A hammock assembled under the canopy during a jungle survival course in Guyana

Survival Holidays in the Jungle: 3 Unique Challenges

Survival holidays is a phrase that will always transport any mildly-imaginative person to a certain location. It conjures up images of various scenes, from the brutal, stark beauty of antarctica to the alluring haze of Jordan’s deserts.

Here at Bushmasters, we specialise in jungle survival trips; while we also work in other ecosystems, the jungle is the most common setting for our various exploits. With that in mind, we’ve put together this piece to assess what makes the jungle stand out. You won’t encounter any polar bears or get covered in sand, but there are plenty of challenges unique to the lush, dense flora of Guyana’s untouched territories.

1) Diversity

An image of the Guyanan jungle, taken from inside the trees looking out onto the main river

Due to the diverse conditions presented in the jungle, it can be incredibly difficult to know what to do. The jungle poses a number of simultaneous, and often unrelated, challenges:

  • The combination of moisture and heat, which can lead to both dehydration and trench foot … two problems not often grouped together.
  • The presence of both land- and river-based animals, some of which can cause serious injury if not respected (see point two).

2) Wildlife

Picture of a piranha, one of the rivers' inhabitants while on a jungle survival trip

Certain species are exclusive to the jungle and, thus, won’t be animals you have encountered previously. Piranhas, big cats, snakes, and a plethora of insects all present very real threats, and it’s important to be aware of how to avoid encounters with them. As a rule, attempt to avoid contact at all costs; humans are generally seen as too troublesome to constitute menu items, unless they happen to be provocative. Keep your skin covered to avoid bites, and move as quietly as you can (especially if you suspect you may be near a dangerous animal).

3) Navigation

an image of a group of adventurers kayaking down the jungle river in wooden boats

It’s easy enough to get lost when you’re in any new environment, but the jungle takes it to a whole new level. Finding a way through the thick, endless undergrowth is tricky enough in itself; tracing a route and sticking to it can be almost impossible. A clear head and strong powers of concentration are both absolutely essential.

The plus side

an image of a man doing press-ups at Guyana's sizeable waterfall during a Bushmasters expedition

In amongst the dangers and discomforts is a very real sense of connecting with nature. True, unfiltered natural simply isn’t accessible from most places on earth, which is why experiences like survival trips are necessary.

Serenity and inner calm can be found in even the harshest of environments; you just need to give nature a chance. The jungle will provide anyone with genuinely unforgettable experiences, provided they treat it with the respect it deserves.