This tour takes you to both the northern and southern Pantanal in search of a hudge wealth of wildlife. From the jaguar capital of the world in the northern Pantanal to several wonderful and unique lodges in the southern Pantanal. Explore these locations in a variety of different ways; walking, jeep safaris, river safaris and horseback safaris. All of these ways to see the environment and wildlife are designed to highlight different areas and species. We have a fantastic success rate in seeing all of the larger mammal species, including jaguars, maned wolves, tapirs, giant anteaters and giant otters. For anyone wishing to see the wonders of the Pantanal this is the tour for you.
Today you will arrive into Cuiaba and be met at the airport by your local guide and then be taken to the hotel for the night. The rest of the day is to relax, there is nothing planned today. You will be briefed as to when to be ready to depart tomorrow morning.
Transpantaneiro / 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 and Surrounding Area
Over the next 4 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.
Transpantanerio / Campo Grande
This morning will start very early as we have a very long day ahead of us. We will depart from the camp at 4am when it is still dark. The good side of this is that we will be able to see if there are any animals on the road whilst it is still dark on the drive back up the Transpanaterio. We will be taken direct to the airport in Cuiaba to get our flight, our first flight departs at 11:33am and will take us to Sao Paulo, we will arrive at 14:50 and then catch our flight back to the Pantanal and this time to the southern part (the state of Mato Grosso do Sol and the state’s capital Campo Grande) at 17:50. We will arrive in Campo Grande at 18:36 and then be met at the airport by our driver and be taken to our city hotel for the night. Dinner can be served at the hotel or a nearby restaurant.
Southern Pantanal / Fazenda San Francisco
This morning (day 8) our driver will collect us from the airport and transport us out of the city and towards the cattle ranches of the Pantanal. The cattle ranches make up over 90% of the Pantanal and are home to most of the wildlife. It is also the most popular and lucrative industry here, although eco-tourism is growing and many fazendas are opening up to tourism and therefore animal human conflict killing is decreasing. But cattle rearing is the not the only agricultural industry in the Pantanal and our first fazenda stop will be at a crop farm. One of the largest in the region and because of the vast amounts of grain there are many rodents and this has created a good habitat for the smaller cat species and we hope to see ocelot here. Although as with all small cat species they are hard to see. Before we head into the farmland we will likely stop by for food on the main highway and then afterwards we will enter the farmland and from here we will have a good chance of seeing wildlife. There are excellent chances to see Greater Rhea (the largest species of flightless bird in the Americas), Giant Anteaters and other grassland species. We should arrive in the early afternoon and so we will be able to have an afternoon wildlife activity around the ranch to see some of its common wildlife. This is the largest and most ‘commercial’ of the places you will stay in the Pantanal. The reason we come here is that it is probably the best place to see ocelots as well as offering the best chances anywhere of seeing the incredibly rare and little known Pantanal cat. So we will be part of larger groups for our activities in this fazenda but that cannot be helped here.
We will have an afternoon activity and then also head out after dark in search of wildlife and then tomorrow we will have a full day with a morning and afternoon safari and subject to availability a night safari again. All of your meals will be served at the main farm building whilst here and will be in between our wildlife watching activities. We will likely explore the ranch on foot, by canoe and with a 4×4 vehicle. The exact order and what activities we will do will be discussed with your local guide and zoologist escort once we arrive at the fazenda and we see what is best for our targeted species.
Southern Pantanal / Fazenda Barranco Alto
On day 10 you will leave Fazenda San Francisco after breakfast and head deeper into the Pantanal and towards our next location, one of the largest working cattle ranches in the area, Fazenda Barranco Alto. This fazenda has played host to various scientists and researchers over the years and pioneering studies into giant otters, giant anteaters, Brazilian tapirs, jaguars and pumas. The scientists base themselves here for their studies due to the fantastic densities of wildlife around here. We will probably arrive here around lunch time, of course whilst travelling from fazenda San Francisco to fazenda Barranco Alto we will be able to see various species and then after lunch we will head out around the ranch in search of other wildlife. As with all of the fazendas in the Pantanal there is a range of ways to explore the area and we will decide with our local guides and with the fazenda staff what is best for us, whether it is hiking, jeep safari, boat cruise or horseback riding. The main targets here are the giant anteaters and Brazilian tapirs which are found in good densities here, also many species of macaw including hyacinth, red-and-green, blue-and-yellow and red-shouldered macaws which can all be spotted here.
Days 11 and 12 will be spend exploring the ranch and in full, whether on more wildlife watching activities or other activities such as piranha fishing or joining the Pantanerios and their cattle mustering. Two other highlight sought after species which are not uncommonly seen here including pumas and jagaurondis.
Southern Pantanal / Fazenda Baia das Pedras
This morning (day 13) after breakfast you will leave fazenda Barranco Alto and head even deeper into the Pantanal and on to our last ranch, Baia das Pedras. Once again we will have some chance to see wildlife along the way. Baia das Pedras is home to the world’s only long term giant armadillo and southern naked-tail armadillo (although this project is finished now) projects. We will try and be there at the same time as the researchers but even if we are not there we will head to the den sites and areas of the ranch where they are seen. These are two very elusive animals and even with the help of the expert researchers seeing either is still very special. On arrival we will settle in, have lunch and then head out in the afternoon on our first wildlife excursion here.
The next 3 full days will be spent exploring the habitats here in similar ways to the last couple of fazendas with added focus on the armadillo species and also seen here with some regularity are the southern tamadua (lesser anteater), tayra and puma among other species.
This morning we will depart from Baia das Pedras after breakfast and take private Cessna planes out over the Pantanal towards the city of Campo Grande. The views as we fly over the mosaic of cattle ranch, forest, grassland, lakes and rivers is wonderful from the air and it is also possible to spot wildlife with giant anteaters, tapirs and rhea all very obvious from the air. On arrival in Campo Grande airport you will be taken to the larger airport to catch your return flight home or to your hotel in the town for tonight.
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.
Mr. Wozniak - Connecticut, USA
Ms. Cupitt - Queensland
Theresa & Roger - Birmingham
Mr & Mrs King - Kent, UK
Alison Webster - London