The thing that everybody tells you before you arrive in Las Pampas is how many animals you’ll see, but as much warning as you’re given, it’s still a shock when you’re confronted with such a huge volume and diversity of species. Coming from fairly central London, I’m not that familiar with anything other than pigeons, cats and dogs – so it was perhaps even more amazing for me than for some more committed nature lovers – but it really can’t be understated just how ridiculously full of life this place is.

Immediately that you arrive and hop on the little motorised boat you’ll be spending most of the next three days aboard, the amount of wildlife living in this lush swamp land is impossible to miss. Colourful birds swoop out of every tree, hundreds of turtles lie piled up on logs sunning themselves, cayman alligators lurk sinisterly on the banks – it was unreal, like arriving at Jurassic Park (I’m not sure why Stephen Spielberg’s movies were on my mind so much during this trip). It took us three hours to get to our riverside lodgings as we ambled along marvelling at everything around us. We saw the aforementioned gators, turtles and birds as well as plenty of capybara (giant and surprisingly cute rodents), black eagles, monkeys and even a glimpse of the elusive pink dolphins that live in the water here. It was an incredible place that I don’t really have the words to fully describe.

Over the three days of our trip we went deeper in to Las Pampas and came across all sorts of amazing wildlife. We were lucky enough to see a sloth close up as, living up to his name, he climbed high up into a tree in painfully slow motion – this is quite a rare sight even here apparently. We saw and heard a family of howler monkeys – lost in a chorus of their distinctive and eerie howls as they swang in procession through the trees by the water. We spotted a porcupine up in the trees. We even got pretty close to a group of pink dolphins although they wouldn’t come close enough for us to swim with them. There was so much to see and so much that we saw it would take way too many words to fully describe. Since I’m not the most inspirational of writers, it’s probably best just to see some of the pictures (I’ve never wanted a really great camera more badly than on this trip… but the little camera I’m – very gratefully – borrowing, did a great job nevertheless).

Here are the best of the animal shots, check out the full gallery here:

Check out the rest of the photos from Las Pampas here.

Some of the other things I got up to in Las Pampas:
Late night alligator hunting
Anaconda hunting
(Nearly) swimming with pink dolphins
Piranha fishing – eat them before they eat you