Whenever the show heads to Africa, we know we’re in for an hour of feeling thirsty, so I can’t wait to see how this week’s survivalists fare on Naked and Afraid Botswana. Let’s meet this week’s people who hate clothes:
25 year-old bartender from Coventry, Rhode Island
Survival Skills: Hunting, Fishing, Shelter construction, Plant identification
Ashley spent her childhood fishing, hunting, camping, and gardening and in her pre-insertion video, she is preparing her feet for Botswana’s tough terrain by Ashley walking barefoot up and down her home’s gravel driveway. The Rhode Island accent is perhaps the nation’s least attractive, but she’s cute and ready for adventure.
32 year-old banker from Seattle, Washington
Survival Skills: Fishing, Primitive shelter, Primitive fire, Water purification
If you’re thinking that Michael looks familiar, he was a contestant on Season 24 of Survivor. He spent 22 days in Samoa before being voted off of the island. He is preparing his body by eating peanut butter, lots of it to put on a few pounds.
Michael looks like a fashion model and lives his adventure-filled life in honor of his brother who was killed at age 15 (Michael was 16) during a camping accident.
Botswana is landlocked and hot, hot, hot, so Michael and Ashley can expect thirsty days.
Elephants and hyena are desperate for food and water too, so they’re gonna get competitive over the area’s limited resources.
So thorny! Whenever N&A goes to Africa, there are always so many thorns!
And Michael feels like, “A big piece of white meat.”
Michael and Ashley protect their pale fannies with mud, but It’s not romantic and slow-mo as if this was Dating Naked.
Before their insertion into Namibia, both survivalists were assigned a Primitive Survival Rating (PSR) by survival experts. Michael scores a 5.9 out of 10, and Ashley is given a 4.7 out of 10.
Even covered with mud, Michael is smokin’s hot!!!
Ashley is already nauseous and the heat is over 100 degrees. She sits along a puddle of stagnant water, and Michael makes shade for her.
Against the better judgment of anyone who has ever seen this show, they set camp along a game trail and near the area’s lone source of water. They might become sitting pieces of white meat.
Ashley is still dehydrated but doesn’t want to drink the stagnant water. And, she lets us know that it really hurts when she tinkled (not her words) and then it looks like she and Michael are looking directly at her lady bits.
5 hours into the challenge, Ashley still feels terrible; she has belly cramps and diarrhea.
Michael uses his blade to cut branches and they start building shelter. Ashley has a fire starter so they make fire to keep warm and deter animals.
That night, they hear big animals swimming in the watering hole and get zero minutes of sleep.
Michael and Ashley are desperate for water, so they take a selective risk to drink the water from the putrid watering hole. They don’t have a pot, so they scoop water from the clearest puddle they can find figuring that UV rays will kill any pathogens in the water.
That night, Ashley has been shaking through the night. She can’t feel her legs so they call for medical help. The medics run and IV as she cried hysterically. Major boo hooing. If I am ever that inconsolable, someone had better have died, and hopefully it won’t be me.
Ashley just wants to get the F@#$ out of Namibia. I hear ‘ya sister, that place looks like a terrible hell-hole. Literally. The next morning, she is prepped to medevac. She is loaded into the back of a pickup truck a long, bumpy ride back to basecamp. Of course, the show claims that she’s fallen ill from drinking untreated water, but she felt like garbage as soon as she arrived so perhaps Naked and Afraid needs to start producing their participants access to clean food and water pre-insertion (remember, Phaedra got a stomach virus that she got en route to her India locale-FYI- I had an amazing conversation with her and I can’t wait for you to read about her N&A experience!).
Back at their site, Michael is waiting for illness to arrive for him too and is woken in the night by a large animal prowling around the camp. I’m guessing it’s hyenas, but they sound nothing like the hyena that Whoopie Goldberg voiced in The Lion King.
Michael’s lips are dry, cracked and swollen, a sure sign of dehydration. But he’s using Ashley’s bag as a large-scale filter to clean out the giant stuff, which is pretty genius.
Michel is hungry. Eating lily stems isn’t cutting it. Michael tries to catch grasshoppers. And he catches one. Mmm! Crunchy.
Michael isn’t alone, but he isn’t lonely, He has hordes of ticks, flies, bees and other bugs to keep him annoyed.
And at night, he has to yelp of Hyena to keep him from sleeping. I don’t think anyone would feel comfortable to arm themselves against a pack of hyenas with a machete.
Michael didn’t sleep, but the morning he finds a frog, which is his family’s symbol for his deceased brother. He sees this as a good sign, whereas, I’d see the frog as a great meal.
Michael wakes up invigorated after seeing a frog the day before.
He makes a snare to hopefully catch a bird of some kind.
And then Michael has African Christmas — he finds a pot in the water! Its utterly inexplicable and was either put there by A) Santa Claus himself, B) Michael’s frog/ghost brother, or C) poachers. Logic points to option C, but I’m leaning towards option A or B or a rogue option D) — planted by the crew.
And then he finds two small eggs! More Christmas gifts. He pops one right onto his mouth which if so gross because I’m sure random African birds have a heck more chance of carrying salmonella than U.S. chickens.
Michael’s kidney’s hurt. That’s not good. He goes in search of Devil’s Claw, a plant that has medicinal qualities. But in a cruel twist of nature, people can easily OD on it too. Michael makes a tea with a piece of Devil’s Claw and a short while later, he blacks out. Fearing he may have overdosed himself, the producers call in the medics.
Michael’s blood sugar is low but the medic clears Michael to continue the survival experience.
That night, Michael’s kidney’s still hurt.
The night before, Michael has a dream that he is moving into a house with his dead brother. He takes this as a sign that his brother is giving him permission to move on. So he taps out from Botswana with no regrets.
Back in the medical tent, he gets fluids and is cleared to go home. He enjoys a salad and bread and calls it heavenly and gets a camp shower.
Mathilde (the producer) is sad that Michael couldn’t complete his 21-day challenge. But he lost 20 lbs. in 12 days so he was definitely suffering.
Since neither survivalist completed their challenge, their PSR was negatively affected. Michael’s PSR falls from 5.9 to 5.7. Ashley’s PSR falls from 4.7 to 3.7.
Michael is proud of his experience and thinks that his family will be proud too.
Ashley is glad to be home. She doesn’t think that anyone else she knows could have survived.
Like Naked And Afraid? Check out these recaps:
Season 3, Episode 1: Namibia, Episode 2: Andros Islands, Episode 3: Cambodia, Episode 4: Nicaragua, Episode 5: Argentina, Episode 6: Dominica, Episode 7: India, Episode 8: Nicaragua, Episode 9: Botswana
Season 2, Episode 1: Peru, Episode 2: Madagascar, Episode 3: Fiji, Episode 4: Belize, Episode 5: Malaysia, Episode 6: Bolivia
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