Palin meets up with a Vladimir Lenin impersonator, witnesses a Russian Orthodox baptism ceremony, visits the cemetery where the likes of Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky are buried, visits the town of Chernobyl, Ukraine, and then travels to Kiev and Odessa.
Arriving by ferry to Istanbul, Turkey, Palin stays at the Pera Palas, where Agatha Christie wrote Murder on the Orient Express and experiences a turkish bath, getting the full treatment from a large staff member. He then takes a train through western Turkey to Marmaris and catches ferries to first Rhodes, Greece then to Cyprus. Palin then visits the British military base at Akrotiri and attends a huge Cypriot wedding. From Limassol, Palin heads for North Africa, his home for the next few months. Catching a boat up the Nile River, he checks out ancient Egyptian ruins ...
Arriving in Wadi Halfa, Sudan, Palin boards a train bound for Khartoum, the capital. There he receives some bad news: he will be unable to journey further south into Sudan due to the ongoing conflict in the southern region of the nation. Seeking an alternative, he finds Eritreans willing to drive him to the border with Ethiopia.
In the old Ethiopian capital of Gondar Palin visits the former home of Emperor Haile Selassie, as well as his pet lion. After a couple of hitchhiking rides he arrives at the Kenya border. In Nairobi he prepares himself for a safari, where he later takes time out to chat with some hippopotamuses.
In Kenya Palin takes a hot-air balloon ride. On the ground he observes a lioness and her cubs up close. Then it is on to Tanzania, where he fulfills a lifelong dream by visiting the Ngorongoro Crater. In Dodoma he catches a train bound for the town of Kigoma. Palin then catches what is believed to be the world's oldest operating ferry - the MV Liemba down Lake Tanganyika to Mpulungu in Zambia.
In Zambia Palin meets a witch doctor who tells him that he has an "evil shadow" and bad things lie ahead for him. Palin then moves on to Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River, where he goes whitewater rafting. In Johannesburg he receives some bad news: the Agulhas, a scientific research ship they were scheduled to take to Antarctica has no space for them.
Despite being unable to reach Antarctica via the Agulhas, all is not lost for Palin. A travel adventure company is able to take Palin to the South Pole from their base in Chile. This means Palin must abandon the 30 degrees east meridian.