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The Jewel of the Kalahari

In the heart of southern Africa, the Kalahari Desert gives way to one of the world's largest wetlands as seasonal rains from Angola's highlands flood northern Botswana's Okavango Delta each year.




The Okavango Delta is the main source of water for a million people and is one of the most biodiverse places in Africa. It supports the world’s largest remaining elephant population as well as lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, hundreds of species of birds, and much more.

Learn about Biodiversity in the Delta

While the Okavango Delta is protected within Botswana, the greater Okavango Basin, which includes the critical rivers and lakes that supply the delta, are not. These source waters are under increasing threats from deforestation, uncontrolled fire, the rising commercial bushmeat trade, and unchecked development. If these waters remain unprotected, the future of the Okavango Delta is at risk.

Learn About the River System

The National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project has been surveying and collecting scientific data on the river system and working with local communities; NGOs; and the governments of Angola, Namibia, and Botswana to secure permanent, sustainable protection for the greater Okavango Watershed.

Learn About Our Work



Into the Okavango is a documentary film about the Okavango Wilderness Project from National Geographic Documentary Films. 

Into the Okavango is available on the Nat Geo TV website and app (with a TV-provider subscription), and is available for purchase on Amazon, Apple/iTunes, GooglePlay, and Vudu.

Watch the trailer


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Our work to explore and protect the amazing biodiversity of the Okavango River Basin is vital to the health of the region. Your support not only helps preserve this important ecosystem, but it also funds the critical work of all of our explorers fighting to save threatened species, protect fragile habitats, and understand the world around us through rigorous research, independent science, and conservation. Your contribution to the National Geographic Society’s work is helping create a more sustainable future for our planet.

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Learn how you can help change the world for the better. Get updates from our Explorers in the field who are working to save the Okavango's wildlife and wild places, and learn about all our work to explore and protect the planet.