Otobo’s Amazon Safari offers what has to be one of the most amazing adventures to be found not just in Ecuador, but anywhere in the world. Otobo, a Huaorani native, invites you to his territory in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon to experience the Rainforest and all its magic.
This has all the elements to be the trip of a lifetime… you’ll trek through the forest behind your local Huaorani guide and a bilingual naturalist inside the Yasuni National Park, searching for wildlife, examining medicinal plants, walking the footsteps of some of the last hunter-gatherers on the planet. You can paddle or drift silently along the Rio Cononaco searching the trees for troops of one of the 13 species of monkeys found here… hide and wait at one of the many salt licks hoping that peccaries (pig-like animals) or other mammals come.
Otobo’s Amazon Safari is a family run operation. Otobo along with his father Omaguiere and brother Yebora built the main lodges and thatch-covered campsites, with help from two volunteers. His mother and wife have made hammocks and handicrafts for the campsites and main lodges
The Huaorani are an Amazonian people living in the lowland forests of Ecuador for as many as 6,000 years and were first contacted by the outside world in the 1950’s. There is a mystery surrounding the origins of the Huaorani and how they avoided contact for so long. To this day there are at least 2 groups of Huaorani, the Taromenane and Tagaiere that are still living completely without contact from modern society. They hunt monkeys and birds with poison darts shot from blowguns and hunt peccaries and other ground mammals with spears. The way they avoid contact today is probably a vital clue on how the Huaorani avoided contact until about 50 years ago. The Huaorani are traditionally deep forest people, avoiding larger rivers and it is rumored that they were unable to swim. Other indigenous groups, namely the Zaparo, lived along the river banks. After being devastated by outside diseases and constant warring with the Huaorani, the Zaparo were greatly reduced and the remaining members of the Zaparo migrated to other areas of the Amazon Basin. This left an uninhabited area that is filled by many of the Huaorani today. This is the area that you will visit.
The origins of the Huaorani are uncertain. They have many characteristics that make them distinct from any other group in the Amazon. For example, their language Huao Tededo is not directly related to any other language and suggests a separation or break from their nearest relatives thousands of years ago. They have the only pottery that is rounded at the bottom, the only blowguns that are oval shaped and their house designs are completely unique to the Huaorani.
YASUNI NATIONAL PARK
The Rainforest in the Yasuni National Park is by most accounts the most diverse terrestrial place on Earth. There are other areas that make this claim but the Yasuni has proven to be the home of more species of trees, lianas, frogs and insects than any other place ever studied. It is the largest National Park in Ecuador at almost 1 million hectares (2.5 million acres). Inside this area, and a bit outside of it, is Huaorani Territory and has been deemed the Intangible Zone by the Ecuadorian Government. It consists of 750,000 hectares that was set up to be exempt from mining and logging.
Jaguar, tapir, peccary, monkeys, Pink River Dolphins… all are found in the forests and rivers around where you will be camping. It is extremely difficult to say what any group of guests will see… Pink River Dolphins are often seen, as are at least a few species of monkeys. Parrots and Macaws are common, as well as many other species of birds. Peccaries sometimes are seen but Jaguar almost never, although footprints are encountered often.