A Close Encounter with Capybaras in Manu – Short Tours!

23 April, 2023by Codigo5_2022

Searching for Capybaras in Manu – Short Guided Tours!

 Are you planning a tour to see Capybaras? The Capybaras are one of the most adorable creatures in the animal kingdom.  They have a unique look and a sweet personality, making them a popular choice for zoos and wildlife parks. 

Capybaras Facts 

The capybara (hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is the largest living rodent in the world, and it is native to South America. It is a semiaquatic herbivore, and it is nocturnal. It’s rarely seen during the day. Its diet consists of grasses, aquatic plants, fruit, and bark, and it is an important food source for predators like jaguars, ocelots, and caimans.

They also have a unique way of cooling off in hot weather – they wallow in mud and water to keep their body temperature down! The Master of the Grasses is an important part of the Manu National Park & Tambopata ecosystem.

Look for areas where the riverbanks are lined with tall grasses, as these are prime areas where capybaras like to feed and sunbathe. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a family of capybaras lounging in the shallows. Be sure to stay quiet and observe them from a distance. You can also look for capybaras in the rainforest itself. Look for areas where there is plenty of grass and water, and scan the trees for the telltale signs of their presence – large round droppings.

Are there Capybaras in Manu?

Of course. The capybaras can be seen in  Manu National Park even on short tours, they can be found near rivers, lakes, and other wetlands. They typically live in groups of up to 8 individuals or in couples, and they spend much of their time in the water.

They are excellent swimmers and divers, and they have webbed feet to help them move through the water. Capybaras are highly adaptable and have a very social nature. They communicate with each other through a variety of vocalizations and scent markings.

How to see Capybaras in Manu on short tours?

Our native guides can take you to the best spots for viewing these giant rodents on short tours. The best way to look for capybaras it’s exploring the Machuhuasi Wetlands and diligent scan of the aquatic vegetation and detecting any sudden movement from the observation tower or while navigating the channels by rafts.

Balsa raft at machuhuasi wetlands favor to observe abundant aquatic wildlife

The best daytime to see Capybaras in Manu!

There are good chances to spot them early in the morning time, preferably as early as possible. The weather conditions it’s crucial for its observation, on a cloudy or rainy day they can still venture the grasses all day long however on warm days they hide sooner. “Simply Capybaras hates the heat” that is the way they seem to be more active on nighttime and rainy days! 

Manu Rainforest is one of the best places to see them in their natural habitat. The first step to seeing capybaras in the Manu Rainforest is to plan your trip. Visit at the right time of year.
The tower at Machuhuasi Wetlands is the most ideal location to spot capybaras in the morning!

If you are moving by motorboat along the river, look for areas where the riverbanks are lined with tall grasses. As these are prime areas where capybaras like to feed and sunbathe. If youre lucky, you may even spot a family of capybaras lounging in the shallows or swimming across the river. If unfortunately, you don’t get to see them, a hike along the river banks and sandbars can be productive to see capybaras’ footprints. 

capybaras crossing the Alto Madre de dios River in Manu Park

Weather conditions for seeing Capybaras.

The best weather conditions to see capybaras are early in the morning and during cloudy days. Capybaras are native to South America, where the climate is typically warm and wet. During the day, they stay cool by taking dips in the water.

Capybaras are most active during the early morning and late evening. In the heat of the day, they tend to hide in the shade to stay cool. If you‘re looking to spot capybaras, then plan your visit for either the early morning or late evening at their prime habitats, riverine forest, and wetlands.

Are Capybaras endangered?

According to The Red List, the population of mature capybaras is stable and is not in danger. On its scale of “Least Concern” to “Extinct,” capybaras sit at “Least Concerned” with many of them living in the wild. Capybaras were given this status because they can be found across much of South America and their overall numbers don’t appear to be declining at an alarming rate.

It’s assumed at Manu Cultural Zone, Capybaras suffers from habitat loss due to the bananas, and yuca plantations that replace its habitats, because the riverine forest is likely the most fertile soil for agriculture

Local Guide Tips

If you are looking to see them even on a short guided tour into Manu, follow our experienced guide’s recommendations and make true your dreams to see capybaras in their natural environment!

  1. Firstly book a tour that is designed for real wildlife observation, short tours have to be well-optimized
  2. Be prepared for early morning departures, to catch the sunrise in the rainforest it’s one of the best experiences!
  3. If possible take your own binoculars or rent them *Tour guides carry spotting scopes to share during viewings “Capybaras are good in camouflage”
  4. An Eco-Friendly way to see Capybaras is by visiting Manu (Flights are not requested and Machuhuasi swamp is not open for motor embarkations)
  5. Be sure to explore the forest carefully in silence, especially while floating on the rafts and walking up the metallic tower that overlooks the Machuhuasi swamp. By doing so, you have a really good chance to observe Capybaras in Manu in their natural habitat.
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