Survivor: Africa

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Survivor: Africa
Season 3
Region 1 DVD cover
Presented byJeff Probst
No. of days39
No. of castaways16
WinnerEthan Zohn
Runner-upKim Johnson
LocationShaba National Reserve, Kenya
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes14
Original networkCBS
Original releaseOctober 11, 2001 (2001-10-11) –
January 10, 2002 (2002-01-10)
Additional information
Filming datesJuly 11 (2001-07-11) –
August 18, 2001 (2001-08-18)
Season chronology
Next →
List of episodes

Survivor: Africa is the third season of the American CBS competitive reality television series Survivor. The season was filmed from July 11, 2001, to August 18, 2001, in Kenya's Shaba National Reserve, and was aired weekly from October 11, 2001, until the live finale on January 10, 2002. Ethan Zohn was named Sole Survivor over Kim Johnson by a jury vote of 5–2, and won the $1,000,000 grand prize. The season featured a cast of 16 participants split between two tribes, Boran and Samburu. Three of the cast, Zohn, Lex van den Berghe, and Tom Buchanan all returned for future seasons. The season received more criticism than previous seasons due to the harsh living conditions of the African desert and the small amount of food for participants.

Filming of Survivor: Africa took place from July 11, 2001, to August 18, 2001, in Kenya's Shaba National Reserve.[1] The show was broadcast from October 11, 2001, until January 10, 2002, on CBS.[2][3]


The show's cast consists of 16 players who are divided into tribes named Boran and Samburu for the real-life Borana and Samburu tribes. After 12 days, three members of each team switched to the other tribe in what became known as the first "twist" in Survivor. When 10 contestants remained, the two tribes were merged into the Moto Maji tribe, which was named for the Swahili words for "fire" and "water".

List of Survivor: Africa contestants
Contestant Age From Tribe Finish
Original Switched Merged Placement Day
Diane Ogden 42 Lincoln,
Boran 1st voted out Day 3
Jessie Camacho 26 Orlando,
2nd voted out Day 6
Carl Bilancione 46 Winter Springs,
Samburu 3rd voted out Day 9
Linda Spencer 44 Boston,
4th voted out Day 12
Silas Gaither 23 Los Angeles,
Boran 5th voted out Day 15
Lindsey Richter 26 Portland,
Samburu 6th voted out Day 18
Clarence Black 24 Detroit,
Boran Boran Moto Maji 7th voted out Day 21
Kelly Goldsmith 22 San Diego,
Samburu 8th voted out
1st jury member
Day 24
Brandon Quinton 25 Dallas,
Samburu 9th voted out
2nd jury member
Day 27
Frank Garrison 43 Odessa,
New York
Boran 10th voted out
3rd jury member
Day 30
Kim Powers 29 Conshohocken,
Samburu 11th voted out
4th jury member
Day 33
Teresa Cooper 42 Jackson,
Boran 12th voted out
5th jury member
Day 36
Tom Buchanan 45 Rich Valley,
Boran Samburu 13th voted out
6th jury member
Day 37
Lex van den Berghe 38 Santa Cruz,
14th voted out
7th jury member
Day 38
Kim Johnson 56 Oyster Bay,
New York
Boran Runner-up Day 39
Ethan Zohn 27 New York City,
New York
Sole Survivor

Future appearances[edit]

Since the broadcast of Survivor: Africa, Ethan Zohn competed again with Lex van den Berghe and Tom Buchanan on Survivor: All-Stars. Zohn also competed on Survivor: Winners at War. In 2015, Teresa Cooper was included on the public poll to choose the cast of Survivor: Cambodia but was not chosen to compete.[4]

Outside of Survivor, Zohn competed on a "Reality All-Stars" episode of Fear Factor,[5] and also competed on The Amazing Race 19 with then-girlfriend and fellow Survivor winner Jenna Morasca.[6]

Season summary[edit]

