The Pantanal - Brazil - Barbara Fleming

Tour Name: The Wild Wonders of Brazil

Two World Class Eco Systems - Twice the Wildlife

                      Jaguars of the Pantanal - June 29-July 7, 2020

                      Maned Wolf of the Cerrado - July 7 - 12, 2020

                      (Join us for either or both, but space is very limited)

Brazil is renowned for the Amazon, but two other eco-systems are even more exciting for photographers because the wildlife is more diverse and more visible.  

The Pantanal of west central Brazil is the world's largest tropical wetland:  a wet and swampy area the size of the state of Washington that we will explore by boat, searching for the third largest wild cat, the jaguar. Jaguar here are twice the size of the rest of South America.

The Cerrado of north east Brazil is a vast tropical savanna, originally half the size of Europe, which is facing rapid destruction.   Amazingly, it still covers 20% of Brazil which itself is larger than the continental US.  We will tour the Parnaíba Headwaters National Park, with its soaring 2,000 foot tall red cliffs and treed plains.  Home to the exotic "fox on stilts" Maned Wolf and many other species.  If you are not familiar with the opportunities of Brazil, this is your chance!


The Pantanal (Jaguar)

Dates: June 29 – July 7, 2020 - Pantanal

Where: two diverse locations -  Pixiam River Lodge and Jaguar Retreat Lodge

Price: $5,400 per person, $550 Single Supplement

Deposit: $1,000

Group Size: 6 maximum (2 spaces left)

Species:  Jaguar, ocelot, caiman, capybara, tapir, giant river otter, blue hyacinth macaw and jabiru stork are among the 1,000 bird, 400 fish, 300 mammal and 480 reptile species of the region.


The Cerrado (Maned wolf)

When:  July 7-12, 2020

Where:  Parnaíba Headwaters Natl Park, Brazil

Price:   $2,600, $250 Single Supplement

Deposit:  $1,000

Group Size:  4-6 maximum (2 spaces left)

Species: Maned wolf, rock-hammer using capuchin monkey, black and gold howler monkey, tuft-eared marmosets, flocks of blue hyacinth and amazonian macaws and jabiru stork are among the species of the region which comprise 5% of all the species in the world.  Half of all the fauna here (11,000) are found nowhere else. There are 840 bird, 1,200 fish,  200 mammal, 120 reptile and 150 amphibian species.  Incredible place!       



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The Pantanal - Jaguars

Highlights:

- 9 days in the best jaguar viewing areas in the world, a very special place!

- Location in the northern Pantanal where the highest concentration of jaguars, giant otters and tropical birds are found.

- Planned at the beginning of the dry season for maximum jaguar viewing (in 2019 we had 25 jaguar sightings with 11 different jaguars). The jaguars spend much of their time hunting on the banks of the many waterways of the Pantanal wetlands seeking their preferred prey, sunbathing yacare caiman.

- Small flat-bottom motorized boats that can get close and provide eye-level photography.

- Expert naturalist guides for both jaguars and birds and professional boat drivers that position our group in the best location for photography 

- Private lodges that allows us to be closer to the wildlife for first morning light and arrive when the crowds are fewer once we find the jaguars

- Night photography with habituated ocelots and tapir


Details:

The Pantanal of west central Brazil has its own unique place as the world’s largest tropical wetland. It is 70,000 acres in size and home to 4,700 species including jaguar, ocelot, tapir, yacare caiman, giant river otter, giant anteaters, capybara, marsh deer, maned wolf, blue hyacinth macaw, toucan, jabirou stork and of course dentate fish including piranha and the chicken-egg-sized apple snail. In short, a photographer’s paradise. Here, the comparatively open marshy landscape allows for diverse animals to be seen and photographed from boats where animals can be observed at eye level. 


Itinerary:

Our trip begins from the city of Cuiaba, Brazil which is accessible  through Brasilia, San Paulo or Rio. You are responsible for all travel arrangements prior to Cuiaba.

June 29,  Day 1 - Arrive in Cuiaba and transfer to our hotel.  We will meet for dinner and prepare for your exciting journey.   

June 30, Day 2 - Depart after breakfast by air-conditioned van approximately 3 hours to Southwild Eco Lodge.  The lodge is on the banks fo the Pixaim River which is rich with bird life. After check in and lunch, we have an afternoon boat drive that will allow us opportunities to photograph heron and kingfishers as they catch fish. The bird life at this lodge is abundant and varied with Hyacinth macaws and two kinds of  toucan to name a few.  A tower is within walking distance for us to photograph the resident jabiru stork nest as well.  The lodge also offers night photography with Ocelot and Tapir as subjects.

July 01, Day 3 - Following breakfast we travel by open vehicle along the Transpantaneira Highway for 2 hours to Porto Joffre and transfer to boat for an hour drive up the Three Brothers River, stopping for wildlife and birdlife along the way, to our lodge, The Jaguar Retreat.  The Retreat is in the heart of jaguar country.  After check in and lunch we go out onto the water by boat in search of jaguars.  Jaguars are active and hunting during the day so chances are good that we might be able to photograph them.  Many of them will be at close range. 

