MAP

MAP

MapMaker: Okavango Wilderness Project

MapMaker: Okavango Wilderness Project

The Okavango Basin is the main source of water for a million people. This map shows the landscape explored by the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project team as they traced the flow of water throughout the ecosystem.

Grades

5 - 12

Subjects

Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Human Geography, Physical Geography

Image

MapMaker: Okavango Wilderness Project

This map shows the landscape explored by the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project team as they traced the flow of water throughout the ecosystem.

National Geographic Society / Esri
This map shows the landscape explored by the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project team as they traced the flow of water throughout the ecosystem.

Map Summary: This map shows the landscape explored by the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project team as they traced the flow of water throughout the ecosystem. The map includes the rivers and source lakes as well as the peat deposits of Angola, which feed the Okavango Delta. It also includes the number of species observed by the team at different locations along their expedition.

Map Location: Okavango River Basin, Angola, Namibia, and Botswana in southern Africa

National Geographic Explorer: Steve Boyes, Conservation Biologist; Thalefang Charles, Storyteller

Explorer’s Questions/Goals: The goal of the Okavango Wilderness Project is to protect this unique and ecologically rich place and the water that flows through it. Since 2015, the project team has traveled more than 6,000 kilometers (3,728 miles) in mekoros (canoes), on bicycles, and motorcycles, from the watershed’s highlands in Angola, the source of the water that flows through the system, to the salt flats of the Makgadikgadi Pan. Working with local communities, NGOs, and the governments of Angola, Namibia, and Botswana, scientists and experts work to secure permanent, sustainable protection for the greater Okavango Watershed.

Data Collected: The National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project team carried GPS units with them on each trip while surveying and collecting scientific data on the river system, recording plants, animals, fish, and more. In the Angolan highlands, where the source of the Okavango originates, the Project has recorded 53 species new to academic science, more than 81 species potentially new to science, and more than 143 species previously unknown in Angola.

Questions:

  • Open the interactive version of the map in MapMaker. Follow the path the National Geographic Explorers took from the Angolan highlands to the Okavango Delta. What do you think some of the challenges were that the team faced during that trip?

  • Using MapMaker, search for “Okavango Delta, BWA.” How do the number of species observed in this area compare to areas farther north in other areas of the expedition?
Media Credits

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Writers
Dan Byerly, National Geographic Society
Kate Gallery, National Geographic Society
Cartographer
Erica Goldfinger, National Geographic Society
Partner Organization
Last Updated

November 15, 2023

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