Manu Wildlife Centre is a 44-bed lodge located on the Madre de Dios River only 90 minutes by motorized dugout canoe from Boca Manu village, at the confluence of the Manu and Alto Madre de Dios Rivers. It is owned by a Manu expedition company and the Peru Verde Conservation Group, a non-profit NGO involved in rainforest conservation projects.
Manu Wildlife Centre consists of 22 double bungalows built in the style of, and using the same materials as, the local Machiguenga indigenous communities. Local wood, bamboo and palm fronds for roofing are used. All materials used have been sustainably harvested or brought in from distant areas.
Each bungalow has good quality foam mattresses and all beds have cotton sheets and duvets (best for hot tropical conditions). As well as all the rooms being screened, beds are furnished with individual mosquito nets. Furniture includes bedside tables and writing tables. The bungalows are arranged around an Amazonian garden with plants and shrubs that attract birds, butterflies and mammals. All bungalows are private and separated from each other and all have large, curtained windows facing the forest and garden. All the bungalows have private flush toilets and shower facilities with hot water.
There is a large communal building containing a dining area, bar, lounge and hammocks for relaxing. Food is good and wholesome, not gourmet, and uses a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and meats in the menu. A variety of cold non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are always available from the bar. The centre does not have any electricity, but a generator is available to recharge camera and camcorder batteries.
Manu Wildlife Centre is located in an area of forest that has some of the highest diversity of microhabitats in the Manu area. Tierra-firme, transitional floodplain, varzea and bamboo forest is found close to the lodge plus pioneering willow and cane stands on beaches and river islands, resulting in some of the highest biodiversity in the Manu area. More than 580 species of birds have been recorded in the area between Boca Manu and the lodge, and in the surrounding rainforest.
The Blanquillo macaw and parrot clay lick is only 25 minutes away by river and, from a hide, up to 200 red and green macaws and many hundreds of their smaller relatives come to eat clay, essential to their digestion. There are two oxbow lakes in the area with floating platforms for wildlife observation: two families of endangered giant otters inhabit these lakes and small streams. About an hour’s walk through the forest from Manu Wildlife Centre is a large mammal lick where tapirs, the largest South American land mammal, regularly come to ingest minerals. There is a large hide here, outfitted with mattresses and mosquito nets for those who want to spend the night in comfort observing these nocturnal creatures. During the day, several species of small forest parakeets and parrots as well as guans, curassows, peccaries and red howler monkeys visit the lick. There are 12 species of monkeys present in the forests; some are frequently spotted whilst hiking the trails such as the common squirrel monkey, emperor tamarin, black spider monkey and monk saki.
Canopy access is easy, with two canopy platforms (30 metres and 40 metres in height) in large canopy-emergent trees accessed by metal stairways.