oa Botswana Notes & Records - Early Maps of Ngamiland and the Okavango Delta

Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0525-5090



During the years 1849 to 1900 the first maps of (portions of) the Okavango Delta region in Ngamiland were produced by missionaries, explorers, travellers and adventurers. Considerable progress was made from the first attempt by Livingstone and Oswell in 1849 to the work by Passarge at the turn of the 20th century. There were great improvements in the positional accuracy of Lake Ngami, the initial attraction of the region, and many of the river courses and other features in the Okavango-Ngamiland region, as maps became much more detailed. This paper descriptionbes the progress from the first rather inaccurate mapping attempts to the more sophisticated work produced just before the turn of the 20th century when the word 'Okavango' actually began to appear on maps. These early mapping efforts laid the foundation for the cartography of the colonial era.

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