Deep within the harsh Kalahari thirstland of northern Botswana lies the Okavango Delta, a vast and beautiful wetland wilderness which is one of the most important and threatened natural areas in Africa. The landscape here is both varied and constantly changing: the broad meanders of the Okavango River as it passes through the Panhandle contrast with the intricate maze of lushly vegetated channels and swamplands, island and lagoons that makes up the heart of the Delta, and with the seasonally inundated grasslands of the periphery.
This African oasis draws an extensive and diverse array of life forms. Animals, birds, reptiles and insects are all well represented: vervet monkeys thrive in the forest canopy, swamp-dwelling red lechwe and sitatunga find refuge in this, one of Africa's last great wetland areas, and big cats and other carnivores take advantage of the wealth of ungulates that live here, among them antelope and giraffe, buffalo and zebra. Birds come here too, attracted in their multitudes by the abundance of fish that dwell in the waters of the Delta.
Okavango: Africa's Wetland Wilderness presents a record of a year spent in this Eden. The Okavango is dramatic setting, and is host to an ever-unfolding performance by the creatures that live here. It seemed fitting, therefore, to present the book in the metaphor of a drama, in which the stage and props are provided by the natural setting, the cast by its animal inhabitants great and small, and the drama itself by their constant activities and interactions, which are repeated every year to the rhythm of the seasons and the ever-changing landscapes.
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