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A Beeline Through Kakamega Rainforest

Kakamega forest played a central role in the Beenomics project for several days. Located in the northwest of Kenya near Uganda, this stretch of rainforest covers about twice the area of Pittsburgh, but is a small relic of a vast tropical forest that once stretched across the continent.

Conservation Music Lands in Maseru

With sore shoulders and tired legs, completely weighed down by our gear and equipment, we ambled into Maseru like pack mules. It is still difficult to catch my breath and decipher my thoughts and feelings about this place. As an outsider with a callow amount of international experience, the warmth and camaraderie is present enough…

Nature Is Making a Comeback. It’s Time to Celebrate.

Legendary conservation biologist Tom Lovejoy shares his thoughts on the progress we’ve made in protecting the wild, and the reasons for continued hope as the Smithsonian’s Earth Optimism Summit gets under way.

Robot vs. Volcano: “Sometimes It’s Just Fun to Blow Stuff Up”

“Sharkcano.” It’s not the title of some campy summer blockbuster, but rather a real-world phenomenon that went viral in 2015, when scientists on a National Geographic expedition found sharks living inside one of the most active underwater volcanoes on Earth. Not surprisingly, the team was eager to go back and learn more, but how do you explore an environment that could easily kill you? You send in robots, of course.

Traditional Song and Dance Welcome Hokulea to Tahiti

“You could feel it from the canoe. The community here was overwhelmingly happy and thrilled with love in their hearts that Hokulea and Hikianalia were there,” says Kala Tanaka, captain and navigator of Hikianalia.

Hokulea and Hikianalia Arrive in Tahiti Nearing End of Round-the-World Trip

The legendary sister canoes are reunited, anticipating the final deep-sea leg of the Worldwide Voyage

Amidst congressional criticism, archaeologists take aim at the world’s big questions

If scientists are able to understand how climate change and human impacts helped to drive the extinction of these ancient American megafauna, she says, perhaps we can figure out ways to mitigate the global-scale extinction crisis we find ourselves in today.

Meet the North: Crossing that Bridge

On the way out of town, Dennis Sinnok saw fresh marks on the snow, stopped his snowmobile, and asked, “Do you want to go track a wolverine?” We said yes, but since we were no match for his driving skills, we immediately fell way, way behind. As an outsider to the north, it was my…

Okavango Team Arrives at Camp, Following Plan B(ee)

What a journey, but we have arrived! After tackling our way through the forest, many fallen trees in the road, we have arrived at the source lake of the Cuito river. The team has jumped to it and put together our camp to be able to survey the underwater environment of this pristine freshwater system. And as we expected our friends the bees were waiting for us in extraordinary numbers, making working and moving in this place extremely difficult, everyone has had their first stings.

Okavango Wilderness Project Hits the Road. And the Mud.

We’re on our way! It’s incredible to be back up in the central eastern highlands of Angola to continue the essential work towards protecting this ecologically important region.

Gallopin’ Gargoyles! New Stone-Like Frog Species Discovered

The discovery of the stone leaf-litter frog is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the unknown biodiversity of these forests. It’s a race against time to discover the creatures that live in these mysterious forests and to ensure that they still have their forest homes in the future.

Mike Fay discusses his Expedition Through the Heart of Africa, and his plan to keep on walking … for ten years

Your latest trek through a part of central Africa that would be inaccessible for all but a very few people — hundreds of miles’ footslogging across roadless lands often devoid of people and large wildlife — was quite an adventure. You ran into some sketchy situations, including being attacked in the middle of the night by a swarm of hungry ants looking for a fleshy meal. How does this expedition fit in with — and add to — your previous explorations and experience in Africa?

Latest Okavango Wilderness Project Expedition About to Kick Off

When they put the sticker on the Land Cruiser, you know things are about to get good.

In Central Asia, a Stone Age Workshop Hints at Humankind’s Obsession With Blades

Journalist-explorer Paul Salopek is walking across the world in the footsteps of our ancestors. He posts this dispatch from Ak-Olon, Kyrgyzstan. We stand in a remote canyon in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. The canyon debouches onto a pale barren plain once crisscrossed by camel trains. Kubatbek Tabaldyev leans into a wall of black stone. The…

Expedition Epilogue: Indelible ancient reality at the Heart of Africa

At the conclusion of his 290-mile transect through the Central African Republic, National Geographic Explorer J. Michael Fay shares his big-picture observation of what he’s seen, heard and understood: The regression from colonial occupation and post-colonial nation states is making way for the ancient fault lines in the region’s geography and population dynamics. If the world at large hopes to salvage nation states in this region of Africa, the solution lies in knowing the history, the land, the people and a state presence that applies land-use management as its primary tool. It can be done; law and order can exist. Programs like the Chinko Project that work at that fundamental level, helping to manage the wildlife, vegetation, soil, water, creating organization, employment, law and order, are absolutely necessary.