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The Pantanal in Brazil...Please don't go!! :)
  
 
cohenfive
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · The Pantanal in Brazil...Please don't go!! :)


We got back from an amazing trip to the Pantanal in Brazil about a month ago. For those of you who don't know what the Pantanal is, it is the largest tropical wetlands area in the world. Brazil has tons of rivers including obviously the Amazon. Some of the rivers drain south, and the Panatanal is a river delta that gets big summer rains, floods, and then slowly drains during the winter wet season to the Paraguay river. Because the area mostly floods it is not very productive for ranching or other forms of agriculture, so it has stayed fairly pristine even as much of the Brazilian rainforest has been under siege. Very few people live in the area, mostly on a few ranches, and there is only one real road that runs north to south through it.

Because of the rains and flooding and the lack of human intervention, it has created an incredible diversity and intensity of wildlife. We saw 200+ unique bird species on the trip, and lots of mammals, reptiles and were bitten by seemingly millions of bugs! I've never seen such an intensity of critters, especially birds. There was never a dull moment, with wildlife literally everywhere (including at times in your room). The only place on the planet where you can see jaguars...we saw several, and I believe everyone there saw them.

The Pantanal is not an easy trip, and it isn't inexpensive. We flew into Sao Paolo, stayed over and then took another flight to Cuiaba. Our trip was more extensive as we first went north to the Amazon basin (equally amazing), which meant another layover and then a flight north to Cuiaba. From there we had a drive to our lodge, then were on boats during the days. After several days in the Amazon basin we flew back south and then drove for quite a while on the one road to get to the Pantanal. The lodging in the Pantanal can be very, very basic. We have stayed in some rough places during our travels, and a couple of the lodges were some of the roughest. In no way dangerous, but if you are used to staying at Four Seasons, don't come to the Pantanal. We always had showers, always had electricity..sometimes wifi. The food generally was very good, with more basic fare at a couple of the lodges.

Getting around in the Pantanal is on a combination of safari vehicle and boat, although we also did a decent amount of hiking around. In the Amazon we also did a couple of climbs above the canopy to small observation towers. Safe, but not for the faint of heart to climb 165 feet onto a platform...but some amazing views and wildlife to be seen up high. We also stayed on a large house boat (basically a small floating hotel) for a few days in the Pantanal, and these were wonderful accommodations.

You cannot just go to the Pantanal, everything has to be via a local guide of some sort. We had a superb local guide who literally knew everything about not just the critters, but the history, geology, etc...highly recommended. Our group also had a group leader, a naturalist we know from doing other trips over the years.

One of our best trips, and we are considering returning next fall as our guide is thinking about putting together a slightly different trip.

I posted two sets of pics on fm in the nature/wildlife board..Not even close to showing what we saw there, I have much more extensive picture albums put together but I know that on fm you only show a small number.....here are links:

Birds only:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1502516

Other than birds:

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1502524

If you have any more detailed questions just ask here or via pm. Absolutely worth going if you like wildlife and don't mind roughing it at times, and traveling a long way.




Aug 06, 2017 at 12:54 AM
dalite
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · The Pantanal in Brazil...Please don't go!! :)


But you're planning on going back.

A scary place. No harpy eagle?



Aug 07, 2017 at 04:55 AM
cohenfive
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · The Pantanal in Brazil...Please don't go!! :)


I did not mean to give the impression that it was unsafe in any way... It is not. Hard to get to yes, and some lodging is fairly primitive. But incredible wildlife, and yes lots of bugs. We hopefully will go back because it was one of our favorite trips even with those elements that weren't so great. I just meant to warn folks that if you are expecting a Hyatt eco lodge you might not want to come..

Edited on Aug 07, 2017 at 02:27 PM · View previous versions



Aug 07, 2017 at 06:09 AM
 

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cohenfive
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · The Pantanal in Brazil...Please don't go!! :)


Oh, no harpy eagle.. About the only thing there we did not see.


Aug 07, 2017 at 06:10 AM
dclark
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · The Pantanal in Brazil...Please don't go!! :)


Thanks for the post about your trip. Sounds like a great experience. I have a few questions that you may be able to answer. You highly recommend your guide but you did not provide any contact info. How did you find the guide? Did they make the itinerary or was it a custom itinerary? Was it specifically for photography?

Dave



Aug 07, 2017 at 01:04 PM
cohenfive
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · The Pantanal in Brazil...Please don't go!! :)


Pm me, happy to give you his information. This trip itinerary was put together by the guide and trip leader. It was not a photography specific trip but there were a few of us on the trip that were pretty serious about photography. I am usually not a fan of photo specific trips, that's just my bias.


Aug 07, 2017 at 02:30 PM







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