A week in the Peruvian jungle

Cruising up the Tambopata River in Peru - photo by Rob McFarland

Cruising up the Tambopata River in Peru – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Nov 16, 2019

I’ve decided I’ll call it Mothy McMothface. Apparently, if I find a new species of moth at this light trap deep in the Peruvian jungle, I can name it. I approach the illuminated white sheet with my jam jar feeling quietly confident. Since Rainforest Expeditions started this program two years ago, they’ve discovered 29 new species, including 12 species of moth. I later find out that all new names have to be sanctioned by the project’s scientists so I suspect I’ll have to settle for something more venerable – Sir David McAttenmoth perhaps?

This “citizen science” program is available at Refugio Amazonas, one of three lodges Rainforest Expeditions operates on the Tambopata River in southeast Peru. All are buried in thick jungle with no road access, which means everything (including guests) has to be ferried in and out by boat.

Read the rest of this story here.

Mountain gorilla trek in Rwanda

Gorillas in Virunga Massif in Rwanda - photo by Rob McFarland

Gorillas in Virunga Massif in Rwanda – photo by Rob McFarland

Traveller, Sydney Morning Herald, Australia – Apr 14, 2018

Mr D holds up his hand and we all shuffle to a stop. “They’re in the next clearing,” he whispers. “Take off your rucksacks. Only cameras and phones from now on.”

A crackle of anticipation passes through the group. Heartbeats quicken; mouths go dry. “Everyone ready? Remember, if you are gentle, they will be gentle. OK, follow me.”

Two trackers with machine guns step aside and we creep in single file through the dense undergrowth. Mr D announces our impending arrival with a series of shrieks and low-pitched grunts. We enter a small clearing and there, less than four metres away, is a 150-kilogram silverback mountain gorilla.

Read the rest of this story here.