Jaguars of the Pantanal - October 2017
19 - 29 October 2017
In October 2017 Grant Atkinson and Helena Atkinson will lead a private group of photographers to Brazil’s famed Pantanal region to photograph the diverse wildlife, including the jaguars, yacare caimans, giant anteaters, tapirs, giant otters, capybaras, ocelots, hyacinth macaws and more.
The Pantanal, located in southwest Brazil, (mostly within the state of Mato Grosso do Sul) is the largest wetland region in the world. The Pantanal landscape is shaped by the extraordinary rise and fall of water, which produces well-defined season, in a lush cycle that is renewed each year. Every summer, rains in the headwaters of the Paraguay River cause rivers and lakes to overflow, flooding the lower-lying land. Our visit will take place during the driest season, when wildlife viewing is at its best.
In 2000, the Pantanal was designated a World Natural Heritage and World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
On this small group safari (maximum 8 travelers with two leaders) we stay in three different locations, two in the northern Pantanal, where we will conduct our activities from boats on beautiful and pristine waterways. Our third camp is in a dryland location, in the southern Pantanal, where we will operate making use of open game drive vehicles. All locations have been specifically chosen to maximize the diversity of our photographic opportunities in this incredibly wildlife-rich region.
Our accommodation includes 1 night in São Paolo, 1 night at a northern Pantanal Pousada, 5 nights at a “floating hotel” in the best jaguar-viewing region in the world (from which our boating activities will take place) and 3 nights at a private villa on an enormous cattle ranch in the southern Pantanal, where we will view jaguars with a research team engaged in a long-term study of the many jaguars that live there.
• Three diverse locations within the world’s largest wetland.
Jaguars are the third-largest big cat in the world, and hunt successfully in both dry and wet environments.
Interesting species well-adapted to the Pantanal, including giant river otter, giant anteaters, capybaras, caimans and tapirs.
A bird-rich environment like no other, and brilliantly-colored birds like hyacinth macaw, an array of parrots and parakeets, as well as aquatic birds like kingfishers, jabiru storks and herons are frequently encountered.
Comfortable, spacious and highly-mobile aluminum power boats for our river excursions give us a great, low-angle photography platform.
Two trip leaders and only eight travelers; the ratio of leaders to participants is high.
IS THIS SAFARI FOR YOU?
Here are some key points to help
1. We welcome photographers of ALL levels. This safari will be conducive to learning from one another and include instruction that will suit everyone’s photographic needs. No question is off limits, no inquiry too basic.
2. We are BIG on photographing in the field. We spend most our time and effort on safari activity and making images. We do meet daily to review images and discuss technique, but this is not a “classroom-intensive” trip. Our “classroom sessions” are optional (although the review sessions are valuable and there is not a more beautiful classroom).
3. Non-photographer or videographer spouses / travel companions will love these safaris. We have specialist guides leading all safari activities and optional activities (boating, walks, etc.) are also available.
4. Small Group. With a maximum of 8 participants, the ratio of participants to photographic leaders is excellent. This translates into lots of quality time with the photo leaders, both in the field and when editing images.
5. Best places to see wild jaguars. Our visit is during the ‘high-season” for jaguar viewing. On the river, this increases our chances of having more jaguar sightings but it also means that sightings on the river are shared and there may be multiple boats besides ours. At the private ranch land, we will have exclusive opportunities to see the wildlife.
19-20 October 2017; (1 night)
Hotel Pullman (Antes Caesar Park), São Paulo, Brazil Jump
to Pullman Hotel
Arrive at São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport. After collecting your luggage and clearing customs, you will take the free shuttle to the nearby Pullman Hotel. (Note that we can arrange for private a meet & greet and chauffeured transfer to the hotel at extra cost if you prefer).
This 5-star Pullman Hotel is as close you can get to an airport (GRU International is just down the road) without sacrificing peace and quiet.
Accommodation is in Superior Rooms with en-suite facilities. The hotel includes a restaurant, bar, pool and internet access.
Our stay is here is on a Bed & Breakfast basis and dinner will be on your own account as we never know what times everyone will arrive and whether everyone will want dinner. Dinners are included for the rest of the trip after this evening.
