Blogs from Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil, South America


South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal June 25th 2016

On June 22 we woke up at 2 am (!) to fly to Cuiaba in the state of Mato Grosso. Then after arriving there we had a three hour drive to our destination,the Pousada Rio Mutum, which we reached at about 4 pm. However, we all got a second wind on the drive, because it was probably the best wildlife viewing we've had yet. Right away we saw greater rheas (large emu-like birds), and then about 40 other bird species. Somehow we were blessed with unusual sightings: a tree full of twenty blue and yellow macaws, a family of five toco toucans, capuchin and black howler monkeys together, and even a giant anteater that Wayne spotted just disappearing into the bush. It was also the brief season for tabebuia trees to be in brilliant pink flower, ... read more
Capybara herd at the Pousada Rio Mutum
Want to join me in the hammock, Ms. Capybara?
A very curious giant river otter

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal January 7th 2015

After finally making our way through Bolivian customs we headed to the Brazilian border town of Corumba, the gateway to the Southern Pantanal. The Pantanal is the world’s largest flooding plain (20 times the size of the Everglades) with hundreds of species of birds, insects, ranches of Brahma cattle and the world’s largest population of jaguars. Our hostel welcomed us with a dorm all to ourselves and a pool to relax in after the brutal heat of the border crossing. Since it was low season, there weren’t many tour operators in the area (most use Campo Grande as their base) so we took the advice of our host who also had connections in tour companies and ranches in the Pantanal. With a 3-day tour decided upon, we wandered into town for dinner and found an excellent ... read more
A sneaky caiman pretending not to watch us watching it
Beautiful hyacinth macaws on our ranch, they are almost always seen in pairs as they mate for life
Piranha fishing with some success! (C:4, P:2)

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal January 19th 2014

Friday 17thJanuary (Odyssey Day 70) We departed camp this morning at 0900 after taking the opportunity to fill the water tank, seeing as we are heading for a bush camp tonight. There was some arguments about seating plans this morning, and really I wish people wouldn’t come to me to complain. I get complaints about the seating, and then when we try and fix the problem I get more complaints about it all. It’s not like it’s a difficult concept, sometimes it seems like no one can think for themselves. Ironically enough (though not unexpected) it is the people who complain who are generally the ones who are being selfish about the whole issue anyway. The ones who do the right thing all the time don’t tend to complain. The bush camp tonight was on a ... read more
Travel Day

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal May 24th 2013

Day 3 saw us rise an hour and a half before the sun to try and track the Giant Anteater under the full moon. It was surprisingly fresh and soon clouds shrouded the moon, meaning that we had to rely on our head torches for light. Flavio found fresh Anteater tracks, but we were unable to track him down. We did come across some Capybara's, Agouti's, and crab eating Foxes, plus numerous birds creating the dawn chorus. On our way back to the Pousada we spotted a Blue and Yellow Macaw, a magnificent looking creature, and extremely noisy. After gorging ourselves at breakfast (i think we have worms), it was time to do horseback riding, not my favourite pastime. Of course i got stuck with a horse that did not like being told what to do, ... read more
Blue and Yellow Macaw
Crab Eating Fox

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal May 23rd 2013

Day 2 starts off with a very hearty breakfast, still don't understand where this massive appetite is coming from, and then onto a small dinghy to cruise down the Rio Claro for a few hours, spotting numerous waterbirds, Hawks, Kites, Iguana's, Monkeys and of course Caiman. The weather is overcast, so it means the animals are a bit docile, but it also means that us of the fair skin do not fry and crumble under the usual mid 30 degree heat and high humidity. Once again Flavio is a machine, pointing out animals with his eyes that are so well camouflaged, that we have trouble finding them with binoculars. Our break after lunch allows us time to go through Flavio's encyclopedia-like mind and write down the names of the birds that we have managed to take ... read more
Capuchin Monkey
Capuchin Monkey
Capuchin Monkey

