Why Visit the Pantanal
- The opportunity to track Jaguars with the Oncafari Jaguar Project.
- Outrageous birding including the most plentiful assembly of Hyacinth Macaw, surely one of the world’s most beautiful birds.
- Walking with the fantastic Giant Anteater.
- Witnessing first-hand the cowboy culture.
- Exclusive safaris away from the crowds in the Southern Pantanal.
- Giant Anteater
- Giant Otter
- Marsh Deer
- Pampas Deer
- Hyacinth Macaw
- Red and Green Macaw
- Golden Collared Macaw
- Blaze-winged Parakeet
- Chaco Puffbird
- Southern Screamer
- Spectacled Owl
When to visit
WET Season (November to February):
The summer months are hot, humid and rainy. Flooding makes access difficult. This period of travel is inadvisable.
INTERMEDIATE Season (March to June):
In April, the rains stop and the water level begin to recede. Here, thousands of fish are trapped, providing a food banquet for the water birds which concentrate in these regions. The temperature becomes milder. The mammals, which dispersed in the wet season, start to reappear.
DRY Season (July to October):
The best time to observe mammals. The area begins to dry, providing vast grazing areas where mammals search for food and water in the remaining water puddles. From August on, the Tabebuia trees blossom – locally known as Piuvas (with pink flowers) and Paratudos (yellow flowers). This is the breeding season for birds – their plumage is at their best condition and their calls can be heard throughout the Pantanal.
About the Pantanal
The Pantanal is home to arguably the best wildlife viewing in South America. The wildlife enthusiast visiting the Pantanal is welcomed by an astounding array of neo-tropical wildlife; mammals include the highly sought after Giant Anteater, Giant Otter, Nine-banded and Yellow Armadillo, Marsh Deer, Pampas Deer, Grey Brocket Deer, Red Brocket Deer, Capybara, Azara’s Agouti, South American Coati, Crab-eating Fox and more. The birding is equally as good and one of the world’s most beautiful bird species, the Hyacinth Macaw are perhaps more plentiful here than anywhere else on Earth! Other showy birds that one is likely to encounter include the Barefaced Curassow, Red and Green and Golden-collared Macaw, Blue-fronted Parrot, Lineated and Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Purplish
and Curl-crested Jays, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Toco Toucan to name a few. Jaguars tend to be shy and hard to find, but a ground-breaking project to habituate this apex predator, aimed to achieve the type of sightings that one is able to have with other members of the Pantherus genus elsewhere in the world (Lion, Leopard and Tiger), has had much success and there is no doubt that Caiman Ecological Reserve in the Southern Pantanal currently offers the very best Jaguar viewing on Earth. Second to this is the Porte Jofre area in the Northern Pantanal, where Jaguars are reliably spotted on the River banks. The Northern Pantanal does however get crowded and we would mostly suggest the Northern Pantanal in conjunction with the Southern Pantanal for serious photographers.
CAIMAN ECOLOGICAL RESERVE (SOUTHERN PANTANAL)
Here one has the unique opportunity to explore a staggering 53 000 hectares of privately owned land, a vast safe haven for wildlife, which has been created by a ban on hunting and reserving substantial portions of land solely for ecotourism. We do not take this statement lightly however there is no doubt that Caiman currently offers the very best wildlife experience in Brazil!!!
REFUGIO DA ILHA (SOUTHERN PANTANAL)
This authentic family run Pousada consists of a charming lodge which was formerly a farm house set in a pristine water wonderland landscape. This is a particularly excellent base from which to search for giant otter, neotropical otter and tapir. The accommodations are simple but very comfortable with “mama’s cooking”. Activities here include boat rides, jeep safaris, canoeing, horse-riding and hiking.