I am Dr. Vyankatesh Metan Orthopedic surgeon, wildlife photographer, nature lover and traveler from Solapur, India. Purpose of writing this article is to connect you with the nature, to encourage you for the photography and to encourage you to travel to explore the world.
This is part II is in continuation with the my published story on journey of Amazing Amazon and Andes mountains part I.
To visit Amazon forest was my dream.
Since last 20 years whenever I used to watch any Amazon forest and its wildlife documentaries ; my inner mind used to stimulate me to visit the amazing forest.
After our successful wildlife photography tour at the Andes mountain we started our journey towards Amazon forest. When we were about to reach at Napo river , there was beautiful rainbow in the sky as if the Amazon forest was welcoming us.
The Napo River is a tributary to the Amazon River that rises in Ecuador on the flanks of the east Andean volcanoes of Antisana, Sinchulawa and Cotopaxi.
The total length is 1,075 km (668 mi). The river drains an area of 100,518 km2 (38,810 sq mi). The mean annual discharge is 6,976 m3 (246,400 cu ft) per second.
This basin encompasses 7000000 square kilometer of which 5500000 square kilometer are covered by rain-forests.
Amazon forest is spread in the nine countries.
Amazon represents over half of the planets remaining rain forests and comprises the largest and most bio diverse track of the Tropical rain forest in the world.
This region is home to about 2.5 million insect species, 40,000 plant species, 2200 fishes, 1294 Birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians and 378 reptiles. Isn't it amazing that's the reason I call this rain forest as amazing Amazon.
To explore wildlife in the Amazon rain forest you have to travel in the small snake boats which is the only way of transportation. These small motorized snake boats are very compact, comfortable and safe to travel.
Early morning our journey started in the snake boat in the Napo river
We enjoyed early morning foggy and chilled atmosphere with intermittent rain in between.
I was surprised to see lot of Oil companies are gradually acquiring lot of space in the Amazon region. This will be a big concern for the existence of the habitat, wildlife as well as ecosystem of Amazon forest in near future.
The beauty of Amazon is that climate here is so unpredictable and very funny it changes very fast with every hour. You can see within few minutes the climate changes from clear blue sky to cloudy with lots of rain clear and again in short time the sky becomes clear.
Our accommodation at these islands was very basic in nature in huts amidst the true nature. To prevent mosquito and insect bite the mosquito net was must. We had basic accommodation facilities like simple huts, beds with mosquito nets, food, basic sanitation facilities etc.
We really enjoyed our stay at these kinds of huts with food.
I can quote Amazon is really amazing place where you can capture excellent images of blue skies, birds in flight with excellent background of sky, birds and mammals on trees, amphibians , caimans, birds, mammals on the islands and at the banks of the river with excellent life in the water. The beauty of Amazon forest is you can have excellent wildlife in the air, at the forests as well as in the water.
While travelling in the snake boats you must be very alert to witness various birds and mammals on the banks of the river. To take the photographs of these birds and mammals is a real challenging task. For that I will advise you to do practice and practice before visiting this place. To capture images from small snake boats was the thrill and is real test your photography skills. I am very happy to share with you that our team members could get beautiful photographs. While travelling in small boats our team used to have all gears in our hand ready to shoot images of wildlife on the banks of rives.
You never know anything can be seen on the banks of rives.
One of the best moment was to see varieties of parrots visiting to the clay licks. We have spent sufficient time to witness the parrots licking the clay.
We could see and click excellent images of Blue and yellow Macaw, Blue headed parrot, Southern mealy Amazon parrot, Howler monkey, Dusky headed parakeet, Amazon Kingfisher, Roadside hawk. Snail kite and many more.
I want to share one of my best experience with Huaorani tribe of Gareno. Our guide Mr Pancho under guidance of these tribal people took us to one of the most difficult terrain of the forest for the Harpy eagle sighting.
We walked continuous for not less than one and half hour in a very dense and thick forest with slippery and muddy ground with intermittent rain in very humid atmosphere.
Walking in the Amazon rain forest is a real test of your fitness, stamina, courage and will power. As daily there is rain as the forest is wet, muddy, very slippery and uneven. We have walked in the mountains, crossed small rivers in very dense forests with your ears on your shoulders with your gears on your shoulders.
We have crossed small cricks, rivers to sight the harpy Eagles.
You have to be very alert at every step as there are likely chances that you may get fall down fell down, loosed, hazards from poisonous snakes, insects, sometimes mammals. We witnessed many poisonous snakes on the track we walked through.
After one and half hour of very tiresome and most challenging journey the head of The Tribe community could able to sight the Harpy eagle.
When we saw Harpy eagle seating at the top of huge tree, we were so happy and suddenly got charged ti click good images of it.
Our team celebrated Harpy eagle sighting with these tribe peoples.
These tribal people prepare various useful items from the material from the forests. We have purchased their hand made items.
We had few sightings and photography sessions at towers. This tower was nearly more than 120 feet height from where we could able to sight 5 types of birds.
From this tower we could enjoy the birds eye view of the dense forest.
My overall experience of Amazon forest journey was amazing, memorable with lifetime experience.
Our guide was our real assets and he took to all excellent wildlife places where we could get we could witness as well as images photographs of the wildlife and nature.
Given a chance I will love to visit this forest again in near future.
Nature has always taught me many things and I want to explore as many as forests on this planet.
I was very happy about one of my dream was fulfilled with excellent memories.
If you want any more information about this tour, feel free to communicate me. I will love to guide you.
Dr. Vyankatesh Metan
Photographer and Traveller
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