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I am planning to visit the Amazon rain forest. Not the touristy places but a real adventure with a private guide (still trying to find out about that but most likely to French Guiana or Suriname, check Andra's answer here).

I am sure it is dangerous for people like me who know nothing about rain forests (I live in the middle of a desert). I am sure there are dangerous animals, bugs and plants and other stuff I can't think of.

What things I should know about before going there? I want to be well prepared. That includes knowledge and equipment...etc.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Things that you need :

  • Boots + Safari/Cowboy Hats
  • Clean water
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Mosquito net
  • Long Stick

Things to consider :

Vaccination

Get a complete set of vaccinations before you travel to the Amazon rainforest. This can defend yourself from common diseases including malaria, yellow fever, meningitis, hepatitis, rabies and dengue. These illnesses can cause serious problems, especially when you are in remote sections of the jungle with primitive medical facilities and limited transportation infrastructure.

Water & Food

Consume only bottled water and clean food. Avoid drinking tap water or using ice made from tap water. Be cautious if you need to eat food from street vendors in the Amazon. Upset stomach and fever often result from exposure to the Amazon's unique strains of microbes and bacteria. Pack plenty of stomach medicine and visit a local pharmacy if you need additional medication or treatment for loose bowels or fever. Do not try to consume any animal you found unless you are really really SURE that the animal is not poisonous.

Apparel

Wear pants and a long sleeve shirt in the jungle to protect your skin from insects bites and rashes that may appear after contact with certain plants. Wear a sturdy pair of water-proof boots when hiking in the Amazon. Also check your boots before putting them on to make sure no venomous creatures are hiding inside. Tuck the cuffs of your pants into your boots and sock to form a tight seal. This keeps out leeches and other pests. Wear a hat. This can protect you from snakes if they attack you from above. The long stick can also be used to defend yourselves from snakes/alligators/crocodiles.

Guide

Travel with a professional guide. Avoid going to remote regions on your own, and never approach any wildlife. The predatory animals of the jungle tend to stay away from humans, but they will attack if they perceive you to be a threat. The best way to see wildlife from a safe distance is to take a guided tour of a national park or nature reserve.

Repellant

Although snakes or crocodiles look dangerous, most deaths are actually caused by mosquitoes. Use a strong insect repellent and sleep with a mosquito net to avoid bites and stings. Mosquitoes can carry malaria and dengue, so it's imperative that you limit the number of bites you are exposed to while traveling in the Amazon.

Fauna + Flora

Don't swim in rivers or lakes without first consulting a guide or local authority to verify the safety of the water. When it comes to exotic flora and fauna, it's best to look, not touch. The Amazon is home to countless plants and animals that can be dangerous to humans if not handled with care. If a leech bites you, rinse the leech using water mixed with tobacco (you can get the tobacco from cigarettes). The leech will slowly peels off (they do not like tobacco). To defend against snakes, pour salts around your tent.

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Great answer... –  MeNoTalk Sep 5 '12 at 10:10

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