Like the depths of the ocean, much of what lies within our jungles and rainforests remains undiscovered. The mystery and beauty of these landscapes lure in nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.
There are hundreds of jungles and rainforest across the globe, housing most of the planets known animal species and hiding many more. They are an environment worthy of our protection and admiration, and how better to learn about these biodiverse landscapes than by visiting them. These are our pick of the top 10 rainforests and jungles well worth making the trip to. Just don’t forget the Deet.
Top 10 Rainforests and Jungles
The Brazilian Amazon, Brazil
When people think rainforest, they likely think Amazon, and understandably. The Amazon rainforest is huge! It covers 6% of the surface of our planet and produces over 20% of our oxygen! A majority of the rainforest, over 60%, is found in Brazil. Something to consider when deciding which of the 9 countries, over which the Amazon spreads, that you want to visit. For more on the Amazon check out our blog on Amazon Animal Adventure: What To Look Out For.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka
At only 21 x 7km² what the Sinharaja Forest Reserve lacks in size, it makes up for in biodiversity and untouched wilderness. Spared from over-logging due to its difficult to access terrains, the reserve provides for it’s bordering villages with tourism and fertile soils. It is estimated that 60% of the reserve’s trees are endemic and many of these are considered rare. Beyond the trees, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is also home to a variety of native animals found nowhere else on the planet. Like the green pit viper and hump-nosed vipers. If you need more motivation, Sri Lanka took out top spot on the lonely planets places to visit in 2019.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
Deriving its name from the thick forests of tall bamboo and dense ground cover of ferns, vines and other plants the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, is difficult to enter on foot. ‘Bwindi’ also means Impenetrable in the Runyakitara language, so you know it’s got to be hard to access if they’re saying it twice. The Impenetrable, Impenetrable Forest!
Its impenetrability does come with a few perks, the forest is home to over half the planets endangered mountain gorillas. Here you can trek into the lush jungle and see our incredible ancestors first hand!
The Daintree, Australia
The Daintree is the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, estimated to date back over 180 million years. As a result, in the lush rainforest, you’ll find some pretty prehistoric plants. The Daintree is more than just old plants. Within its borders, there are also gorgeous white sand beaches and an array of insects, birds, reptiles and mammals. Many found nowhere else is the wild. You can explore the rainforest on the many walking tracks throughout or even drive around, stopping to explore the towns and butterfly sanctuaries as you do.
Manu National Park Cloud Forest, Peru
Manu National Park is an incredible reserve in southern Peru with a wide variety of landscapes, flora and fauna. One of the most stunning environments is the Cloud Forest. Cloud Forests are forests at such a high altitude that they are quite literally up in the clouds. The climate is generally much cooler leading to some unique and furry inhabitants like the spectacled bear. The Manu Cloud Forest sits at an altitude of over 4000m above sea level and, fun fact, is also home to Peru’s national bird, the Cock of the Rock!
Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
Another cloud forest in our top 10 rainforest list :/. The Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica can be explored in more ways that one. There are extensive trails through the park that you can explore on your own, or with a guide. A guide is often a good idea as these protected lands are full of hard to see animals, a guides eye is trained to seek out. The Cloud Forest is in fact home to all six species of the cat family jaguars, pumas, oncillas, ocelots, margays, and jaguarundis. You can also discover the forest from above from the hanging bridges or whiz through the treetops on a zip lining tour.
The Kanha National Park, India
The inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s famous novel ‘The Jungle Book’, The Kanha National Park, is a mix of landscapes. From lush bamboo forests to grassy plains it’s easy to see why Mogli would have wanted to stay in this jungle rather than return to the world of man. The National Parks biggest drawcard, however, is not The Jungle Book but the tiger! The core of the Kanha Tiger reserve, these elusive cats are regularly spotted roaming around. There are other rare animals as well like the Swamp Deer, which the reserve saved from extinction!
Lacandon Jungle, Mexico
Stretching from Chiapas, in the south of Mexico, down into Guatemala the Lacandon Jungle is the definition of tropical. Lush vegetation, humid climate, stunning coastlines and an abundance of jungle animals and plants. The Lacandon is also home to some of Central Americas most incredible archaeological Mayan sites. Unfathomably far from the source of the rocks carved and carried to build them, hidden in the dense jungle you can explore the Palenque, Yaxchilan and Bonampak ruins. You may even hear or be lucky enough to see jaguars in their natural habitat.
Danum Valley, Borneo
For most of human history, there were no human settlements within the Danum Valley. As a result, this paradise escaped much of the destruction caused by industries, like logging and farming, other rainforests have faced. The rainforest is home to some of the most unique and rare animals you’ll ever see in the wild. Think, Bornean orangutans, East Sumatran rhinoceros, gibbons, mousedeer and clouded leopards. All very “wow” sounding animals am I right! You can explore Damun Valley at night on a night jungle tour, or try your luck at seeing the animals during the day. There is also some incredible bird watching and river swimming to be done!
Papua New Guinea
Over 70% of Papua New Guinea is covered in tropical rainforest, and for this reason, the whole nation makes it on to the list. It is one of the most rural nations in the world, with only 18% of the population living in urban centres. It is also one of the least explored, both culturally and geographically! So what are you waiting for! Go and explore this incredible country.
Start planning your jungle escape here.
Did we miss your favourite rainforest? Let us know what it is in the comment section below. Or tag us on social media @bambaexperience or #bambaexperience to be featured in our blog or newsletter.