Pantanal Photo Safari 2020

TOUR DETAILS
TOUR DATES
27 July 2020 - 5 August 2020 Fully booked

There are a few places in the world that house wildlife so abundant that it keeps you awake at night. The Pantanal is one of these phenomenons. Known for many years as a bird lovers paradise the region has now developed into a wildlife photographers paradise of abundant birdlife, languid rivers, amazing mammals, caiman and of course, the enigmatic but now very attainable, Jaguar. If it is not the noise of the birds in the morning that awake you, it will surely be the thought of the jaguars prowling around the jungle and river course that you will be searching for.

The Pantanal is an enormous wilderness located in the heart of South America encompassing the World’s largest tropical seasonal flooded wetland. Although it is shared by Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, more than 75 % of the Pantanal floodplain is located in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso do Sul, covering an area of more than 138,183 square kilometers. 

Though the Amazon rainforest is well known worldwide due to its diversity, the Pantanal offers more number of visible species and individuals and is one of the most productive wildlife habitats on Earth in terms of photogenic wildlife! Iconic species such as spectacled caimans, capybaras, anacondas, ocelots, rheas, marsh deer, crab-eating raccoons, tapirs, peccaries, giant otters, jabirus, toucans, flocks of numerous species of parrots, parakeets, ibises, plus giant anteaters and jaguars, among many others, transform the Pantanal in a dream for any demanding wildlife photographer! 

 

 

The last few years has seen an increase in jaguar numbers to the point that it is now quite common to see a few in one afternoon drive. Coupled with the amazing birdlife and other mammals the Pantanal now offers the wildlife photographer unlimited photographic opportunities. Macaws and toucans are heard and seen in many locations along the road enabling you to get excellent images of them. Additionally in some locations the caimans cover the road blocking our path and in others you can creep right up to the Capybaras for intimate portrait images. Other species such as giant anteaters and armadillo’s ensure that your shutters will remain moving while your amazement will increase at the uniqueness of the species that you see.

This trip has been planned for visiting this wildlife paradise in the best time of the year in terms of photography: in the dry season, when the mammals, reptiles and most bird species concentrate around the rivers, streams and other water sources, and the best time of the year for observing and photographing  the iconic jaguars! 

 

 

Highlights:
  • Explore the Pantanal wetlands in the best jaguar season!
  • The best accommodation available in the best ranches and lodges with excellent access to abundant and photogenic wildlife. 
  • 5 full days at the Cuiabá and Piquirí rivers in search of jaguars.
  • Comfortable boats with 2 seats per photographer.
  • Transportation in wide air-conditioned vans and minibuses.
  • Experienced English-speaking naturalist guide.

 

About your host, Isak Pretorius

Isak was born to be a photographer, but before he discovered this, he became an engineer. Once he picked up a camera, his engineering career came to an end and Isak has now established himself as one of the top bird photographers in Africa. The benefit of his engineering training is his flawless technical knowledge of camera systems and the post processing software that accompanies them.

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About your host, Andre Cloete

André grew up in the African bush with literally one hand on his binoculars and the other hand on the camera. An avid birdwatcher at that young age, he was given his first SLR in 1990. The passion of birding turned into one of photography and in 2004 Andre co-founded C4 Photo Safaris with Shem Compion.

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Day 1 - 2

Hotel Slaviero Slim, Brazil

Meet and great at Cuiabá Airport, Brazil. Road transfer to the Hotel Slaviero Slim, close to the airport. You will enjoy one nights stay. Cuiabá is the capital of the state of Mato Grosso and one of the main gates for exploring the Pantanal wetlands. Dinner is included on the first evening in Brazil.

 

Day 2 - 4

Santa Tereza Ranch, Brazil
Day 2

After breakfast you will be transferred southwards to Poconé and start driving along the Transpantaneira Highway, an elevated road of 167 km, to Cuiabá River. You will be staying at the Santa Tereza Ranch for 2 nights.

The Transpantaneira is an excellent road to observe and photograph the abundant wildlife of the region, as the ponds and pools at both sides of the road concentrate a surprising diversity of wildlife even during the dry season, such as spectacled caimans, capybaras, marsh deer, jabiru storks, roseate spoonbills and many species of kingfishers. 

The lodge is located inside a big cattle ranch of the Pantanal, and will be our first base to explore the region. The ranch has been doing a very good job protecting the local ecosystems and avoiding poaching, and that’s why the wildlife is so abundant and tame. The area offers photogenic and habituated groups of giant river otters (an extremely endangered species), nesting jabiru storks (accessible from observation towers close to the nests), marsh deer, capybaras and abundant birdlife.

 

Day 3

Another day to photograph the Pantanal wildlife in this ranch: marsh deer, Brazilian tapirs and groups of capuchin monkeys, as well as active black-collared hawks and great black hawks that fish piranhas can be seen and photographed close to the lodge. The number of birds around the house is amazing: colorful tanagers, wattled jacanas, turquoise-fronted parrots, tropical-screech owls, squirrel cuckoos and roseate spoonbills, among hundreds of species can be seen and photographed. Since 2007 the sightings of jaguars were more frequent due to the abundance of preys around the ranch. Navigation along Pixaim River will give us chances to photograph the Pantanal’s wildlife. Another highlight will be a pair of Ocelots, habituated to people close to the lodge. The ocelot is the third feline in size in the Americas after the jaguar and the puma, very elastic and adapted to hunt birds and small mammals on the trees. 

