Brazil Jaguars 10th Anniversary – the full classic itinerary!
AT A GLANCE
mammals, birds and photography. (Also see our Oct 2014 Tour!)
Brazil: Belo Horizonte - Minas Gerais - Cuiaba – Pantanal – Cuiaba
Jaguar, Giant River Otter, Brazilian Tapir, Maned Wolf, primates and many other mammals plus 250+ species of birds including a good chance of Brazilian Merganser.
Warm to hot (the river can be cool in early mornings)
Road travel by minibus, plus a special open truck for night drives in the Pantanal, comfortable hotels & lodges, all rooms with private facilities.
Update 20/9/2013 – Our 2013 tour saw 13 different Jaguars in the Pantanal!
There can surely be few Neotropical mammals that hold the appeal of the Jaguar yet some tour leaders with several months (or even years), experience in Central and South America have only seen one or two. Although they have traditionally been considered a forest species it is now apparent that Jaguars are equally at home in open country and the Pantanal has become the place to see them. This is the one-off return of our full, classic itinerary, in what will be our 10th anniversary year of pioneering tours to see this big cat, plus so much more!
After our two recces during which we saw a total of six Jaguars our inaugural tour in 2004 was a roaring success with no less than four Jaguars seen for prolonged periods at close range! All of our departures too date have enjoyed prolonged close views of Jaguars. The first of the 2007 tours came home again with stunning views, two animals in full sunshine on the river bank whilst the second group watched in disbelief as a pair courted and then mated in front of them. Our 2008 departures yielded superb prolonged views again, six Jaguars on the first, two on the second. Our 2009 trip enjoyed no less than seven close encounters with a Jaguar! Our first 2010 saw 44 species of mammal, including four different Jaguars and finally adding Puma and cub to our ever growing multi-year list. The second 2010 trip also enjoyed another four Jaguars including a animals hunting and a pair mating, another Puma at only 25 metres range, Ocelot, Margay plus Four Maned Wolves to produce a total of 41 species of mammal! Our 2011 visit to the Pantanal enjoyed two Jaguars, one of which was in view for over two hours. We returned in 2012 and saw at least 8 different animals! The report from our 2013 visit will be online in October this year. Transpantaneira also holds a range of other cats; Ocelots have been seen on both the recces and most of our departures since, Jaguarundi, Oncilla and Margay have also been seen on some tours over the years too. A wide range of other mammals also occur in the area and we hope to see Giant and Neotropical River Otters, White-lipped and Collared Peccary, Marsh and Red Brocket Deer, Giant Anteater, Southern Tamandua, South American Coati, Crab-eating Fox, Crab-eating Raccoon, Azara’s Agouti, Black-striped Capuchin, Black and Gold Howler and Black-tailed Marmoset. We also hope to see Brazilian Tapir which is usually relatively easy to see in the Pantanal as the flood waters recede. The Pantanal also offers excellent birding and we can expect to see 100+ species in a day including Hyacinth Macaw, Golden-collared Macaw, Sunbittern, Sungrebe and a range of herons and storks including Jabiru. Caiman are abundant and we can expect hundreds in the pools along the road. Snakes including Yellow Anaconda are also possible.
We will spend long hours in the field at dawn and dusk to maximise our chances of seeing Jaguar and other cats, and will spend long hours spotlighting. The itinerary in the Pantanal will be kept as flexible as possible to enable us to concentrate on finding any key species that we have yet to see. We will use boats at Porto Jofre to further maximise our chances of seeing Jaguars. There will however be plenty of opportunity to rest and catch up with your sleep during the heat of the day.
We will also spend several days in the forests and cerrado around Belo Horizonte in Minas Gerais. Highlights here should include Giant Anteater, Maned Wolf and several species of primates including the endangered Northern Muriqui (Woolly Spider Monkey) and Buffy-headed Marmoset. Photographic opportunities are excellent and we can expect to see anteaters and Maned Wolf down to a few feet and to have Giant River Otters swimming around our boat as just two examples. The Belo area holds a different range of birds to those found in the Pantanal, and we can expect to see a good selection of these hopefully including Swallow-tailed Cotinga and the endangered Brazilian Merganser.
This now world-famous tour, designed by us back in 2004, still provides the same unique opportunity to see some of South America’s most spectacular mammals and birds, with excellent photographic opportunities throughout and we maximise our time in the field, rather than wasting time on too many long road journeys. We can also arrange private extensions to Iguassu Falls.
Depart London Heathrow late evening.
Arrive Sao Paulo, fly to Belo Horizonte, drive to Caratinga for two nights.
Caratinga Reserve all day.
Drive to Caraca for two nights.
Caraca Park all day
Drive to Sao Roque de Minas for two nights.
Two full days in Canastra.
Drive to Belo Horizonte and fly to Cuiaba, overnight Cuiaba.
Drive to Pixaim for one night
Early morning Pixaim then drive to Porto Jofre for three nights
Days 12 & 13:
Boat trips Porto Jofre
Long drive to Araras Ecolodge for two nights stopping at Pixaim for lunch on route.
All day around Araras Ecolodge.
Leave lodge to return to Cuiaba for flight to Sao Paulo and on to London.
Arrive London early afternoon.
NB: Exact itinerary subject to local conditions.
Please note: All itineraries are subject to weather, local conditions and final approval by the relevant authorities.
Dates: 6th – 22nd September 2014
Leaders: Mark Andrews plus local guides.
£6539 per person sharing a twin room.
£739 - Single supplement
£1250 - Deposit
Group size: 8 –10 plus leaders.
Please also see our shorter Brazil Jaguars - Pantanal itinerary, with optional extension to Emas National Park, 11th – 21st October 2014!
Accommodation is in tourist class hotels.
In the Pantanal temperatures will be high possibly in the 30s during the middle of the day. We will normally spend this time resting. Around Belo it is likely to be cooler and warm clothing will be required early in the day at Canastra.
Mosquitoes can be a problem in the Pantanal and appropriate precautions should be taken although there is no malaria in the areas we are visiting.
Price includes: International and internal economy class flights including pre-paid taxes, all ground transportation, all accommodation and meals, park entry fees, services of WildWings leaders and local guides. Mammal and bird checklist.
Price excludes: Travel insurance, laundry bills, drinks, other items of a personal nature, gratuities.
Previous species lists and trip reports (for this itinerary) including 2011, some with photos, are available on our website or from us.
6th – 22nd September 2014