Dlamini
Amber van Rensburg ... Amber van Reenen
Keenan Arrison ... Ashwin Fernandez
Recurring / Guests
Martin Le Maitre ... American Guest
Minenhle Dlamini ... Zintle Lebone
Nico Panagio ... Jason Parker
Tessa Jubber ... Nina Mulligan
Joe Mafela ... Uncle Whatnot
Harriet Manamela ... Gladys Sedibe
Mbali Maphumulo ... Thandi
Thembsie Matu ... Gertrude
Gys de Villiers ... Vladimir
Langley Kirkwood ... Liam Hartley
Nicole Flint ... Lilly
Sinazo Yolwa ... Victoria
Mmabatho Mogomotsi ... Flora
Josette Eales ... Sarah van Reenen
Aubrey Poo ... Lebata
Hayley Owen ... Angie
Russel Savadier ... Captain Rossouw
Moshoeshoe Chabeli ... Mogorosi
Suzette Becker ... Angelique Pretorius
Dianne Simpson ... Terry
Louise Saint-Claire ... June Curbishley
David James ... Johnno
Clyde Berning ... Brad
Chumisa Cosa ... Hope
Refiloe Seseane ... Ayanda
George Jackos ... Valderama de Santos
Dries Botha ... Sebastian
Zukisa Matola ... Poppie
Sindi Nene ... Sindi Nene
Mpho Malatsi ... Foreman
David Clatworthy ... Inspector Peter
Phuti Khomo ... Khensani
Jennifer Steyn ... Surgeon/Doctor Winters
Makalo Mofokeng ... Mr Khumalo
Nqobile Sipamla ... Mrs Khumalo (as Nqobile Simpala)
Boikie Pholo ... Khotsho Sedibe
Michelle McLean ... Herself (as Michelle McClean)
Bexta Ndabalime ... Tumelo
Duke Motlanthe ... Tebogo
Lerato Kganyago ... Liziwe
Kabelo Thai ... Lebogang
Anthony Wilson ... Zane
Sello Zikalala ... Praise Singer
Bejennia Tshibangu ... Dineo
Cameron McEwan ... Nelson
Janina Oberholzer ... Auctioneer
The Parlotones ... Themselves
Paul Savage ... Dr. Ben Milo
Sarah Kozlowski ... Alicia le Roux
Michael Richard ... Peter Curbishley
Jaco Spies ... Andre Becker
Gabriella Cirillo ... Giovanna
Christine Voorendyk ... Janet (as Christine Voorendyck)
Patrick Bokaba ... Tomas
Liza du Toit ... Paula
Sebo Moabelo ... Tuelo (as Sebo Moabela)
Tanielle Powell ... Roxy
Bianca Jane ... Heidi (Bianca Jane Pieters)
Mike Huff ... Jonathan
Andrea Shine ... Cheryl (Andrea Shine-Cockroft)
Natasha Sutherland ... Rosie Waxman
Anne Stradi ... Annie
Henck Conrey ... David
Keziah Jooste ... Joan
Mandla Shongwe ... Priest
Alina Mdodana ... Ngaka
Tarina Patel ... Jiah
Jakkie Groenewald ... Zebra Guest
Tsepo Desando ... Zweli (as Tshepo Desando)
Earl Gregory ... Sindi's Assistant
Keith Taylor ... Male Guest (as Keith Tylor)
Vicky Phiri ... Female Guest
Lebogang Masimola ... Itumeleng's PI
Nimrod Nkosi ... Norman Sebeka
Bjorn Basson ... Himself
Gladys Mahlangu ... Beauty
Morne Steyn ... Himself
Khosi Zwane ... Drum Editor
Annelle Bester ... Chanelle
Senato Selebalo ... Nikki
Brandon Lindsay ... Paramedic
Phindile Manci ... Nurse
Brenda Mukwevho ... Nkele
Justice Mnyele ... Village Man
Beauty Tsumane ... Village Woman
Tebogo Selebogo ... Tebza
Alfred Sindane ... Reckless Driver