The Shaba National Reserve in Kenya

The 16 castaways were split into tribes named Samburu and Boran, and were given camps that included fencing to help protect them from wildlife. Samburu took an early lead but the tribe was internally divided along age lines – Silas, Kim Powers, Brandon and Lindsey as one, and Frank, Teresa, Carl and Linda as the other. At their first Tribal Council, the age blocs left a stalemate tie between Carl and Lindsey, and with no previous votes to count, a quiz was used. Lindsay won and put the younger members in control. On the next visit to Tribal Council, Linda was eliminated and both tribes were even at six members. On Day 13, the tribes were given a vague clue about sending three members on a quest but were unaware this would be the first tribal swap. Silas picked himself and the remaining older Samburu, Frank and Teresa. Kelly, Big Tom, and Lex were picked for Boran. After being informed of the tribal swap, these players joined their new tribes; Frank and Teresa quickly went to work with the original Boran members to eliminate Silas while the original Boran members on Samburu learned of Lindsay's past votes and were able to eliminate her.

Once 10 players remained – six from the original Boran and four from Samburu – the tribes were merged into a single tribe called Moto Maji. Samburu members were aware that the Boran players were sticking with original alliances and scrambled to stay in. During the first post-merger tribal council, a mystery vote was cast for Lex, sending him on a witch hunt. Deciding it had been Kelly, a member of his alliance who had voted against him, Lex asked his alliance to turn against one of their own. When Kelly found out what was going to happen, she banded with the Samburu members, but Lex had also persuaded Brandon to vote with his alliance, leading to Kelly's elimination. Brandon's disloyalty to Samburu led to his elimination and that of the other remaining Samburu members.

The final four players were Ethan, Lex, Big Tom, and Kim Johnson. Kim won the last two immunity challenges, Tom was voted out, and then Lex was voted out by Kim's vote. At the Final Tribal Council, Kim was praised for surviving the game but was accused of riding the coattails of Lex, Ethan, and Big Tom. Ethan was praised for his likeability and integrity, and the jury voted Ethan the Sole Survivor in a 5–2 vote.

Challenge winners and eliminations by episode
Episode Challenge winner(s) Eliminated
No. Title Original air date Reward Immunity Tribe Player
1 "Question of Trust" October 11, 2001 Samburu Boran Diane
2 "Who's Zooming Whom?" October 18, 2001 Samburu Samburu Boran Jessie
3 "The Gods Are Angry" October 25, 2001 Boran Boran Samburu Carl
4 "The Young and Untrusted" November 1, 2001 Samburu Boran Samburu Linda
5 "The Twist" November 8, 2001 Boran Samburu Boran Silas
6 "I'd Never Do It To You" November 15, 2001 Samburu Boran Samburu Lindsey
7 "Will There Be a Feast Tonight?" November 22, 2001 None[a] Teresa Moto Maji Clarence
8 "The First 21 Days" November 29, 2001 Recap Episode
9 "Smoking Out the Snake" December 6, 2001 Ethan
Ethan Moto Maji Kelly
10 "Dinner, Movie and a Betrayal" December 13, 2001 Brandon,
Lex Brandon
11 "We Are Family" December 20, 2001 Survivor
Lex Frank
12 "The Big Adventure" December 27, 2001 Lex
Tom Kim P.
13 "Truth Be Told" January 3, 2002 Lex Lex Teresa
14 "The Final Four: No Regrets" January 10, 2002 None Kim J. Tom
Kim J. Lex
15 "The Reunion"
In the case of multiple tribes or castaways who win reward or immunity, they are listed in order of finish, or alphabetically where it was a team effort; where one castaway won and invited others, the invitees are in brackets.
  1. ^ There was no reward challenge due to the merge.


