Clay licks for macaws, parrots and tapirs too!
The mineral-rich Amazon clay licks attract thousands of dazzling macaws and parrots in a feeding frenzy that has to be seen to be believed, plus the chance to see elusive tapirs at a forest lick.
Wildlife goes wild!
Dining etiquette is out of the window as birds and animals compete for the health-bestowing clay providing a natural spectacle for your entertainment.
That’s what you’ll be thinking as rub your eyes and watch the riverbank in the early morning. Blue & yellow, red & green, scarlet, blue-headed, red-bellied, all in their droves and that’s only the macaws. Add the equally abundant parrots and you’ve hundreds of birds and dozens of species all vying for the clay. In the process they provide the most dazzling display complete with screeching and shoving, for up to three unforgettable hours. That’s the Colorado clay lick near Tambopata Research Centre.
Elsewhere in Tambopata
There are clay licks near other Amazon lodges where you can enjoy the same exhilarating experience. You need to rise early, the birds can’t wait to get at the clay. Usually one of two intrepid birds arrive first, followed by the flocks as the frenetic feast begins in earnest.
At Heath River you watch from the comfort of a floating hide just 40m from the birds, ideal for photography, and Chuncho is another of Tambopata National Reserve’s popular clay licks. Weather has an impact with rain deterring the birds while clear, sunny days bring them out in force.
Meanwhile in Manu
From Manu Wildlife Centre it’s a short boat ride and forest walk to the hide. Pull up a chair, position your camera and wait for the action to commence. This is the perfect ringside seat for the avian show as hundreds of parrots and macaws descend on the bare banks.
That’s the morning, but in the afternoon tapirs take to the stage at the world’s largest tapir clay lick. You watch from a platform five metres above the forest floor as they arrive for their feast, extracting clay beneath tree roots. It’s the perfect vantage point for photographing these little-seen creatures.