Pantanal, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site since 2001, is the biggest freshwater wetland in the world. 80% of Pantanal is situated in the west part of Brazil and the rest is divided between Bolivia and Paraguay. On this tour you will be able to experience the best of South American wildlife including great opportunities to see and photograph the magnificent Jaguar! On our 2012 tour we enjoyed six excellent sightings of this beautiful Big Cat all of which could be easily photographed. As well as a mother and cub we saw males moving along the bank very near our boat, and others swimming and eating. There are many other animals such as Giant River Otter, Tapir, Caiman, Ocelot, monkeys, hundreds of beautiful birds including Hyacinth Macaw, in this beautiful wilderness.
Pantanal is home to more than 600 species of birds, 102 species of mammals, 264 species of fish, 177 species of reptiles and more than 3,500 species of plants. It is perhaps the best area in South America to see their largest cat - the enigmatic Jaguar - and the itinerary has been carefully planned to maximise our opportunities of seeing this beautiful feline. Although the Jaguar may be viewed as one of the highlights of the tour, there are many other exciting mammals which we expect to see including Brazilian Tapir, Capybara, Marsh Deer, the fantastic Giant Anteater, Black-howler Monkey, Pantanal Marmoset, South American Coati, Crab-eating Fox and the wonderful Giant River Otter.
Amongst the huge variety of bird species that we hope to see and photograph will be the beautiful and rare Hyacinth Macaw, Toco Toucan, Greater Rhea, Black Skimmer, many raptors including Black-collared Hawk, Snail Kite, Laughing Falcon, Great Black Hawk, and several different species of kingfishers, herons, storks and hummingbirds. The number of birds is astounding and it is not unusual to be under flocks of thousands of birds such as parrots, storks and many other species.
We fly to São Paulo in Brazil and then transfer to Cuiabá. Our adventure begins as soon as we leave the airport and join the Transpantaneira Road that stretches for 150km and which will lead us on our exploration of the northern Pantanal for the next ten days. During our drive to our first hotel near the Pixaim River we will stop frequently to familiarise ourselves with the local flora and fauna. The following day we fully explore this area by boat and by foot with the Giant River Otter being the highlight for many. We will also expect to see Caiman, monkeys and many different species of birds including kingfishers.
We move on to Porto Jofre for the next five nights which will provide our best opportunities for seeing and photographing Jaguars and other mammals including the Brazilian Tapir. We will spend much of the time exploring the waterways by boat and, after dinner each evening, there may be the opportunity for a night drive in search of nocturnal species.
Finally we move on to Araras Eco Lodge for three nights which provides an excellent opportunity, using walkways and towers, to photograph forest species of birds and primates. This area is also very good for seeing Giant Anteaters, Brazilian Tapir and Ocelot.
Peter Smart from Wild Arena and a specialised local naturalist will accompany you throughout the tour. Peter is a wildlife photographer, and has escorted around 80 tours to a variety of countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Borneo, Indonesia, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and the Arctic. He has also taught at many hundreds of Wild Arena’s photographic workshops at numerous locations around the UK. Peter treats it as a genuine privilege to introduce clients to the wildlife, landscapes and people of the countries he visits and his knowledge, experience, organisational skills and sense of fun ensures that not only will you have excellent photographic and game-viewing opportunities but also a highly enjoyable holiday!
The northern Pantanal is a unique, huge and largely unexplored wetland with a great variety of wildlife to see and photograph including Giant River Otter, Hyacinth Macaw and, of course, the enigmatic Jaguar. View our exciting itinerary overleaf or visit our website to see reports from past trips and more amazing images from the area.
You are advised to make your reservation immediately once you have decided to join us, as places are strictly limited on this unique tour to Brazil: Land of the Jaguar.
Estimated price per person is without international flights. Estimated cost of economy class international flights and taxes of £1345 per person gives an estimated total price of £5810 at prevailing exchange rates at the time of preparing this tour information.