No. in
TitleCBS recapOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
311"Question of Trust"RecapOctober 11, 2001 (2001-10-11)23.84[7]10.4/20[8]
322"Who's Zooming Whom?"RecapOctober 18, 2001 (2001-10-18)19.59[9]7.9/20[8]
333"The Gods Are Angry"RecapOctober 25, 2001 (2001-10-25)20.43[10]8.0/20[8]
344"The Young and Untrusted"RecapNovember 1, 2001 (2001-11-01)18.73[11]7.8/18[8]
355"The Twist"RecapNovember 8, 2001 (2001-11-08)20.55[12]8.3/20[8]
366"I'd Never Do It To You"RecapNovember 15, 2001 (2001-11-15)19.71[13]8.1/21[8]
377"Will There Be a Feast Tonight?"RecapNovember 22, 2001 (2001-11-22)17.70[14]6.6/18[8]
388"The First 21 Days"N/ANovember 29, 2001 (2001-11-29)17.80[15]7.1/18[16]
399"Smoking Out the Snake"RecapDecember 6, 2001 (2001-12-06)19.28[17]7.9/21[8]
4010"Dinner, Movie and a Betrayal"RecapDecember 13, 2001 (2001-12-13)18.39[18]7.3/20[8]
4111"We Are Family"RecapDecember 20, 2001 (2001-12-20)19.60[19]7.7/22[8]
4212"The Big Adventure"RecapDecember 27, 2001 (2001-12-27)18.92[20]7.5/20[8]
4313"Truth Be Told"RecapJanuary 3, 2002 (2002-01-03)21.31[21]8.7/20[8]
4414"The Final Four: No Regrets"RecapJanuary 10, 2002 (2002-01-10)27.26[22]11.3/25[8]
4515"The Reunion"N/AJanuary 10, 2002 (2002-01-10)19.05[22]8.7/20[8]

Voting history[edit]

  1. ^ a b The first Tribal Council Vote resulted in a tie. A second vote was held where the castaways involved in the tie would not vote and the remaining castaways could only vote for those who tied.
  2. ^ a b c d After two rounds of voting between Lindsey and Carl, Tribal Council remained tied. As this was Samburu's first Tribal Council, no castaway had prior votes and a countback could not be called. Lindsey and Carl competed in a nature quiz tiebreaker, which Carl lost.
  3. ^ a b c d After two tied votes between Lindsey and Tom, a Tribal Council countback was called as a tiebreaker. Tom had no previous votes but Lindsey had four, therefore Lindsey was eliminated.
  4. ^ a b Ethan and Lex did not vote, as the only eligible players they could only vote for each other.
  5. ^ a b Lindsey and Tom were not eligible to vote in the second Tribal Council vote.
  6. ^ a b Carl and Lindsey were not eligible to vote in the second Tribal Council vote.


Survivor: Africa received much more criticism than the two previous seasons, primarily for the contestants' tough living conditions during filming. Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly ranked it as the ninth-worst season of the series, saying aside from "Some great challenges, not that much else was great".[23] Tom Santilli of ranked it 26th, saying following Borneo and Australian Outback, "it was a complete dud at the time", while noting winner Ethan Zohn "was just so-so and not that interesting", and that the cast's "lethargy showed on screen" due to the poor conditions in the filming location. In 2020, fan site "The Purple Rock Podcast" also ranked the season 29th, and said it "suffers because of its location" and that "the cast on this season is generally pretty decent, and probably would have been much better if they weren't constantly sapped of energy by lack of food and water".[24] In 2015, a poll by Rob Has a Podcast ranked Survivor: Africa 19th out of 30 with Rob Cesternino ranking this season 26th.[25] This was updated in 2021 during Cesternino's podcast "Survivor All-Time Top 40 Rankings", ranking Survivor: Africa 21st out of 40.[26][27] In 2013, Andrea Deiher of Zap2it ranked the season the fifth-worst before it was replaced in 2015 by Survivor: San Juan del Sur.[28][29] In 2020, Inside Survivor ranked this season 23rd out of 40, saying; "Is it the most dynamic season in terms of gameplay? No. But it is rich in character."[30]


