A Survivor contestant in South Africa “became the first Survivor contestant worldwide to make fire without using flint, matches or any sort of artificial firelighter,” TVSA reports. As recently as Survivor Fiji, a contestant made fire using someone’s glasses, but that, of course, is not a natural material.
On Survivor South Africa: Malaysia, a man started a fire with sticks and a rope. Hein Vosloo “lived in the African bush for more than 20 years, [and] previously told the castaways at camp Bajau that he knew seven different methods of making fire,” TVSA reports. While “promising his tribe fire for almost a week,” he actually “decided to hold back on providing for the tribe when Bajau turned against him and his friends by voting Nicola off at the previous tribal council.”
As TVSA confirmed with the show’s network, starting fire from nothing “has not yet happened in any of the 14 American Survivor seasons to date” nor on “the more than 100 international versions of the show, broadcast all over the world.”