There are organisations involved in filming of wildlife conservation in the Okavango Delta. This include: the National Geographics as well as Dereck and Beverly Joubert who are globally recognized, award-winning filmmakers, conservationists, and National Geographic explorers living in Botswana. Scientists not only in the Okavango Delta but around the globe are doing research on habitats and ecosystems. These researchers are doing research with the goal of spreading the message of how conservation of these species can be achieved. Film making is one of the very useful tools used to transmit all this knowledge and to educate people on conservation of wildlife resources. The assumption is that wildlife and environmental filmmaking can help to change viewers’ minds about protecting the environment and protecting and conserving wildlife species.
There are several advantages of filming wildlife and conservation filmmaking in the Okavango Delta. Film production of wildlife and the ecosystem provide a good opportunity for people in Ngamiland and the world to learn about the natural history of the species in Botswana. These films give a clear message about the importance of wildlife conservation in the Okavango Delta as well as saving the wetland and its habitat to prevent the extinction of species in the area. Films produced in the Okavango Delta educate citizens of Botswana and of the world about the great fauna and flora found in Botswana. This is most for people living in urban areas and towns like Gaborone, Francistown, Lobatse and other centres in Botswana who might be unaware of the value of wildlife species found in their country.
Filming of wildlife in the Okavango Delta also present several disadvantages as well. For example, there are some wildlife movies that have captured a lot of attention worldwide and have been internationally acclaimed and yet, they have missed the opportunity of really making a change. That is, some wildlife films can sometimes be successful but still not help the cause of wildlife conservation as they fail to give solutions and promote change in people’s attitudes towards wildlife conservation. Films that promote the elephant population in the Okavango Delta and Botswana as declining and threatened misrepresent the true picture of the state of the elephant population in the country. Animal rights groups in developed countries thus take advantage and call for the banning of trophy hunting in Botswana which is done based on false information. There are also several wildlife conservation films that are characterized by very graphic content. These films show mistreatment of animals, tragic slaughter of species and the destruction of habitats. Such wildlife films have grabed the attention of many viewers. This has led to the distraction of viewers from the main purpose of wildlife conservation and has at times led to angry emptions and anti-hunting sentiments in Botswana and Africa.
Finally, environmental and conservation wildlife films are very useful tools if used wisely. They can promote tourism development and improve the local and national economy. Wildlife movie production personnel should find a way to inform and educate people about how they can use their environment to improve their well-being and promote conservation. Media and specifically films represent one of the most powerful communication tools in our generation. But we need to know how to use it and what to film to educate our audiences and be able to make meaningful changes and improvements to the people’s lives. Wildlife filming in the Okavango Delta should promote conservation and the well-being of people in Ngamiland and Botswana.