I recently took part in the adventure of a lifetime, swapping my Macbook for a machete to take part in an eye-opening rainforest conservation project deep in the Peruvian Amazon. I am a freelance journalist who has always been fascinated with this majestic jungle, but sadly knew more about shopping on Amazon.com than Amazon deforestation and conservation. I regularly report on combating carbon and supporting green initiatives, so I decided to sign up as a rainforest conservation volunteer to practice what I preach.
With the support and sponsorship of 21 corporate partners, including Voltimum, I travelled to the Manu Biosphere Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon. Along with conservation work and donations, my project's aim was to increase awareness about
what is actually happening within the Amazon rainforest.
With a camcorder, notepad and dry bag on hand, I had the opportunity (in between grueling treks and hard manual labour)
to report on deforestation and its effects on the incredible biodiversity found within this unique and quickly disappearing
Spiders and froggies and snakes, oh my!
I am proud to say that I spotted the first snake, a black and white snail-eating snake wrapped around a tree branch. I also saw hundreds of communal spiders having a fun night out on a giant icky web (which I nearly walked into when I was looking the other way). Could you imagine if I did?! That would definitely scar me for life. Other interesting finds included wolf spiders, weevils, a pristimantis, toads, a green whip snake and a ground nesting bird. But what made this experience my favourite one of this trip so far is when Andy had us stray off path to a nearby swamp. Once reaching it, he somehow managed to convince me to turn off my torch and listen. Within a minute, the low croaking sounds of jungle swampland became a deafening symphony of frog-song lit by the stars. It was mind-blowingly beautiful and humbling to be in the midst of it all – a clumsy nervous volunteer standing completely disregarded in the centre of this alien habitat teeming with life. This was a moment I will cherish forever.