The small Acacia Ants guarding tree sap resources during the hot summer months.
Tree sap provides a great source of food for many of the Kalahari inhabitants but are fiercely guarded by these tiny Acacia Ants.
Ground Squirrels use their underground burrows to escape the soaring temperatures outside. They only venture out early morning and late afternoon when temperatures have cooled down.
Triggered by the warming temperatures after a cold winter, the Camel Thorn trees are starting to develop their new pods. The Acacia erioloba is very dependent on the rains for its pods to develop completely.
Our Camel Thorn tree, the subject of our film in a very arid and dry landscape. The clouds above are teasing the promise of rain.
The Pied Barbet took us by surprise when it appeared out of the Sociable Weaver's communal nest. They often use the nests of other birds for breeding, in this case they share digs with the Sociable Weavers.
The Sociable Weavers are permanent residents in the Camel Thorn tree. They build their communal nest in the high branches of the tree and will maintain it between generations for years to come.
Cicadas and soaring temperatures are synonymous.
Bruchid Beetles make their cocoons between the leaves of the Acacia.
A Funnel web Spider has taken residence in a section of the Sociable Weavers' nests that have broken off and fell on the ground below.
Kalahari Tree Skinks might be unassuming...
...but they ward off any pests and parasitic insects that might take residence in the Camel Thorn.
The Sociable Weavers are hard at work getting their communal nest up to scratch for the breeding season.
A false promise of rain.
A tinder dry Kalahari.
The dry Kalahari sand has not felt rain for months.
Our Acacia, towering above the dry Kalahari. The drab surrounding bush makes her stand out like a green oasis.
The Ashy Tit is also a neighbour to the Sociable Weavers, sharing their nest.
The heat can get incredibly oppressive. A young Sociable Weaver taking a quick nap.
Even the hardiest of residents can fall under the grip of the drought.
A juvenile Flapnecked Chameleon has taken refuge from the oppressive heat in the branches of The Camel Thorn tree.
Sunset around the Camel Thorn tree is a hive of activity as the Sociable Weavers return home from their daily foraging.
It’s accompanied by family squabbles, sorting out sleeping arrangements and general housekeeping.
With the El Nino effect raging over Southern Africa, the land is left dry and dusty. The promise of rain keeps teasing the landscapes and beautiful clouds build up only to release a few spiteful drops barely wetting the ground.
Various lightning storms passed over the dry Kalahari but hardly any relief of rain.
The lightning displays were breath taking.
(Photo via Henk Ekermans) The old and weak are first to perish under these terribly harsh and dry conditions.
(Photo via Henk Ekermans) The Cicadas flourish under these hot and dry conditions.
(Photo via Henk Ekermans) Molting during the hot summer months leaves their empty skeletons on the trees.
A very welcome surprise was when this Pigmy Falcon took up residence in the Sociable Weavers nest.
Hardly larger than a Pigeon, these swift little hunters use the dry open Kalahari landscape to their advantage to hunt down insects and small reptiles.
(Photo via Henk Ekermans) Our Acacia Pied Barbet found himself a girlfriend. The pair return to the Sociable Weaver nest each day in preparation to breed.
(Photo via Henk Ekermans) Perfect camouflage. You would barely notice this tiny green spider as it sits perched between the Acacia leaves, waiting for unsuspecting prey.
(Photo via Henk Ekermans) The Paperwasps are hard at working looking after and feeding the new larvae. Filming these wasps is a very stressfull adventure as you have to move incredibly slow not to alarm them. Barend hase been stung twice now not keeping to the 'move slowly' rule.
(Photo via Henk Ekermans) The Paperwasp larvae in their paper cocoon.
(Photo via Henk Ekermans) Adult Paper Wasp attending to the larvae
With the Acacia seeds lying exposed on the ground, parasites are not far away. The Acacia's biggest enemy, the Bruchid beetles lay their eggs on the seeds where the larvae will hatch inside and eat themselves out. They will spin cocoons for their transformation into beetles.
We were lucky enough to film a few of the new beetles hatching out of their cocoons.
The Bruchid Beetle, newly hatched.