See Pink River Dolphins in the Wild
Taking a trip to see pink river dolphins is a must for anyone who loves Amazon wildlife. Shy and shrouded in mystery, Pink river dolphins live within the remote Amazon and Orinoco River systems in several South American countries, making them even more intriguing. Hard to spot by the untrained eye, travellers need to visit the precise location with a knowledgeable guide.
Swimming slowly beneath murky river waters, pink river dolphins remain elusive to humans on the river’s surface. Their pinkish-gray skin blends in with their surroundings, making them hard to see beneath the water. Without a dorsal fin, the defining feature of their oceanic relatives, only small parts of their body can be seen from the surface. As they come up for air every 30 seconds or so, a glimpse of their head or blowhole comes above the water. Lucky visitors may even see them diving for food or playing in the river.
Visit the Amazon River with Gondwana & the Achuar
Going with a tour or a local guide is the best bet for seeing pink river dolphins in their natural habitat. In every country, there are specific river territories where the dolphins can usually be found. Like every animal in the Amazon ecosystem, there is no guarantee that any wild creatures will be where you expect, but the chances increase greatly with a knowledgeable team guiding the way.
On Gondwana’s Amazon Awakening Ecotour, we’ll take motorized canoes to the Kapawari River, searching for pink river dolphins and other exotic animals. Weather and adventurous spirits permitting, guests are free to swim in the lagoons where the dolphins live. With guides from the native Achuar tribe to lead us, the chances of seeing these dolphins increases greatly.
Pink River Dolphins in Folklore
According to tribal folklore, pink river dolphins can be found in some unsuspected places, even on land. As the myth goes, these dolphins, also known as boto, can shape-shift into handsome men who seduce and impregnate women. These tales have been used to cover up sexual misconduct, but the legend may make locals think twice when there is attractive newcomer in town.
Humans and Pink River Dolphins
Realistically, there are some instances where dolphins have intentional, friendly interactions with humans. BBC writes, that pink river dolphins are regularly seen in the markets of “…the town of Mocajuba in Para State, Brazil. There, botos play with local children taking a break from helping their family with sales at the market.” The dolphins have been returning here for 30 years, showing that these shy creatures come out of their shells in the right circumstances.
Joining a tour with a local guide is the best way to see pink river dolphins in the wild. Gondwana and our partners in Ecuador are committed to protecting the Amazon River habitat while visiting this magical creature. Through sustainable ecotourism, we can spread awareness about this threatened species and support local tribes in the Amazon.