 

 

Day 4 - 9

Porto Jofre Lodge, Brazil
Day 4

Departure after breakfast along the Transpantaneira and after a 2 hour drive you will arrive to the Cuiabá River You will be staying at Porte Jofre Lodge for the next 4 nights.

This territory around Porto Jofre is one of the best regions in the Americas for observing jaguars, as due to the protection at the large and nearby Encontro das Aguas State Park, and the big abundance of prey along the river banks, and the fact of that the area has been frequented by park rangers and local fishermen for more than two decades, these felines were habituated to see people along the rivers and now they are very tame and not afraid of humans. After lunch we will photograph the wildlife at a small lake covered with Victoria regia, and visit an area where we will see nesting hyacinth macaws, and at 3.00 PM we will take our first boat trip in search of jaguars, returning after sunset.

Day 5,6,7 and 8

Every day we will navigate Cuiabá River and its tributaries at Parque Estadual Encontro das Aguas (Meeting of the Waters State Park), where jaguars use to hunt spectacled caimans, capybaras, tapirs, anacondas and other preys along the riverbanks during the dry season (from June up to November). The Pantanal jaguar subspecies is the largest one in the Americas, and its population has been growing in the region due to the protection.   

We will depart in motorboats very early in the morning and also after 3:00 PM in search of these spectacular felines that usually can be seen hunting without being afraid of photographers, but we will also focus in other wildlife such as Brazilian tapirs, capybaras (the World’s Largent rodents), brad-nosed and spectacled caimans, Chaco chachalacas, giant river otters, collared peccaries, anhingas, giant sloths, howler monkeys, ospreys, black-collared hawks and red-breasted toucans, among many other species. We will also explore Negrinho River, one of the best areas for bird photography.

 

 

Day 9 - 10

Hotel Slaviero Slim, Brazil

After your last morning in Porto Jofre you will be transferred back to Cuiabá, with stops along the Transpantaneira for some wildlife photography. Over night at the Hotel Slaviero Slim.

 

Day 10

International flight, Brazil

After breakfast you will be transferred back to the airport to board your flight to Campo Grande or to Sao Paulo.

 

Hotel Slaviero Slim

Located close to the International Airport in Várzea Grande, the Slim Cuiabá Airport is a budget class hotel. The structure is compact, functional and efficient, offering breakfast as courtesy to guests, served from 5 am, and free hotel-airport-hotel shuttle service. Everything done thinking in travellers looking for comfort and practicality.

 

 

Santa Tereza Ranch

Located close to the International Airport in Várzea Grande, the Slim Cuiabá Airport is a budget class hotel. The structure is compact, functional and efficient, offering breakfast as courtesy to guests, served from 5 am, and free hotel-airport-hotel shuttle service. Everything done thinking in travellers looking for comfort and practicality.

 

 

Portp Jofre Lodge

Porto Jofre Pantanal provides air-conditioned accommodation in Pôrto Jofre. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi. The hotel has a garden and offers an outdoor swimming pool. At the hotel, each room comes with a balcony. At Porto Jofre Pantanal all rooms include a patio, a private bathroom and a flat-screen TV. A buffet breakfast is available every morning at the accommodation.

 

$8 650.00 price per sharing person

$9 990.00 price per single person

30% deposit confirms your booking. Balance payable 8 weeks prior to departure.
Maximum of 6 guests and a minimum of 4 guests for this safari.


Costs above include

  • Accommodation in all the locations listed.
  • Private transfers and transportation in air conditioned vehicles.
  • Private boat trips for the group with only 3 photographers per boat.
  • All meals included.
  • Entrance fee to Transpantaneira.
  • Excellent English-speaking naturalist guide at all our locations.

Not included

  • Gratuities to staff and guides.
  • Extra activities not included.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Travel visas.
  • International flights.

Day 1

Meet and great at Cuiabá Airport, Brazil. Road transfer to the Hotel Slaviero Slim, close to the airport. You will enjoy one nights stay. Dinner is included.

Day 2

After breakfast you will be transferred southwards to Poconé and start driving along the Transpantaneira Highway, an elevated road of 167 km, to Cuiabá River. You will be staying at the Santa Tereza Ranch for 2 nights.

Day 4

Departure after breakfast along the Transpantaneira and after a 2 hour drive you will arrive to the Cuiabá River You will be staying at Porte Jofre Lodge for the next 5 nights.

Day 9

After your last morning in Porto Jofre you will be transferred back to Cuiabá, with stops along the Transpantaneira for some wildlife photography. Over night at the Hotel Slaviero Slim.

Day 10

After breakfast you will be transferred back to the airport to board your flight to Campo Grande or to Sao Paulo.

 
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