Dubbed one of the “last wild places on earth,” the virtual reality trip through Okavango is the first of three immersive experiences that National Geographic has planned with YouTube.
The four-part series follows a National Geographic Society expedition as it transects the largest wetland in Southern Africa, known as one of the most biodiverse places on earth.
“Embracing immersive content continues our tradition of going further, while connecting our audiences directly with our Explorers and the stories of the world they have to share,” said Jenna Pirog, senior director of Video and Immersive Experiences at National Geographic, in a statement. “We’re looking forward to a long-term partnership with YouTube that will allow us to remain industry stewards for marrying immersive technology with impactful storytelling.”
Each five-minute episode will take viewers through the Botswanan wilderness, which is home to the largest remaining elephant population, along with lions, cheetahs, wild dogs and hundreds of species of birds.
Dr. Steve Boyes, a National Geographic fellow, makes the trip every year with a team of Angolan, Namibian and South African scientists to explore the rivers and estuaries of the ecosystem.
The VR experience is meant to complement a documentary on the Okavango that will air on Nat Geo WILD on Friday.
Available on National Geographic’s YouTube channel, website and its VR app on Google’s Daydream platform, the first episodes are available today, with subsequent experiences released on following Tuesdays. The content, which was made for VR, can also be watched on desktop and mobile.