If you are an intense traveler, you must not miss out on the experience of visiting the rainforest. There you can enjoy the real essence of traveling in the arms of Mother Nature, devoid of the usual human comforts that come in forms like mosquito nets, air conditioning, anti-perspirants, and so on. The moment you make your entry into the rainforest environment, there will be creatures, extreme humidity and exhausting heat to welcome you. But whatever it may be, I would still like to tell you that those who have not experienced rainforests have not got a feel of earth’s most lively nature show.
Rainforests are found in the equatorial continents of the world. In school, you must have read in your geography books about one or more of the following: the wilds of Madagascar, tropical northern Australia and the Amazon jungle. Although it might be surprising, it is a fact that around 50% of the earth’s species have made these rainforests their home.
However, the sad thing is that there has been a steady decline in these areas. I am a great supporter of eco-tourism, which is one of the greatest hopes for the survival of the rainforests. And I hope that you people will also join me. Visit the rainforests and experience the ravishing beauty of Mother Nature. Here are some things you should know beforehand in order to make your journey safer and more enjoyable.
These small insects can be quite persistent. It would be good if you protect yourself by making use of efficient repellents that have DEET. Do not think that you are safe if you wear a shirt; they are even capable of biting through dresses. So, I suggest that you apply some repellant both on your exposed skin as well as your clothes.
You should also consider taking proper malaria medication. Although I do not have personal experience, I have heard that there is a course that you can start prior to the trip; for that you need to visit your doctor as least 20 days before you embark on your journey.
It is quite a tenacious pest! I remember a group journey to a rainforest in peninsular Malaysia, wherein our guide told us to spray insecticide on our boots. At first I was a little hesitant and just casually thought that nothing would happen. But later, at the end of the journey, when I came across a host of dead leaches on my boots, I was thankful to our guide for making us spray insecticides on the boots.
If you fall short of your defense and find blood on your sock, do not panic. The most effective means of removing these stubborn leaches once they get attached to the skin is to break the seal of the sucker with the help of your fingernails. Do not try to burn the leech with stuff like lighter or cigarette or even squeezing it, because if you do so the leech will pour all the contents inside its stomach into your wound, thereby increasing the chances of infection.
3. Local Guide
I once saw a movie (do not remember the name), where the main actor was lost in a jungle. Such a situation is good to enjoy in a movie, but definitely not welcome in real life, because it’s not funny if you get lost. The most convenient way to travel in a jungle is by hiring a local guide who knows every path within like the tips of his fingers. In doing so, you would be rendering support to the local community and also get an insightful view of the forest.
I would suggest that once you hire a guide, you do exactly as he says. For instance, your guide will advise you to put on sturdy boots. You must follow this instruction and never wander in the jungles in sandals. I have seen one of my friends suffering from twisted ankle after falling down over slippery wet leaves. There is also the chance of getting painful blisters, which might curtail further enjoyment of the journey.
4. Flora and fauna
If you are traveling to Borneo, you will come across orangutans and be a witness to their human-like behavior. Again, enter the forests of South America, and get welcomed by the beautiful yet poisonous tree frogs.
I was fortunate enough to hear the cry of a hornbill but however could not see one face to face. The hornbill is a very large tropical bird, a native of both Asia and Africa.
And there’s lots more flora and fauna to see and enjoy! In Madagascar, you will simply enjoy looking for lemurs at night, especially when your torch beam falls on their orange eyes.
5. Stay Calm
Whenever you are in a rainforest, be prepared for anything. Who knows when you have to share your home with animals or insects, which might not always be very friendly or generous? In case such situations occur, stay calm and listen to what your guide says.
I think you all know that the rainforests are endangered, so open up your heart and appreciate the natural beauty as much as you can. Stop by a waterfall, walk across a rope bridge, and take a boat ride- all these activities will not only make your travel enjoyable but will also refresh your soul. Be witness to one of the most naturally enchanting places of the world, a beauty in its own right, amidst the constant threat from humanity!