Survivor Council


20 Castaways arrived on the rugged shores of the Wild Coast in the first episode of Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island this past week. The Sandton Times previewed and reviewed the first episode during a live ‘Survivor Council’ stream online with host Nico Panagio and Survivor South Africa Season 7 Castaways, Nicole Capper (Austin) and Rob Bentele.


  • For the first time ever, Survivor South Africa, plays out on the East Coast of South Africa.
  • The Season Premiere saw Castaways, divided into two tribes by random draw: Vuna & Zamba.
  • In addition, there’s harsh weather, a classic Survivor fire-making challenge, a castaway running naked into the ocean, secrets, lies, paranoia, a blindside plan, and an explosive Tribal Council.
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Closer to home than ever before, but further from their comfort zones, 20 Castaways are attempting to outwit, outplay and outlast each other for a R1-million prize and the title of Sole Survivor, over the course of 39 brutal days on M-Net’s latest edition of the hit reality television show.



The Wild Coast’s beauty is matched only by the ferocity of the weather – but that’s not the Castaways’ biggest challenge. A new twist to the world’s greatest game – Immunity Island – is designed to be both a blessing and a curse. Immunity Island presents its visitors with tough choices, as well as advantages and disadvantages, that will impact their game. Some players lie about their experiences on the mysterious island, others pull out all the stops to secure a visit and the enigmatic location even becomes a strategic tool in the battle between the tribes.


Survivor Council
Zamba’s Thoriso was the first Castaway to visit Immunity Island this season, after being strategically sent there by Vuna after their Immunity Challenge victory. Image: Survivor South Africa

It was a frantic opening to the first-ever season of Survivor South Africa to be filmed on home soil, as the 20 Castaways arrived in the lush Wild Coast bush and were immediately split into two tribes by means of a random draw:

  • On Zamba: Amy; Marisha; Nicole, Qieän; Thoriso; Anela; Dino; Jason; Renier & Shaun.
  • On Vuna: Anesu; Carla; Pinty; Santoni; Wardah; Chappies; Kiran; Mike; Paul & Tyson.


Multiple opportunities for immunity, safety, and subterfuge cropped up throughout the first episode – via snagging an Immunity Necklace during the first mad dash for supplies, by weighing up risk and reward on a trip to Immunity Island, a new ‘Diplomatic Immunity’ awarded to the participants in the Fire Challenge and via good old-fashioned hunting for Immunity Idols at the respective camps.



The introduction of Immunity Island was a new twist to the game, with the Castaways being slowly drip-fed information about the mysterious location and the benefits offered by being sent there.


Survivor Council
Three days after declaring himself on a mission to be the best Survivor player in history, Structural Engineering Draughtsman Jason found himself on the wrong end of a blindside. Image: Survivor South Africa

Structural Engineering Draughtsman Jason found himself on the wrong end of a blindside – and became the first Castaway to have his torch snuffed on Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island.


Catch Survivor South Africa: Immunity Island every Thursday at 7:30pm on M-Net (DStv Channel 101).


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Sandton Times Correspondent

Sandton Times Correspondent

Curated content from The Sandton Times newsroom desks.


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