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Amazon Explorer: Primates and Parrots Special! NEW!

AT A GLANCE

FOCUS

Bird & Wildlife River Cruise:  birds, river dolphins, monkeys, rainforest scenery and photography

WHERE

Manaus (Brazil) – Amazon River plus Madeira, Abacaxis, Maués and Amana – Santarem (Brazil)

SAMPLE WILDLIFE

Over 30 species of primate occur in the region plus other mammals including river dolphins, a huge variety of birds and we will concentrate on parrots and regional endemics in particular, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and forest trees and plants.

CLIMATE 

Warm to hot.  Showers can be expected.

ACCOMMODATION

22 passenger comfortable live-aboard river boat, twin cabins with bunk beds and private facilities, (we will only put 17 passengers onboard this itinerary.)

Following on from the spectacular success of our Remote Amazon Wildlife Cruises, we are delighted to announce a brand new wildlife adventure which will operate for the first time in May 2018.  We plan to spend a couple of weeks sailing downstream from the Brazilian city of Manaus exploring some of the remote rivers that flow into the Amazon.

One of our primary goals is to find some of the least known monkeys in Amazonia and over the course of this expedition, we will visit areas which are home to over thirty species, a number of which are extremely localised.  Those we hope to find include Golden-white Tassel-ear Marmoset, Sateré Marmoset, Maués Marmoset, Silvery Marmoset, Golden-handed Tamarin, Pied Tamarin, Hoffman’s Titi, Lake Baptista Titi and Amazon Black Howler.  Other possibilities include White-faced Saki, Guianan Squirrel Monkey, Guianan Brown Capuchin, Humboldt’s White-fronted Capuchin and Spix’s Red-handed Howler.

As well as looking for monkeys, we will also spend some of our time searching for some of the unique birds which live in this rarely visited region and there are three special parrot species which we particularly want to find - Bald Parrot, Vulturine Parrot and Golden Parakeet.  Other possibilities include six species of macaws, Blue-and-Yellow, Scarlet, Red-and-Green, Blue-winged, Chestnut-fronted and Red-bellied, as well as Red-fan Parrot and Crimson-bellied Parakeet.

There are, however, literally hundreds of bird species in this region and we hope to find Agami Heron, Sunbittern, Toco Toucan, Crimson-hooded Manakin and Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock, as well as numerous hummingbirds, antbirds and tanagers.


During our expedition, we plan to make several night time excursions and these will give us a very different perspective of the Amazon.  Nocturnal creatures we could encounter include Brazilian Porcupine, Grey Four-eyed Opossum, Giant Tree Rat, Black and Spectacled Caimans, Red-tailed Boa, Ghost Bat, Greater Fishing Bat as well as an impressive selection of owls, nightjars and potoos.  When exploring during daylight, we can also expect to see both Amazonian River Dolphin and the smaller Tucuxi, so irrespective of your wildlife interest, this exciting trip offers enormous potential.

Our tour will start in the Brazilian city of Manaus (which is readily accessible from the UK and Europe) and will conclude in the equally convenient town of Santarem.  As on our “Remote Amazonia” tour, we plan to use a very comfortable, air conditioned riverboat which has been specifically designed to allow us to explore areas many other vessels would find impossible to access.  With a fantastic shaded top deck (which has been described by previous WildWings participants as akin to ‘a mobile canopy tower’) a very low draft and a fantastic crew, this exclusive charter will be able to visit places few tourists have previously been to.

Immediately prior to joining our vessel, we plan to make an early morning visit to a 40+ metre canopy tower in a forest park not far from Manaus.  This will give us a completely different perspective on the surrounding forest and on our visit here in 2016 we saw Guianan Red Howler and Pied Tamarin, as well as Paradise Jacamar, Guianan Toucanet, Red-fan Parrot and a host of other species.

Once on our specially chartered expedition boat, our itinerary will remain flexible to maximise on our wildlife opportunities but we will generally travel along the mighty Amazon during the night and then spend our days exploring it’s tributaries visiting remote rivers such as the Madeira, Abacaxis, Maués and Amana.

We will have three comfortable canoes with us and a maximum of seventeen participants, so each boat with have just six passengers plus a wildlife guide.  

We are genuinely hopefully of making some significant discoveries on this trip as there are some species, such as the Lake Baptista Titi, which remain extremely poorly known in the wild.  This holiday is, therefore, sure to be a real adventure with the comfort of an excellent boat, great food and a fantastic crew.

The third departure of our Remote Amazon Wildlife Cruise will also operate in 2018,full details here.


