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Into The Okavango: Unique View Into 2013 Okavango Expedition

In September 2013, we embarked on our most challenging crossing of the Okavango Delta… The research data set we achieved over 15 days and 338km using a bespoke Android App was the most comprehensive ever and was shared in real-time via an open API and up-to-date satellite image. This 10-minute video documents an impossible expedition across dry,…

Warning From Past / Hope For The Future

UNESCO World Heritage Listing for the Okavango Delta would be a massive achievement for Botswana, as well as all the NGOs and individuals that have invested their time in this initiative over the last decade. Most importantly, declaration will highlight the importance of preserving the vast Angolan catchment in its current state, celebrating the Kavango…

Africa’s Okavango Delta For Future Generations

The Okavango Delta is Africa’s last-remaining wetland wilderness. From the air this a vast patchwork mosaic of open floodplains, simmering lagoons, never-ending reed beds, waving impenetrable papyrus, meandering channels, and thousands upon thousands of green, palmed islands and tree-lines seem to go on forever. An emerald gem in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. Visible…

Dung Beetles Gallop—Mystery Gait is a First Among Insects

The desert dwellers are the first known insects to gallop, a radically different gait from the three million other insects on Earth, a new study says.

New Theory Explains Africa’s Mysterious Fairy Circles

In dry ecosystems like Namibia, where fairy circles are common, competition for water is fierce. Therefore, while we may see a calm savannah landscape, fierce resource competition is actually being waged below the surface, at root level.

“We hypothesize that these barren spots arise due to below-ground resource competition between grasses,” states the report. “Enhanced growth in individuals that are strong competitors for below-ground resources results in the decline in growth of neighboring individuals, thus forming larger interspaces or barren patches.”

In other words, whoever wins the water war essentially condemns his neighboring grasses to death by dehydration, creating a barren patch – the nexus of the fairy circle.

2010 Okavango Wetland Bird Survey: Wilderness Worth Saving…

In September 2010, we departed from Seronga Village in two “mokoros” or dug-out canoes on an adventure of a lifetime…. No one we knew had ever done this before and the raw energy of that “first-time” was inspirational. We filmed what we could and took some amazing photographs, but remained focussed on the research and…

Namibia: The Big Empty, pt. 3

Part 3 of my video Namibia: The Big Empty has some nice aerials of something called, Fairy Circles,” a rather unique feature of the Namibia landscape that looks as if it were painted by space aliens using the desert as their canvas.  We also fly along the skeleton coast and get a good sense of…

Namibia: The Big Empty, pt. 2 Deadviei

Part 2 of my Namibia video features Deadviei and Sossusviei, perhaps the most photographed spot in Namibia.  Deadviei is a beautiful but eerie sculpture garden created by mother nature’s extreme mood swings.  Here she’s turned a former lake into a dead pan of white clay surrounded by giant red sand dunes.  And scattered around the…

Namibia: The Big Empty, part 1

Namibia: The Big Empty part 1.  This is a look at that Southern African country which is defined in large measure by its dramatic desert landscape.  To set the big picture we start with aerials that give a sense of the vastness and variety of the Namib desert, and then move in for close ups…

December 23, 2012: Whispering Dogs’ Secrets, Saving Cheetahs with Donkeys, and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson as we whisper dogs’ secrets to their owners, trade guns for climbing gear in Rio, paint endangered animals onto a barn, teach donkeys to protect cows from cheetahs in Namibia, save the world from a Mayan apocalypse, tunnel deep under Gaza to deliver groceries, sacrifice our fingertips to bee stings in Turkey, and take in hot air from shale rock across the United States.

Big cats versus livestock – simple solutions reduce conflicts on Namibian farms

  The Big Cats Initiative Grants Program seeks to identify and support projects that engage in immediate actions leading to reductions in big cat mortality. BCI Grantees often provide updates from the field, and we love sharing them with you. BCI Grantee Florian Weise provides this dispatch from the field.   By Florian J. Weise,…

Did you know? The Okavango Delta is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site…

Most people are surprised and alarmed when they are told that the Okavango Delta is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is about to change with nomination scheduled for February next year and declaration in 2014. The word, “Okavango”, like “Amazon” and “Congo”, evokes the powerful sense of place in the “wilderness” and imagines an untamed place characterized…

Bush Boyes on Expedition: Escape From Chief’s Island and World Heritage Status…

Until next year then… During those last few days on the mokoros you can feel every kilometer travelled away from the wilderness in the center of the Okavango Delta that you have just visited. As this “true wilderness” got further and further away we began to fear that we would forget what it felt like…

Namibia’s Future: AfriCat’s Vision

AfriCat (& Okonjima Lodge) is a family affair.  The Hanssens, a Namibian farming family, settled on the property of Okonjima in the 1970s.  They experienced first-hand the hardships and the rewards of cattle farming in Namibia.  Unique insiders to the region, in contrast to most NGOs who arrive new on the scene, the Hanssens are…

Resolving the Riddle of Why the Zebra Has Stripes

Zebra stripes are among the most striking mammalian coat patterns. How these dramatic patterns are produced remains mysterious, as does their adaptive value. National Geographic grantee Brenda Larison is in the field in Africa to gain new insights about the evolution of zebra stripes.