Quest For The Jaguars Of Brazil

9 Days from £4028 per adult. Prices based on flight fares at the time of costing & may vary. Please ask for a definitive quote
9 Days
Group Tour
Big Cat Safari
Photographic

The jaguar is one of the most elusive big cats and one which few people have the privilege of seeing. However, Reef and Rainforest Tours are pleased to offer a group tour where sightings of jaguars are virtually guaranteed.

The key to the tour’s success is that it visits a very remote and jaguar rich area of the northern Pantanal and employs a team of radio-equipped boats to locate jaguars, and direct the group to areas with the best sightings.

The base for the jaguar watching tours are two houseboats (flotels) totalling 18-cabins moored on the Cuiaba River. In addition there are 12 ensuite FLOATING SUITES located 5 metres upstream from the current Jaguar Flotel (and connected by a 5 metre long bridge near water level).

Since 2007 Reef and Rainforest clients have seen over 450 jaguars whilst staying on the Cuiaba River, with a 100% success rate over the last four years, a real testament to the effort put in to find this king of big cats. Some sightings have been brief whereas others have lasted for hours with many visitors returning with hundreds of photos and hours video of rarely seen behaviour such as hunting, swimming, mating, otter attacks and territorial fights.

Greater in area than Belgium, the vast seasonally flooded plain of the Pantanal is justly famed as being the most impressive wildlife location in South America. In addition to jaguars, the Pantanal has much to interest to the wildlife enthusiast: ostrich-like rhea, jabiru stork, burrowing and great horned owls, anaconda, iguanas, capybara, coati, crab-eating fox, ocelot, puma, marsh deer, southern tamandua, armadillos and giant anteater among others. Birds such as the toco toucan and the highly endangered hyacinth macaw (the world’s largest parrot) are generally seen in good numbers, making perfect subjects for colourful pictures.

The tour visits habituated families of giant river otters a specially designed ocelot hide and also offers very good chances of seeing tapirs at close quarters. Viewing towers are positioned close to fruiting trees giving good sightings of fruit-eating birds and primates including Striped Tufted Capuchin Monkeys, Black and Gold Howler Monkeys and Silvery Marmosets. The variety of wildlife seen on this tour plus the potential of seeing some of South Americas most elusive big mammals makes this tour ideal for general wildlife enthusiasts, wildlife photographers and big cat aficionados. There is also an opportunity to extend the tour, perhaps visiting the northern Amazon, the Atlantic rainforest, Iguacu Falls or the vibrant colourful cities of Rio de Janeiro or Salvador.

Click to download the full group tour details

Itinerary

Price from £4028 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms

Day 1 - Depart London Heathrow

Depart LONDON HEATHROW at 2210 on TAM AIRLINES flight JJ8085.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Day 2 - Sao Paulo & Pantanal

Arrive SAO PAULO at 0605. Connect with domestic flight to CUIABA. Met on arrival by naturalist guide and transfer to your lodge in the Pantanal.

The Pantanal is a UK-sized mosaic of seasonally-flooded savannahs and tropical forests that offer the finest wildlife viewing in Latin America. It harbours a record 82 species of large birds, 3,000-5,000 individuals of which can be seen on a one-hour vehicle ride on the raised Transpantaneira Road, the only road into the Pantanal, which begins one hour’s drive from Cuiaba. Other wildlife includes giant otter, capybara, giant anteater, tapir, three monkey species, hyacinth macaw, 400 more bird species and tens of thousands of caimans.

This evening (or on your last evening at SouthWild Pantanal) you will have the opportunity to visit a specially designed ocelot hide close to the lodge.

Ocelots are now regularly being attracted to a forest clearing close to the lodge by titbits. The clearing is overlooked by a purpose built elevated hide and the clearing is illuminated with floodlights providing an excellent opportunity to see and photograph this beautiful and normally very shy cat.

O/n SOUTHWILD PANTANAL, FB. Owned and operated by a professional wildlife biologist, the lodge is found 2.5 kilometres off the Transpantaneira Road, on the forested banks of the wildlife-rich Pixaim River. With air-conditioned rooms and accessible riverine forest, SouthWild Pantanal offers some of the Pantanal’s best accommodation for serious wildlife enthusiasts and photographers. Mobile canopy towers are often strategically placed at fruiting and flowering trees and there is a tower overlooking a habituated jabiru stork nest.

Staying at SouthWild Pantanal. Includes All Meals.

