If you are planning on exploring the rainforests you must be doubly cautious and should take all safety measures so that your trip is an enjoyable and exciting one, that you would cherish all your life. The rainforest is an amazing place. You must indulge in environmentally responsible tourism. Ecotourism is a great way of safeguarding the remaining rainforests of the world. Rainforests are home to half of the world’s animal and plant species.
A visit to a tropical rainforest could be a truly exciting and memorable one. Rainforests offer boundless opportunities for adventure, photography, cultural exchange, hiking, fishing, bird-watching, or wildlife spotting. However, you must keep in mind that rainforests are pretty humid and hot, not easily accessible and are insect-ridden. A trip to the rainforests could prove to be extremely challenging and may not be suitable for everyone. Before you go on your first visit to the rainforests, you must take into account some safety tips for an enjoyable jungle travel.
Pay Attention to Your Guide
Your guide would be a local who would understand and know the rainforest environment much better than you. He would be familiar with the surroundings and would at once be alert when he sees signs of wildlife. Your guide would be the first person to spot wildlife, in all probability.
Beware of Animal Encounters
You may come across some dangerous plants and insects including mosquitos, bees, wasps and ants. Some rainforest plants have thorns, spines and caustic substances that may prove to be harmful. There are numerous poisonous snakes in the rainforests, but it is quite unlikely to come across one of them in the daytime. You should tread with caution at dusk or in the evening. Do not mess with a snake if you come across one. Just stay away and leave the snake alone. You are likely to get bitten if you try to catch or kill it or even go near it for a closer look. While you should keep a gun for personal safety, make sure that you do not try and shoot animals for the thrill of it.
Wear Appropriate Clothes
Even though it could be pretty hot and humid, it is a good idea to go to a rainforest wearing full-sleeved shirts and trousers. The idea is to go fully covered up to stay away from the bites of harmful insects. You may use insect repellents. Often your local guide may suggest some effective local solutions that would keep insects away from you.
Wear Shoes that Fit Well and Feel Comfortable
Do not wear ill-fitting or new shoes that may cause blisters. In the rainforests even a minor blister could get badly infected and take the shape of a serious wound. Also, remember to shake out your pair of shoes to check for poisonous scorpions. Sometimes, scorpions get into your shoes and think of making a home there.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
You should stay hydrated at all times at the rainforests. Drink as much water as possible. The first sign of dehydration is crankiness. So the moment you find someone is getting irritated without any rhyme or reason, give him some water.
Think Twice Before Swimming
Do not be impulsive in jumping into a lake or river for a swim. Consult your guide and consider swimming only if it is safe enough. There could be wildlife hazards such as electric eels, stingrays, piranha, caiman, and other such aquatic animals. There could be some unexpected currents that may prove to be quite perilous.
- Go for a checkup with your physician to make sure that you are 100 per cent fit to travel.
- Get all the necessary immunizations done and make sure that your vaccinations are updated.
- Opt for a travel health insurance as there could be certain hazards involved in a jungle travel.
- Take your prescriptions and all prescribed medicines. Carry all personal medicines for pain and aches, upset stomach, motion sickness, allergies, infection etc.
- Remember to get sunscreen and insect repellents.
The Most Important Thing to Remember
Remember to get copies of your passport’s photo page. It is better to get color Xerox copies and keep them in separate baggage pieces and keep one with yourself. Get the required visas well on advance. Your passport should be valid for minimum 6 months after your return date from your jungle trip.
Author Bio: Mindy Baxter is a journalist and travel writer who has traveled extensively over the last five years. She is also a bit of a firearms aficionado, and follows several sites like shooting.org