July 02-05, Days 4- 7, Each morning and afternoon, we travel out onto the many waterways by  boat in search of the jaguar, giant otter and a surprisingly abundant bird life.  The boats are fast and nimble and our driver is a professional with intimate knowledge of the area. Returning for lunch and a mid-day rest daily.

July 06, Day 8 - Departing after breakfast we head back to Porto Joffre by boat, game driving along the way.  Traveling by open vehicle, we head back to the Southwild Eco Lodge for lunch and afternoon boat drive.  Night photography session after dinner and then bed. 

July 07, Day 9 - Breakfast, morning boat drive and depart by air-conditioned van to Cuiaba.  For those not participating in the optional extension to the Wolf Camp, you may arrange flight out of Cuiaba late this evening or choose to spend the night, connecting to San Paulo, Brasilia or Rio as you prefer  and flights home the following day.  


What is included:

all accommodations with private bathrooms and AC, double occupancy

3 meals a day - breakfast, lunch dinner

All drinks on the boats

Service of English speaking professional naturalist guide and boat driver

Airport transfers to/from airport in Cuiaba, Brazil

All in-Pantanal land and water transfers


What is not included:

Airfare from US to Cuiaba, Brazil

Fees for passport, immunizations

Alcoholic beverages or soft drinks when not on the boat

Tips for all transfer drivers, lodges staff and tour and boat guides

Highly recommended - Travel and medical insurance


The Cerrado - Maned Wolf

Highlights:

- Guaranteed sightings and photography of the rare Maned wolf

- Ability to photograph from a hide large flocks of Hyacinth Macaws

- Photograph nesting Blue-and Yellow Macaws

- Observe and photograph the rare stone-tool-using Bearded Capuchin Monkey as they open nuts with the rock tools they select. 

- Stunning landscape, cliff-scapes for background to the mammals and birds we photograph.


Details:

Not to be missed, the Cerrado, one of the most bio-diverse eco regions on the planet is home to 5% of all species in the world including the endangered maned wolf, (the so called fox on stilts) which we will be photographing on our first afternoon in camp. Our 4 nights/5days in two different camps in the Parnaiba Headwaters National Park  enabling us to maximize our time photographing the wildlife found in the park. From the endangered maned fox to the stone-tool using capuchin monkey; in addition to the flocks of hyacinth and Amazonian macaws along with the azure crown and emerald parakeet; we will fill our days photographing very special species not often found or photographed. A very unique location in the world that is fast disappearing, even more rapidly than the Amazon rain forest. This is a tour that is rarely offered. The diversity of mammals and birds will blow your mind.


Itinerary:

This trip is designed as an extension of the Pantanal trip and originates and ends in Cuiaba, Brazil. Day numbers correspond to the joint trip. If you plan to take the second trip only, please contact us for space and details of travel needed. 


July 7, Day 9 -  Arriving Cuiaba (see description in Pantanal tour section above) in time for a late afternoon flight to Belo Horizonte where we overnight at the Linx Hotel near the airport.        

July 8, Day 10 - Morning flight from Belo Horizonte to Barreiras where we travel approximately 3 and a half hours to the Wolf Camp. Photographing Maned Wolf in the Afternoon/early evening. Back to camp, dinner and bed.

July 9, Day 11- Heading out before breakfast to photograph a large flock of Hyacinth Macaws. We photograph from a hide as the dozens of macaws feed on palm nuts. Returning to camp for breakfast, we travel to the center of the National Park where the cliff scenery is stunning. We will be photographing Blue-and Gold Macaws, Burrowing Owls, Red-legged Seriemas, and Great Rheas. Evenings at the camp always provide good chances of seeing the Maned Wolf.

July 10, Day 12 - Heading back to the Valley Camp, we stop along the way at a grove of mango trees where groups of Black and Gold Howler Monkeys perch.

July 11, Day 13 - Traveling to one of two sights where the nut-cracking Bearded Capuchins are located. Using specially selected rocks as hammers, the monkeys will smash palm nuts for their meals. It can take quite a while for the monkeys to be successful so video and photo opportunities are excellent.

July 12, Day 14 - Depart for Barreiras after breakfast connecting to  Belo Horizonte  after which you will need to make arrangements to fly home.


What is included:

Accommodations with private bathroom and AC, double occupancy

Accommodation at the Linx Hotel in Belo Horizonte

All air transfers to/from Cuiaba to Barrieras, Brazil

Private land transfers Barrieras to/from Parnaiba Headwaters Natl Park

Private English speaking naturalist guide

Three meals a day - breakfast, lunch and dinner once at the park


What is not included:

Airfare to/from US to Cuiaba, Brazil

All meals during transfer to/from Cuiaba and Parnaiba NP 

Fees for passport, immunizations

Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks 

Tips for all transfer drivers, lodges staff and tour guides

Highly recommended - Travel and medical insurance



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