Fascinating wildlife in the Pampas, Bolivia

Posted on 14 January 2014

Back in July 2013 we stepped off our very small (capacity of 12) Amazonas plane onto a dusty rustic runway and into the warm, thick, humid air of the tropics with our friends, Edouard and Laeticia – a mere 45 minute flight from La Paz but seemingly another world. The plane had landed at Rurrenabaque, a town just on the edge of the Amazon basin and the gateway to The Pampas. A few hours in the back of a truck and then another few hours journey in a low, long, wooden boat through muddy waters filled with caiman, the banks lined with capybaras and the trees overflowing with monkeys, we arrived at a rustic eco lodge of elevated wooden walkways by the river.

We spent 3 days at the lodge, each day exploring different parts of the Yacuma river and surrounding area. Small bats fluttered in and out of our rooms. We enjoyed small, adorable and playful monkeys. We marveled at the elegant birds and not so elegant bush turkeys. We cautiously observed the caiman, capybaras (largest species of rodent in the world) and sunbaking turtles. Everyone else went looking for anacondas, the world’s largest snakes, but they didn’t find any (thank goodness). One night we set out in search of more alligators/caimans. Shining a torch on the river thousands of tiny eyes glowed back at us and we realised just how many babies there are. Despite this, Jean and Edouard swam with the pink river dolphins with the many caimans and alligators looking on. I couldn’t bring myself to go swimming even though (supposedly!) the dolphins protect us. The next day, whilst we were fishing for piranhas, Edouard accidentally hooked a caiman which provided us with much amusement – in saying this, we were impressed by the fact that the caiman did not move a single milimeter, despite the hook in his mouth. In the end, the guide had to get off the boat and get pretty close to the caiman to get it off the hook.

Here are a few photos from the trip… enjoy!

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