Optional Extension

Prior to joining our vessel in Manaus, we plan to offer an extension to a remote community-run jungle lodge near the isolated Amazonian town of Tefé.  The lodge is located in the Mamirauá Reserve and has the unusual distinction of being built on a series of floating pontoons, rather than on solid ground in terra firme forest.

Our main objective for visiting is to look for the Bald Uacari, surely one of South America’s most spectacular monkeys, although we will also want to find the Black-headed Squirrel Monkey.  Both these species have relatively restricted ranges, with the entire world population of the squirrel monkey being within the Mamirauá Reserve.

The area is generally flooded in April/May (as it is dominated by varzea and swamp forest), so we plan to explore the area using the lodge’s canoes.  High water is, however, considered the best time to find primates here and locating these two special species will very much be the priority during our stay.

The lodge is also an excellent location for seeing other wildlife and over 360 species of birds have been recorded in the vicinity with the possibilities including Wattled Curassow, Sunbittern, White-eared Jacamar and Paradise Tanager.

 

IMPORTANT:  As our vessel will need to reposition back to Manaus after this expedition, it is unlikely that we will be able to offer this itinerary on a regular basis.  If you want to be part of what could, therefore, be a unique opportunity, early bookings are strongly recommended.


Day 0 (5 May) – Manaus 

Arrival in Manaus.  In the afternoon we plan to begin our search for some of the special primates and birds of this region, looking for Pied Tamarin and White-faced Saki in a forested area close to our hotel.  There are also some interesting birds here and the possibilities include Little Chachalaca, Black Nunbird, Green Aracari and Festive Amazon.

Day 1 (6 May) – Manaus and Solimoes River 

We will make an early start to ensure we are at an excellent canopy tower on the outskirts of Manaus shortly after dawn.  We have previously seen both Guianan Red Howler and Pied Tamarin here and other primate possibilities include White-faced Saki, Brown-backed Bearded Saki and Guianan Brown Capuchin.  This tower is also excellent for birds and we could find Black-spotted Barbet, Guianan Toucanet, Scarlet Macaw, Flame-crested Tanager, Red-legged Honeycreeper and a host of other birds.

We plan to sail from Manaus in the early afternoon passing through the ‘Meeting of the Waters’ where the Solimoes and Negro Rivers meet to form the mighty Amazon.  During the afternoon, we will be looking for several monkey species including Guianan Red Howler, Humboldt’s Squirrel Monkey and Humboldt’s White-faced Capuchin.  Other possibilities include the Brown-throated Sloth and birds such as Great Potoo and Boat-billed Heron.

Day 2 - Madeira River

We plan to wake early and during the morning hope to find a number of different parrot species which could include Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Festive and Orange-Winged Parrots as well as Tui and White-winged Parakeets.  In the afternoon, we intend to visit a nearby lake where we will be looking for Golden-White Tassel-eared Marmoset, Lake Baptista Titi and Golden-backed Squirrel Monkey.  There are a number of interesting birds here too with one of the possibilities being the stunning Crimson-hooded Manakin.

Day 3  - Canumã River

We will keep the morning flexible depending on what we saw on Day 4 but by the afternoon expect to have reached the Canumã River where we will begin our quest for the Sateré Marmoset, a species which was only described in 1998.

Day 4  - Abacaxis River

This will be another opportunity to look for Sateré Marmoset if we have not already seen it and we will also begin searching for Maués Marmoset on the opposite bank of the Abacaxis River.

Day 5 - Paraconí River

This is another area for Maués Marmoset, with Hoffman’s Titi also being a possibility here.  We also hope to find Bald Parrot, Kawall’s Amazon and Crimson-bellied Parakeet amongst a host of bird possibilities.

Day 6 - Maués River 

We plan a birding excursion in the morning and then, whilst our crew purchase further supplies, will make a short visit to the town of Maués.  This is often known as ‘Guaraná City’ as there are extensive plantations of the berry which are used to make the famous Brazilian soft drink.  In the afternoon we hope to visit an area where Vulturine and Bald Parrots and White-tailed Cotinga can all be found.

Day 7 - Maués River 

We plan to continue looking for wildlife in the vicinity of the Maués River with good chances of finding the stunning Golden Parakeet.

Day 8 - Amana River 

We hope to find both Amazon Black Howler and Red-nosed Saki Monkey during the morning with bird possibilities including Blue-winged Macaw.

During the afternoon, we will sail back down the Maués River and will use the excellent top deck to look for wildlife.

Day 9 – Parana Andira

Our main target this morning will be the extremely localised Santarem (or Black-and-white Tassel-eared) Marmoset.  We plan to use our boat’s canoes to explore an area where our excellent crew have seen this species on previous occasions.

