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From Boxing Day in Canberra

26 December 2019

Summer visitors to the National Museum can get up close to elephants, lions and hippos as they venture into the African wetlands with a new 360-degree video experience that follows a groundbreaking expedition to save Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

In a first for Australia, the National Museum will host the National Geographic’s fully immersive nature documentary Expedition 360: A National Geographic VR Exploration into the Okavango Delta, from 26 December 2019.

Visitors will join the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project led by National Geographic Fellow Steve Boyes. Travelling by mokoro (dugout canoes) through one of the world’s largest wetlands, they will come face to face with the remarkable animals that live in the delta.

The Okavango Delta is the main source of water for a million people and is one of the most biodiverse places in Africa. It supports the world’s largest remaining elephant population as well as lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, hundreds of species of birds, and more.

Director of the National Museum Dr Mathew Trinca said he was delighted to bring an innovative new experience to Canberra which tackles pressing global issues and reveals the rich biodiversity of an extraordinary region.

‘VR is an exciting way to explore our global environment and to better understand the animals and habitats around us,’ Dr Trinca said.

National Geographic’s Vice President of public programming Kathryn Keane said, ‘National Geographic has invested in virtual reality and other cutting-edge immersive technologies to enhance our ability to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.’

‘This technology, when paired with the Okavango Wilderness Project’s incredible story, creates a genuine connection that can influence viewers to preserve our planet’s last wild places and the species that call them home,’ Mrs Keane said.

The primary goal of the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project to preserve the greater Okavango Basin in its current near-pristine state by establishing a network of new protected areas.

The National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project’s expeditions bring together an interdisciplinary team including Angolan, Namibian, and South African scientists as well as other experts from the region and around the world.

Equipped with headsets, visitors will experience the natural world in brilliant, 360-degree cinematic life through an amazing African adventure.

Previous VR experiences at the National Museum include The Antarctica Experience and David Attenborough’s First Life and Great Barrier Reef Dive.

Expedition 360: A National Geographic VR Exploration into the Okavango Delta is open from Boxing Day 2019. Bookings essential.

Media contact: Diane Morris, +61 2 6208 5497, 0436 030 741 or media@nma.gov.au

About the National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organisation that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of the world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching three million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content.

Logos: National Geographic. Okavango Wilderness Project.

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