Eco-Odyssey is a foundation which values the importance of learning and discovery through adventure and exploration. Our commitment to ocean conservation is combined with our vision to highlight our world's priceless natural resources through education and hands-on experiences
✈ Our most recent Expedition to Brazil's Amazon regions was a fantastic way to end 2011, and we hope this year will be one where 'hot spots' such as the Amazon rainforest and river systems can get the protection they so rightfully deserve.
Below are the daily updates we received from our team while traveling through the Amazon, and we've added google maps that correspond to each region explored. Check it out!
We will keep you up to date on our expedition plans for 2012, but for now enjoy stepping into the Amazon!
Two of our crew have joined the "Worldwise Expeditions" month long journey through Brazil and Venezuela's Amazon river and jungle regions.
Deemed the'largest' river in the world, the Amazonas ecosystems provide a home for 2 Million species of plants and animals and harbour 1/5 of the planet's fresh water resources.
This once in a lifetime adventure will commence in the Amazon's largest city, Manaus, Brazil. Approximately 1.5 Million of the Amazon's inhabitants reside in Manaus, with the remaining population spread out along the river's coastal villages and forest settlements.
Exploring both river and jungle, the Eco-Odyssey crew will have the opportunity to gain an in-depth cultural understanding of this region, and through exploration and research we hope to share their discoveries and use the Eco-Odyssey Foundation as a platform to increase awareness of our precious Amazonas.
This exclusive 'Worldwise Expedition' will be a special journey to commemorate the late Sir Peter Blake who lost his life 10 years ago while Blakexpeditions explored the Amazon region. Participants on this years' adventure will travel to the confluence of the Casiquiare and Orinoco rivers, where a memorial to Sir Peter Blake was erected by original 'jungle team'members of the 2001 Blakexpedition to the Amazon.
Photographs © of Blakexpeditions 2001
Please enjoy as the Eco-Odyssey team shares their adventures along the Amazon river, and takes us into the richest jungle on earth. Learn why the Amazon's waterways and rainforests have beauty and bounty and how our discoveries can help conserve its ever-changing fragile environment.
☛ You can also visit our 'Expedition Archives'where you will find insightful information on past expeditions.
Visit our gallery for previous expedition images.Photographs © Blakexpeditions 2001
Today the Amazon expedition team is exploring Manaus, visiting fish markets, and planning their lenghly journey home. It has been a month since the adventure began, and now a new one is unfolding. Good luck to all participants as they embark on the road to home and happy reunions with loved ones.
We thank you for the incredible stories and images, and hope to continue to share your experiences, thoughts, and hopes for this precious part of our global environment. We will proudly commit to helping to safeguard the Amazon rainforest and river basin. By creating awareness, we hope the world will join us.
Now with a month long adventure under their belts, the Amazon expedition team feels the bittersweet emotions of arriving in Manaus, as this year's jungle mission comes to a close.
Having explored the chartered and uncharted, the isolation and the bustle, our team members have sought out new challenges and old paths. In the end, this year's Amazon expedition has been nothing short of magnificent. In every possible way, the Amazon river basin, its people and wildlife nurture the planet and posses the kind of raw survival instinct much of the modern world has long left behind.
Every participant who has ventured deep into the jungle, walked a local village, or hiked a native Tepuy will undoubtedly have the memories of these experiences, and a greater understanding of why the Amazon is a precious gift to our planet.
Following last week's voyage down the Rio Negro, our expedition team has had time to take in the local culture and perform a well deserved commemoration for a dear friend and fellow team member, Sir Peter Blake.
With spirits high and excitement mounting as the return to loved ones is soon to come, emotions are surely bittersweet as the Amazon has touched all profoundly.
Please link to our Facebook page for all the spectacular images the team have sent over the last month, and enjoy our log entries taking us straight to the heart of the jungle.
Yesterday our expedition team chose a special location to place the memorial they built to honor Sir Peter Blake.
A few hundred metres from our current team location, the cross was settled in a spot overlooking the river and Amazon jungle. So fitting should this commemorative symbol forever shed light and protective energy over a region Blake cherished so much.
Please link to our facebook page and enjoy the latest images of the commemoration cross the expedition team have crafted and will place in a special location along the Rio Negro. These regions are especially significant, as they were visited and explored on Sir Peter Blake's last voyage to the Amazon in 2001's Blakexpeditions.
More to come as we await for news on the commemoration services and the chosen location...
With a steady cruise down river, the expedition team is currently navigating through the unique waterways and jungle 'islands' found along the Rio Negro. The intricate landscapes of this region characterize the Amazon and set it apart from the rest of the world environment.
Zoom in to our google map and enjoy discovering the Amazon rainforest for yourselves!
Ten years ago, Sir Peter Blake, a kiwi icon, husband and father, and leader of expeditions to vital 'pulse points' such as Antarctica and the Amazon, lost his life at the hands of river pirates in the Amazonian jungle.
A loss of this magnitude shattered the lives of many close to him, and was felt around the world. However, just as 'Blakey' took on every challenge during his rich life, our resolve to honour his legacy and fulfil his aspirations now live on through the Eco-Odyssey Foundation.