Day 10 - Erepecurú River

We intend to spend the morning sailing on the Erepecurú River looking for Golden-handed Tamarin and Red-faced Spider Monkey.  Later in the day, we hope to visit a lek of the stunning Guianan Cock-of-the Rock. 

Day 11 - Erepecurú River

Depending on our success the previous day, we may spend the morning on the Erepecurú River before beginning our journey to Alter do Chão.  There should be plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching as we travel along the Amazon with both the Amazonian River Dolphin and Tucuxi being possible. 

Day 12 - Alter do Chão 

Our reason for visiting this area is to look for Silvery Marmoset and Spix’s Red-handed Howler and we hope to find both before departing in the afternoon for Santarém.  

Day 13 (18 May) - Santarem

We will disembark in Santarém after breakfast and then begin our journey home.

This itinerary is a guide only, our exact itinerary will be subject to weather, river levels and other local conditions. 

Primate possibilities

Pygmy Marmoset 

Silvery Marmoset

Golden-white Bare-ear Marmoset

Maués Marmoset

Golden-white Tassel-ear Marmoset

Sateré Marmoset

Santarem Marmoset

Red-bellied Tamarin

Golden-handed Tamarin

Pied Tamarin

Saddle-billed Tamarin

Golden-backed Squirrel Monkey

Guianan Squirrel Monkey

Black-headed Squirrel Monkey (Mamiraua pre-extension only)

Guianan Brown Capuchin

Humboldt’s White-fronted Capuchin

Guianan Weeper Capuchin

Humboldt’s (Northern) Night Monkey 

Black-headed Night Monkey

Spix’s Night Monkey

Chestnut-bellied Titi 

Hoffman’s Titi Monkey 

Lake Baptista Titi

Red-bellied Titi


White-faced Saki

Gray’s Bald-faced Saki

Red-nosed Bearded Saki

Brown-backed Bearded Saki

Bald (Red) Uakari (Mamiraua pre-extension only)

Black-headed Uakari

Guianan Red Howler

Amazon Black Howler

Spix’s Red-handed Howler

Black-faced Black Spider Monkey

Red-faced Spider Monkey

White-whiskered Spider Monkey

Peruvian Woolly Monkey 


Please note: All itineraries are subject to weather, local conditions and final approval by the relevant authorities.

Dates:  6th – 18th May 2018 

Naturalists/guides:  Chris Collins & Regina Ribeiro (assisted by Richard Webb) plus the vessel’s guide & crew.

Cost: £3645 sharing a twin cabin

Single cabin sup. £949                                                

Max no of participants:  17

Deposit: £600 per person

 

Price includes: Travel and accommodation aboard the Iracema, a Brazilian registered riverboat built in 2011, in air-conditioned twin (upper & lower berth) cabins. Cabins include a window and private shower, toilet and washbasin. There is a restaurant/bar area for relaxing, socialising and eating, plus a small library, laundry facilities and a satellite phone. The upper deck is open with seating for enjoying wildlife and the world passing by (largely shaded by a roof) and there is plenty of space facing forward on this deck. We will have three motorized canoes for exploring from the main vessel. All meals are included aboard, transfers to the vessel from our group hotel and transfer to the airport at the end of the voyage, services of leaders and guides, canoe and shore excursions, local permits, WildWings pre-trip information pack plus a bird and mammal checklist for use during the cruise. 

Price excludes: Flights (from £849pp return), pre cruise hotel in Manaus (£75 per person twin share b&b including arrival transfer), drinks, crew gratuities aboard vessel (we suggest $10 per person per day), travel insurance and other items of a personal nature.


Optional Pre-extension

30th April – 4th May 2018

Transfer to lodge from Tefe Airport for a four night stay. Three full days exploring the forest and area around this unique floating lodge using canoes with local guides (wet season). Your stay here includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, accommodation in two bed-roomed bungalows with private facilities. Canoe excursions including snacks and drinks with local guides. On the final morning, transfer back to Tefe Airport. (NB Chris Collins will accompany this extension based on a minimum of 10 clients.)

£999pp sharing a twin

£1399 in a single room.

Excludes return flights from Manaus, approx. £75pp.

We can also combine your Amazon Cruise with other areas of Brazil eg Regua Lodge (Atlantic Forest) The Pantanal, Iguazu Falls etc.


    Photo

    Tour Leader

    Chris has birded in over 50 countries around the world and now spends quite a lot of his time at sea. Although professionally qualified as a Chartered Accountant, these days Chris concentrates on wildlife-related projects and was very instrumental in setting up the Western Pacific Odyssey and also guides our Russian Far East voyages.

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    Photo

    Tour Leader

    Richard is currently working in the insurance industry, based in Dorset. Over the past 30 years he has visited nearly 70 countries watching mammals and birds.

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