The Call Of The Wild

The locals live in thatched wooden huts, carve their canoes out of tree trunks – and hunt their supper with blow pipes and poisoned darts.

This is home to one of the most primitive civilisations in the world, untouched by the 21st century and for long a fascinating destination for travellers and anyone with a desire to see nature at its very best.

The Amazon Basin is home to more different types of animal than anywhere else in the world.

From the rare equatorial saki monkey, to the abundant birdlife which encompasses more than 1,500 different species, this sprawling wilderness is paradise on earth for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.

The Amazon Basin stretches for 3,179,720 square miles across seven countries, and is a must on the itinerary of anyone looking to experience a little back-to-basics backpacking amongst some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable.

The rainforest is the largest in the world, and has been continuously inhabited for at least 10,000 years. Today it covers roughly 40% of South America, taking in swathes of Peru, Brazil Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Bolivia and Venezuela.

Here, the vegetation is so thick in places that sunlight never reaches the ground. Indigenous tribes share the territory with more than 10,000 species of mammal, the majority of which are bats and rodents, and 1000 species of tropical frogs which thrive in the high humidity.

Sheer Scale is Hard to Comprehend

The sheer scale of the Amazon Basin is hard to comprehend.

The biodiversity of the region is unparalleled – it is estimated that one in ten of the world’s animals can be found here, creating the largest ecosystem on the planet.

Here you will find the greatest known population of jaguars, whose habitat includes the tropical lowland swamps and coastal forests.

The giant anteater, tapir and golden lion tamarin are also to be found, along with the spectacled bear, squirrel monkey and three-toed sloth.

Flooded grasslands are home to the capybara, a large rodent native to South America, while overhead the brilliantly-coloured toucan and the harpy eagle are easily spotted.

It is said that a solitary bush in the Amazon Basin holds more species of ants than can be found in the entire British Isles.

  • Adventurers to this region will be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to go and what to do.

Jungle trekking is at the top of most visitors’ wish lists, along with white water rafting and kayaking, scuba diving, surfing, hot air ballooning and sandboarding – an adrenaline-fuelled cross between snowboarding and surfing.

There is also plenty of opportunity for hang-gliding, mountain biking, ice- and snow-climbing, and of course a somewhat more genteel boat cruise along the Amazon river, one of the most popular ways of exploring this fascinating land.

Gear-Zone’s Nicki Williams is a sports and travel writer for the leading East Anglian online company, which has all the gear you’ll need for a trip to the Amazon, including wet weather clothing, footwear and rucksacks.

Here, you’ll find all the leading brands to kit you out for any expedition, including The North Face, Rab, Berghaus, Brasher and Merrell.

Picture source: Compfight