Bolivian Cat Specialist Tour
October 4, 2023 - October 16, 2023£776 – £4502
Bolivian Cat Specialist Tour
Move over North Pantanal we have a new contender for the best area to see Jaguars and other South American wildlife. The Bolivian wetlands and chaco forests are home to large numbers of jaguars, pumas, ocelots, tapirs, anteaters and many other species. Join is on this cat watching specialist tour and not just enjoy spotting jaguars, pumas, ocelots and jaguarondis but also look for river dolphins, various armadillos, rare peccaries, endemic primates, macaws and anacondas and many more on this unique Bolivian wildlife tour.
Top Animals on Tour
Bolivian River Dolphin
On your arrival into Santa Cruz you will be met at the airport by your local guide & driver and take to your hotel for the night. The rest of the day is free for you to rest. Santa Cruz is one of the fastest growing cities on the world, it’s often ignored as a tourist destination in favour of its more touristic rivals like Sucre and La Paz. If you wish you can arrange a half day sightseeing tour of the city with your local guide (at extra cost).
Jaguar Land Reserve
This morning you will be collected from the hotel and you will be transferred approximately 5 hours to the wonderful Jaguar Land Reserve. On the way we stop at lunch at a local restaurant and in the mid afternoon arrive to the reserve. Along the way we have a good chance to see a lot of flora and fauna such as spectacled caimans, various species of macaws, three-toed sloths and a variety of monkey species monkeys (in fact up to 6 species of primate can be found here).
Once we arrive at the reserve we will continue to the camp site (we hope for some permanent housing in the near future, but at present this is a camping trip). The camp will be set up (complete with large comfortable tents, air mattresses and all other camping equipment needed) and we will unpack and then we will explore the reserve for the first time. We will explore the reserve via a private 4×4 vehicle and keep your eyes peeled as we will be looking for Jaguars, Pink Dolphins and huge variety of species. We will return to the camp for dinner and then head out after dark for spotlighting, looking for ocelots and other nocturnal species.
Jaguar Land Reserve
Today will be a full day exploring the reserve, with an early start and vehicle safari again looking for Jaguars, Marsh deer, Macaws, Pink Dolphins and more. Returning to the camp for breakfast and we can drive to an area for showers/phone calls if needed.
The heat of the middle of the day will be spent resting and then after lunch we will head out again in the afternoon for our second safari of the day. Once again after dinner at the camp you will have a second night drive looking for Puma, Jaguar, Ocelots, Tapirs and more nocturnal species.
Jaguar Land Reserve / Santa Cruz
This morning will be your last morning safari drive here, returning for breakfast and now the camp will be packed up and we will begin the drive back to Santa Cruz, and keep the camera ready as we leave the reserve there is still many chances to see wildlife. Lunch in a local restaurant and return to your hotel around 17:30. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.
Kaa Iya National Park
This morning you will be collected from the hotel and be driven the 260km (~3.5 hours) to the town of San Jose. Here we have lunch at one of the local restaurants and have sometime for photographic opportunities of the famous Jesuit Church that lies in the main plaza. We then drive a further 90km off road to enter the park, please note, Pumas, Peccaries, Toucans, Jaguars and more have been seen on this drive so have the cameras ready.
Once inside the park, we sign in with the Park rangers and set up bedding and equipment before the peak wildlife watching time of 16:30pm. We will then set out for a trek along the pipeline in search of Jaguars and more, Big cat and tapir tracks and scat are extremely common and an excellent indication of how many large mammals live in the park. After dinner we will do a night spotlighting drive or a night walk.
Kaa Iya National Park
Over the next 3 days you will explore the park with drives and or walks. Rising early each morning and having a morning excursion as well as an afternoon / evening trip and also spotlighting after dark. Places of interest that will be visited over these days will include the Tucavaca area in search of wildlife and we will also set a camera trap in an ideal location and will check in the end of the tour. There is only one water source in the area and you will visit that area. It’s a 1.6km trek and you can expect to see a lot of tapirs tracks and scats, also Bolivian Titi monkeys can be seen here with some frequency. Marsh deer and resident crab-eating foxes are common in the camping area when we rest during the heat of the day also. Another very interesting area is the 120km drive along the pipeline to the Izozog Pumping Station and home to the Famous Jaguar Kaiyana, along the way it’s an excellent chance to see Mammals, we have had excellent Jaguar and Tapir sightings at very close range during this drive. The drive will take up to 6 hours due to driving slowly to maximize wildlife viewing. We can have breakfast along the way.
All in all over these days we will visit areas with great track records for sightings of wildlife and also fully explore the area three times a day, wildlife which is commonly seen here included puma, jaguar, ocelot, chacoan peccary, lowland tapir, chaco titi monkey, tuco-tuco, 3 banded armadillo and there are chances for rarer species like jaguarondi and giant armadillo also.
Kaa Iya National Park / Santa Cruz
This morning will be your last chance for an early morning safari drive as we leave the park, there are excellent areas where we have seen many Jaguars and other species so have the cameras ready, lunch in San Jose de Chiquitos before we return to Santa Cruz around 18:00. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Trinidad – Mamore & Ibare Rivers
This morning we will go to the airport in Santa Cruz and fly to Trinidad. Arriving around 10am we will then be collected transfered to port on the Mamore / Ibare Rivers where we will have a full day private boat trip looking for the endemic Bolivian pink dolphins, three-toed Sloths and much more wildlife in the river and along the forested banks. We will have dinner in a nearby boutique hotel .
Gran Mojas – Santa Cruz
This morning will be an early start as we head to the Gran Mojas searching for the critically endangered and endemic to Bolivia, Blue-throated macaw. This species is only found in a few remote areas on the planet and today we have a good chance of seeing them. Also around here is the Beniano anaconda which is another rare Bolivian endemic species and of course much more wildlife too. We will have dinner back at the boutique hotel.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport after breakfast to catch the flight back to Santa Cruz, where you will be met and taken to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore the city or just rest before the flight back home.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your return flight home.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.
The weather in the Bolivian pantanal and chaco during October is very hot and dry, it is the end of the dry season and so some rain and storms can occur as the wet season is approaching. But in general hot and humid temperatures are to be expected throughout the trip.
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). There will be an amount of bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private air conditioned vehicle with an excellent local driver. We have two brilliant guides; first an professional zoologist (where available) will escort you on all your excursions and we also use a very knowledgeable guide, for the camping we also bring tents, air mattresses, toilet tent and mobile shower.
All our wildlife watching excursions as mentioned in the itinerary including spotlighting is also included.
We recommend you bring along your own binoculars or spotting scope as well as appropriate clothing; which should be light and airy clothes as well as comfortable walking shoes. A light waterproof coat is also a good idea for the unexpected rain showers which can occur throughout this tour. Insect repellent is handy as there can be mosquitoes about during the evenings and nights. Andy medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera. Also do not forget sun cream, sun hat and sun glasses as the sun can be strong here during the day.
You will also need to bring a sleeping bag or sleeping liner for the camping, but all other camping equipment is included.
We provide a comprehensive species list of all the vertebrates present in the areas we are visiting as well as some of the best field guides and reference books for the areas we are visiting. There is usually a spare pair of binoculars but in a group of 4-6 people these do not stretch too far. We also provide a spot light for nocturnal viewing (this is subject to local condition when we arrive). Camera Traps will also be used to try and capture hard to see wildlife in the dead of night.
Where we have a zoologist escort available we will also bring a thermal imager which will help us find and identify wildlife after dark. All camping equipment is also included with the exception of sleeping bags / liners.
Nearly everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (contact us for more information one what is required from your insurance policy), any food bought outside of the three main meals, drinks outside of any offered with the meals and the bottled water provided each day and any items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and tips. Any applicable departure taxes and not included (but maybe included in the cost of your flights). Please check before departure.
As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport
We recommend British Airways or Lufthansa as a good airlines for flights to Santa Cruz. One of the best websites to search for the best fares for these flights is www.odopo.co.uk; who are IATA accredited this is a link direct to their site. Please check our terms and conditions regarding booking flights.
Please contact us for more information about flights and we can provide you with a link direct to the flights from another supplier; in which case you only have to enter the passenger information and payment details. By using the above link you will leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for the content on the site.
Visas and Health Information
All UK passport holders and most other nationalities do not need a tourist visa issued in advance of your arrival into Bolivia. On arrival you will be granted a 30 day tourist visa as standard. However we recommend you check and keep updated with changes on the Bolivian embassy or consulate website in your home country.
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit Bolivia, but it is recommended to be protected against typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, Rabies, Measles, Mumps & Rubellea as well as taking a form of malaria prophylactics (particularly for the Pantanal). Bolivia also requires an up to date Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting Bolivia as soon as you have decided on this trip.
Reviews of this Holiday
Willem Sieben - Holland
Mr. Hammond - Reading
Mr & Mrs. Coulson - Withington, UK