Let’s be honest, from the second you watched Mowgli and Baloo the bear sing away their troubles in The Jungle Book you’ve been a little bit enamoured with the wild beauty of the deep jungle.
A far cry from the day-to-day, travelling through a jungle rainforest is simultaneously peaceful and exhilarating; an adventure in the truest sense. Allowing you to really get away from it all and connect to nature, ancient cultures and, with recent developments in sustainable tourism, you can do it all in complete comfort.
So, let’s get moving, pack-up and bring just the ‘bare necessities’ with these top picks for your journey into the jungle.
The Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
Once the subject of fantastical fiction and endless speculation, the Amazon is now more accessible than ever to the outside world. It’s also our top pick for any amateur nature enthusiasts looking to have their fill of once in a lifetime encounters in a spectacularly beautiful environment.
Saying that the Amazon is home to a great variety of species is like saying that the sun is ‘pretty hot’. Of the more than ten million species of flora and fauna known to humanity more than half of them can be found in the Amazon rainforest.
As you explore the twisting and immense forest landscape beneath the trees, local guides and naturalists will provide insight into the endless variety of plants and animals you’ll cross paths with. The best time to see the local wildlife active is early in the morning so be sure to get up before dawn at least once during your stay. Watching the jungle come to life with the light of the rising sun is a truly magical experience.
There are several accommodation options to choose from for your stay including many sustainable accommodation providers, so you can breathe easy knowing your accommodation is working with the local environs, not against it.
With rainforests covering around 30% of Borneo, there is no shortage in options for your jungle stay. However, considering that number was 70% just 40 years ago, you may want to consider an eco-friendly option when choosing your accommodation. The Sukau Rainforest in the north-east is a great choice for a comprehensive exploration of what Bornean ecotourism has to offer.
During your stay, we highly recommend you consider visiting the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre sanctuary. Orangutans are incredibly intelligent and almost unsettlingly human-like (the word Orangutans literally means ‘person of the forest’). You’ll enjoy an experience that is equal parts educational and moving as specialists run you through all there is to know about the orangutan and the threats they face – as well as their amazing potential.
You’ll undoubtedly note that there is something very human about their faces. Able to radiate gentleness as well as joy, you’ll find it easy to empathise with these orange giants, leaving you with a richer and more personal connection to the species – and to the forest.
Make sure to allow time to relax whilst watching the sunset over the vibrant green of the jungle and the Kinabatangan River.
As you might be aware, there are some areas of Borneo that present increased risk to travellers. Whilst the rainforest and populated tourist areas are largely safe for travel, booking through an experienced travel agent will ensure you avoid any potentially dubious areas.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
Costa Rica repeatedly tops lists as one of the best travel destinations in the world. The climate, the food and the comparative safety of the country make it a must-see destination in its own right before you even consider exploring the wilds of one of its rainforests.
That said, once you’re done with the best the cities and beaches have to offer, the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve must be your next stop!
The forest is home to more orchid species than anywhere else in the world. So, if you’re an orchid-lover, you’ll know how big a deal that is. If you aren’t, don’t worry, you don’t need to be a botanist to see the beauty in these colourful, elegant plants. Their stunning displays verge on the otherworldly.
Featuring a stunning array of wildlife, the forest is a well known home to the resplendent Quetzal. A bright green bird, the Quetzal is present throughout Aztec and Mayan mythology. It was thought to be a ‘god of air’, symbolising goodness, wealth and freedom – not bad omens for your holiday!
You can choose to stay in near-by Monteverde or Santa Elena (both accessible by a regularly running bus) or stay closer to the reserve. If you’re staying closer to the reserve, a bit of planning is required as the lodge only takes 47 visitors at a time, so you can be ensured you won’t feel overcrowded or claustrophobic, just the serene ambient noise of the surrounding jungle – and its inhabitants.
If you’d like to chat about your journey to the jungle (or anywhere else for that matter!) we’d be delighted to help you create something that perfectly suits you or your family. You can give us a call on (02) 6041 5577, visit the office at 601 Dean Street, Albury or book an appointment with one of our expert travel agents via the form below.
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