A Unique New Year!
After an exciting Christmas crossing the border into Brazil and visiting the almighty Iguazu Falls, we celebrated New Year in an equally exciting way by going on safari in the Pantanal.
The Pantanal is a vast swampy wetland area laying in the heart of South America. It is the largest inland wetland area in the world, some 210,000 sq km, which is spread across Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay.
One Of Brazil’s Wildest Regions
In Brazil, the Pantanal region covers an immense 140,000 sq km, through the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul. Due to the rainy season, for around 6 months of the year this area is mostly inaccessible because of flooding, which has meant that the whole area remains largely undeveloped and unspoilt. With an abundance of nature, it is the perfect place to see some of Brazil’s amazing wildlife.
The Pantanal supports approximately 650 bird species, 300 fish species, 190 different mammals and 170 reptile species. Although the Amazon gets all the glory for wildlife spotting, here in the Pantanal in two days alone, we saw howler monkeys, coatis (a type of raccoon), families of capybara, caiman, kingfishers, macaws, giant otters, tarantulas and piranha. (Plus lots of other birds we are unable to name!)
Camping In The Pantanal
We stayed for 3 nights on the outskirts of the Pantanal at Pousada Santa Clara. Although Santa Clara has lodge accommodation, we stayed at the adjoining campground on a full aboard basis, which included breakfast, lunch and dinner, hot and cold showers and drinking water.
Also included were four group activities – horse riding, a nature walk, piranha fishing, and a wildlife safari, complete with transport and a very knowledgeable local guide.
Here is a selection of photographs from the fantastic activities we experienced in the Pantanal.
‘Nature Walk’ Through The Pantanal
A tarantula on the side of our tent.
A Boat Ride On The Upper Brown River & Piranha Fishing
Horse Riding Through The Pantanal
On Safari In The Pantanal
A jaguar paw print we spotted.
The activities were all equally brilliant, but the piranha fishing was my favourite even though I never caught a fish, unlike Wayne who managed to hook four of them!
Wayne’s favourite activity was the nature walk, which provided him with lots of photographic opportunities to capture wildlife in action in their natural habitat.
Walking through the Pantanal, we discovered lots of new flora and fauna and learnt much about how the various trees, plants and fruit are used in local daily life.
Our local guide Elias, even showed us a good hangover cure – chewing on the bark of a particular tree.
Add It To Your Itinerary!
It’s a long drive to reach the Pantanal area, but if you have the time in Brazil to get there, the Pantanal is definitely one of those ‘must do’ places!