The Lost Tribes: the families


The Fraser family: They enjoy life in Sydney's eastern suburbs. Father Michael (54) is an ex-jockey turned racing analyst who, together with son Robert (22), runs a professional punting operation from home. Mother Lynn (54) is a former travel agent. Daughter Sasha (17) is the livewire of the family, who lists water polo and drama as her passions.

The Frasers have been sent to a proud, semi-nomadic tribe known as the Himba in northern Namibia, west Africa. Himba women don't touch water from the moment they are born until they die, opting to cover their entire body with a combination of cow fat and red ochre rather than washing.


The Povey family: They come from Sydney's western suburbs father Tony (49), a fire fighter, mother Mel (51), a teacher, and daughters Chelsea (15) and Samantha (14), both in high school. Chelsea and Sam are excellent dancers and the apple of their parents' eye. Mel was Miss South-Western Suburbs 1978 and hasn't lost any of her charm or good looks, according to her doting husband. Tony is a devoted family man who loves to play pool and dabble in antiques.

The Poveys are about to embark on a 16-hour journey to meet the Mentawai tribe deep in an Indonesian jungle. Their leader is a shaman, or medicine man, who is in contact with the spirits of the dead and has great knowledge of medicinal plants for healing.


The Sherry family: They are from Melbourne's outer suburbs. Dad Glenn (45) is a likeable larrikin who works in commercial building maintenance. Mum Vicki (47) is the whip-cracker who has the last say in everything to do with family or home. Daughter Ashley (18) has been brought up to stand her ground, while son James (16) has left school and works at a fast food restaurant.

The Sherrys are about to be introduced to the Zulus of South Africa, where men rule the tribe and women are forbidden to look them in the eye or speak unless spoken to.