& wildlife cruise: birds, primates, river dolphins and remote Amazon rainforest.
Manaus-Santarem, Brazilian Amazon.
Optional extension to Uacari Lodge, near Tefe.
Over thirty species of primates occur along our itinerary with 26 species logged on our main tour in 2019 and another five on the extension.
Both species of Amazonian river dolphins - Tucuxi and Pink River Dolphin.
Other mammals seen previously include Brown-throated and Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth, Brazilian Porcupine, South American Coati and Southern Amazon Red Squirrel.
Numerous rainforest birds including trogons, kingfishers, toucans, parrots, woodpeckers.
Dates: April-May 2023
Following the huge success of our inaugural and world first “Primates & Parrots” Amazon cruise in 2018 and an equally successful second sailing a year later, we are delighted to be planning a further trip starting in late April 2023.
In 2019, we enjoyed 26 species of primates (with a further five on the optional extension to Uacari Floating Lodge), 21 species of parrots, plus much more and our 2023 plans to build on the success of our previous trips.
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, some of which are extremely localised. Many of these, especially the marmosets, are also fantastic looking animals and those we hope to see again include Golden-white Tassel-ear Marmoset, Sateré Marmoset, Maués Marmoset, Silvery Marmoset, Santarem Marmoset, Midas Tamarin, Pied Tamarin, Martin’s Bare-faced Tamarin, Lake Baptista Titi, Spix’s Black-headed Uacari and Amazon Black Howler. Other possibilities include White-faced Saki, Guianan Squirrel Monkey, Guianan Brown Capuchin, Spix’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, all of which we saw in 2018. 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 Sunbittern, Toco Toucan, Crimson-hooded Manakin and Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock, as well as hummingbirds, antbirds and tanagers. Indeed, on our 2019 departure we located a lek of the extraordinary Capuchinbird and plan to revisit this site in 2023.
During our expedition, we plan to make several excursions after dark and these will give us a very different perspective of the Amazon. Nocturnal creatures we could encounter include Brazilian Porcupine, both Three-toed and Two-toed Sloths, Amazon Bamboo Rat, Black and Spectacled Caimans, Red-tailed Boa, Northern Ghost Bat, Greater Fishing Bat as well as a selection of owls, nightjars and potoos. When exploring during daylight, we can also expect to see both Amazonian River Dolphin and the smaller Tucuxi on a more or less daily basis, so irrespective of your wildlife interest, this exciting trip offers enormous potential.
Our tour will start in the 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 Amazon” 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 reserve not far from Manaus. This will give us a completely different perspective on the surrounding forest and on previous visits we have seen the extremely localised Pied Tamarin as well as a host of exciting birds. These have included Black-faced Hawk, Paradise Jacamar, Guianan Toucanet, Red-fan Parrot and much more besides.
We will also include an afternoon visiting a beach where it should be possible to swim with Amazon (Pink) River Dolphins. These are completely wild and whilst the local people do give them a small amount of fish, invariably the dolphins stay with us a long time after this has all been eaten. This fantastic interaction has been described by previous participants as one of the major highlights of our Amazon cruises and has drawn favourable comparisons with the Grey Whales at Baja California and the Mountain Gorillas in Africa.
Once on our specially chartered expedition boat, our itinerary will remain flexible to maximise on our wildlife opportunities but we will generally travel during the night and then spend our days exploring Amazonian tributaries visiting remote rivers such as the Madeira, Abacaxis, Maués, Amana and Erepucurú.
We will have three comfortable canoes with us and a maximum of eighteen 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 and are very keen, for example, to relocate an interesting titi monkey we saw on our 2018 expedition which has so far defied identification. This trip is, therefore, sure to be a real adventure with the comfort of an excellent boat, great food and a fantastic crew.
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 Tefe. The lodge is located in the Mamiraua 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 more unusual primates with its white fur and bald pink head, although we will also want to find Black-headed Squirrel Monkey. Both these species have relatively restricted ranges, with the entire world population of the squirrel monkey being within the Mamiraua 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 and we will hope to repeat the success of our previous visits.
