Credit: Monty Brinton

With Survivor: Micronesia in the books, the reality franchise is now gearing up for season 17 by going back to Africa. The show will be setting up shop on the continent’s west coast in the country of Gabon. “I didn’t know where it was,” confesses host Jeff Probst. “I had to look it up on a map. It is probably the most remote place we have ever gone.” What does that mean in terms of wildlife? “We don’t know,” Probst says. “No one’s really ever hung out there. We’re going to leave a boma with some sticks and stuff, and the contestants will be given instructions that they need to finish it since we’re a little concerned because it’s so unknown. In Kenya [season 3], we had armed guards everywhere so that if something did happen, we could take care of it. We’re not gonna have that because they’re telling us it is so remote and will probably be remote forever. But a gorilla could wander into camp.” (You mean, Joel from Micronesia?)

Season 17 marks another big change for Survivor in that it will be the first time the show has been shot in high definition. “Survivor is one of those shows that you want to see in HD,” says Probst, while noting that the scenery will look a lot more stunning than the stranded contestants, “People with bug bites are gonna look worse, people that don’t have great bodies are gonna look worse, and people who are really attractive are probably gonna look… worse.” And what about you, Jeff? “I went through every scenario: Is there any way I can wear makeup? Is there any way I could not shoot in the middle of the day? And the answers are all no. I’ve just come to terms with it.”

Survivor: Gabon—Earth’s Last Eden begins filming in late June and will air in September on CBS.