rock cliff in the rainforest, Chapada do Guimaraes, Brazil

The Pantanal - jaguars, macaws and wetland wildlife

The Pantanal is a place of superlatives – the world’s largest fresh-water wetlands, ten times the size of the Everglades, covering about 200,000 square kilometers.

‘Pantanal’ is derived from a Portuguese word meaning ‘swamp’. It is a gently sloping basin with meandering rivers which slowly releases water to a single drainage channel, the Paraguay River. During the dry season, the great wetland shrinks to more manageable pools and channels, and the animals are drawn to these water holes.

The Pantanal is particularly famous as the best place in the world to see South America’s big cat, the Jaguar, and rightly so. We have a good chance of our own encounter with this beautiful predator along the banks of the Cuiaba River near Porto Jofre, where we will be staying on a very pleasant floating hotel. We have a very good chance of finding other notable ‘megafauna’ of the Pantanal including Giant Otter, Giant Anteater, Ocelot and South America’s heaviest animal, the Lowland Tapir, along with various monkeys, deer and foxes, abundant Capybara, Yacaré Caiman and Yellow Anaconda, the world’s largest snake.

We will, of course, be paying plenty of attention to the rich birdlife of the area. Even relaxed birding can yield more than a 100 species a day, and particular highlights will include Hyacinth Macaw, Toco Toucan, Greater Rhea and Red-legged Seriema, alongside plenty of tyrant flycatchers, tanagers, parrots and hummingbirds.

This holiday should appeal to anyone with a general interest in wildlife, but we will be paying particular attention to mammals, and the abundant birdlife of this amazing wetland.

Please note that holidays change, although sometimes only slightly, from year to year and previous trip reports may not reflect the planned itinerary, or other holiday details, for the current trip. Please ask us if you would like to know of any significant differences.

Jaguar laying on a sandy bank, Brazil
Hyacinth Macaws on a tree trunk, Brazil
Black Tegu walking over sandy ground, Brazil