Sani lodge On your adventure, you will walk through a pristine rainforest gallery that is home to 1,500 species of trees, hundreds of climbing vines, and exotic flowers, as well as 550 species of tropical birds, 13 species of monkeys and 1,000 species of beautiful butterflies.According to a recent assessment by a leading group of biologists the Rainforest around Sani Lodge in North Eastern Ecuador is the most biologically diverse locality in the world. This is also a world record. Over 550 bird species are on the Sani Bird List making it one of the highest lists in the world. 80 species of bats, making our area the second highest number ever registered. 105 species of amphibians.83 of reptiles which appears to make our area the most diverse ever studied. 64 species of social sting-less bees, also a world record in this group. 100,000 species of insects per hectare, again the greatest number of species of any place ever studied.
Sani lodge has ten individual cabins, sleeping up to three people and a spacious two-storey house divided into four family rooms. all have private modern bathrooms, screened windows, private decking or balconies and traditional leaf-thatched roofs. For a more alfresco experience, there is a raised, sheltered camping area across the lagoon sleeping up to 15 people. tents, bedding and basic equipment are provided. meals are taken communally in the small dining room overlooking the lagoon. most visitors undertake a range of activities, including visits to the Sani isla community to experience local life and culture, organised by the Sani Huarmi (Sani women), canoeing and fishing for piranha, using a blowpipe, as well as wildlife viewing and trips to see river dolphins and parrot clay licks. However, special birding packages are routinely provided, and the lodge staff is very well used to looking after those who want to bird and nothing else. One of the birding highlights of a visit to Sani Lodge is spending a morning atop the recently constructed, new 37-m canopy tower, which is sited reasonably close to the south-west corner of the lagoon and constructed around a mighty Kapok Ceiba pentandra tree. This permits an exclusive view of and above the rainforest canopy. It also provides a privileged opportunity to observe many birds that are practically impossible to find from a position on the forest floor. The best time of day for the tower is first thing in the morning or during that initial ‘bird boom’ directly following a rainstorm. Sani Isla (which means ‘violet island’ in Kichwa) is sandwiched between two of the most biologically diverse ecological reserves in the world, Parque Nacional Yasuní (980,000 ha) to the south and the Reserva de Producción Faunística Cuyabeno (603,380 ha) to the north. Sani territory represents a natural rainforest corridor supporting an outstanding variety of bird species. The lodge offers excellent access to all six major habitats found in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and their territory contains a handful of rare birds not easily found elsewhere, including Rufous PotooNyctibius bracteatus, Black-necked Red Cotinga Phoenicircus nigricollis and the endemic Cocha Antshrike Thamnophilus praecox. The first-named is now known to have a widespread range across Amazonia, but Sani represents one of the easiest places to find it, as the local guides are frequently aware of where individuals roost by day. The rare Cocha Antshrike was rediscovered as recently as 1990 following almost three-quarters of a century in obscurity, it being known previously solely from the female holotype. Birders able to time their visit carefully according to prevailing water levels should have the opportunity to find this attractive antbird at Sani, which is still one of the few known localities for this handsome species, although it is predicted to occur in immediately adjacent parts of Colombia and Peru. The Napo River not only divides Sani territory into two, but as experienced Amazonian birders well know, like many major rivers it also functions as a barrier for some bird species, with certain species found exclusively on one side or other of the river, such as Chestnut-belted Conopophaga aurita (north bank) and Ash-throated Gnateaters C. peruviana (south). Unsurprisingly, given the general dispersal abilities of birds, this principle applies to other wildlife too. Comfortable Sani Lodge is set on the banks of a beautiful black-water lagoon and boasts some great bird-watching opportunities without even having to walk far from your room. From the perfectly sited open bar you have a widespread view of the lagoon, and on a good day could expect to see Rufescent Tiger Tigrisoma lineatum, Agami Agamia agami, Capped and Cocoi Herons Ardea cocoi, Masked Crimson Tanager Ramphocelus nigrogularis, Yellow-bellied Dacnis Dacnis flaviventer and Cinnamon Attila Attila cinnamomeus. The channel that connects the lagoon with the main Napo River, which must be traversed to visit the river islands or the parrot clay licks, provides additional opportunities to find at least some of these species.