September 9th - 20th, 2013
Looking for the photography trip of a lifetime? Join Dan and Tanya and explore deep into the pristine Brazilian Pantanal, home to one of the largest, healthiest jaguar populations on Earth. No other location in the world can offer this many Jaguar sightings. Our camp is the ONLY camp that is in prime jaguar country. All other camps need to transport their guests 1.5 hours by boat daily to get to this location. We work with the best!
Hundreds of species of beautiful and rare birds include anything from small hummingbirds to the large Jabiru Stork, as well as parrots, macaws, and parakeets. Enjoy sights of the world’s largest rodent, the capybara, along with reptiles, fish and mammals, including Giant Otters and Brazilian Tapir.
2013 Brazil Pantanal Jaguar Wildlife Expedition Travel Plans
Sunday, September 8
Monday, September 9 (D)
Arrive São Paulo (GRU) or Brasilia (BSB) and board your connecting flight to Cuiabá. Welcome dinner this evening. Overnight Hotel Hits Pantanal
Tuesday, September 10 – Wednesday, September 11, 2 Nights (B, L, D)
After breakfast, depart from Cuiabá for the elevated Transpantaneira Road, one of the best wildlife-viewing areas in the world. The road is unpaved with over 136 little wooden bridges. There may be numerous encounters with capybara, brown capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, coatimundis, crab-eating foxes, caiman, neo-tropical otters. Anaconda – the world’s largest constrictor along with other elusive mammals including the giant anteater, tapir, jaguar or puma. This area harbors a world record 82 species of large birds. This time of the year the Transpantaneira is typically quite dry, so we’ll stop periodically to photograph any wetland areas along the way with birds and wildlife.
Explore wildlife all around the ranch-style lodge on trails or from unique wildlife observation towers, one near a nest of habituated Jabiru Storks. In morning or mid-afternoon, take a boat ride on the Rio Pixaim River, a great source of photo opportunities for caimans, capybara, brown capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys and also birds including toucans, kingfishers, parakeets and hawks. It is also one of the best sites for predictable viewing of a wild family of giant otters from a distance of only 3 to 16 feet away. Often they will come close to the boat, craning their necks, and snorting loudly. The group will split up and alternate between boat and truck safaris.
Thursday, September 12 – Monday, September 16, 5 Nights (B, L, D)
Depart early after breakfast, continue on the Transpantaneira Road en route to our second lodge. We’ll travel to the end of this road (about two to three hours with stops) and then boat on the Cuiabá River to our remote camp in the Meeting of the Waters State Park.
We’ll be staying in the heart of jaguar country.
To improve the Jaguar viewing experience, we have switched accommodations from the tented camp used in previous years to a new superb alternative located 40 minutes closer to the best area for sighting jaguars. This alternative is the Jaguar Flotel, an air-conditioned, floating hotel.
This optimal location combined with administration by biologists and its unique fleet of radio-equipped scout boats and highly-trained jaguar spotters have enabled all guests visiting in 2012 to see Jaguars multiple times.
Here we’ll begin our full day searches for jaguars along the riverbanks in our radio-equipped boats. The Jaguar Flotel offers the highest probabilities of any Pantanal camp of seeing the Big Three South American rainforest mammals – the Jaguar, the Tapir and the Giant Otter.
A number of the giant otter groups that live nearby are quite habituated, permitting superb photo opportunities of these hyperactive, entertaining “river wolves”. Monkeys and numerous species of birds can also be seen.
We’ll use comfortable motorboats connected by radio to search for jaguars in the narrow and wild rivers. The driest months in the Pantanal are the prime time for spotting jaguars – many of them are at close range for extended periods of time. Often they can be seen on the riverbanks resting, drinking water, hunting prey or swimming. All photographers will have their own row of seats in the jaguar search boats for gear and shooting. Dan and the guide will rotate between the boats. We’ll do our best to track these cats for optimal viewing and photography. Patience is always needed – wildlife tracking can be hard, long days. This is not a zoo – on this trip you are venturing out to see jaguars in the wild which can be challenging.
All camps in the Pantanal are NOT EQUAL
10 reasons this is the BEST jaguar camp
- We’ll wake up and go to sleep in the middle of jaguar country (and have lunch there with a snooze after lunch). We are where the action is, 24/7. Since we are staying where the cats live, we’ll be out searching one to two hours before and can stay one to two hours later than competitors.
- Our camp keeps close track of which cats are active, where they are and what they are doing.
- We have the only camp with a systematic radio network linking all boats, and there is a central control tower that coordinates how and where our boats should go to see any cats that one of our boats finds.
- Scout boats with radios help us to find more cats.
- Meals are eaten where the Jaguar are. We’ll never take you from a sitting Jaguar unless you vote to leave (we WILL take people away one by one for a bathroom break and then return them).
