Gregg just checked in from the wilds of Africa! Via satellite phone, he mentioned a close encounter with a group of elephants fording the delta, but otherwise is doing well and staying in his boat a good thing, since the water in the Okavango Delta is full of crocodiles and hippos.

In the past few days, the #Okavango14 expedition team has traveled from Weboro to Jedibe in dugout mokoro canoes, standing as they pole to keep and eye out for wildlife. The team includes three other National Geographic Explorers, as well as local baYei tribesmen.

audio recording from Gregg and several other members of the team gives you a taste of life in the field:
Jedeibe marked the end of “the people’s delta,” and the entrance into the depths of the Okavango’s wetland wilderness, Gregg said.
A grand oasis in the vast Kalahari Desert, the Okavango was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June and is home to unparalleled biodiversity. By collecting wildlife data and establishing remote research platforms, the expedition team is laying groundwork for a larger project to protect the area from encroaching upstream threats.

“This is one of the last places on Earth where modern humans can witness the balance of wild animals and landscape that preceded our era of construction and domestication,” according to National Geographic.

A few photos from Gregg:

The team has certainly had their share of wildlife encounters.

“Big hippo just porpoised 10 feet from the lead Mokoro. Look for a heart rate spike tonight for Steve and Chris,” they tweeted earlier this morning.

As part of this groundbreaking expedition, they are posting wildlife sightings, environmental conditions and even their heart rates live on their multimedia website. This Friday, August 22, we’ll have a chance to enter the Okavango virtually, when the expedition team joins a live Google+ Hangout hosted by National Geographic at 10 a.m. EDT.

– Emily Wolfe

Learn more about this expedition, and follow the team at, at our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, and via the hashtag #Okavango14.