The beauty of the place is still breathtaking, but around every corner is another threat building up. We need to be on our toes to make sure this stunning part of the world is not broken into small pieces of memories.
Butterflies along the river
After getting to Rurrenabaque we had a couple of days to recover and charge some batteries. My ankle was badly swollen after multiple insect bites and I could hardly walk. Thanks to Dr. Drew and some antihistamines I was pretty fit after a couple of days ready to head out to Serere sanctuary. Located in breathtaking floodplain rainforest, it is where Madidi Travel is operating their eco-lodge tourist destination. The money made from tourism is all put back into conservation work, benefiting both nature and people living in the area.
We spent eight days in Serere and were stunned by the diversity of the place. Only ten years ago it was no more than cut forest and short vegetation. After intense protection work and re-introduction of some species of wildlife the place is now as good a jungle as any. To prove that their work has been a success, Serere now hold a population of four Jaguars and also Tapir, as well as a good number of birds and monkeys, including rare Spider monkeys. We had encounters with Tapir, Wild pigs, Coatis, Anteater, Howler monkey, Spider monkey, Capuchin monkey and Squirrel Monkey. We also saw lots of birds including the Hoatzin and Macaws, and also butterflies, snakes, Black Caimans and fascinating bugs.
Wildlife photography in the rainforest is no easy task. The light is always challenging, as well as dense vegetation. We had lots of great encounters, but getting the shots were really hard. When Marius twisted his ankle working efficiently became very difficult.
Still, I managed to get some nice animals even if we only stayed for eight days. Many of these images were made possible only because of excellent work by the local trackers Choco Mano and Van Damm (Juan I believe), and also Rosamaria herself.
I will need to take this opportunity to thank Madidi Travel, and Rosamaria in particular for supporting my work in Bolivia and getting me home safely. I can really recommend everyone a stay at Serere lodge. The service (and food) provided by the staff, as well as the authentic wildlife encounters at Serere is not found anywhere else in the Madidi area.
My next trip to Bolivia is already being planned. Hopefully we will be able to work with some really elusive and rare animals, as well as document some of the most beautiful places in the world found in this underexposed country.