- No other tour operator has information with maps of where the cats live.
- Our tour operators have tested all speeds and distances from the riverbank and know which speeds and distances produce the best results for jaguar sighting. Some of the competitors go much too fast and miss a lot of cats and also erode the riverbanks with their big waves.
- Our tour operators carry out scientific research on the cats by building up a profile of their use of time (a so-called “ethogram”).
- The Jaguar Flotel is right in prime jaguar country. The competing lodges have cement block houses one to two hours away from the central Jaguar Zone.
- We work with the only operation that has a full-time biologist on staff to help coordinate data collection and give lectures.
Tuesday, September 17 – Wednesday, September 18, 2 Nights (B, L, D)
After breakfast, take one last boat ride and head back to our first lodge via the Transpantaneira Road. We’ll work the road and photograph along the return and have an afternoon truck safari/boat ride up the Rio Pixaim River in search of mammals, birds and possibly jaguar. There is also an abundance of wildlife to photograph right at the lodge!
Thursday, September 19 (B)
Eat early breakfast and return on the Transpantaneira Road to Cuiabá. We’ll arrive in Cuiabá by 10:30am for your flight to São Paulo or Brasilia. Please try to get a flight out of Cuiabá after 1:00pm. Evening flight home from São Paulo or Brasilia.
Friday, September 20
Tour Extensions Available
September 2nd - 10th, 2013
$7150 per person, based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: $880 (entire trip)
Single Supplement: $440 (Cuiaba and Transpantaneira lodge only)
Flotel Only: Limited single rooms available. All others will be double occupancy. We will do our best to pair you up with a roommate if needed for the time on the flotel.
$1000.00 Per person due at time of booking
Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover, or check accepted
Deposits are non-refundable. If cancellations are necessary, we require this request in writing. We will do our best to resell your space. Only if we can resell your space, we will refund (minus deposit and discounts given to sell your space). No partial refunds are possible for unused services.
February 1, 2013: $3000 First Installment
June 1, 2013: Final Payment
Check only for first installment and final payment. Please make check payable to Natural Exposures and mail to:
810 N. Wallace, Suite E
Bozeman, MT 59715
- Private small group travel with Daniel J. Cox
- Naturalist guide
- Transfers in Cuiabá and to/from wildlife camps
- Pre-lodging in Cuiaba & wildlife camps, 10 nights
- Meals where indicated (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
- Beverages on jaguar-shooting boats
- Each photographer has their own two seats (side by side) in the jaguar search boats for optimal space for gear and shooting
- All mineral water you can drink
- Entrance fees
- Private small group travel with Daniel J. Cox
- International airfares
- Connecting flights from São Paulo (GRU) or Brasilia (BSB) to Cuiabá (CGB) and Cuiabá (CGB) to São Paulo (GRU) or Brasilia (BSB)
- Laundry, miscellaneous expenses, beverages including alcohol are not included
- Any vaccinations
- Tourist visas
- Gratuities for staff and guide
- Travel/Emergency Evacuation Insurance
- International airfares
Flights to Book
Monday, September 9
Arrive São Paulo (GRU) or Brasila (BSB) any time of day and connect with your flight to Cuiabá (CGB).
Thursday, September 19
Depart Cuiabá (CGB) after 1:00pm for evening flight home from São Paulo (GRU) or Brasila (BSB).
It is probably best if you buy your GRU-CGB-GRU or BSB-CGB-BSB flights along with your international ticket.
Emergency Evacuation Insurance
All guests MUST carry emergency medical evacuation insurance. It is required by our tour operators and the information will be collected before trip time. This type of insurance is affordable and can be purchased for each trip or an entire year and can even be bundled with your regular travel insurance! We recommend one or more of the following, depending on your needs:
(use code natexp)
Allianz Global Assistance
(use travel agency ID F203564)
Terms & Conditions
Natural Exposures cannot control nor is responsible for abnormal weather, natural disasters, or any other disaster that might affect the trip. Travel insurance should be purchased to cover any missed flights or medical problems that may affect/delay your travel. National Parks have the right to change our itinerary.
By booking a trip with Natural Exposures, you agree to the following CANCELLATION AND LIABILITY POLICY
Accommodations for 2013 Brazil Pantanal Jaguar Wildlife Expedition
Sept. 9, 1 Night
Hotel Hits Pantanal
The Hotel Hits Pantanal offers all the comforts of a top hotel.
Sept 10, 11, 17 and 18, 4 Nights
Transpantaneira Land Lodge
One large, fully-screened living room/dining room with many overhead fans, outdoor sitting areas, and a library on Brazilian nature. Screened guest rooms have private bathroom with hot showers, overhead fans, and air conditioning.
