Pantanal, Brazil – September

14 September – 24 September 2020 (10 nights, 11 days)

In September 2020 Grant and Helena Atkinson will again lead a small, private group of photographers to Brazil’s famed Pantanal, to photograph the fascinating and diverse wildlife of this wetland region.  Jaguars, spectacled caimans, giant river otters, armadillos, anteaters, capybaras, tapirs, hyacinth macaws, toucans and many more bird species occur here.  

The Pantanal, located in southwest Brazil, (mostly within the state of Mato Grosso do Sul) is a vast wetland region, located in a shallow basin with the some of the main drainage being the Paraguay River and its tributaries.   Water levels fluctuate in response to rainfall in the rivers catchment areas.  We visit in the dry season, when the water levels are at their lowest, which is when wildlife viewing is at its best (typically August to October each year).  

On this small group safari (maximum 6 travellers with two leaders) we focus on the northern Pantanal only.  We make use of three different locations, Pouse Alegre Lodge, Panoramico Houseboat and Southwild Pantanal Lodge.  Our first two nights are at Pouso Alegre Lodge, which is located on an 8000 ha wildlife ranch.  During our time here we will look for chances to view and photograph some of the amazing birdlife such as hyacinth macaw, Toco toucan, rhea, Jabiru stork and many more.  Although they are much harder to locate or photograph on our short visit, some fascinating mammals like crab-eating fox, armadillo, coatimundi, tapir, and anteater do also occur at low densities here.

After two nights, we drive along the Transpantaneira Road for the morning, with some wildlife viewing along the way before meeting with our guides who will take us by boat to the Panoramico Houseboat.  We spend the following seven nights (7) on the houseboat, making use of high-powered aluminium power boats for our excursions every morning and afternoon.  The houseboat is located very close to the core area of Encontro das Aguas State Park, and its surrounding areas, which are where some of the best jaguar viewing typically takes place in the Pantanal.  Our focus during our time on the houseboat is for jaguars, as well as giant river otters, capybaras, Yacare caiman, and the many birds that can be encountered along the river.

After our time on the houseboat, we spend make our way back along the Transpanteira Road, but stay over for one night, at Southwild Pantanal lodge.  Depending upon our time of arrival we may get to see and photograph more birds and some smaller mammals in the vicinity of the lodge.  The next morning we drive back to Cuiaba for onward flights.  

Trip summary 

  • Cost: US$9 999 per person sharing with single supplement of US$1 000
  • Should you be interested in booking, we will require a 30% deposit to hold your spot. 
  • Single spots are available but they are limited so let us know if you are interested and we will advise on availability
  • 6 participants
  • 2 photo host tour leaders
  • 2 English speaking naturalist guides throughout the expedition 
  • This trip will run with a minimum of 3 participants and 1 photo trip leader
  • All meals from lunch on day 1; to breakfast on day 11
  • Private transportation throughout the expedition – air conditioned/closed vehicles for transfers
  • 2 boats for river safaris ( 1 naturalist guide, 3 guests, and 1 tour leader per boat ) 
  • all drinks throughout tour 

Our focus while we are at the houseboat will be on seeing and photographing jaguars, giant river otters, caimans, capybaras and birds as well.  At the other two lodges we will focus on some birding and some smaller mammals potentially.

 

How do I signup?

Our group size is a maximum of 6 participants and normally this trip fills up fast.  If this exciting safari sounds good and you are thinking of joining this trip, please get in touch with any questions.

Contact us

Please click on individual tabs below for more detailed information. 

Highlights  

  • 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,, capybara, caiman and tapir.
  • A bird-rich environment like no other, and brilliantly-coloured birds like hyacinth macaw, an array of parrots and parakeets, toucans, as well as aquatic birds like kingfishers, jabiru storks and herons are frequently encountered.
  • Comfortable, spacious and highly-mobile aluminium power boats for our river excursions give us a great, low-angle photography platform.
  • With two trip leaders and only six travelers, the ratio of leaders to participants is high. 

