The peculiar pink Amazon dolphins have a massive sonar array distorting their heads as they are almost blind and sense river life by reflected sound. Photo by Allen Sheffield.
On your Amazon Rainforest trip remember to pack
Inevitably you’ll come across legions of insects that want to taste your blood or drink your salt water (from your eyeballs, naturally) so pack long lightweight trousers/pants and possibly a light longsleeved shirt so you can use a serious insect repellent on them with a high DEET factor (50%-100%) and not on your skin. Long pants also serve as a snake-bite barrier.
You will also need to bring some kind of light but strong rainwear, hiking shoes that are water-resistant and are maybe high enough to protect against snakes (or gaiters? ), a hat, sunglasses and high-factor sun protection, as well as something warm for cool nights, a water bottle and tissues or toilet paper, or both.
Amazon Rainforest facts
The Amazon Rainforest encompasses half of the entire world’s tropical rainforests and crosses 9 national borders with 60% in Brazil and 13% in Peru. 60% of Peru’s territory is in the Amazon region.
20% of all the world’s birds live in the Amazon, 1, 300 bird species, 430 mammal species, 378 reptile species and – wait for it – 2. 5 million insect species. I knew there was something itchy around there. Also 40, 000 plant species.
Deforestation in Peru
Peruvian loggers and farmers are less rapacious and methodically destructive than Brazil’s so the world’s eco-mentalists may have arrived on the scene just in time to save a bit of the Amazon rainforest and its wildlife.
At the current rate of deforestation in Brazil – mainly for livestock and soy bean farming – 40% of the Amazon rainforest will disappear in the next twenty years.