Going Big in Brazil 2018 – A big trip in search of some of Brazil’s biggest beasts!
Brazil is a place that I fell in love with back in 2009 when my partner and I spent 8 nights in the North Pantanal in search of Jaguars and other wildlife. I had been holding out hoping that he would take me back one day, but after 9 years it seemed this was not going to happen any time soon and I really couldn’t wait any longer!
So in May 2017 I started planning for a return. After several false starts with previous travelling companions, I got a few people from Safaritalk together and we were off and running. We were a group of four throughout with three of us for whole duration.
All of the planning, liaising with the lodges and organisation was undertaken by myself and another of the participants. It was no small undertaking to try and get each leg of the tour lined up, but being cost-conscious we had little choice but to take on this role ourselves, rather than employ an agent for the whole business.
I had a number of key targets that I wanted to focus on for this tour, many of which Ian and I had missed last time:
- Both anteaters
- Any of the armadillos
- Outside chance of Puma and
- Maned Wolf
We would also plan to spend a good amount of time in Porto Jofre to see the jaguars again and I hoped to come back with some photos of ocelots- having been lucky enough to see one on our last trip but not having been lucky to get a photograph.
With these targets in mind we settled on the following itinerary:
|12/09/18||KLM flight from Norwich at 0605 via Schipol and Sao Paolo arriving Campo Grande at 10:40:00 PM|
|12/09/18||Overnight at Hotel Mohave close to the airport|
|13/09/18||Meet tour participants over breakfast, driver will pick us up at the Mohave Hotel at 7:00 a.m Collect guide and Transfer to Baia Das Pedras – Cessna 1 hr flight|
|13/09/18||Baia das Pedras- where we hoped to meet the Giant Armadillo research team and maybe, if we were lucky, participate in a capture and release of a giant armadillo.|
|14/09/18||Baia das Pedras|
|15/09/18||Baia Das Pedras – We were meant to transfer to Barranco Alto on this day but shortly before our departure we were asked to stay another night at Baia Das Pedras owing to a problem with our room.|
|16/09/18||Transfer – Car (game viewing en route)|
|16/09/18||Barranco Alto – which we chose as a good place for the anteaters, and outside chance of Puma|
|20/09/18||Transfer – Car (some game viewing en route, some on tarred road)|
|20/09/18||San Francisco- here we hoped to get good views of ocelots on the night drives, in return for “putting up” with the crowds of daytrippers from neighbouring Miranda.|
|23/09/18||Transfer – Car (on tarred road)|
|23/09/18||flight AVIANCA BRASIL O6 6382 Depart 2040 arrive 2155.|
|23/09/18||Slaviero Slim Cuiabá Aeroporto|
|24/09/18||Pouso Alegre- which we included to both break up our journey to Porto Jofre and for chance of tapir, amongst other things.|
|25/09/18||Pousada Porto Jofre (we were originally meant to be staying at Porto Jofre Pantanal Camping in rooms, but our guide Julio managed to get us into this lodge, which he advised was a better choice).|
|26/09/18||Pousada Porto Jofre|
|27/09/18||Pousada Porto Jofre|
|28/09/18||Pousada Porto Jofre|
|30/09/17||Depart or continue to extension|
|30/09/18||Flight Cuiaba dep: 16:50 via Brasilia to Belo Horizonte Arr: 22:00|
|30/09/18||Overnight at Linx Confins|
|01/10/18||Caraca Monastery (for maned wolf & birding)|
|04/10/18||Canastra National Park (further chances for maned wolf and anteaters)|
|05/10/18||Canastra National Park|
|06/10/18||Canastra National Park|
|07/10/18||Return flight 15:20 from Belo Horizonte via Sao Paolo and Schipol arriving home in Norwich at 13:40 on 8/10|
A fully illustrated day by day trip report can be found on Safaritalk here
An album of photos can be found here
A bird list can be found here
The Mammals- 33 Species in total- the full list can be found here.
- A single Giant Armadillo, called Robert, captured by researchers on our arrival day – Baia Das Pedras
- 1 Puma and 2 cubs seen on a night drive at Barranco Alto
- Over two dozen Giant Anteaters seen at various locations, but mainly on the long drive across country between Barranco Alto and San Francisco farm, including one mother and baby on a night drive at San Francisco. We had some amazing close views of adults on several occasions.
- 2 Southern Tamanduas, one seen in daytime on leaving Baia Das Pedras.
- 5 Ocelots at San Francisco farm, including one showing really nicely in a tree, and a captured individual as part of a research project, plus two other brief daytime sightings.
- 3 Tapirs seen on night drives at Pouso Alegre.
- Several six-banded and one nine-banded armadillos, the former seen in the first two lodges in South Pananal, the latter, a single individual seen at Pouso Alegre.
- Approximately 16 Jaguars, most seen from Porto Jofre area, but one seen at San Francisco farm, distant – this one had 2 cubs which we didn’t see that our guides saw crossing ahead of the female. We did see a female with a small cub some distance down the river from Porto Jofre.
- A pair of Maned Wolf at Caraca Monastery.
- A White-eared Opossum facing off against a local moggie at Pousada Barcelos near Serra da Canastra NP.