Explorers Enter Heart of Africa With Fat Bikes and Scuba Gear; Brian Clark Howard; National Geographic

Botswana – Okavango Delta

A new phase of exploration targets the wilderness of the Okavango region.

Three teams of explorers set off into the wilderness in the heart of Africa Monday, on a major new push to survey more of the Okavango River Basin—part of which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the planet’s last great wetlands. Sponsored by the National Geographic Society, the expeditions hope to catalogue the plants and animals in the unprotected Angolan highlands, with the ultimate goal securing better protections for the rich biodiversity and local people, many of whom still live according to traditional ways.

The wildlife the explorers have already documented in previous trips to the region over the past few years—as part of National Geographic’s Okavango Wilderness Project—is “unbelievable,” says Chris Boyes, a biologist and wilderness guide from South Africa who helps coordinate the expeditions.

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