Primal Survivor: Escape the Amazon

Primal Survivor: Escape the Amazon

It’s easy to believe that humanity has explored every inch of the earth except the deepest oceans and darkest caves. However, there remains a place untouched by modernity: deep within the Amazon rainforest. Why haven’t we explored it yet?

The first reason is sheer size. South Africa can fit inside the Amazon five times and still have space leftover. Most of that space is dense rainforest impassable by vehicles without destroying the vegetation. Because the rainforest is protected, on-foot is the only way you’re getting in.

Being on foot in the Amazon is not advisable. If you hate creepy crawlies, stay away. The Amazon is home to tons of toxic critters that can kill you quite by accident. A poison-dart frog can kill ten adults through skin contact alone. The Brazilian wandering spider’s scientific name Phoneutria means murderess in Greek. The pain of a bullet ant’s bite is comparable to getting shot. And worst of all the bugs are the mosquitos, which can give you malaria and yellow fever, often incurable. We haven’t even mentioned the jaguars yet.

When you’re not walking, you need to be on a boat. A large part of the Amazon biome is marshlands, home to green anacondas, piranhas, electric eels, and black caiman alligators. You do not want to take a careless dip in the Amazon’s rivers.

Besides the animals, you need to keep an eye out for murderous tribes. There are over a hundred estimated uncontacted tribes hidden in the Amazon. In 2020, an expert on isolated Amazon tribes got killed by an arrow approaching a previously uncontacted Amazonian tribe.

By now, it’s clear that only the craziest people venture into the deeper parts of the Amazon rainforest. Hazen Audel is one such brave soul. The survival expert took on a 60-day expedition across the Amazon, further than anyone before. His goal? Learn all he can about surviving the least human-friendly forest in the world.

Catch Primal Survivor: Escape the Amazon every Wednesday at 9 PM on National Geographic.