Idea for Use in the Classroom.

The Okavango Delta is sustained by an efficient wetland system and is home to many of Africa’s most endangered species. Use the inset map of Africa to help students orient themselves and then identify the delta region on the main map. Students can locate and trace the rivers feeding into the delta and then determine which countries they flow through. Focus on the origin point of the Cubango and Cuito rivers and read “Highland Source” to understand what feeds these rivers. Students can read the “Dynamic Water System” section to describe how water flows into the delta and how the shape of the delta is developed. Then use the map key to identify practices that could impact delta. Ask: How might hydroelectric dams and water schemes impact the delta? Agricultural development and deforestation?                                                             

Learn more about the delta’s ecology by researching native plant and animal species to understand their niche. Encourage students to focus on how these species help shape the landscape and how they have adapted to the landscape. Example species include: elephant, hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius), buffalo (Syncerus caffer), crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), lion (Panthera leo), termites, papyrus reed (Cyperus papyrus), sausage tree (Kigelia africana), and mokolwane palm (Hyphaene petersiana).

Use the map to demonstrate the prevalence of tourism in the delta and then consider how tourism can be used to promote conservation. Finally, have students develop a script for a one-minute public service announcement that describes the unique flora, fauna, and landscape of the Okavango Delta and explains why it is under threat and how it can be protected.

As an extension, explore the Okavango Wilderness Project.

Noun

a dip or depression in the surface of the land or ocean floor.

Noun

the flat, low-lying plain that sometimes forms at the mouth of a river from deposits of sediments.

Noun

organism threatened with extinction.

expedition
Noun

journey with a specific purpose, such as exploration.

Noun

area of land covered by shallow water or saturated by water.