Modern technology over the past few years has allowed us to bring you deeper into expeditions than ever before. Using Google+ Hangouts, we’ve connected people around the world at home, (probably also at work), on desktops, laptops, and mobile phones and tablets, with explorers deep in a Maya cave, at Base Camp on Everest, in the Aquarius underwater lab, on all seven continents, and even had a message from the International Space Station.
This summer, we’re going not only deeper into the wilderness, but back in time, as a group of four National Geographic Emerging Explorers make a classic expedition into the Okavango river delta, the vast inland wetland that is the pulsing heart of Africa’s remaining wilderness.A giraffe stands silhouetted against the palm trees and setting sun in the Okavango Delta. (Photo by Jodi Cobb/National Geographic Creative)
While Africa is where we find the earliest traces of human activity, it is also the place where the large animals that once roamed widely on all continents now make their last stand. Mammoths once shaped the landscape of North America. Lions ruled the night from Spain to India. Rhinos staged their titanic face-offs where European teenagers dance the night away. Around the world, very few of these large wild animals survive. In the Okavango, they not only survive, they thrive. This is one of the last places on Earth where modern humans can witness the balance of wild animals and landscape that preceded our era of construction and domestication.
The expedition will be led by South African conservationist Steve Boyes, and include Adventurers & Scientists for Conservation founder Gregg Treinish, data artist and educator Jer Thorp, and engineer and ocean conservationist Shah Selbe. These four creative pioneers in different fields all came together when named National Geographic Emerging Explorers in 2013. Steve’s passion and years-long dedication to the Okavango inspired the others, who soon realized that together they could make an even bigger impact to explore and protect this land while educating the world about its wonders.
This kind of dedication paid off earlier this year when the Okavango was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Learn more and follow the preparations and adventures in the Okavango blog here on NationalGeographic.com.
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Follow National Geographic on Google+ or return to this blog post to watch the Google+ Hangout Friday, August 22nd at 10:00 a.m. EDT (2:00 p.m. UTC) to ask your burning questions and hear them answered by our explorers live!