The last three river experiences of River Safari are completely devoted to the diverse Amazon River. The Amazon River is the second longest in the world, with an average discharge measuring more than the next seven largest rivers combined. Its drainage basin covers 7,050,000 square miles and makes up about one-fifth of the world's total river flow.
The Amazon River has the most diverse ecosystem in the world, with one-third of the planet's species residing in the rainforests along its banks. Over 2,000 species of fish live in the river, with more being discovered each year.
Amazon River Flooded Forest
The giant otter, the Amazon Manatee, and the Amazon River Dolphin all make their home in and along the mighty Amazon River. Between 30 and 60 species of fierce piranhas swim throughout the water, but don't worry, only about a few species enjoy dining on humans! Just watch out for that Red-bellied Piranha and you should be fine. Thankfully, River Safari doesn't plan to let its guests swim with the carnivorous fish.
At River Safari, you will be able to explore three of the most important ecosystems of the Amazon River. The first part will transport you to the lush tropical rainforest, where you'll stroll along the riverbank and observe the stunning variety of plants and flowers that survive beneath the jungle trees' dense canopy. You'll emerge from the thick forest into a replica of an Amazon Village.
The star residents of this part of the experience include the massive Anaconda, which can grow up to 5 meters long and weight nearly 100 kilograms; and the Giant River Otter, the largest of the otter family and a member of the endangered species club. The otter's silky short fur makes it a target for hunters and fur traders.
Next, you'll explore the flooded forest, known as the "lungs" of the earth because it produces nearly 20% of the planet's oxygen. From December to May, the Amazon River goes through a wet season, which causes the river to swell up to 15 meters in some places. The river floods over the banks and flows into the rain forest, creating one of the world's most interesting phenomena- the Amazon Sunken Forest.
Amazon Flooded Forest
Squirrel Monkey Forest
River Safari recreates this phenomenon, allowing you to view the underwater forest exactly as it would appear during monsoon season. Watch closely and you'll see the two star attractions- the Arapaima and the Manatee - as they carefully maneuver the trunks and branches throughout the sunken forest.
The Arapaima, classified as a megafish, can grow up to 3 meters long and weigh 200 kilograms. Unlike many fish, this big guy needs to breath air and prefers to hunt near the surface, which is bad news if you're a low-flying bird! The Manatee, often called the seacow, may look like bulky creatures, but they are surprisingly agile. They are also very intelligent and friendly animals. Sadly, due to deforestation and fishing, they are under threat.
The third part of the Amazon River experience takes you on an adventurous quest to explore the mystery of the giant river. Step aboard a boat and pass through the dark, abandoned Amazon Tower, but hold on tight, because a gush of water will launch you into the wilderness of the forest, where you'll be treated to a 360-degree display of plants, animals, and birds.
The Amazon Rainforest is home to some of the most beautiful species of birds, the most notable of which are the macaws. These large, intelligent parrots range from deep cerulean blues to scarlet reds. Speaking of Scarlet, keep your eyes open for the resident Scarlet Ibis, which gets its colour from the shrimp in its diet. They're also natural pest controllers. Too bad you can't take one home to keep those mosquitoes at bay! Unfortunately, the use of pesticides has caused the Scarlet Ibis' numbers to dramatically decline in many locations.
The other star resident of this attraction is the stocky, muscled jaguar. His powerful jaw can pierce through thick turtle shells as though they were nothing more than an apple skin. He's a bit of a loner and likes to hang out in caves, so you'll need to keep a very close eye out for him.