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The Manu Wildlife Center
»» Manu - Madre de Dios - Peru ««
Category: First Class Lodge
DESCRIPTION

The Manu Wildlife Center is a 44 bed lodge located on the Madre de Dios river and only 90 minutes by motorized dugout canoe from the Boca Manu airstrip at the confluence of the Manu and Alto Madre de Dios rivers. It is owned by Manu Expeditions and the Peru Verde Conservation Group, a non-profit, non-government organization involved in rainforest conservation projects.

Manu Wildlife Center is a privately owned rainforest reserve which forms part of the Manu Biosphere Reserve. It is located in the Cultural Reserved Zone, set aside for indigenous Amazonian peoples. The lodge is on the banks of the Madre de Dios River in pristine rainforest

Eight and eighteen seater Beechcraft, Cessna or Twin Otter planes fly from the Cusco international airport to Boca Manu. The flight takes about 40 minutes. From here comfortable motorized dugouts are used for the 90 minute trip to the Manu Wildlife Center. Alternatively, a longer and more adventurous journey can be made by road and river from Cuzco. In this trip you visit other important areas of Manu on your way to Manu Wildlife Centre.

Manu Wildlife Centre consists of 22 double bungalows built in the style of, and using the same materials as the local Machiguenga indigenous communities. Local wood, bamboo and palm fronds are used for the roofing. All materials that have been used have been sustainably harvested or brought in from distant areas. For example, the wood used in the construction is collected from the river as, each rainy season, hundreds of trees are washed into the river as it cuts its ever-changing course. On an average of every three or four years the river actually enters the lodge towards the end of the wet season (around March) therefore all the bungalows are raised and connected to each other and the rest of the lodge facilities by gravel walkways. Each room has good quality foam mattresses and all beds have cotton sheets and quilts (best for hot tropical conditions). Although all the rooms are screened with imported insect netting, beds are furnished with individual mosquito nets. Furniture includes bedside tables and writing tables. The bungalows are arranged around a pleasant and well planned Amazonian garden with plants and shrubs that attract birds, butterflies and mammals. All bungalows are private and separated from each other for privacy and all have large windows facing the forest and garden. All the 22 bungalows boast private toilet and shower facilities. Hot and cold water is always available and all toilets facilities are flush. The dining area is separate from the other facilities but close to all bungalows and the nearby kitchen area. Food is good and wholesome not gourmet, and we use a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and meats in our menu. Our cooks are used to providing for vegetarian diets. There is a separate bar and lounge area which is located a short distance from the dining area. A variety of cold non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are always available here.

The lodge is strategically located in an area of forest that counts on the highest diversity of micro-habitats in the Manu area. This means that there are more species of animals, birds, reptiles and insects than elsewhere in Manu. Tierra-firme, transitional floodplain, varzea and bamboo forest is found close to the lodge plus successional willow and cane stands on beaches and river islands, resulting in the highest bio-diversity in the Manu area. An astounding 550 species of birds have been recorded around the lodge.. The Blanquillo Macaw and Parrot lick is only 25 minutes away by river and we use floating blinds to get you close to this amazing wildlife spectacle, where up to 200 Macaws and many hundreds of their smaller relatives come to eat clay essential to their digestion. There are 4 ox-bow lakes in the area and we have floating platforms so that access to the lakes ensures that all lakeside fauna can be readily observed. There are 3 families of the endangered Giant Otters on these lakes and small streams. About an hours walk through the forest is a large mammal lick where Tapirs, the largest South American land mammal, regularly come for minerals. At night Brocket Deer and other animals share this necessary ingredient to the digestive system. There is a large, raised blind here equipped with mattresses and mosquito nets for those who want to spend the night in comfort observing these nocturnal creatures. During the day several species of small forest Parakeets and Parrotlets as well as Guan, Curassows and Black Spider Monkeys regularly visit the lick. Canopy access is easy at Manu Wildlife Center, we have a canopy tower strategically placed at a flowering canopy tree that attracts Monkeys, Hummingbirds, Toucans, Parrots and a host of other creatures. Access to this tower is by a harness and rope assisted climb There is also a static canopy platform in a large canopy emergent that is accessed by a metal, spiral stairway that anyone can use at any time. It is the only accessible canopy platform of it's kind in Peru. Studies have been made for the possibility of constructing a canopy walkway.

Manu Wildlife Center frequently has onsite researchers and scientists - we are proud to sponsor their research. As a lodge we actively promote and give a helping hand to students and post-graduates who do various kinds of scientific research in the area. These scientists are always happy to share their knowledge and expertise with visiting guests. The lodge relies heavily on workers from the local Machiguenga and Piro communities and provides jobs and training that help better the standard of living in the local villages without prejudicing their ideal-or idealistic life-style. We offer them choice and opportunity that, prior to tourism, did not exist.

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