Creating awareness of our planet's environment through adventure and exploration, 'seeing things for ourselves', as Blake had said, is what we believe will open the eyes and hearts of people around the world and set in motion a positive change for our future generations.
Eco-Odyssey team members Janot and Cara are now in the last two weeks of a month-long journey back to the Amazon, and through this mission they have once again returned to a region Blake cherished and can now, ten years on, highlight the Amazon's vital role in our planet's health.
Today the expedition team commemorates Sir Peter Blake with every step, hike, swim and smile, and soon they will choose a spot to leave a special plaque made for Peter so he can forever live on in the jungle.
Following a few days of exploring in Sao Gabriel (which you can read about in our 'Logs & Blogs' section!) the expedition team is now heading back down the Rio Negro and taking time to absorb all the sights and sounds before their final destination of Manaus.
Over the next few weeks, our jungle team will slowly continue down river while visiting villages, journeying into tributaries, and reflecting upon a great man's legacy deeply rooted in the Amazon.
We look forward to taking part in commemorating Sir Peter Blake, both in the Amazon and with pictures and stories featured right here on our site. Take the time to honor and celebrate his achievements and hopes for future generations of children around the world.
The Amazon jungle team have now reached the most northern city of Amazonas, Sao Gabriel. Located along the northern shores of the Rio Negro, Sao Gabriel boasts a populations of about 13,000 in coastal areas, with another 41,000 scattered throughout inland tribal villages.
Covering a land mass of 109,185 km², this equatorial region encompasses the lowland portions of the Pico da Neblina National Park, one of Brazil's largest protected parks. Over 22,000 km² of dense rainforest belong to Pico da Nablina, which got its name from the park's tallest mountain peaking at 2,994 meters. Given the altitudinal variations around this mountain, many endemic species of wildlife are found in its forests.
This northern Amazonas terrain is one of the wettest, receiving up to 4,000 millimetres of rain every year.
Sao Gabriel da Cachoeira's inhabitants are predominantly indigenous, with the Nheengatu language widely used along with Portuguese.
Given the expedition team's decision to travel no further north than Sao Gabriel, they will have extra time to explore the surrounding areas and slowly return to Manaus over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for the latest on their adventures and discoveries!
The latest communictions with our team in the Amazon revealed they are nearing the town of Sao Gabriel and reaching the northern most regions of the Rio Negro. Soon the expedition team will have to decide whether they will venture into Venezuela as they prepare for the next phase of the journey, which includes a special commemoration for Sir Peter Blake.
Stay tuned as team members arrive in Sao Gabriel, a township known for its fabulous restaurants, vibrant population, and stunning white sand beaches! And lets not forget the voracious mosquitos which are especially numerous in this area!
Small villages will guide them along the river to the colourful town of Sao Gabriel.
For over a week now, the entire team has been venturing into the intricate waterways of Rio Araca and its tributaries, pushing their way into isolated and virtually untouched parts of the Amazonian rainforest. An arduous hike up a 'Tepuy' proved magical.These phenomenal 'table-top' mountains are remnants of past sandstone plateaus where the surrounding land has eroded off the 'serras' ('Mountain range' in Portuguese).
Head to our Logs and Blogs page for the team's latest entry, and go along for the journey to where few have ever ventured.
◆ As the second largest municipality in Brazil, Barcelos covers a land mass bigger than North Korea!
Following last week's isolated jungle adventures, the entire Amazon expedition team have safely returned to their main river boat, Apurissaua, and are heading back down the river roads towards the city of Barcelos. Here team members will re-provision and prepare for the four day journey upstream to Sao Gabriel. Along the way, our team will have the opportunity to visit local villages and explore the northern regions of the Rio Negro.
Link to our 'Maps and Charts' page to view our team's highlighted path through these regions.
◆ In the next few weeks this Amazon expedition will continue to excite as future travels will take the team to Brazil's north-west near the boarder of Venezuela and to the convergence of the Orinocco and Cassiquiari rivers where a special tribute to Sir Peter Blake will be erected.
After leaving the main vessel to travel upstream in long boats (e.g. river canoes), the Amazon expedition team along with leader Miguel, the cook, and porters, have set out adventuring in the Amazon's isolated rainforest regions. Now Eco-Odyssey team members Cara and Janot will put survival camping and training to good use as they trek further into secluded terrain and head towards the "Parque Estadual Serra do Araca" (Serra do Araca National Park).
Aided by favourable water levels, Janot and Cara chose to venture as far as possible up the Rio Araca, a southward flowing tributary of the Rio Negro, about 180 river miles north of Barcelos. Along these waters, there is the richest abundance of fauna and flora, not to mention this tributary is where the Yanomamo Indigenous tribe led a University of Auckland researcher to discover a new species of Uakari monkey, the "Ayres Black Uakari".
