Blogs from 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 January 26th 2014

Saturday 25th January (Odyssey Day 78) We departed from camp at 0700 this morning after packing up in the rain. It was drizzling when we woke and just kept getting heavier, then lighter, then heavier again – but didn’t stop raining at all. We had to pack up our tents and the truck in the rain, while walking across sodden grass and mud, trying to avoid the deceptively deep puddles of water that were scattered around and lying in wait for unsuspecting and tired travellers in the pre-dawn. Well okay, that sounded a bit dramatic, but it certainly had the effect of improving our balance as we tried not to slip over and get everything we were carrying muddy. We headed back to collect Leen from near Chapada dos Guimarães. She had been one of the ... read more
Vila Bela Dinner
Vila Bela Dinner
Guaporé River Trip

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso January 24th 2014

Thursday 23rd January (Odyssey Day 76) We had a relatively late start today, departing at 1030. I believe the main reason was because we had to collect our laundry and it didn’t open until 0700. As it turned out, we needed the extra time because it was a bit complicated to get our clothes back. It was all mixed up and they tried charging double what was quoted. It certainly served to exasperate everyone. I was one of the fortunate few who got all my clothes back – there weren’t too many who could say the same (and there were a few people who got a shirt or two back the next day as people went through their bags and found more things that didn’t belong). We headed for Pousada Bom Jardim, a campsite not too ... read more
Pousada Bom Jardim
Pousada Bom Jardim
Pousada Bom Jardim

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso January 22nd 2014

Monday 20th January (Odyssey Day 73) After packing up the camp this morning, we headed back into Jaciara and spent an hour and a half in town. After Joanna and I did another shop for the bar (a never ending job it seems), I managed to find a café to have a drink and use the internet, and then even had time to do some personal shopping. I also found a chemist. The guy there didn’t speak English but we got our points across quite well I think – ‘buzzzz’ *slap* means mosquito and ‘buzzzz’ *swat* means fly. So yes, I managed to get some insect repellent and some antihistamine cream for fly bites (which I wasn’t the only one to suffer from at the Jaciara camp). We arrived in Chapada dos Guimarães around 1630. The ... read more
Travel Day
Chapada dos Guimarães
Chapada dos Guimarães

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 » Cuiabá May 21st 2013

It is 2am, Sunday night, and we are in the Campo Grande bus terminal. The Lonely Planet guide said that this is supposed to be fairly seedy at night, with hookers & dodgy characters. But there is nothing that interesting to observe to help kill the next 3.5 hours till our bus. We arrived here at 11.45pm, after another fairly torturous day. Getting to the border crossing at 9am this morning high hopes were held of getting into Corumba, Brazil by 12. We got through the Bolivian side in 2 hours, but the Brazilian side took another 4 hours. Not sure if today was a special day, but there were a lot of Bolivians seeking visas today, the majority on their way to Sao Paulo. There was around 150 people to process, including 5 gringos, and ... read more

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