Pantanal – Brazil

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Pantanal

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
When to go
                         
Temp °C 36 36 36 35 35 36 35 39 40 39 37 36
Rain mm 13 6 9 3 2 1 0 1 1 5 8 10

Rio de Janeiro

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
When to go
                         
Temp °C 37 37 35 34 32 32 30 34 35 35 35 37
Rain mm 7 8 9 9 5 5 4 4 6 6 9 8

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PANTANAL – BRAZIL

Brazil – a captivating fusion of nature and culture that invites you to discover experiences beyond well-explored paths.   Immerse yourself in the kaleidoscope of Brazilian culture, where the rhythm of samba is just one note in a symphony of diversity.  From the vibrant streets of Salvador to the historic charm of Paraty, each region showcases its distinct traditions and flavors.

Experience the rich cultural heritage visiting local communities with responsible tourism, experience cultural immersion, get in contact with the heart of Amazon festivals and its tales, and get to know Brazil’s people.

Brazil’s beaches, trails, and festivals together weave a narrative of exploration, celebration, and an unrivalled connection with the extraordinary beauty of this diverse and dynamic nation.  Brazil is not just a destination; it’s a sensory journey!

PANTANAL

Considered a World Natural Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, the Pantanal concentrates one of the greatest diversities of fauna and flora on the planet. This exuberant Brazilian biome stretches across the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, and has distinct characteristics.

Seasonal climate within the Pantanal will influence travellers’ experiences. During the flood season, which runs from December to March, the region is flooded and there is a greater chance of spotting waterfowl, as the mammals seek higher ground. From April to June there is the ebb season, when the rainfall decreases significantly and the waters begin to recede, allowing land mammals, including jaguars, to return to the lower areas.From July to October is the dry season, the best for observing wildlife, including mammals.The rivers offer plenty of food on their banks and some species of birds enter their reproductive period, acquiring spectacular colors. From November to December, the rainy season is excellent for birdwatching, as there is plenty of food available for them, and some species take the opportunity to teach their young to fly.

The Southern Pantanal is located in the northwest of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul and the main access by plane is via Campo Grande International Airport, the state capital. It is one of the best places in Brazil for observing wildlife, especially jaguars and caimans. Among the region’s main attractions are the Negro, Aquidauana and Paraguay rivers, the Pantanal train and the beautiful city of Corumbá, considered the capital of the Pantanal. The local cuisine is rich in fish and barbecue, and at the markets you can buy handicrafts made from clay and wood. Canoeing, horseback riding, cycling and the Vazante and Murucututu trails are some of the activities that most attract visitors to this territory.

The Northern Pantanal, located in the state of Mato Grosso, offers visitors an unusual experience in nature. The main access by plane to this region is via Marechal Rondon International Airport, located in the city of Cuiabá, its capital. Although modest, its remote location gives some indication of what your adventure will be like. Unlike the Southern Pantanal, the Northern Pantanal is a more untouched and wilder place, receiving fewer visitors, which will give you the feeling that you are exploring the largest floodplain in the world, with 250,000 km2.

The region has numerous swamps, winding rivers, is rich in riparian forests and has abundant wildlife. Around 250 species of fish, 80 mammals, 50 reptiles and more than 650 birds live together harmoniously. Birdwatching is a highlight, as it gives visitors the opportunity to spot rare and migratory species in their natural habitat. Poconé is the gateway to the Pantanal, a town of just over 30,000 inhabitants that preserves traditional 19th century architecture and offers a variety of adventure and leisure activities all year round. Porto Jofre is part of the itinerary for those who enjoy a good fishing trip in the Mato Grosso Pantanal. The waters there are dark and rich in fish, which is a characteristic of the Cuiabá River. Cáceres is another town focused on tourism and fishing.

WEATHER AND BEST TIMES TO VISIT THE PANTANAL

It is possible to visit the Pantanal all year round, having very different experiences such as more bird sightings, overflowing rivers, exuberant nature or even mammal sightings. See below what to expect in each season:

FLOOD – December to March: Rivers overflow and flood up to two thirds of the plain. The landscape becomes a true living and fluid painting, where the immense sheet of water mirrors the sky and each sunset becomes a unique spectacle. It is a time of reinvigoration for fauna and flora, when it is possible to easily spot water birds such as tuiuiús, loggerheads, ducks, teals and herons. Mammals migrate to higher areas of the Pantanal and capybaras, wolves and pampas and red deer are usually found

VAZANTE – April to June: When the rains stop, the waters begin to slowly recede. The mammals, which had dispersed with the flood, returned to occupy the plain. The sky presents the most starry nights in the Pantanal, and the milder temperature with the end of the rains makes night walks more pleasurable. During the low tide, peccaries, peccaries, swamp deer and groups of howler and capuchin monkeys can be observed. The landscape is made up of isolated fields and hills, as well as scattered small puddles and corixos, small rivers that form to flow into larger currents.

DRY – July to October: The best time to observe wildlife. Permanent rivers and lagoons return to their natural limits, concentrate thousands of fish and offer a plentiful feast, feeding the life of the ecosystem that populates their banks. The birds have beautiful plumage and attractive songs, as they are in their reproductive period. Anteaters and coatis are common presences, jaguars stroll peacefully and the dry landscape takes on yellowish tones, with spots of color provided by the beginning of the piúvas (ipês-rosas) flowering.

RAINS – November and December: This is the period of the first rains and the green landscape. The dry land absorbs water quickly and the birds feed abundantly. Hundreds of species of birds take advantage of the moment to teach their young their first flights. It is possible to observe numerous groups of macaws, tuiuiús and dry-headed storks. Mammals are starting to become rarer.

FLORA AND FAUNA FOUND IN THE PANTANAL

The vegetation in the Pantanal is terrestrial and aquatic, as this is one of the largest flooded plains in the world. The vegetation has a mosaic of forests, cerrados and savannahs, with influence from three other important Brazilian biomes: Amazon, Cerrado and Atlantic Forest.  The fauna varies according to each lodge, region and time of year, but some possible species to see are:

  • Tapir
  • Giant anteater
  • Anteater
  • Alligator
  • Capybara
  • Jabiru
  • Howler monkey
  • Capuchin monkey
  • Blue macaw, Canindé, Red macaw
  • Pantanal Deer
  • Anaconda
  • Ocelot
  • Jaguar
  • Otters
  • Armadillo
  • Bushed pigs
  • White-lipped peccary
  • Emas
  • Tuiuiu
  • Moorish Cat

We are shortly introducing the fabulous wildlife of the Pantanal in Brazil to our portfolio of worldwide wildlife destinations and we are delighted to announce that we will be offering a small group safari in 2024, together with lots of tailor-made itinerary ideas with the possibility of extending your wildlife safari to experience Rio de Janeiro, Iguaçu Falls, the Amazon, Sao Paulo and more!

Can’t wait – then email [email protected] or telephone 01984 667420 to start planning your Pantanal adventure!

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