"Botswana, many say, represents the last of Old Africa. And in the heart of this arid land lies a place as inspiring and as incongruous as the snow-capped summit of Kilimanjaro rising on the equator: that is the Okavango, one of the greatest wetlands on earth, whose very existence in the middle of a desert is nothing short of miraculous." —Frans Lanting, 1993
For a year, Frans Lanting roamed the wetlands and deserts of northern Botswana, living by the rhythms of the water and the movements of the animals as he captured them on film. National Geographic had sent him there on assignment, but what he would take away was much more than a magazine story; it was a seminal and unparalleled collection of photographs depicting an epic world of wilderness and wildlife. As Lanting wrote, “To many who have seen the fate of other wild areas in Africa and elsewhere in the world, the very notion that such a place as Okavango still exists is like a dream.” Living out of vehicles and canvas tents, gliding through swamps, following lions by night—Lanting, armed with his cameras, got up close and personal with some of the planet’s most formidable creatures.
The book he published a few years later, Okavango, was a testament not only to the wondrous wildlife of the region, but also to Lanting’s extraordinary courage, skill, and photographic vision. After many publications of Lanting’s work, including Life, Jungles, Eye to Eye, and Penguin, TASCHEN now revisits his original classic which drew critical praise worldwide with this updated and expanded edition of Okavango, further enhanced with all new reproductions and dozens of previously unpublished photos, as well as a new preface by Lanting.
Dutch-born Frans Lanting has been hailed as one of the great nature photographers of our time. For the past two decades he has documented wildlife and our relationship with nature in environments from the Amazon to Antarctica. Exhibits of his photographs have been shown at major museums in Paris, Milan, Tokyo, New York, Madrid, and Amsterdam.
Christine Eckstrom is a writer and TV producer whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Audubon, and International Wildlife. Her feature story "The Last Real Africa" won a 2007 Lowell Thomas Award for Best Magazine Article on Foreign Travel from the Society of American Travel Writers. She is also the author of Forgotten Edens: Exploring the World's Wild Places (1993). She collaborates with husband Frans Lanting from their home base in California.