As mentioned in my Rurrenabaque post I was unable to go to the Serere Reserve as I got very ill with gastroenteritis, so in the end just my partner went. Here is his account of the 4 days/3 nights he spent there.
Out of the numerous options for the Amazon jungle, we had chosen to go into the Serere Reserve, as a couple of things appealed to us, such as: no set itinerary, a fully private cabin (most places only offer shared bathroom facilities), the fact that it wasn’t the Madidi Reserve where most places took you, which also meant no entry fees.
On my first day I was introduced to a guide who would join me on the boat ride to the reserve. We left Rurrenabaque at around 11am and it took 2 and 1/2 hours to get there with lunch served on board. It was very comfortable, especially as I was the only person going into the reserve on that day. On the way the captain spotted a group of river turtles resting by the river bank and we were able to stop for a few pictures.
Once we reached the reserve, I was taken to my cabin located a short 15 min stroll away. The cabin was very big with bug screens and mosquito nets instead of walls and surrounding jungle blocking your views between the other cabins. My private cabin had 2 double beds put together and 1 single bed, all with mosquito nets and a bathroom. There was no electricity in the cabins and the only source of light was provided by candles.
After a refreshing shower I followed the signs to the main house, where I was introduced to staff members. I was told that my guide was currently out on a walk with another group and once he got back, we would decide on what to do the next day. In the meantime, the guide who came with me on the boat offered to take me on a canoe ride on the lake, located just in front of the main house. The boat ride was really nice and we managed to see a great variety of birds, including the Serere bird.
Later, I joined the group of three, who had come back from their walk and would be leaving the next day, and met my guide Domingo, who spoke both spanish and english. As the group was leaving, they wanted to go for an early walk the next morning, which I wasn’t too keen on, and besides I actually had no watch (or any other device) that could help me wake up. However, the next day I realised that there was actually no need for one as I woke up to the sounds of the howler monkeys at around the same time that they left for their walk.
After breakfast, I joined the group for a bit of jewellery making. After they left another person came to the reserve and it was just the 2 of us for the remainder of my stay. Later the same day we crossed the lake and went for a 2 hour medicinal plant walk, spotting more wildlife along the way. During this time I was voluntarily bitten by a fire ant and also learned about some of the plants. When we got back we had our dinner and decided to go out on a night lake tour to spot caimans and alligators. We got lucky and even managed to spot a boa constrictor.
The third day was definitely the day of the monkeys. On the two walks that we did we were able to spot big groups of cute squirrel monkeys, a couple of groups of capuchin monkeys and a group of red-faced howler monkeys. We finished the day with a short trip on another lake to spot more bird life, see the rescued and successfully released spider monkeys and enjoy yet another amazing sunset.
On my last day, we went out on a morning walk and spotted a capybara group. As the wind direction allowed as to stay undetected the animals got really close and I was hoping they would actually walk right into us, but suddenly one of them got spooked and they all vanished.
The days at the reserve were very relaxed with breakfast usually at around 8am. You would then go for a walk, come back at lunch, and the meal would be ready when you arrived. If any new people arrived you would have some time for them to “catch up” and then we would go for another walk. Dinners were by candlelight and were usually after your last walk of the day.
At the time of my stay, there were two 5-6 month old rescue spider monkeys with an adult that always seemed to find its way back to the main house each time it is released into the jungle, an adopted pair of macaws and additionally a 10 cm tarantula walking around the ceiling.
A few useful notes if you are heading out into the reserve: make sure you have a good repellent, a strong flashlight, binoculars are always handy and a high-zoom on your camera. Other than that, just enjoy the flora and fauna.