"Igapos" (flooded forests) and "Igarapes" (small creeks) characterize these regions, and a multitude of marine species flourish here. "Cardinals" and "Neons" are two commonly found fish species which feed off the submerged tree trunks; however, they are also the most sought after species in a growing Brazilian Aquarium export trade. Indigenous fishermen can fetch as little as %3.20 U.S. for 1,000 individual fish caught, contributing to the 20 million tropical fish exported to the United States every year.Images © Valeria Macoli, Viajamos.com.br, "Capital do peixe Ornamental"
As our team heads towards the most mountainous regions of Brazil, they are surrounded by 18,187 Km₂ of dense and virtually unexplored rainforest. In these parts they will have the opportunity to hike to the "Cachoeira de El Dorado", a 400 meter tall waterfall and the "Abismo Guy Collet" (Guy Collet Abyss). The later is the deepest cave in Brazil, only recently discovered in 2006.
Soon entering into the Guyanna Highland where sandstone mountains colour the intricate landscape, we patiently await as our team returns from their once in a lifetime adventure to share the tale.
Now far up into the Amazon's tributary sub-rivers, Janot and Cara are exploring some of the most isolated regions of the rainforest.
This is the time when nature is wild and free, showing off its most brilliant colours.
Wildlife is virtually undisturbed in some parts, so stay tuned to hear about our team's breathtaking encounters...
Hot off the press! Eco-Odyssey team members' most remote location yet!
Janot and Cara are happy to report higher water levels have enabled them to keep moving upstream. Easing their way further and deeper into the heart of the Amazon, our team will undoubtedly make remarkable discoveries...And we cannot wait to share them with you.
With trekking and unique journeys coming up, you don't want to miss our updates directly form the Amazon.
The Amazon expedition team have now passed the northern regions of the Barcelos municipality and upstream into Rio Araca, a tributary to the Rio Negro. Following narrow sub-rivers, the team is entering Jauari 'igarape' or small river, where the peak of remote adventuring begins!
Using small motorized canoes, team members are able to explore this isolated area and decide which opportunities they will choose over the next week or so.
We have received confirmation that Eco-Odyssey team members Janot and Cara are currently planning a trek into the jungle. This endeavour will be physically and mentally challenging as they enter the deep Amazonian rainforest and focus on climbing, exploring and reporting what they are observing.
Equipped with a satellite communications system, we hope to keep track our team's exact locations as they venture into deep and mysterious terrain. Who knows what wildlife they will come across or what nature has in store for them!
☛ Stay tuned to hear the latest from Janot and Cara.
Our team has now arrived in the municipality of Barcelos. Over 300 miles up the Rio Negro, Barcelos was the first capital of the Amazonas state and remained so until 1758 when Manaus took over the title.
Barcelos is the second largest municipality in Brazil, following Altamira, Para. Local temperatures are ranging around the 27 Celsius mark, with a whopping 84% humidity index!
As our lucky team members are now well up the Rio Negro, the Amazon's hidden secrets are right in front of their eyes, inviting them surrender to the magic of the jungle..
We invite you to follow their adventures here and on our 'Logs & Blogs' section where you can read firsthand accounts from Janot and Cara. In the few days since their arrival, they have already unveiled a special memorial for Sir Peter Blake and visited villages supported by 'WorldWise Expeditions' leader Miguel Roca's foundation.
For the full log entry, click here: http://www.eco-odyssey.com/main/expeditions/expedition-logs.html
Eco-Odyssey is happy to report that our Amazonian expedition is well under way, with team members Janot and Cara already enjoying village visits along the Rio Negro. Surprisingly, they have already seen the unique 'Boto' dolphins, commonly known as the 'pink river dolphin'. These species are unique to the Amazon region and rely solely on echolocation to hunt their prey. Incredibly intelligent and curious, the Botos may just follow our team on their river adventures!
Water levels have been reported to be quite low this month. Stay tuned for more daily updates on what our team is seeing and discovering deep in the Amazon jungle.
This year's expedition vessel, ApurissauaImages © of Green Tur Lmtd.
Arriving at the mouth of the Rio Branco "White River", Eco-Odyssey's Amazon team is well on their way into the Amazon wilderness. Rio Branco's pale colour stems from the minerals of surrounding hills seeping into its waters. Running from higher regions, Rio Branco seeps into the Rio Negro and brings with it lots of insects! Giant Otters also frequent in this region, which makes up for the giant Mosquitoes..
Following an epic journey from their respective homes of Vietnam and New-Zealand, we are happy to report that team members Janot Prat and Cara Blomfield have safely arrived in the Amazon city of Manaus, Brazil.
They have joined the 'Worldwise Expeditions' team and settled into their river boat 'home' over the next month's adventures along the Amazon river.
Stay tuned as Eco-Odyssey brings you the latest on their travels up the Rio Negro and later into more isolated regions of the spectacular Amazonas.
The largest animal to have ever lived on our planet is none other than the Blue Whale.
These Baleen whales grow up to 30 meters in length, and weigh up to 200 tons!! Its tongue alone can weigh 3 tons, and a newborn calf is as heavy as an adult Hippopotamus!
Scientists estimate Blue Whales can live for up to 80 years, although they are still vulnerable to climate change, vessel strikes, and their only known predator, the Orca.
Surviving a near extinction during the 19th century, Blue Whales have since been recovering, with populations estimated at more than 12,000.