In today’s world it’s difficult to find places untouched by the greedy mitts of humanity. For the last four days, though, we were in the heart of such a location: pristine Amazon rainforest. It was astounding. The sense of pure nature, growth bursting forth from every possible surface, is something that will stay with me forever.
We stayed at Madidi Jungle Ecolodge, a low-impact venture created by indigenous families from the heart of Bolivia’s Madidi National Park. This handful of modest, comfortable huts nestles in the heart of the rainforest, serving as our base for a series of treks through thick primary rainforest.
Spotting wildlife in the dense jungle proved tougher than we might have imagined, but we still encountered peccaries, macaws, toucans, howler monkeys and many more creatures besides. But as impressive as they all were, it was the flora that stole the show, not the fauna. The rainforest here is immense, stretching for miles in every direction; the Madidi national park alone covers 18,958 square kilometres, and directly borders yet more rainforest.
Being surrounded by all this untouched nature felt truly profound, and with nothing to do other than savour the extraordinary environment for four whole days, I left feeling inspired and recharged. The only tinge of sadness was the thought of how much landscape like this we’ve already destroyed; may Madidi stand untouched for another few millennia, at least.