 

The Itinerary: 14 September – 24 September 2020 (10 nights)

September 14, 2020

Day 1 –  Transfer CGB (Cuiaba airport) to Pouso Alegre

              Lunch en route

              PM activities at Pouso Alegre (if time allows) 

              Overnight Pouso Alegre

 

September 15, 2020

Day 2 –  AM Activities at Pouso Alegre

              PM Activities at Pouso Alegre

              Overnight Pouso Alegre

 

September 16, 2020

Day 3 – Transfer to Panoramico Ship after breakfast (floating hotel)

             PM River Safari

             Overnight on Panoramico Ship

 

September 17, 2020

Day 4 – AM River Safari

             PM River Safari

             Overnight on Panoramico Ship

 

September 18, 2020

Day 5-  AM River Safari

             PM River Safari

             Overnight on Panoramico Ship

 

September 19, 2020

Day 6 – AM River Safari

             PM River Safari

             Overnight on Panoramico Ship

 

September 20, 2020

Day 7 – AM River Safari

             PM River Safari

             Overnight on Panoramico Ship

 

September 21, 2020

Day 8 – AM River Safari

             PM River Safari

             Overnight on Panoramico Ship

 

September 22, 2020

Day 9 – AM River Safari

             PM River Safari

             Overnight on Panoramico Ship

 

September 23, 2020

Day 10 – Transfer to SouthWild Pantanal Lodge 

              PM activities at SouthWild Pantanal Lodge

              Overnight at SouthWild Pantanal Lodge 

 

September 24, 2020

Day 11 – Transfer to Cuiaba after breakfast 

 

 

Pouso Alegre Lodge, Pocone, Mato Grosso , Brazil

14 and 15 September 2020; (2 nights)

pullman-sao-pauloParticipants to make their way to Cuiaba Marechal Rondon International Airport in time for 12h00 (12 midday) road transfer in a closed vehicle.  Transfer approximately 3 hours.    The trip begins  from the airport.  .  Make your way to Arrive at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport. After collecting your luggage and clearing customs

 

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.

Visit Pouso Alegre Lodge

 

Panoramico Houseboat, Northern Pantanal, Brazil

16, 17, 18,19,20, 21, 22 September 2020: (7 nights)

southwild-jaguarAfter breakfast at Pouso Alegre, we will drive deeper into the Pantanal to Porto Jofre, a small fishing village.

Here we will meet our guides who will transport us and our luggage by boat to our floating hotel, Panoramico Houseboat.

We will spend the next 7 days boating along the Rio Piquiri and its various channels and oxbows.  We will have exclusive use of 2 boats, each with a local guide and boat driver.  We will have a two boat excursions each day, one in the morning, and another in the late afternoon in order to take advantage of the best light for making images.  Middays will be spent back on the houseboat, enjoying its comfort and working on our pictures or preparing for the next activity.  

Each of the 2-bed cabins are fitted with air conditioning.  They also have an en-suite bathroom, minibar, desk and an armchair and storage spaces.  

here come with a minibar, air conditioning, en-suite bathroom, desk, reading armchair and luggage compartment. A conference room is provided for lectures and presentations, while the panoramic deck and bar are the perfect places to either spot wildlife along the riverbanks, or simply sit back and relax with cocktail in hand.

DINING

Meals are communal and can be taken in the houseboat’s large air-conditioned restaurant or out on the panoramic deck. The well-balanced and varied cuisine consists of typical dishes from the region, with red meat and fish served at all meals, as well as a host of desserts, fruits and juices. Barbecues are a favourite, while vegans, vegetarians and those with allergic requirements can be catered for on request.

ACTIVITIES

While jaguars, caimans, river otters and a host of other Pantanal wildlife can be seen from the deck of the houseboat, five smaller speedboats are also provided (with engines ranging from 90 to 150 horsepower) that allow for much greater manoeuvrability. The experienced and well-trained pilots know the rivers of the Pantanal intimately, ensuring you’ll be in the right place at the right time for good sightings of the region’s wildlife.

 

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, several species of monkey, macaws and many other lovely birds including kingfishers, herons, storks, curassows and various raptors. Of course, our main focus will be jaguars!

