Travel Photography – Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
Liam Collard Photography recently had the incredible opportunity to visit the Mamirauá Reserve in the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil, in order to spend a few days with some local communities that live beside the Amazon River. Mamirauá “is the first Sustainable Development Reserve in Brazil, legislated by the Government of Amazonas in 1996. The purpose of a Sustainable Development Reserve is to find a balance between biodiversity conservation and the sustainable development of an area inhabited by human populations.” It is characterized by “its diversity of aquatic and land habitats, which continually go through intense changes defined by the region’s water dynamics. The seasonal variation from dry to wet determines the flora and fauna and all life in the várzea, which has to adapt to these changes. Ultimately, water is the most important and most dramatically dynamic component of this ecosystem.”
It took a 7-hour journey on three planes between São Paulo, Brasilia, and Tefe, followed by a 3 hour boat trip on the Amazon, to reach our destination. We stayed at the fantastic Uakari Lodge, which is an eco-tourism lodge floating on the river. Uakari’s mission “is to offer excellent leisure services, accommodations, food and transportation in Mamirauá Reserve, support preservation and generate income for the local people with minimal social and environmental impacts,” and to be “the best example of ecotourism in the Amazon.”
Uacari served as a wonderful base from which we could travel to the communities of Vila Alencar and Caburini, which we visited with a biologist/guide, Pedro, and another guide from one of the communities. It was amazing to see how river wildlife has been protected and regenerated, and how people manage to survive in a forest that is flooded by a 10 metres of water.
Ultitmately, though, it was a real privilege to meet and photograph the local people.
We feel so lucky to have had this amazing experience and to have met all of the wonderful people involved in the project!