Controversy surrounded an immunity challenge in the final episode of Survivor: Africa. In the "Fallen Comrades" challenge, in which the contestants were quizzed on trivia about their fellow players who had been voted out, the final question is "Which female contestant has no piercings?". The official answer, given by Kim Johnson to win the challenge, was Kelly. Lex answered "Lindsey", who, unbeknownst to the producers, also had no piercings. Had Lex been given credit for his correct answer, he and Kim would have tied and faced tie-breaker questions. After the producers were alerted to the mistake, both third-place finisher Lex and fourth-place finisher Tom were awarded the $100,000 runner-up prize instead of the usual third- and-fourth-place earnings.[31][32]


  1. ^ Lacey, Marc (August 13, 2001). "Shaba National Reserve Journal; TV Adventure Show Ignores the Real Survivors (Published 2001)". The New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2022.
  2. ^ "Survivor: Africa cast introduced". Digital Spy. September 27, 2001.
  3. ^ "Teresa Cooper says 'Survivor: Africa' cast was protected with guns". Entertainment Weekly.
  4. ^ "Survivor Contestant Database, by season: Seasons 41-50".
  5. ^ "Episode 4.24 (Reality All-Stars) – February 28". Game Show Newsnet. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  6. ^ Ross, Dalton (August 31, 2011). "'Survivor' winners Ethan and Jenna head up new 'Amazing Race' cast. Plus: New twists revealed! – EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 10/08/01 – 10/14/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on June 9, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "SpotVault – Survivor Africa (CBS). Fall 2001 Original Ratings". Spotted Ratings. December 8, 2011. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  9. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 10/15/01 – 10/21/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on June 9, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  10. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 10/22/01 – 10/28/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on June 9, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  11. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 10/29/01 – 11/04/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on June 9, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  12. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 11/05/01 – 11/11/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on June 9, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  13. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 11/12/01 – 11/18/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on April 2, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  14. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 11/19/01 – 11/25/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on April 17, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  15. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 11/26/01 – 12/02/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on April 15, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  16. ^ "Broadcast & Cable Nielsens: Week Ending December 2, 2001". RatingsRyan. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  17. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 12/03/01 – 12/09/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on April 27, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  18. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 12/10/01 – 12/16/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on April 27, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  19. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 12/17/01 – 12/23/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on June 15, 2002. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  20. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 12/24/01 – 12/30/01". Zap2it. Archived from the original on April 27, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  21. ^ "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 12/31/01 – 01/06/02". Zap2it. Archived from the original on April 27, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  22. ^ a b "Top 20 Network Primetime Report. Week of 01/07/02 – 01/13/02". Zap2it. Archived from the original on April 27, 2003. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  23. ^ Ross, Dalton (May 6, 2020). "Survivor Winners at War recap: Double elimination smackdown!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  24. ^ "Survivor season rankings (with spoiler-free summaries)". The Purple Rock Survivor Podcast. May 22, 2020. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  25. ^ "Survivor Top 30 All-Time Season Rankings Results". Rob Has a Podcast. September 21, 2015.
  26. ^ "Survivor All-Time Top 40 Rankings | #21: Africa PART ONE". Rob Has a Podcast. May 19, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  27. ^ "Survivor All-Time Top 40 Rankings | #21: Africa PART TWO". Rob Has a Podcast. May 20, 2021. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  28. ^ "'Survivor's' 10 best and 5 worst seasons: How will 'Blood vs. Water' rank?". Zap2it. December 10, 2013. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014.
  29. ^ "The 10 best and 5 worst 'Survivor' seasons, ranked". Zap2it. Archived from the original on December 17, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  30. ^ Holmes, Martin (October 21, 2020). "Best Season Rankings – No. 23 – Africa". Inside Survivor. Retrieved May 13, 2021.
  31. ^ "Bronze 'Survivor' Winners Get Silver". People.
  32. ^ "Piercing Error Leads To More Prize Money For 2 'Survivor' Contestants". CBS 19 (WOIO). Associated Press. February 21, 2002.

External links[edit]