20-21 October 2017; (1 night)
SouthWild Pantanal Lodge, Northern Pantanal, Brazil Jump
to SouthWild Jaguar
After breakfast and checking out of our hotel in São Paulo, we will be transferred back to the airport for our scheduled commercial flight to Cuiabá, Brazil. On arrival in Cuiabá, we will connect with our private coach for a drive along the Transpantaneira road into the Pantanal. As we progress along our drive, we will start to see landscape shift and see birdlife and the lovely wilderness of the Pantanal taking shape. We will make stops along the way for bathrooms and refreshments and possibly a couple photographs before arriving at the Pousada SouthWild Pantanal.
After checking into our rooms for the night, we will be free to photograph the myriad birds and other wildlife just footsteps form our rooms. The lodge also has a 30-meter-high viewing platform constructed next to a tree where jabiru storks nest annually. In the afternoon, we will embark onto the Pixaim river, which runs in front of the lodge, where we will look for caimans and a local family of giant otters.
There is also an ocelot viewing area with a hide and a feeding station, which can provide excellent opportunities to view and photograph one of these beautiful cats, in the evening.
The rooms are air-conditioned and small but comfortable.
Wildlife along the river system at SouthWild is abundant and we can expect to see giant otters, yacare caimans, capybaras, tapirs (hopefully), several species of monkey, macaws and many other lovely birds including kingfishers, herons, storks, curassows and various raptors.
21-26 October 2017; (5 nights)
SouthWild Jaguar Suites, Northern Pantanal, Brazil Jump
to SouthWild Jaguar
After breakfast at our lodge, we will drive further along the road deeper into the Pantanal to Porto Jofre, a small fishing settlement on the São Lourenço river. Here we will meet our guides and boat captains who will transport us and our luggage by boat to our floating hotel, SouthWild Jaguar.
We will spend the next 5 days boating along the Río Piquiri and its various channels and oxbows. We will have exclusive use of 2 boats, each with a local guide and a boat driver. We will have complete flexibility to come and go as we please on our excursions to look for jaguars and all the resident Pantanal wildlife.
The SouthWild Jaguar Suites are part of a dual-boat, floating hotel (“Flotel”) consisting of 6 double-occupancy, air conditioned Jaguar Suites with en-suite bathrooms on one boat and 10 standard rooms on the other boat. The Jaguar Suite rooms are each 30 sqm with 2 large desks, electrical plug points and ample room for all our photographic gear. Each suite also has an outdoor patio overlook the river. WiFi is also included.
The Flotel has two dining rooms, one air-conditioned and the other open-air and screened-in with large fans. SouthWild is in the center of the area with the highest known density of jaguars anywhere and we will expect to see them on our daily boat outings.
Wildlife along the river system at SouthWild is abundant and in addition to the jaguars, we can expect to see giant otters, yacare caimans, capybaras, tapirs (hopefully), several species of monkey, macaws and many other lovely birds including kingfishers, herons, storks, curassows and various raptors. Of course, our focus will be jaguars!
26-29 October 2017; (3 nights)
Refúgio Ecológico Caiman, Southern Pantanal, Brazil Jump
to Caiman Pantanal
Midday on our last day on the river, we will transfer by private air charter south and over the beautiful Pantanal wetland to our next destination, Caiman. Caiman Ecological Refuge is located on a 53-thousand-hectare (131,000 acres) working cattle ranch in the southern part of the Pantanal.
Our accommodation at Caiman is the private villa of the owner. The home is optimally situated in the center of the reserve and the grounds are usually teaming with resident wildlife and birds. Our group will have exclusive use of the villa and its staff, so again we will have complete flexibility in terms of our activities and schedule.
Caiman hosts various research initiatives on its land and one of those is Projeto Onçafari. This project is a conservation initiative that aims to promote eco-tourism in the Pantanal by habituating wild jaguars to the presence of safari vehicles as well as studying and learning as much as possible about these beautiful cats.
Under special arrangement, we will have complete access to the jaguar research team for our entire stay at Caiman, ensuring that we have the best possible opportunities to spend time with and photograph the numerous jaguars which live in the reserve. The researchers will educate us about the project and we will follow them out when they go to study the jaguars.
Here our daily safaris will be conducted using game drive vehicles instead of boats. We will go out twice daily and be in constant contact with the researchers while we search for jaguars. Other wildlife we can expect to see and photograph at Caiman includes giant anteaters, ocelots, crab-eating foxes, yacare caimans, capybaras, hyacinth macaws (a Pantanal specialty) and an abundance of other birds.
