The dream of his so far largest project seemed to be over before it began properly. Photographer Florian Wagner just flew by helicopter along the wild coast, South Africa, as the engine spat suddenly and entirely suspended. “All of a sudden no longer came at all. Only an emergency landing has saved us,” says Wagner. “We’d flown 30 seconds more, we would have crashed.”

Africa’s most important resource,

That was on the second day, an adventurous photo-Safari, which led him – along with his partner Regina Singel stone and South African flying legend Slade Healy – across Africa. 100 hours of flight time, of 18,000 kilometres, ten countries, around 33,000 images. All the footage was shot from the air. Always there are photos of magnificent African landscapes.

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Tanzania, Arusha national Park: giraffes are looking to be close to the water. In the Background, the Hatari Lodge, scene of the legendary ‘ 50s movie with John Wayne and Hardy Krüger.

©Florian Wagner

But whether desert, Steppe or mountains – Wagner’s theme was always water, even if it is not even shown in the picture, so, as is the giant water storage tank under the Etosha pan in Namibia. “I want to show not only the beauty,” says the photographer. “It is important to document how important it is to protect Africa’s most important resource.” Life is important, survival is important: 75 percent of the people South of the Sahara have no reliable access to water.

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The Cubango in Angola on the way to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. The will dry up, if all of Angola agreed activities will be implemented for agricultural use and energy generation.

©Florian Wagner

The journey took ten weeks and led the Team from Johannesburg to Cape town, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda to Tanzania. Florian Wagner knows the continent very well, he has completed Safaris in Jeeps, in a dugout canoe, on foot and on horseback. “But a Safari with the helicopter is by far the most extraordinary, most exciting, and most beautiful experience you can imagine.”

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A fishing village in Malawi. More and more people are moving to coasts and inland lakes; Overfishing is the result of

©Florian Wagner

Wagner took a photograph of the Namib desert, in some years no rain falls. He documented the courses of rivers, the Cubango and the Cuito in Angola, the drying could be because the government for the gigantic agriculture branch projects water in large quantities. And he caught photographically in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, a Labyrinth of Islands and lagoons. The landing with the doors open and the sight of elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, and antelope remains for Wagner remembered. “I’ve never allowed out of the air a fascinating landscape experience,” he says.

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The fishing in the Zambian river Luangwa is dangerous. Again and again, crocodiles and hippos to attack.

©Florian Wagner

But for the following tours on horseback and in boats, the photographer learned of the massive changes in this 15,000 square kilometres of wetlands is also affected by dissipation for water power plants. The unique Ecosystem, Unesco world heritage site, there will be no more soon, if there are not enough water flows. A few weeks later, after Wagner had flown over the Victoria falls and the Zambezi river, he landed on lake Tanganyika, with up to 1470 meters deep, the largest body of freshwater in Africa. But for how long? Ten million people now live in the vicinity of the lake. The waters is overfished, tilt threatens. “The pictures,” says Wagner, “have me shaken itself awake.”

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Like a painting: the Bazaruto archipelago on the southern coast of Mozambique, near the border to South Africa

©Florian Wagner

a Wake-up call he wants to with his book “African Waters”, which is now out of his photos. And, although “not with mahnendem finger pointing”, but “positive images,” he says. So each Chapter of each country he visited will be opened by a 360-degree panoramic image. Pilot Slade Healy left the helicopter, or else to combat poachers used on its own axis by circles.

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Florian Wagner, 52. “African Waters” is published by Terra Mater and costs € 99, –

©Terra Mater

Wagner then photographed each full rotation of 16 portrait images with a 35 mm lens, which he added later on the Computer. “Every day, to be uploaded more than two billion images in the network,” says Wagner. “About the quality of the crowd, it requires either exceptional motifs, outstanding technology or exceptional perspective.”

And sometimes a bit of luck. As the natron lake in Tanzania. The cloud cover seemed much too strong to be able to a good photo shoot. Wagner, himself a hobby pilot, started still early to seven, because he had promised three Maasai warriors, once, on a flight to take. Suddenly, the sun broke through the clouds and continued to the lake natron in magical light, one of Wagner’s favorite photos of this journey was in the box.

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Teodora Torrendo is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.

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