#Okavango14: Listen to the Sound of a Golden Okavango Morning

It’s day 12 and the 2014 Okavango Expedition has managed to get to the Boro Channel. We are on a remote island along the main channel enjoying an amazing sunrise over the Okavango Delta. As part of intotheokavango.org, we have been recording stereo audio clips to share our real-time experiences on this research expedition. This audio recording was made just an hour ago and is now with you to enjoy the morning chorus. The only way to describe the peace and song of the early morning is “spiritual.”


When we, a group of National Geographic explorers, decided to share the 2014 expedition live via intotheokavango.org, generous satellite data sponsorships from Inmarsat, and the mobile-wifi hotspot of the Iridium GO, we had no idea how rewarding the experience would be. For example, our Google Hangout linked us to a school group that had been following our progress. They wanted to know how to avoid being eaten by a lion and how we keep safe in the wilderness; a first step towards being inspired to explore and protect their blue-green living planet for a better future! Inspiring one child is reason enough for us to do what we are doing. An open-access generation that shares and cares gives me hope…

Our public API is open to anyone immediately. Jer Thorp and his Office for Creative Research out of New York City jumped at the opportunity to break down boundaries and open up this expedition to the world. We are part of the open-source movement and a new world that shares to stimulate positive development and advance society as a whole. Social media has taught us the potential of billions of people connected via the internet. Together we can uplift, restore and protect after hundreds of years of closed socities protecting their interests through restricted access to information and new technologies. Our time is now and a new world is ours to create.

From scientific data to personal biometrics and GPS, data is being uploaded in real-time to an open API, making this our first “live-data expedition.” The world is changing and inspiration now comes from direct involvement and open access. We have the unique opportunity this decade to share our experiences in remote wilderness areas with millions of people around the world. It is live, digital storytelling—living, experiential, live-data expeditions.

What began as a daily expedition blog via National Geographic NewsWatch has become a mission to share and inspire a new generation of “live-data” explorers for the good of the planet.

Please follow the rest of our expedition via intotheokavango.org! We will be finishing on the second of September…

Read More From the Okavango Expedition

Changing Planet


Meet the Author
Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.