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Central Amazon Rainforest

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The deeper that you head into the Amazon the more exciting and atmospheric it becomes. There is a real sense of adventure for all visitors, but the choice of location in this vast area and specifically the choice of lodge to base yourself in becomes critical, as seeing wildlife in the magnificent flooded rainforest and along the river banks is far from easy.

Most people initially fly into the capital of the Amazon, Manaus, before either basing themselves here or travelling up river to more remote tributaries. Few people expect to land in the Amazon in a city with more than 3 million people and this is often a rude awakening for those seeking to get away from large human settlements and to connect with the wilderness of the legendary Amazon rainforest. Be wary of lodges located a relatively short distance from the capital (10-20km by boat), as there is heavy boat traffic travelling along all the main rivers nearby and both your nights sleep and your wildlife activities may be interrupted by rowdy weekend revellers and daily supply boats.

three-toed Sloth

Our decision was to locate a lodge far from the capital, so we flew west by plane and then took a 1-2 hour boat journey upstream to a unique stilted wilderness lodge built on the bend of a little visited river. Infact, the only boats you tend to see are small supply boats bringing food and other necessities from the nearby tribal villages.

The lodge is one of the few exceptions in modern tourism, where mainly it is private owners that reap the rewards of having a wildlife lodge located on tribal lands. This venture is fairly unique, in that not only do the local guides, boatmen and kitchen staff come from the community, as well as all the food and building material. But most crucially, the community itself receives 50% of the income from all visitors to the lodge.

That alone would not work unless they had taken the time and trouble to build a lodge that would attract genuine wildlife enthusiasts and also ensure that the guides and management were trained to a high standard. It would also not be as successful without the tremendous diversity of wildlife that can be viewed in the surrounding flooded forest and along the river itself.

Viewing primates is never easy in thick forest but at this lodge you have an excellent chance to see Three-toed Sloth, Capuchin Monkey, Squirrel Monkeys, Black Howler Monkeys and most rewarding of all, the 'old man of the forest'; the rare Red Uakari Monkeys (they are more difficult than the other primates) and a great variety of birds such as Toco Toucans and the rare Hoatzin.

While out on the main river you will frequently encounter the famous Pink Dolphins and on one particular occasion as we were out in a simple paddle canoe, two of these graceful creatures followed us all the way back to the lodge. They are obviously very curious about the boats and to hear them spout just yards from where you are canoeing is one of my most special memories from my time in the Amazon.

This lodge is for me one of the finest examples of 'community based' tourism in the world and to combine that with wonderful and unique wildlife experiences really does provide a first class wildlife excursion in the Amazon.

HIGHLIGHTS

Take a pollution free slow paddle with your own personal guide as you slowly explore the atmospheric flooded Amazon Rainforest

Meet the 'old man of the forest' and stay in a stunningly located wilderness lodge in the heart of the Amazon

Hear the sound of the Pink Dolphins as they rise just metres from your boat



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