Day 1 London, UK - São Paulo, Brazil. Depart UK on overnight flight to São Paulo, Brazil
Day 2 São Paulo - Cuiabá - Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel (Pixaim River) We arrive in Sao Paolo, Brazil and transfer to our onward domestic flight to Cuiabá. We begin our journey on the Transpantaneira Road by open truck to the Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel. On the way to the hotel there will be lots of opportunities to photograph the local fauna and flora. Overnight Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel (D)
Day 3 Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel (Pixaim River) After an early breakfast we will enjoy a journey by boat on the Pixaim River. We will be primarily looking for Giant Otters but we will also have chances to see a great deal of other wildlife including Caimans, primates and an enormous variety of birds. After lunch at the hotel we continue exploring the Pixaim area which will include a walk through a gallery forest which offers great opportunities to photograph Capuchin Monkeys and also some large and colourful bird species such as the beautiful Blue-crowned Trogon. After dinner we go on a night drive looking for mammals and nocturnal birds. Overnight Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel (BLD)
Day 4 Pantanal Mato Grosso Hotel - Porto Jofre After breakfast we drive south to the end of Transpantaneira Road to an area known as Porto Jofre. We will spend the next five nights in a hotel by the beautiful Cuiabá River - by far the best place to search for Jaguars in this area - and explore the River and its tributaries. After lunch we will enjoy our first boat trip on the river. Overnight Porto Jofre Hotel (BLD)
Days 5 to 8 Porto Jofre We now focus on Jaguars for four days! After an early breakfast each day, we will explore the beautiful waterways by boat. We use motorised boats which help us to cover as much area as possible in order to increase our chances of seeing and photographing America’s biggest cat, the Jaguar. The scenery is fantastic and provides great photo opportunities. Besides the Jaguar we have chances to photograph other wildlife such as Brazilian Tapir, Capuchin and Howler Monkeys, and several species of birds. Late in the morning we move back to our hotel for lunch and to rest a while before the afternoon excursion to the river. At the end of the afternoon we might see large flocks of birds flying back to their roosting area and enjoy a dramatic sunset over the Cuiabá River providing further opportunities for photography. Overnight Porto Jofre Hotel (BLD)
Day 9 Porto Jofre - Araras Eco Lodge After breakfast, we head north for Araras Eco Lodge. The lodge is located at the beginning of Transpantaneira Road and forests and savannah surround it. There are boardwalks crossing some of the forests with a high observation tower in the trees from which we may photograph many bird species and it is especially good for photographing the Black-and-Gold Howler Monkeys. After lunch at the lodge we will have some time to relax before our afternoon walk in the forest. After dinner in the lodge we will go for a night drive. This area is very good to find Ocelots, Giant Anteaters and Brazilian Tapir. Overnight Araras Eco Lodge (BLD)
Days 10 & 11 Araras Eco Lodge We will have two full days to explore the area by foot, by open truck and, for those that are interested, by horse as well. We may also enjoy further boat trips on the nearby river. There are bird feeders at the lodge that provide great opportunities for bird photography. After dinner at the lodge we enjoy a night drive looking for mammals and nocturnal birds. Overnight at Araras Lodge (BLD)
Day 12 Araras – Cuiabá - São Paulo After breakfast we drive back to Cuiabá for our flight to Sao Paolo and then onward to London (B)
Day 13 London, UK. Arrive London.
- The itinerary is provisional and subject to change depending on local conditions
- Not all wildlife mentioned can be seen well at all times of the year & some activities mentioned may not always be available
- Meals included are as shown - B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
We will be visiting the Pantanal, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site since 2001, which is the biggest freshwater wetland in the world. 80% of Pantanal is situated in the west part of Brazil and the rest is divided between Bolivia and Paraguay.
Subject to availability. If you are a single person booking this holiday you do not have to pay single supplements, if you are happy to share. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another single client of the same gender. However your booking is accepted only on the understanding that if no roommate is available then you accept a single supplement will be levied. Single supplements are payable if you specifically request to have a room to yourself. If you have requested single accommodation we will do our best to secure this although this may not always be possible.
£600 required to confirm booking
You must be covered by insurance, which must include adequate cover for baggage, medical expenses and the cost of repatriation should you become too ill to continue, including air ambulance.
Easy wildlife touring. This tour is suitable for guests of most levels of fitness. The majority of wildlife viewing is from small boats or vehicles. On some occasions there may be moderate walking on uneven ground.
This tour is suitable for all levels of photographic experience. The Wild Arena guide will be available throughout the tour to support and advise clients.
6 to 10 plus Wild Arena guide and local naturalist
Hotel/Lodge/Cabin accommodation on a twin share basis (unless single has been requested) for the nights listed in the itinerary, All meals in hotels and lodges, Transfers for group departures using our chosen airline, All internal transport as per the itinerary, Sightseeing tours where specified, All wildlife activities escorted by local naturalist guides, Services of Wild Arena photographic guide throughout tour
International flight from the UK, Airport taxes, Transfers for Land Only packages and group tours when choosing your own flight arrangements, Visa fees, Departure tax (currently US$36 - payable locally and subject to change at short notice), Medical examination (if required) & vaccination costs, Personal expenditure, bar bills, laundry, telephone calls, etc, Porters, guides & other tips, Meals not specified & mineral water, Personal clothing & equipment, Travel insurance, Optional trips, Increases in park fees and taxes levied by the Government on the tourism sector, Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond our control, Anything not specified in the Cost Includes