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Beauty of the beasts: Frans Lantings vibrant tribute to the Old Africa of Okavango
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 nightLanting, armed with his cameras, got up close and personal with some of the planets 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 Lantings extraordinary courage, skill, and photographic vision. After many publications of Lantings 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this updated and expanded edition of Okavango, further enhanced with all new reproductions and dozens of previously unpublished photos, as well as a new preface by Lanting.