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Operation Malinowski

April 10 - April 18

| $1,875

Introduction by Paul Rosolie

The foundation of Tamandua is making travel mean something. That has never been more relevant than for this trip.

Illegal gold mining in Peru is a major problem. Just Google it. The devastation can be seen from space as a scar across the Amazon – over 350,000 acres have been lost. And because the gold in this part of Peru comes mixed in with the sediment, miners have to cut down forest, burn it, suck up the earth, and then use mercury to separate the gold from the soil. It’s a horrendous process that completely annihilates forest, wildlife, and poisons the land forever in the process.

One year ago I traveled to the Malinowski River to better understand what was happening. What I found is that the miners killing the forest weren’t doing it because they were ‘bad guys’, but because there were no other options for work. This began the collaboration (see the video below) that lead to this trip. All around the mining camp I saw incredible and unexplored lakes. Streams that wound through the jungle. There were signs of anacondas, jaguars, and macaws in the air. All of this could be lost if the forest was cut. And so began the process of talking to the miners. I spoke to them, showed them photos, and got some friends to vouch for me.

A year later, the miners have shut down their operation. What have they been doing since? Building accommodations for visitors. That’s right. These miners, who were about to destroy an entire river, stopped and went for ecotourism because we asked them to. Because they believe in a better future for themselves. Because even illegal gold miners care about the earth and will do the right thing if given the chance. So this trip has become the most exciting new addition to the Tamandua schedule. This is your chance to actively take part in Rainforest Conservation. Come explore the lakes and streams, help us compile a species list! This is a whole new river, whole new chapter, and the chance to do something positive for the local people. In the process, you joining this trip will help to protect hundreds of acres of wild, primary forest that is packed with wildlife!

Because this has never been done before we have to assume the most basic for lodgings and bathrooms. I’ve already been on site and seen the comfortable beds and hammocks. But still you should come on this trip prepared to stay in a tent if necessary. There will be working toilets. Showers will most likely be done in the river or with a bucket and mug in the shower area. But if you are coming on this trip you are hardcore and ready for adventure and that shouldn’t be an issue. 😉


Paul Rosolie is a naturalist, explorer, author, and award winning wildlife filmmaker. For the past decade he has specialized in threatened ecosystems and species in countries like Indonesia, Brazil, India, and Peru. In the Amazon, Rosolie has described new ecosystems and launched the first ever study of anacondas in lowland rainforest. He has also spent extensive time traveling with poachers documenting the illegal trade in endangered species. Rosolie’s memoir on Amazonian wildlife and exploration, “Mother of God”, was hailed as “gripping” by Jane Goodall, and the Wall Street Journal applauded Rosolie’s environmental call-to-arms for its ‘rare immediacy and depth’. In 2013 Rosolie spoke at the United Nations global Forum on Forests while accepting an award for his Amazonian wildlife short-film “An Unseen World.”


April 10

Take off! Grab your bags and head to the airport. Time to set off for an inspiring journey to Peru! Your trip will be a once in a lifetime adventure in the Amazon Rainforest.

April 11

Arrive in Puerto Maldonado. Land at the airport and take a short cab ride to the hotel. Tamandua guides will welcome you into the jungle town and make sure you are settled in your hotel. We’ll all go out for dinner and an orientation before getting a good night of rest before tomorrow.

April 12

At the crack of dawn we will head west on the Trans-Amazon Highway and out to the Tambopata River. There we will transfer our bags into boats and head up to the Park Guard Station, and then on up the mouth of the wild Malinowski River. The journey could take as much as half the day. Once we are on site we will settle in. The accommodations are rustic but comfortable. If there is time we will begin exploring the trails. Most likely, we’ll have dinner and head out for some nocturnal exploration – remember, everything we do here is new. There are no other ecotourism operations on this river. So we’ll be keeping careful records of every species we encounter.

April 13

We’ll let our ex-Miner guides show us one of the fantastic oxbow lakes they know so well. We’ll be on the lookout for anacondas, black caiman, birds, and big cats. In the evening we will return to camp for a river shower and some dinner!

April 14

On this day we are going to explore some legendary mammal colpas. This will allow us to utilize tracking to identify species, as well as install some camera traps that over the next few months that will give a wealth of information about these newly protected areas. What species are here? In what numbers? No one has done this work before.

April 15

We will wake up at dawn and head as far up river as we can go. Understanding what lies up river from us is important and this day will focus on mapping and conducting a riverine transect to record all the species we see. We’ll be carrying lunches, headlights, lifejackets, and will *plan* to be back for dinner.

April 16

Our final survey of the trails and our GPS map should be finished by the morning. After lunch we will prepare to spend the evening at one of the more remote oxbow lakes where massive anacondas and black caiman have been sighted. We’ll spend some times surveying in packrafts, piranha fishing, and taking in the beautiful scenery.

April 17

Early morning travel back to Puerto to enjoy a night out in town before turning in for the night in a hotel.

April 18

Tamandua guides will see you off to the airport. Until next time!


$1,875. This includes transportation to the lodge once in Peru, food and accommodations at the lodge (double occupancy), personal guiding throughout the vast surrounding jungle, and hotels in Puerto Maldonado (double occupancy). Not included in this fee is airfare to Puerto Maldonado, Peru, meals in Puerto Maldonado, and travel insurance.

Discount: We are offering a $150 discount to the first five people that sign up for this expedition. Enter discount code FIRSTFIVE when paying your deposit on our booking page to get the discount. Expeditions fill up quickly so book your trip first to secure the discount!


For more information or to reserve a spot on this trip, contact us at


April 10
April 18


Peru Retreat
Puerto Maldonado, Peru


Tamandua Jungle