Amazonat Jungle Lodge is located in the State of Amazonas, the largest State of Brazil with a surface of 1,000,000 square miles, representing 18% of the total surface of the Brazilian country, from which 65% remains unexplored. The annual deforestation rate is around 5%.
The lodge is located at 100 miles east of Manaus, far away from any ‘city’ effect. See also this map.
Amazonat Jungle Lodge comprises 3,500 acres with over 15,000 acres in reclamation. The private property is primarily dry forest and covered with first generation of undisturbed vegetation. The basic camp is located in a clearing of secondary forest. Two additional camps are constructed in primary forest and these are being used for more days’ survival trips.
The northern part of the project is located near the AM 10, a jungle road that connects Manaus to the town of Itacoatiara, a stretch of 150 miles. The road stops at Itacoatiara. This sparsely driven road enables a fast transfer to Manaus and the three river systems nearby. The Amazon and the Rio Preta da Eva rivers mark the southern extreme of the property.
The soil of the lodge produces the dark, highly acid ‘black-water’ that inhibits the growth of mosquito larvae. A stay at Amazon can thus be considered to be virtually mosquito free!
We introduce our advisor Prof. Dr. ir. R.A.A. Oldeman. These are his words:
Amazonat and the Amazonian rain forest
From the North, the South, the East or the West and even with today’s modern fast planes, one flies for hours over the great forests of the Amazon before reaching Manaus. The tree crowns below build a forest canopy that stretches from horizon to horizon. From the great height, large rivers are silvery strings weaving through the land. Small rivers and roads are barely visible and so is Amazonat.
Amazonat Jungle Resort does not include forest. The great forest includes Amazonat.
This is how the owners and founders and the advisory group of the lodge see it. The nature of the majestic Amazonian rain forests can be experienced only, if we shed all human arrogance first. We must be silent, hear the forest, smell it, feel it, taste it. If we are willing to make ourselves humble and small, the forest will tell us its stories. Local natives may give voice to such experiences. They know more than we do.
In Amazonat, conditions are favorable to such an adventure. Let us make ourselves as small as possible by leaving behind our technology. No cars or motorbikes, no radios or other jungle blasters, no portable phones. No weapons. On foot, we humbly enter the woods. The small noises of the lodge fade out. Then we are covered by the voices of the forest. Do not make noise yourself! Do not sing or whistle, do not talk to yourself. Forget your thoughts of the outside world. Open up your mind and let it be flooded by the rich and varied impressions of sounds, colors, and smells. At the same time, mind where you put your feet. The forest is not a dream place; it is a very hard reality. It has dangers in which one literally can put one’s foot.
These dangers are not aimed at you. The forest is not your enemy. If you step on a snake it is due to your own carelessness. Indeed, tapping every fallen log you have to cross with your stick makes the snake go away discreetly. You are welcome in the home of the snake, the spider or the jaguar, but not as an ill-mannered guest. If you understand this, perhaps after the first or second’s day’s walk along the forest trails in Amazonat, you loose your fear without losing your awareness of risk. Losing your apprehension is the first step towards consciousness of the paradise you are entering. However, even when the forest becomes friendlier to the beginner, it remains a green tangle, difficult to understand, where it is very easy to get lost outside the trails.
On the third or fourth walking day, one starts making friends around the chalets and on the trails. The first friends are trees with particular leaves, and palms. There are also the bright red passion flower which is a small liana, or underground shrubs with their velvet-like leaves showing three of five nerves going to the tip. Now the easiest way to get to know these characters is to ask a mutual friend, your Amazonat field guide, and later read it in the guide or the CD-Rom available in the lodge. In the same way you will get to know useful plants and animals, the big trees that yield Para nuts or other tropical fruits, cassava shrubs, or palms with their edible hart.
Once you know a few dozen plants and animals, once you will have experienced the jokes the forest plays upon newcomers by the frightening cries of howler monkeys, the awesome richness of the forest starts to become real. A few more weeks, and you will have earned your welcome as young members of the forest community.
Wageningen, The Netherlands,