You will meet our guides at Cuiaba airport.
Our trip to Pantanal, the largest wetlands in the world, located in our neighbor’s back yard, with a few gateways, started early, before sunrise, flying to Cuiaba, state of Mato Grosso, Brazil! Before sunrise is the norm,, in the tropics, because both sunrise and sundown occur at a very fast pace! From Cuiaba, we travel, basically South, through a paved road, until we reach Pocone, the real beginning of the famous Transpantaneira Road, which has 127 bridges (some have been brought down by the annual flooding of the area) and with a mix of gravel and dirt (during the wet season, mud, or just water!!). As soon as we leave the pavement, we enter another world, crossing a few cattle ranches, but every tree, every pond, is a sample of the area’s biodiversity!! We'll be trigger happy with our cameras!!
Upon arrival to Porto Jofre, and our lodging for the next week, a fast lunch and off we go, on our boat, into the Cuiaba River and its tributaries, which are home to the largest cat in the American continent, and the third largest in the world, the Once Pintada, (jaguar) as they call it in Brazil, the Jaguar, a magnificent spotted cat, which could be described as a leopard on steroids! Giant Otters, birds and repriles will be targets as well. After patrolling the rivers, we will find ourselves face to face with what we came to look for.
We will start early in the morning by 5:30 am and after breakfast we will board our boats and will patroll diferent rivers looking for our main targets but taking also all of the chances that birds, reptiles and other animals give us to make a great photo.
As it starts getting dark, we'll return to the lodge, the sky illuminated by a beautiful sunset, and bats, flying over our heads will be perfect endings to each day.
Dinner will be at 7:30 pm.
From day 1 to 8, We will repeat this scheudle every day, all the action take place by the coast side of the the rivers.
The last day we will navigate the rivers during the morning looking for our last chance to photograph the Jaguars, and after lunch we will return to Cuiaba city. On the way back we'll have another chance to photograph a vast variety of wildlife along the Transpantaneira road.
We'll overnight in Cuiaba and early the next morning we'll fly out to our conection flights back home.
What to Bring
Our accommodation is clean and comfortable hotel with all bedding and towels provided, so you simply need to bring yourself, and please inform us of any special dietary requirements you may have. Even during winter time, the weather in the Pantanal is hot during the days, so light clothes is recomendable, but with long sleeve shirts and long pants as protection from the sun and insects. Early in the morning and after the sun set the mosquitos can be very insistent, yellow fever vaccine is highly recomended. Sun protection and mosquito repellent are also highly recomended. The boats have no covers so we will be exposed to the sun during the whole day, or most of it.
We usually don't walk through the forest as we'll be always navigating on our boats, but even in this situation a good light, fresh and short trekking footwear is the way to go, even for the short “bathroom” stops. During the dry season it usually does not rain but a light rainproof outer clothing is recommended. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon when we go out on the bout the weather will be cold, so a light windproof jacket will be a good option too. Hat or cap for head protection from the sun is also highly recomended.
In terms of camera gear then the longest lens you have will be needed (300mm with converter as a minimum really and 500mm + ideal) along with monopod. You will definitely want some shorter lenses for the array of landscape opportunities (70-200mm and 24-70mm say) and a set of polarising and grad filters will be good too if you have them and are used to working with them. Some weather protection for your equipment is recommended, because, even if it might not rain, we are on a boat. You will need storage devices for the array of images you’ll build up and a laptop for viewing these on the evenings can be both sociable and also good for critiquing purposes.