Jaguars of the Pantanal – August

August

A well-kept secret of wildlife lovers and nature photographers around the world, the Pantanal shines as Brazil’s best region for animal watching. The world’s largest floodplain has an incredible quantity of birds, reptiles and big mammals because of its rich geography. It’s a seasonal wetland that spends part of the year underwater and all its natural species are adapted to this reality. For photographers and those looking to get really close to animals that exist only in one of the last large untouched natural reserves on Earth, the dry season is paradise.

From May to October, immense flocks of birds come in search for fish, as some 200 species reside in the temporary lagoons and oxbow lakes. These birds include roseate spoonbills, wood storks and jabirus. Caimans and capybaras in turn are drawn to the water by the birds. And at the top of this food chain is the much sought-after jaguar.

This abundance of food and diversity is particularly evident in the Northern Pantanal, homeland of the jaguar – known here as the onça-pintada  – the largest and most elusive feline in the Americas. Also, the giant otters, neotropical otters, greater rhea and other species aren’t scared off by human presence. Also, the fact that there are no hills in these open plains make the scenery even better for spotting wildlife. During the dry season, there is the added bonus of the beautiful ipê trees in bloom. Those interested in cultural differences get to observe the daily lives of the “pantaneiros,” local cowboys who engage in a seasonal work-life herding cattle in the wetlands.

Tour Highlights

  • Intensive viewing and photography – Up Close And Personal – Jaguars, Giant Otters, Caiman, Macaws, Tapirs, Storks, and a wide variety of birds and other wildlife;
  • Early morning and late afternoon photo shoots to take advantage of the best light, watching and waiting for wildlife in just the right setting;
  • Custom designed itinerary;
  • Comfortable safari accommodation, most locations equipped with wifi;
  • 2 to 14-seater boat available for the Jaguar-searching portion of our Pantanal Safari;
  • Count on assistance from SouthQuest’s naturalist guides who have vast experience with the local wildlife and photography expeditions;
  • Optional hands-on photography assistance by Brazilian NatGeo photographers.

Suggested itinerary

DAY 1 | CUIABÁ (-, -, -)

Arrival at Cuiabá airport (CGB). Transfer to the hotel, check-in and overnight. Cuiabá is the capital of the state of Mato Grosso and is served by daily flights from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Campo Grande (Southern Pantanal) and other Brazilian hubs.

DAY 2 | CUIABÁ - TRANSPANTANEIRA PARK ROAD – PORTO JOFRE (B, L, D)

After breakfast, we’ll depart to Porto Jofre region (around 5h drive), our base for the next days. We can make a few stops along the way to photograph the variety of wildlife. Porto Jofre is the end of the Transpantaneira park road and the edge of the Cuiabá river. This is the home of the largest cat of the Americas, the mighty Jaguar. After check-in and lunch, we will start the activities with a half day boat safari looking for the local wildlife.

DAYS 3 AND 4 | PORTO JOFRE (B, L, D)

Full days dedicated to navigate through the Cuiabá river and its tributaries in search of the Jaguars and the riverine fauna. Here you will spend some time on a skiff with an experienced local naturalist, who will wind you through a maze of waterways, deep into jaguar territory for very dependable sightings, positioning the boat for the best angle to afford you fantastic viewing and photo opportunities. Although the focus of this tour is on Jaguars, you will also see and photograph some rare and iconic species, such as Giant River Otter, Neotropical Otter, Tapir, Yellow-Billed Tern, Black Skimmer, Herons, Anaconda and much more!

DAY5 | PORTO JOFRE - TRANSPANTANEIRA ROAD - AYMARA LODGE (B, L, D)

Last boat safari in search of jaguars and the riverine fauna. After lunch, we’ll drive back through the Transpantaneira Park Road to Aymara Lodge. A place that transmits calm and tranquility, bringing rest to the body and mind, providing the guest with a complete connection with nature. Here, monkeys, coatis, agoutis, curassows, parrots, hyacinth macaws and other species are often seen walking between the apartments, so it is recommended to take some time to rest in the hammock on your balcony enjoying a bit of the Pantanal’s biodiversity.

DAY 6 | AYAMARA LODGE (B, L, D)

Full day activities at Aymara Lodge. Strategically located amidst native forest and on the banks of a “corixo” (the floated area), we’ll have a chance to find species such as Jabiru Stork, Spoonbills, various types of Herons, Hawks, Owls, Parrots and mammals such as the Pantanal Deer, Tapir, Giant Anteater, Ocelot, Monkeys, Capybaras, Coatis, Otters and, with a little more luck, even jaguars! At Aymara they also have hideouts where you wait in silence for animals that come to drink water or eat some seasonal fruit – a great opportunity for the patient photographers.

DAY 7 | AYMARA LODGE - CUIABÁ (B, L, -)

Morning activity at the lodge according to our naturalist guide recommendation. After lunch, we’ll drive back to Cuiabá. Check-in and overnigh

DAY 8 | CUIABÁ – DEPARTURE (B, -, -)

Breakfast and check-out. Transfer to the airport in Cuiabá, then departure to São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro and connections.

Tour Price

Per person in sharing basis: USD 4,990 | Single supplement: USD 750

PAYMENT POLICY

  • 30% deposit (wire transfer)
  • Balance due 60 days prior arrival

Accommodation

  • Cuiabá: Gran Odara
  • Transpantaneira: Aymara Lodge
  • Porto Jofre: Hotel Santa Rosa

Services

INCLUDED

  • Accommodation
  • Full board, except in Cuiabá
  • All entrance fees and permits
  • A/C vehicle transportation for the whole program
  • A total of 6 boat safaris in Porto Jofre
  • South Quest Safaris specialist as your guide during the whole trip

NOT INCLUDED

  • Any flights
  • Brazilian visa, if necessary
  • Early check-in and late check-out at the hotels
  • Expenditure of a personal nature such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, tipping etc.
  • Personal insurance (compulsory)
  • Single room supplement

More Information

  • The deposit of 30% will be requested to guarantee your spot in the group. It’s a guarantee of reservation and is not refunded in case of cancellation from your part for any reason. The deposit will only be refunded if we do not reach the minimum number of 4 participants to confirm the group.
  • The deadline to confirm the group is 60 days before the starting date but we always work to confirm it in advance.
  • The deposit amount will be deducted from the remainder of the payment.
  • This tour requires a minimum of 4 guests to be confirmed and can have up to a maximum of 6 guests.
  • Bookings on a shared basis will depend on another guest of the same gender registered in the same way. If the registrations are closed without another guest sharing the rooms, the single supplement will be charged and added to the travel balance.
  • The description of the itinerary is an idea of ​​the activities that we will seek to do during the expedition and that can be changed according to weather conditions, recommendations from the naturalist guide or reasons of force majeure.

Trip Cancellation & Refund Policies

  • All cancellations requested up to 61 calendar days prior to departure have non-refundable security deposits unless SouthQuest is able to renegotiate the terms with the service providers. That is why it is important that cancellations are announced as early as possible.
  • Cancellations made with 60 calendar days or less prior to group starts are assessed a cancellation fee of 100% of the trip price, including domestic flights, extensions, and extra services such as hotel nights
  • All cancellations and trip change requests must be made in writing by mail or by email and received, and acknowledged by SouthQuest.

Quick Facts

  • 01-08 August, 2023
  • Northern Pantanal, Brazil
  • Nature Photography
  • Natural History
  • Small group 4-6 guests
  • All physical levels

Contact Us

If you want to book this tour, customize the itinerary or take any questions, please fill out the form below and our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible.