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Created by Thomas W. Lynch, Scout's Safari is an American teen Dramedy that aired from October 5, 2002 to February 7, 2004.

Jennifer "Scout" Lauer (Anastasia Baranova) moves to South Africa from New York City to live with her mother Cheryl (Chantell Stander), stepfather Roger Shickler (Ashley Dowds), and stepbrother Tyler (Jarred Uys) at a tourist lodge once her father Dennis (Nick Boraine), a professional photographer, goes off on a year-long assignment. While she's adjusting to the culture shock, she reconnects with her Forgotten Childhood Friend Bongani Sabisi (Freedom Hadebe), and initially tries to hide her psychic ability to connect with animals. However, African people are far more accepting of her gift than Westerners are, and so the show follows her and Bongani solving problems, having major cultural dissonance and growing closer. The show provides heaps of Character Development for Scout and, while not having any major story arcs, is best viewed in correct order. It currently is complete, and reruns used be found on Discovery Kids (now Discovery Family).

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Has nothing to do with this Scout. Or that scout.


This show provides examples of:

  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Tyler, and how.
  • But Not Too Black: Averted. Bongani is Zulu and the producers did extensive research into what that entails. He's very dark skinned as well, avoided the light-skinned-black thing many children's shows indulge in, and since the show is set in Africa, many, many black people of all classes are present.
  • Character Development: Scout, in spades. Bongani is already a mature person when the series starts, but he arguably gets more serious near the show's end.
  • Flashback: To the days where Scout was little and lived in Africa.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Sort of. Scout gradually grows to fit this role as the series goes on, but her ability to communicate with animals does not mean they're her friends.
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  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: In one episode, Tyler sells a photo of Bongani holding Scout close to the school newspaper. They get voted the cutest couple in school, prompting Scout to freak out and declare this line loudly to anyone who would listen. Bongani's response was to get contemplative and ask her why this idea was so horrible.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Scout and Bongani. Scout's step father and Bongani's father are also extremely close friends.
  • Last Minute Hook Up: It's left open to interpretation. Scout and Bongani may or may not be in love and may or may not have confessed it to each other during the last episode. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Magical Negro: There is a black woman who shares Scout's power and thus qualifies. Another case involved a sangoma (spiritual healer) who made up a ritual to get rid of Tyler's nightmares because he needed to make sure they wouldn't come back. It worked, too.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Tyler believes this wholeheartedly and recites this to his parents as an explanation for some of his hijinks. They disagree. [invoked]
  • Perky Goth: Sherna, Scout's BFF from America, whom she calls via webcam.
  • Politically Correct History: Averted. Scout's grandmother and Bongani's grandfather were very close and virtually no one during that time approved, especially when they ran around having adventures alone with each other in the wilderness for weeks at a time. It was actually considered a great shame during said time period.
  • Ship Tease: During the final episode, Bongani embraces Scout, holds both her hands, presses their heads together and whispers that she's a part of him now. She says she feels the same. It's actually done pretty well in spite of how cheesy it could've been, so kudos to the actors.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Scout when having a vision/connecting with an animal.
  • Stepford Smiler: Pre-season one Scout is heavily implied to have been pretty miserable outside of being with Sherna but very good at pretending she was okay. When things go wrong in season one she has a tendency to act like nothing's wrong, but Bongani usually calls her on this.
  • Two-Teacher School: When we see the characters in school at all.
  • Where da White Women At?: Exactly why the writers refused to have Scout and Bongani be a couple. They felt it was too stereotypical, although they relented somewhat in the last episode and had a Ship Tease as mentioned above.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Scout's reaction to elephants, initially. Bongani helps her overcome her fear by the end of the episode by leaving her alone with one for a while.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Bongani is a mixture of this, a goofball, and a soccer nut.

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