Developed in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund and the Smithsonian Institution, and organized and traveled by the National Geographic Society, “Into Africa” is an exhibition that features the work of one of National Geographic’s most prolific and visionary nature photographers, Frans Lanting. “Into Africa” takes visitors on a grand tour through the wonders of African landscapes as seen through Lanting’s lens. His images and stories create an enduring vision of the continent and demonstrate what is at stake for its wildlife and wild places.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hazel Wolf Gallery is only open for in-person viewing by appointment. Use our online calendar to schedule a one-hour private viewing.
The digital gallery below allows you to see the see the show in its entirety, including all three short films on display and a special video tour with behind-the-scenes storytelling from Frans Lanting and Chris Eckstrom. Hover mouse over the images to pause the slideshow, and use the left and right arrows to rotate through.
The continent where humankind was born has challenged me, taught me, and nourished my spirit for much of my life.
For more than 30 years, I have traveled in and out of Africa, on assignment for National Geographic as well as on personal quests. Its landscapes that evoke scenes from another time, the animals who accepted me into their lives, and the people have guided me into experiences that have shaped my life – for all those reasons. Africa will always resonate with my soul.
I have been privileged to document the wild places and wild creatures shown in this exhibition, and to share the results of my work with people who may never have the chance to crouch before elephants at a water hole or roam with lions through the African night.
This continent has given me many gifts and I offer them here to you. I will continue to return, and be humbled by, all that Africa reveals to me.
– Frans Lanting
This short film by Chris Eckstrom reveals previously undocumented behavior of chimps. Chimps were thought to avoid water, but here male chimps are shown gathering to drink and rest in the water. A second segment illustrates chimp self-awareness as a young chimp interacts with her reflection.
While tracking cheetahs in East Africa, I learned that males live longer when they band together. I became acquainted with a coalition of three brothers known as the Honey’s Boys who operated in a portion of Kenya’s Masai Mara that is visited by many tourists. These males grew up in public, and have been photographed countless times. They act like stars – and they are.
This short film by Chris Eckstrom features Frans and Chris getting into a blind and takes the viewer through a day of observing and recording the parade of animals that visit this water hole. Explanation of the behavior of observed animals, and individual segments unfold.
Discourses about the natural world must always include the humans who live there. The Beyond Nature section does just that. Additional content has been created for this iteration of the exhibit to further expand on the role of local organizers in Africa and to enable viewers to learn more about their work.
Developed by Wildlife Conservation Network for this exhibit, this video features members of three conservation organizations based in Kenya and Uganda. They each speak to the need for local human populations to lead the conservation efforts in their regions.
Learn more about all of the organizations featured in this special expanded version of “Into Africa”:
Serengeti Watch (Tanzania): Building lasting protection of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem by and for the people of East Africa through a strong coalition of support, advocacy, and funding for the Serengeti ecosystem, the people living around it, and adjacent reserves and protected areas.
Friends of Muonde (Zimbabwe). Backing indigenous innovation in Zimbabwe, working particularly to support community initiatives that connect environment and human wellbeing in the Mazvihwa Communal Area and neighboring regions of Midlands South.
Conservation Through Public Health (Uganda). Promoting biodiversity conservation by enabling people, gorillas, and livestock to coexist through improving their health and livelihoods in and around Africa’s protected areas.
Save the Elephants (Kenya and across Africa). Securing a future for elephants and sustaining the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live; promoting man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world; and developing a tolerant relationship between the two species.
Ewaso Lions (Kenya). Conserving lions and other large carnivores by promoting coexistence between people and wildlife through initiatives that engage and build the capacity of key demographic groups (warriors, women, and children), conduct applied research, and carry out educational initiatives.
Women’s Climate Centers International (Uganda and Kenya). Co-creating sustainable solutions with vulnerable communities using indigenous women’s knowledge so that agricultural yields become vigorous, safe drinking water becomes routine, and water-borne disease becomes a part of history.
EcoVet Global (Ethiopia and Tanzania). Bringing a veterinary lens to environmental challenges that affect humans, animals, and ecosystems in order to strengthen the health and resilience of the earth, and the people and animals that share its resources.
Women for Wildlife (South Africa). Building an international movement to support, empower, and unite women and girls around the world who are passionately devoted to wildlife and conservation.
Transition Earth (Uganda). Promoting human rights and nature’s rights in a world of unsustainable population and economic growth, advocating for global systems change to enable the shift to a sustainable planet for all.