When you visit the forests of the Amazon, you will be hoping to spot wildlife. Below, our own expert naturalist guides offer their tips for an enhanced wildlife excursion.
During the rainforest trip section of your South America vacation, you will be immersed in the incomparable flora of the Amazon basin, which your naturalist guide will teach you more about. But, of course, you will also want to see the animals of the forest. Remember that it can be challenging to spot these often-elusive animals in their natural habitat.
Varying according to the time of year and local conditions, wild animal behavior can be hard to predict, even for experts. Even in megadiverse environments like Tambopata National Reserve and our own Tambopata Ecolodge Private Conservation Area, successful sightings of fauna require time and patience. The more time you spend in tropical and subtropical forests looking, the more you will see! When you visit the rainforest, try to opt for a longer itinerary: having an extra day or two usually pays off.
In addition to a healthy dose of luck, you will also need to be vigilant. Stay focused when you are on forest rivers, lakes or trails, and you will almost certainly be rewarded for your efforts. Keep your ears and eyes open at all times, and stay aware of your surroundings, especially when on guided trail walks. Nature rarely remains still for long, and if you are constantly looking ahead, and to either side of the trail, something is sure to make an appearance when you least expect it.
With all the sounds of activity going on around you in a tropical forest, it isn’t always easy to stay attuned. Don’t let your attention wander: listen out for specific sounds amid the noises of the forest and ask your naturalist guide to help you identify them. And look out for other signs of animal movements, including tracks, nests, and even droppings.
Move slowly and quietly in the forest, when walking and also when boating on oxbow lakes and rivers. The quieter you are, the less likely you are to alert the wildlife around you to your presence. And when you do spot an animal, continue to move as slowly and as quietly as possible to avoid frightening it away. Just take the time to watch and enjoy as the animal you are observing goes about its business!
Remember that you can use on technology to improve your wildlife experience. A camera lens or binoculars will help you spot animals at a distance and amid dense foliage, especially if your own particular passion is birdwatching. And, of course, you should listen to your guide. The best guides spend their entire lives in the forest, and they understand better than anyone the wildlife and habitat you will have traveled so far to see and experience. By following these simple guidelines, you will be helping your guide to reveal to you and your traveling companions the wonders of Peru’s Amazon forests.