29 October 2017
Today after a final breakfast at our villa, we will transfer by road to Campo Grande, where we will catch our scheduled commercial flight back to São Paulo.
Depending on the time of departure for your flight home, you will either fly home this evening or stay over an extra night (cost of extra night not included).
Extension: We are offering two extension for this trip, one at the front end and another at the back end. Please call us for details.
Hummingbird Extension (pre-tour): Two days along the Atlantic forests between São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro to photograph hummingbirds, tanagers, woodpeckers and other specials of this region. We will spend time at a private hummingbird garden with multiple feeding stations, which attract many species of birds and from which we will photograph at close range.
Iguazu Falls Extension (post-tour): Three days at the famous Iguazu Falls along the Brazilian border with Argentina. We will visit both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the falls.
There are various wildlife-based destinations that are certainly worth considering as an add-on. We suggest a visit to the Amazon.
NOTE: Air travel and customized
extensions to this safari may be arranged through Eyes on Africa as
desired. Ask us for further information.
The cost of this all-inclusive safari is $12,650 per person. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals (except as noted in the detailed itinerary above and in exclusions below).
Payment Schedule: Due to payment terms placed on us by our suppliers in Brazil, the payment schedule for clients joining this trip are as follows: 35% on sign up; 30% additional by April 01, 2017; final deposit by August 01, 2017.
Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.
• Suggested cash gratuities (US Dollar or Brazilian Real) for the local guides is of course optional. We recommend an amount of around USD 10 per person per day for local guides and USD 5 per day for boat/vehicle drivers.
• Any additional gratuities for hotel staff, road transfer drivers, airport porters, etc. can also be paid in US Dollars or Brazilian Reales.
• SouthWild does not take credit cards (for payment of drinks tab); please be sure to bring cash (US dollars or Brazilian Reales) for this. Cash may be exchanged at the airport on arrival in São Paolo.
• We are offering two extension for this trip, one at the front end and another at the back end (see below). Please call us for details.
• Hummingbird Extension (pre-tour): Two days along the Atlantic forests between São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro to photograph hummingbirds, tanagers, woodpeckers and other specials of this region. We will spend time at a private hummingbird garden with multiple feeding stations, which attract many species of birds and from which we will photograph at close range.
• Iguazu Falls Extension (post-tour): Three days at the famous Iguazu Falls along the Brazilian border with Argentina. We will visit both the Brazilian and Argentinian sides of the falls.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
• Accommodation on a shared basis (very limited single rooms may be available - please inquire).
• 2x trip leaders (Grant and Helena Atkinson).
• All road transfers to/from the airports (except on arrival in São Paolo, where you will take the free hotel shuttle).
• Private air charter: SouthWild to Caiman.
• Private road transfers: Cuiabá to SouthWild and Caiman to Campo Grande.
• Luggage allowance for air charters: no more than 84 pounds (including all carry-on and all checked luggage) per person in total.
• All meals at SouthWild and Caiman.
• Water and coffee at SouthWild; water, coffee and soft drinks at Caiman.
• Breakfast at Pullman Hotel on the first morning.
• Daily laundry is available but cost is not included.
• Private boats, game drive vehicles and guides for all activities throughout the trip.
• The current Tourism Levies and all relevant Value Added Tax or Government Sales Tax.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
• International airfare and/or other transportation between your home and São Paulo, Brazil.
• Private meet and assist services at the airport in São Paulo on arrival day one (available at extra cost on request).
• Dinner / drinks in São Paulo on the first evening (Pullman Hotel).
• Gratuities for hotel staff in São Paulo.
• Gratuities for local guides and boat/game drive drivers.
• All drinks other than coffee and water at Southwild and alcohol drinks at Caiman.
• Laundry cost at hotels and lodges.
• Visas, travel insurance, personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.)
• Optional pre-/post- safari tours and meals or accommodation before or after the safari (we would be happy to arrange any and all additional overnights or extensions).
Please read our Safari Code of Ethics and Conduct.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
Our group size is a maximum of 8 participants and we expect that this trip will fill up. If this exciting safari sounds good and you're excited by the thought of joining on this trip, then now is the time to register. Remember, there will be limited space available for this trip and when the spots are spoken for, that's it. If you have any questions before registering, send an e-mail with any inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply call us (800-457-9575) and ask to speak to Nicky Glover.
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