Sept. 12-16, 5 Nights
The Jaguar Flotel features ten cabins, each of which has two beds, a silent air conditioner and private bathroom with flush toilet and a never-ending, hot water shower. Accommodations are very small and basic but comfortable. The flotel is anchored right in the center of the river sections that have produced the best Jaguar sightings in recent seasons. To be honest, it is not the Ritz by any standard but a place to sleep with air-conditioning (which is so needed), private bathrooms, good food and cold beverages. There are six newer floating suites (built in 2013) which are roomier. If you want the BEST opportunity to see jaguars the flotel is by far the place to stay!
Jaguar Flotel – Main Accommodation
8 cabins measure 3m x 3m (9 sq m = 97 sq ft). These cabins have two single beds (doubles).
2 cabins measure 3m x 4m (12 sq m = 129 sq ft). These cabins have one double bed and one single bed (singles).
Jaguar Floating Suites – New in 2013!
Below is a 3D rendering of what the suites will look like when built. Actual suites may vary. All suites measure 4.5m x 6m (27 sq m = 291 sq ft). Please note that there is an additional cost if you book this option.
Helpful Information for 2013 Brazil Pantanal Jaguar Wildlife Expedition
Patience is always needed with wildlife photography. This trip is considered low activity. You have to be able to get in and out of a boat and carry your own camera gear. You have to be able to get along with others! We stay at the best hotels and lodging available in the areas we’ll be visiting but all are very basic. Average temperatures range from 85-90 °F so it can be very hot. September is a hot month, however, it is quite dry and not as humid and stuffy as it is in the Amazon. Jaguars can be seen ANY time of day which is unlike most large mammals. These cats can get up to 300 pounds and love to swim.
All passports must be valid for at least six months after your entry into Brazil, so please be sure to renew your passport accordingly. Also, visas may be needed for entry into Brazil depending on what country your passport has been issued from. Get them early! When filling out your application, make sure your mailing address on your driver’s license matches your application – no P.O. Boxes! It can take two to three weeks to get a visa if everything is acceptable on the first application. We are not responsible if you have been declined or are too late in obtaining your visa.
Guests with passports issued from certain countries do NOT need a visa to enter Brazil. Please see link below to check if you will need a tourist visa to enter Brazil:
Tourist Visa Exemptions
Less than 5% of Brazilians speak English! Almost everyone in Brazil speaks Portuguese, however, our guide will speak English.
GOL or TAM flights to Cuiabá have good-size planes with big overheads. On our scouting trip we had no issues with getting camera bags on planes, HOWEVER, if possible do not bring your camera bag to the ticketing area while getting your boarding pass. Try to keep it out of sight so it is not weighed. Also, no monopods or tripods allowed as carry-on luggage.
Typical long and short sleeved field clothes. Waterproof jacket. One sweater, in case a light cold front appears. No boots needed – only sneakers and sandals. Good sun hat. A list will be sent to everyone closer to trip time with additional details.
Chicken, beef, catfish, in various manners. Beans (vegetarian) and rice at every lunch and dinner. A lot of fresh fruit, vegetables and salads. Potatoes, pasta. Desserts like passion fruit mousse. All simple but hearty.
Both locations along with our hotel in Cuiabá have air-conditioning.
SUGGESTIONS FOR TIPPING
$10 per person per day for guide
$10 to $20 per person per day for additional staff – boat drivers, hotel staff, camp staff, etc.
Have a question?
Have a question about this tour? We're happy to answer any queries you may have.
Testimonials from Natural Exposures' Explorers
"Thanks for getting some pictures of us, those are always in short supply when I get back from a trip and my kids aren't really going to believe the stories without a picture to prove I was there.....Dan, thanks for a great trip. It was an adventure in many ways, and as always, I really appreciated and enjoyed your leadership and help along the way. Hope you have recovered at home and you don't have too heavy a lecture circuit. Look forward to seeing you both again in Patagonia."
Lynda Sanders, California
"Tanya throws the best "Photo Party" on earth. With Dan's unselfish sharing of his incredible photography expertise and Tanya's skill at organizing and supervising logistics, this is a "can't be beaten" photography experience. The often neglected skill of putting together a group of photographers who can cooperate, have fun, and share experiences in close quarters under sometimes less-than-ideal circumstances is what made this trip the best I've ever experienced. Thanks DanTan for an unforgettable adventure!"
Dean Swartz, Ohio
"Hope they all have as much fun and good luck as I did. Thank you again for a great trip. The guys at my camera store thought the sunset with stork was a purchased postcard! Gosh, I must be getting good."
Bonnie Wilsey, Wisconsin
"Thank you, Dan, Tanya and Fisher for making this glimpse into the nature in the wetlands of the Pantanal possible!"
Meggi Reader, California