Tswalu on film Tswalu on film

The desert and its eco-system are too complex to be defined in one single image or film. The dunes and the grasslands hold too many secrets and this landscape can change in an instant with the first drops of rain. Tswalu offers every photographer and film-maker an opportunity to record their own observations of the Kalahari in the knowledge that the next lens and eye will capture something different again.

Here are just some of the recent film sequences created in the field.

Technology developed to enhance human wildlife harmony

Safari Central allows people to interact with Augmented Reality versions of various animals in the user’s own environment. The app brings six real animals living in the wild into your world so that you can learn more about their daily lives, get creative, snap a photo or take a selfie! The money from your in-app purchases goes directly to the conservation of the six wildlife stars, including Rockstar the Pangolin who lives at Tswalu! Use the app to learn more about Temminck pangolins of the Tswalu Kalahari Game reserve, why the species is so vulnerable to poaching and how it is being protected from threats such as illegal trafficking and climate change.

SA’s last great wilderness

South Africa's last great wilderness


The world's most trafficked animal could be just decades away from extinction. Conservationists fear for the survival of the rare pangolin which is thought to be the most trafficked animal in the world. CNN went to South Africa to investigate why this shy ant eater is so threatened.

Desert Black Rhino

Tswalu’s population represents one third of South Africa’s entire remaining, critically endangered Desert Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis). Their conservation and protection is a success story we are very proud of at Tswalu. Even though their eye sight is relatively poor, Rhino’s have got an incredible sense of smell and will respond to human scent from approximately 800 meters.


Exploring the dune roads one evening, a spotlight fell on a small bat-eared fox. The light also attracted an abundance of ground-dwelling woolly chafers - insects rather like Christmas beetles When he saw them, the fox began darting around in the light trying to catch the beetles in a complete feeding frenzy.

Digging Aardvark

On most African safaris, the aardvark (Orycteropus afer) is one of the rarest sightings. At Tswalu, this elusive creature is regularly spotted, creating the opportunity to study some of its bizarre behaviour and understand the particular, and essential, ecological contribution this animal makes to its environment.

Rhino Notching

Tswalu Kalahari has populations of both black and white rhino which are thriving under the protection of our conservation team. Rhinos are identified by notches in their ears, as well as microchips under the skin and in their horns. This is done to help combat the vile and illegal trade in rhino horn. Here guests had the opportunity to accompany Conservation Director Gus van Dyk and his team and participate in the vital process of ear notching.


The Kalahari winter has an interesting impact on the general behaviour of nocturnal animals, which is why the ground pangolin (Manis temminckii), a mostly nocturnal forager, is often seen in the middle of a winter’s day searching for food. Considered to be one of the rarer creatures to encounter in Africa, Tswalu is one of the best places to view pangolin, given our winter climate, wide open landscapes and soft sands for tracking.

Flowing water

Elsewhere in its vast expanses, the word “Kalahari” can often be often synonymous with dry desolate environments devoid of water and life. But here in the desert’s southern reaches, often referred to as the Green Kalahari, summer rainfall can bring an abundance of water. Here, a previous Head Field Guide, Marco Tonoli, heads up into one of the catchment areas in the Korranaberg mountains to explore the results of a thunderous summer storm.

Meerkat Pups

In one of our smaller remote colonies, the alpha female has given birth to pups. Watch them explore their new kingdom under the beady eye of their babysitter.