Visit Panoramico Houseboat

 

SouthWild Pantanal Lodge, Northern Pantanal, Brazil

29 September 2020: (1 night)

southwild_pantanalAfter breakfast and checking out of our hotel in Sao Paulo, we will be transferred back to the airport for our scheduled commercial flight to Cuiba, Brazil. On arrival in Cuiba, we will connect with our private coach that will drive us along the Transpantaneira road into the Pantanal.  As we progress along our drive, we will start to see landscapes shift and gradually transform into the lovely, bird-rich Pantanal environment.  We will stop along the way for bathrooms, refreshments and perhaps a few 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 from our rooms.  The lodge also has a 30 meter high viewing platform constructed alongside a jabiru stork nest.  In the afternoon we will use boats to explore the Pixaim River, which runs in front of the lodge, where we will look for caimans, birds like kingfishers, herons and more.

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.  Wildlife along the river at SouthWild is abundant and we can expect to see caiman, capybaras, several species of monkey, macaws, a variety of raptors, and many other bird species, some at close quarters.

Visit SouthWild Pantanal

 

 

SAFARI ENDS

24 September

Today after breakfast at our villa, we will transfer by road (approx 4 hours) to Cuiaba, where we will catch our scheduled commercial flight back to Sao 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).

 

Detailed Costs

This trip will run with a minimum of 4 participants and a maximum of 6 participants.

US$9 999 per person sharing

US$1 000 single supplement

Single spots are available but they are limited so let us know if you are interested and we will advise on availability.

This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as all accommodation and all meals (except as noted above and in exclusions below).

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.

 

What is included

  • Accommodation on a shared basis, however should you want single accommodation on the safari, please get in touch and enquire if this is possible
  • 2 x Trip leader (Grant and Helena Atkinson)
  • Private boats throughout trip
  • All safari activities and transfers to/from the airports and the hotels
  • All road transfers to/from the airports (except on arrival in Sao Paolo, where you will take the free hotel shuttle).
  • Private road transfers: Cuiaba to Panoramico and return.
  • All meals at Pouso Alegre, Panoramico Houseboat and SouthWild Lodge.
  • Water and coffee at SouthWild: water, coffee and soft drinks at Caiman
  • Daily laundry is available but the 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.
  • All meals from lunch on day 1; to breakfast on day 11
  • 2 English speaking naturalist guides throughout the expedition 
  • Private transportation throughout the expedition – air conditioned/closed vehicles for transfers
  • 2 boats for river safaris ( 1 naturalist guide, 3 guests, and 1 tour leader per boat ) 
  • 2 photo host tour leaders costs included in double occupancy throughout 
  • All drinks throughout tour

What is NOT included

  • International airfare and / or other transportation between your home and Cuiaba New Delhi International Airport
  • Dinner / drinks in Delhi on Day 1 and last day
  • Discretionary gratuities for hotel staff and in camps
  • Discretionary gratuities for driver guides (who will be with us throughout our trip) 
  • Discretionary gratuities for park staff (a different individual will be with us on every drive)
  • Laundry or extras in  (laundry is included at the Samode safari lodge)
  • Visas, travel insurance, personal purchases (including curios, special spirit liquors, telephone calls, etc).
  • Optional pre- / post safari tours and meals or accommodation before or after the safari
  • Gratuities for hotel staff in Sao 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 accommation before or after the safari (we would be happy to arrange any and all additional overnights or extensions)

Payment Schedule:  Payment schedule for clients joining this trip are as follows: 30% on sign up: 30% additional by January 01, 2020: final deposit by June 01, 2020.

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.

NOTES:

Suggested cash gratuities (US Dollar or Brazilian Real) for the local guides is of course optional.  We recommend an amount of around USD 20-30 per person per day for guides and USD 10-20 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 Real.

Special Notes

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 at any time.

4. With a maximum of six participants, the ratio of photographic leaders Grant and Helena Atkinson, to participants, is high.  This translates into lots of quality time with the photo leaders, both in the field and when editing images.

5. Whilst on the river, our visit is during the ‘high-season” for jaguar viewing.  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 Caiman Eco refuge, our sightings will be more exclusive. 

Enquire Now about this Safari