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.
Day 1: Arrive Manaus.
Day 2: Early morning visit to Musa Canopy Tower in Manaus. Board vessel in afternoon.
and Dolphin “swim”.
Day 4: Morning at Lake Janauaca. Cruise to “meeting of the waters” near Manaus and then eastwards along Amazon River.
Day 5: Madeira River
Day 6: Abacaxis River
Day 7: Paraconi River
Day 8: Early morning at Rio Paraconi. Afternoon cruise Parana Urariá.
Day 9: Amana River
Days 10: Morning on Amana River. Afternoon cruising on Rio Maués-açu.
Day 11: Rio Maués-mirim. Cruising Paraná do Arariá and Paraná Andira.
Day 12: Trombetas River
Day 13: Erepecuru River
Day 14: Tapajos River
Day 15: Disembark in Santarem
NB: As applies to all expedition cruises, the exact itinerary will be subject to weather and local conditions. All landings are subject to government and local permissions.
The following have all been seen on one or more of our prevous expeditions: Horned Screamer, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Muscovy Duck, Little Chachalaca, White-crested Guan, Buff-necked Ibis, Green Ibis, Boat-billed Heron, Capped Heron, Lesser
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, King Vulture, Hook-billed Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite, Black Hawk-eagle, Black-and-White Hawk-eagle, Ornate Hawk-eagle, Black-collared Hawk, Sunbittern, Black Skimmer, Hoatzin, Crested Owl, Spectacled Owl, Great Potoo, Common Potoo, Sand-coloured Nighthawk, Short-tailed Nighthawk, Band-tailed Nighthawk, Amazonian Trogon, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, Great Jacamar, Guianan Puffbird, Rufous-necked Puffbird, Black Nunbird, Red-necked Aracari, Toco Toucan, Varzea Piculet, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Ringed Woodpecker, Bat Falcon, Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Red-and-green Macaw, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Red-bellied Macaw, Peach-fronted Parakeet, Golden Parakeet, White-eyed Parakeet, Crimson-bellied Parakeet, White-winged Parakeet, Golden-winged Parakeet, Tui Parakeet, Black-headed Parrot, Short-tailed Parrot, Blue-headed Parrot, Dusky Parrot, Diademed Amazon, Festive Amazon, Orange-winged Amazon, Mealy Amazon, Red-fan Parrot, Zimmer’s Woodcreeper, Glossy Antshrike, Amazonian Streaked Antwren, Leaden Antwren, Amazonian Black Tyrant, Spangled Cotinga, Screaming Piha, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Capuchinbird, Crimson-hooded Manakin, Red-headed Manakin, Oriole Blackbird, Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Turquoise Tanager, Opal-rumped Tanager and Bicolored Conebill.
Potential Primates (selected species only)
The following primates have been seen on one or more of the previous
Golden-white Tassel-ear Marmoset,
Sateré Marmoset, Santarem Marmoset, Midas
(Golden-handed) Tamarin, Pied Tamarin, Martin's Bare-faced Tamarin, Golden-backed Squirrel Monkey,
Squirrel Monkey, Humboldt's Squirrel Monkey, Black-headed
Guianan Brown Capuchin, Large-headed Capuchin*,
Spix’s White-fronted Capuchin,
Chestnut-bellied Titi, Hoffmann's Titi, Ashy Titi, Lake Baptista Titi, Red-bellied Titi,
Gray’s Bald-faced Saki, Red-nosed Bearded Saki, Bald (Red) Uacari*, Spix’s Black-headed Uacari, Colombian Red Howler, Juruá Red Howler*, Guianan Red Howler, Amazon Black Howler,
Spix’s (Red-handed) Howler, Red-faced Black Spider Monkey.
(* - extension only)
Potential other Mammals (selected species only)
Amazon (Pink) River Dolphin, Tucuxi, Brazilian Porcupine, Southern Amazon Red Squirrel, Brown-throated Sloth, Linnaeus's Two-toed Sloth, South American Coati, various tree rats and bats.