Scouting Expedition: The Amazonian Rainforest in Ecuador

I’ll be traveling with a team of five filmmakers to a remote section of the Amazonian rainforest in the northeast corner of Ecuador to scout locations and collect footage in preparation of a larger film about biodiversity, birding, indigenous cultures and impact of climate change on wildlife.

My hope is to live blog some of the journey, depending on wifi connectivity at our base camp of Sani Lodge… and if not live, then certainly a trip report after I return!

We will travel to Sani Lodge by flying into Quito, then taking a private van ride to Coca. From Caco, it’s a three hour boat trip on the Napo river into pure wilderness. Then a 15 minute boardwalk through the jungle, followed by a dugout canoe trip to reach the Amazon rainforest lodge and its lagoon.

The rainforest here is the most biologically diverse locality in the world. 2,274 species of trees and bushes have been identified, over 550 birds species are on the Sani Bird List, making it one of the highest lists in the world. 80 species of bats, the second highest number ever registered. 105 species of amphibians, 83 of reptiles, 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.

GEAR – Each of us on the team have our own specialties and everyone will be bringing different filmmaking and audio recording tools. Here’s a rundown of mine:

Sony A7sII Camera (with chips/ND Filters/batteries/chargers/lens tissues/etc.)
16-36 Sony Lens
24-70 Sony Lens
Tascam D60 Digital Audio Recorder
Sennheiser Wireless Lavalier Microphone
Rode Shotgun Microphone
8X32 Wingspan Binoculars
8X Moncular
Chip Reader
Macbook Air Laptop
Multiple Batteries for camera and lighting gear
Medications/Antibiotics/Deet/Sunscreen/Diarrhea Med/First Aid Kit
LaCie External hardrive
Fuji X100f Camera (Batteries/Charger)
External Battery Pack
Timelapse Controller
Passports/Yellow Fever Documentation
Field Notes Book and Pencil
White Balance Slate
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
Sony Headphones
Cinebag Backpack
Extra SD Chips in waterproof case







Manfrotto Tripod and Head
Kessler Traveler 8′ Jib
Lighting Kit: Dracast 1K, 500W, 160W, 160W instruments
Four Stands
Diffusion/Clips/gaffers Tape
Six foot Reflector/Scrim


UPDATE: November 2, 2018

We have arrived at the Sani Lodge and it’s far beyond what we had hoped for! Beautiful setting, with attentive staff in the most wild and pristine section of the Amazonian jungle. The wildlife here is astounding! We’ve been focused on documenting birds and frogs, all of which are on video, and some incredible drone shots of Quito, the Napo River, the Ecuadorian Jungle and our Lodge – but we did capture a few stills. The most important thing we have captured is phenomenal interviews with the tribal Shaman, one of the leading Bird Guides in Ecuador, the Manager of the Sani Lodge, and the SUPERSTAR: Xavier – who is an extraordinary Guide and expert about the local community. Much more to come, but here’s a few tidbits! (And my apologies to the team for not having the scientific names for these critters!) Frog photos by Carl Gerhardt.




Categories: Filmmaking, Landscapes, Travel


  1. It’s difficult for us mortals to get our head around the enormity and significance of your next adventure Kev.

    You continue to raise the bar. And we are all so proud of you.

    Hope you’ve had all your shots!
    Stay safe and enjoy the ride.

  2. It will be an amazing adventure, for sure! I know you’ve made significant sacrifices to go on this trip. I hope you enjoy it, that you’re safe and I cannot wait to see your photographs! I just know they are going to be incredible! Ronda

  3. Keven — you continue to pleasantly surprise me with your adventures! I’m looking forward to reading more about this trip. I was in Ecuador years ago for about 10 days, including more public conveyances than I can remember. Some good stories there! Part of our trip was into the jungle by dugout. So I had a SMALL piece of your current experience, and I know it will be very exciting and rewarding for you. Just stay well and safe!

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