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal May 22nd 2013

The Pantanal was always going to be a highlight for me on our trip, and it did not let me down. The cost to get there and do an organised tour is a shock, especially after coming from Bolivia, but it is worth it, and even more worth it to do it with a well reputed company. We had arranged for a 4 day tour, just before the high season starts, so the place is not swamped with tourists, but the slight chance of seeing a Jaguar is even slimmer. Another reason for us visiting at this time is that the Pantanal is in a state of transition, with the raining season finishing up 4-6 weeks ago. This means that there is still a good amount of water draining from the area, but also sections of ... read more
Chestnut-eared Aracari (Toucan)
Owl Butterfly
Howler Monkeys

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal October 28th 2012

De volgende dag gaan we op safari: eerst met een auto en vervolgens te voet. Vanuit de auto spotten we capybara’s, kaaimannen en een grote hagedis. Als we een riviertje oversteken, zien we twee reuzenotters. Op het eerste gezicht vinden we ze er best lief uitzien, maar daar komt al snel verandering in wanneer we ze vol smaak een kaaiman op zien peuzelen. Met hun grote, scherpe tanden, die blikkeren in de zon, trekken ze vol kracht stukken kaaiman af. Wannneer ze vervolgens op de kant kruipen, is goed te zien dat we hier niet te maken hebben met een lief, onschuldig ottertje uit de Biesbosch: de beesten zijn enorm! Van de gids horen we dat het de gevaarlijkste dieren uit de Pantanal zijn en dat ze elke dag een hele kaaiman verorberen. Wij blijven dan ... read more
Otter eet kaaiman
Otter op het land
Johnny Indian

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal October 26th 2012

Na twee grote steden, een dorpje en een eiland verkend te hebben, reizen we af naar het natuurgebied “Pantanal”. Dit is een jungle-moerasachtig gebied met de afmetingen van heel Frankrijk. Heel Panatanal is in handen van grootgrondbezitters en dus privé gebied. De grootgrondbezitters verdienen met name hun geld door grote kuddes koeien vrij in het gebied te laten grazen. Als de koeien volgroeid zijn, worden ze getransporteerd naar een ander gebied, vetgemest en vervolgens geslacht. Naast koeien leven er ook exotische dieren in de Pantanal zoals: vogelspinnen, kaaimannen, luipaarden, anaconda’s, ara’s en aapjes. Aangezien de Pantanal privégebied is, is het niet mogelijk om op eigen gelegenheid te reizen maar moet je dit altijd georganiseerd doen. In Campo Grande zijn er verschillende bedrijfjes die een volledig georganiseerde en verzorgde tour naar de “Pantanal” aanbieden. W... read more
Piranha vissen
Piranha eten

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal March 25th 2012

Another 7.00 am breakfast and we all piled into the tiered jeep for a five-minute drive (which the day before we had walked 20 minutes to for the canoe trip) to the boat jetty. We got on to a pontoon with a planked floor bolted across with a wooden ladder to an upper level held up on metal stilts. Some of us climbed to the upper level. Plastic garden chairs were available on each level. The guide started the motor and we chugged very slowly through the fields of plants and water hyacinths in the opposite direction to that taken on the canoes, the boat totally obliterating any sign that we were actually in water until it cleared a watery trail through the middle. The going was very slow as the plants had grown so thick. ... read more
Fazenda San Fransisco

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso » Pantanal March 24th 2012

Up for breakfast of toast, cereal, fruit and rice with left over meat from the day before (which we both avoided) and sufficient coffee to satisfy. At 8.00 am we enjoyed a trip down a sort of tributary of the main river which was only there during the wetter season. This tributary was 25kms long and would dry up when the rains cease. We shared a Canadian canoe and paddled for about 45 minutes in one direction whilst the guide pointed out different birds, capybaras and caimans until we had to turn back due to the overgrowth of plants and water hyacinths in the water blocking any further progress..... After the canoeing, we returned to the fazenda. The day was extremely hot and we went for a dip in the pool and sat around until we ... read more
Fazenda San Francisco
Fazenda San Francisco

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