Searching for the “Wild Man” in China’s Shennongjia
As the world’s most populous country, you may be forgiven for thinking that truly wild China no longer exists. However, you’d be wrong.
Just north of the Yangtze River is an area of such immense natural beauty, it has inspired myths and legends for centuries: Shennongjia Natural Reserve.
Mingled in amongst the primeval forest that makes up much of Shennongjia are dense swathes of bamboo, creeping vines, and an assortment of shrubs, flowers and fruits. This thick covering of vegetation has made some areas completely inaccessible, and it is this inaccessibility which is thought to have saved the area from human destruction. It has also helped keep an element of mystery to the region, specifically surrounding China’s “wild man”.
Known locally as yeren, sightings of China’s answer to Bigfoot have been recorded for over 2,000 years, and continue today. This red haired “ape-man” is said to be over six feet tall and lives in the caves that scatter Shennongjia’s rocky landscape, coming down from the mountains only to feast on the villager’s dogs and chickens.
Despite numerous expeditions to the region, China’s “wild man” has never been found. Is he really out there? It’s a question we cannot answer, but one that has captivated the hearts and minds of adventurous Chinese travellers for generations.
Today the reserve is becoming increasingly popular with Western visitors too. However, they come with the hope of catching a glimpse of something else entirely - the golden snub-nosed monkey.
Known for their thick, golden fur and bright blue faces, these unique little monkeys are one of Shennongjia’s starring attractions. They are also one of China’s greatest conservation stories, with the population doubling in recent years.
Visitors can watch the family troops swinging through the canopies overhead, or visit the Golden Monkey Protection and Research Base to get up close and personal with these enigmatic primates.
Along with the golden snub-nosed monkeys, the area is also home to numerous other protected and beautiful wildlife including macaques, golden eagles, deer, and black bear. The area is also famous for its unusually high percentage of albino animals and there are even plans to relocate panda to the region.
Whether you’re hoping to be the first to capture the “wild man” on camera, or simply want to spend time hiking through this primeval wonderland, a trip to Shennongjia will not disappoint.
Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer will be running three special four night sailings which include a day trip to Shennongjia Natural Reserve:
Departing 2nd July 2017
Departing 23rd July 2017
Departing 6th August2017
You can view the itinerary here. To find out more information, please contact our reservations team.