Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Deserts - Life in the Furnace

Human Planet Episode 2 of 8

We can survive for weeks without food, but only days without water: it is the essential element of life. Yet many millions of us live in parched deserts around the world. In the second episode of Human Planet, we discover how the eternal quest for water brings huge challenges - and ingenious solutions - in the driest places on Earth.

Battling through a sand storm in Mali, Mamadou must get his cows to a remote lake but desert elephants have arrived first. Can he find a safe way through the elephant blockade? Alone for weeks on end, Tubu women and children navigate the endless dunes of the Sahara. How does young Shede know where to find the last oasis, three days walk across the sea of sand? At the height of the drought we witness a spectacular frenzy: two thousand men rushing into Antogo Lake to catch the fish trapped by the evaporating water. When the rain finally arrives in the desert it's a time for flowering and jubilation - and love. The Wodaabe men of Niger put on make-up for an intoxicating courtship dance and beauty contest and the women pick the winners.

1 hour

Last on

Tue 5 Aug 2014 23:20

Credits

Role Contributor
NarratorJohn Hurt
ProducerTuppence Stone
Series ProducerDale Templar

Featured in...

BBC Earth

BBC Earth

Visit BBC Earth, the new home of wildlife on the BBC.

Buy online

Buy online

Available on: DVD, Blu-ray or Video download

From suppliers including: Amazon, BBC Shop, iTunes

Where to buy

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss