For a long time a forest enigma, a shadowy presence rarely seen and seldom understood the jaguar remained one of the last big cats species to be encountered with any regularity. This big cat specialist trip is aimed to bring you closer to a species which is so elusive elsewhere in its vast range throughout South and Central American; and there is no better place to do this than in the jaguars’ last stronghold in the northern Pantanal.
While searching for the jaguars, you can see other interesting wildlife such as many species of monkeys, giant river otters, and numerous bird species from our well equipped jaguar searching boats. Our specialist knowledge of the Pantanal ensures that visitors are shown the best areas at the best time of year, so that they can fully appreciate the wild environment and have an excellent chance to see the jaguar in the wild (94% success rate on previous tours).
Today you will be met at the airport in Cuiaba and taken to the hotel in the city, there are no planned activities for today. You will be briefed on when to be ready to depart in the morning.
Transantaniero / Porto Jofre
After breakfast this morning you will be collected from the hotel and leave for Porto Jofre. After around 1.5 hours you will reach the Transpantaneiro Highway, which is one of the best places in the entire world to watch wildlife. As a result there are plenty of excellent wildlife photography opportunities along the way. On arrival you may have time to have a walk around the hotel grounds or possibly a first trip our onto the river. There are often wonderful hyacinth macaws around Porto Jofre which is a great welcome to the small fishing village here.
Porto Jofre & Surrounding Area
Over the next 2 full days you will be exploring the Pantanal via the Cuiaba, Piquiri and Tres Irmãos Rivers in search of Jaguars and other wildlife of this very rich area. Jaguar watching trips here average 2.8 Jaguar sightings per day; it is the best place to see Jaguars in the world. As we you will have access to a private boat each day we can go where you please but each day usually follows a set routine, each morning you will be taken into onto the waterways with the expert help of Jaguar trackers and your naturalist guide. Most of the day will be spent looking for recent jaguar activity on the river banks as they come down to the water to cool off in the hot dry season.
During these jaguar spotting days you will visit the Tre Irmãos River which has the highest density of jaguars in the world and here more sightings are recorded than anywhere else in the world. Most sightings occur during the day and at close range so that the photography here is just exceptional.
You will return to the hotel in the middle of day for some respite from the sun which can be very hot in September and have lunch, before heading back out in the late afternoon.
Other wildlife in the area which is commonly seen include Capybaras, Giant Otters, Yellow Anacondas, Black Howler Monkeys, Green Iguanas as well as hundreds of species of birds. In the evenings when coming back to the hotel the river come alive with hundreds of bulldog bats that skim the water looking for insects and as well as numerous nighthawks and nightjars that sally and hunt in the evening skies.
Northern Pantanal – Pouso Alegre
This morning we can try to find Jaguars again for a couple of hours in the early morning and then head north along the Transpantaneiro until we reach our new lodge for the night. On arrival here you will check in and then have the afternoon to walking or driving around the lodge grounds looking for giant anteaters, marsh deer, South American coatis, toco toucans and other species which are hard to see from the boats. After dinner you will have a night safari where many of the nocturnal species like ocelots and crab-eating racoons can be seen with luck.
Northern Pantanal – Pouso Alegre
Full day dedicated to observing the wildlife on Pouso Alegre’s private reserve. Early morning walk for bird and wildlife viewing than return to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast our guide will lead an optional activity (walking or horseback riding) to continue exploring the forest and grasslands in order to spot animals and birds. After lunch, a drive in an open truck farther down the Transpantaneira, passing through several different ecosystems and an array of animals and birds. Return to the lodge at twilight, making use of a spotlight for better observation. Arrival at the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Northern Pantanal – Rio Claro
After breakfast, you will be driven further north on Transpantaneira Road to Rio Claro Lodge. This is yet another fantastic area for observing wildlife. After check-in and lunch, a short rest, then a walking trip until sundown. This environmentally diverse area is a collection of gallery forests (deciduous and non-deciduous) in addition to savannah and shallow pools which support an astonishing variety of wildlife. Dinner is followed by a night safari by car, using a spotlight to try and detect animals and nocturnal birds. Stops will also be made in order to experience the magical sounds of the Pantanal at night. You might typically hear the haunting calls of nightjars and potoos as well as the general hubbub of bullfrogs.
Northern Pantanal – Rio Claro
This morning you will have a sunrise kayaking trip at around 5:30am then, return to the lodge for breakfast. Afterwards, enjoy a wildlife walk in the grounds of the farm looking for more animals. After lunch it’s siesta time as the temperatures increase and then in the late afternoon we will take a motorized boat looking for giant river otters, tapirs, capybaras, caimans, howler monkeys, storks, herons, and more species. After dinner you will once again go out spotlighting for nocturnal wildlife.
Northern Pantanal – Piuval
This morning you will have a sunrise walk around the lodge looking for wildlife and then after breakfast, transfer further north and to your last lodge in the Pantanal. Once at Piuval Lodge you will check in and have lunch and then in the afternoon you will be taken to an observation tower on the ranch to see and understand the Pantanal topography and what it looks like from above, providing a great opportunity for pictures. Dinner will be followed by a night safari with our open vehicle before returning to the lodge for your last night in the wilderness of the Pantanal.
Today will be an early start at around 5am, where you will be in time to watch the sunrise. There will be opportunity to observe both nocturnal and diurnal animals before breakfast is followed by a walking trip. Then after lunch, at 2pm, transfer to Cuiabá in the afternoon and check into the hotel for the evening and your final night in Brazil.
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.
During September to October the weather in the Pantanal is dry with plenty of blue skies during the day. The temperatures during the day and night are hot and they heat up quickly in the morning. At this time of year the rainy season is approaching and whilst rain is rare at this time of year it is not unheard of for a tropical storm to blow in.
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 will escort you on all your excursions and we also use a very knowledgeable guide, who collects data for Panthera (the big cat conservation organisation) and who knows these waters and the big cat movements better than anyone else.
All our excursions including all the boat trips, wildlife spotting trips along the Transpanteiro are 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.
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.
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 KLM as a good airline for flights to Cuiaba. One of the best websites to search for the best fares is www.skyscanner.co.uk. They search 1000s of airlines and booking agents and will direct you to the cheapest flights available for you to book direct with the airline or the booking agent.
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.
All UK passport holders or not required to have a visa for entry to Brazil, although other nationalities such as USA do require a visa. The easiest way to find information is by visiting the website of the Brazilian embassy in your country.
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit Brazil, but it is recommended to be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A as well as taking a form of malaria prophylactics. Please also be aware that some countries demand a vaccination against Yellow Fever if you are travelling from Brazil to other South American countries or African countries. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting Brazil as soon as you have decided on this trip.
Ms. Lesley McLennen - Australia
Dr. McKay - New Zealand
Brett & Andrew Murray - New Zealand
Richard - Australia
Lisa Brennan - New York, USA