Day 3 - SouthWild Jaguar Flotel

Continue driving to the end of the Transpantaneira to the village of PORTO JOFRE on the CUIABA RIVER. Board boat to the houseboat in the middle of the Pantanal’s highest density area for jaguars. O/n SOUTHWILD JAGUAR HOUSEBOAT (FLOTEL) & SUITES

The SouthWild Jaguar Flotel & Suites is focussed on securing reliable and quality jaguar sightings for all its guests. Jaguars have historically been one of the most difficult of the big cats to see in the wild with sightings often restricted to brief glimpses in the jungles and rainforests of Latin America. However, over the years the SouthWild jaguar watching operation has been located in an area of Brazil’s Pantanal where jaguars are found in very high numbers and are seemingly very comfortable with human presence. Since 2007, Reef and Rainforest clients have seen over 450 jaguars whilst staying at the camps with a 100% success rate from 2010, a real testament to the effort put in to find this king of big cats. Some sightings have been brief whereas others have lasted for hours with many visitors returning with hundreds of photos and hours video of rarely seen behaviour such as hunting, swimming, mating, otter attacks and territorial fights.

The most common kills have been caiman taken at the river edge but capybara have been taken in the water and some lucky Reef and Rainforest clients have witnessed a stand-off between a large male and group of giant river otters that it had just tried to ambush. Key to the jaguar camps success is having all boats linked by radio and scouring different areas of the riverbank. They aim to have three boats searching for jaguars for at least five hours each day with scout boats used to make up numbers when there are fewer guest boats.

Staying at SouthWild Jaguar Flotel & Suites. Includes All Meals.

Day 4 - SouthWild Jaguar Flotel

Small group excursions with your naturalist guide (details to be decided on the spot). Depending on group numbers and the river levels one guide may be shared between two boats which will travel together.

There are also 12 ensuite FLOATING SUITES located 5 metres upstream from the current Jaguar Houseboat (and connected by a 5-metre long bridge near water level).

Each of the 12 guest rooms in the Jaguar Suites boasts more than 30 square metres of welldesigned space and include a flow-through, quiet "exhaustor" fan; split air conditioning; free wi-fi; two oversized twin beds (1.28 metres wide); ample table and shelf space; lots of electrical plugs for charging cameras and laptops; private river views; and a large, roofed lounge deck on top of the craft. Meals will be taken in the houseboat dining room.

Staying at SouthWild Jaguar Flotel & Suites. Includes All Meals.

Day 5 - SouthWild Jaguar Flotel

Small group excursions with your naturalist guide (details to be decided on the spot). Depending on group numbers and the river levels one guide may be shared between two boats which will travel together.

SouthWild Jaguar Houseboat and Suites undoubtedly offers the best chance of observing jaguars anywhere in the world. As with all wildlife sightings, there is a large element of luck involved and factors such as weather can limit the number and quality of sightings. Whilst searching for jaguars you will have plenty of time to see many of the Pantanal’s other great wildlife highlights such as capybaras, caiman, giant and neotropical river otters, tufted capuchin and black howler monkeys, a huge number of birds and possibly even an anaconda or Brazilian tapir.

Staying at SouthWild Jaguar Flotel & Suites. Includes All Meals.

Day 6 - SouthWild Jaguar Flotel

Small group excursions with your naturalist guide (details to be decided on the spot). Depending on group numbers and the river levels one guide may be shared between two boats which will travel together.

Jaguars are one of South America’s most elusive mammals and most research biologists have only seen a handful in their lifetime. The Cuiaba River undoubtedly offers the best chance of observing these amazing animals anywhere in the world. As with all wildlife sightings, there is a large element of luck involved and factors such as weather can limit the number and quality of sightings.

Staying at SouthWild Jaguar Flotel & Suites. Includes All Meals.

Day 7 - SouthWild Pantanal and Pixiam River

Last opportunity for jaguar spotting as you return by boat and road to SouthWild Pantanal in time for lunch. Afternoon small group guided excursion on the wildlife rich Pixiam River to see a wealth of birds including boat-billed and agami heron and sunbittern. After dinner enjoy anight drive in search of nocurnal wildlife which may include Brazilian tapir, southern tamandua and crab eating fox and racoon.

Staying at SouthWild Pantanal. Includes All Meals.

Day 8 - Fly Home

Drive to CUIABA in time to catch domestic flight to SAO PAULO. Depart SAO PAULO at 2345 on TAM flight JJ8084 to LONDON.

Includes Breakfast.

Day 9 - Arrive London

Includes In-flight Meals.

Travel Info

Are Flights Included?
Yes

Flight Info:
Fly from London Heathrow overnight to Sao Paulo

Area Specialist

John Melton
specialist_john-melton

If you are keen to try and see another of the Pantanal’s top mammals; the giant anteater, then we would reccommend adding a few nights after the main tour at Pouso Alegre Lodge which is the best location in the northern Pantanal to find them. The southern Pantanal region also has much more dry savannah and is also excellent for sightings of giant anteaters.

If you have any queries about this tour please feel free to call me directly on +44 (0)1803 866965 or...

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Download the full details of this itinerary and start planning your trip today. Download File

Well, you did ‘what it said on the tin’ – we searched for Jaguars and found an Ocelot!! ….. oh yes and 12 sightings of Jaguar!!!

Mr MW - Bedfordshire

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Southwild Jaguar Flotel and Suites: -17.305708, -56.721379
SouthWild Pantanal: -16.758140, -56.877788