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Pantanal, August 2013


pedro maia
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I just got back from Pantanal, I must say I´m absolutely overwhelmed by the place, it exceeded my (high) expectations.

Right now I don´t have time to make a real trip report since I´m going away for another week, so for the moment I leave here some pictures, taken with two different cameras, in September I´ll continue the report

 

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Wow. No wonder you were overwhelmed! Lovely images and looking forward to hearing and seeing more when you have time.

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Looks like a fabulous trip - I also look forward to hearing more as this is an area I'd like to visit!

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Just beautiful, thank you! I´ll be there in exactly four weeks. :)

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Lovely photos, I'm looking forward to your TR. Which company did you travel with, and how long were you there for?

 

I am just back yesterday, and will be busy sorting photos for the next week or so. Like you TR sometime in September. Whereabouts did you see the pink trumpet flower trees, we missed them in both the north and south Pantanal but saw a few on the way into the Manu Reserve.

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@@Treepol, I flew Lisbon-Salvador and Brasilia-Lisbon with TAP and Salvador-Brasilia-Cuiabá and Cuiabá-Braslia with TAM.

 

We stayed 4 nights in Pantanal, 1 at Araras Lodge, 2 at Hotel Porto Jofre and 1 at Pousada Rio Claro.

 

The trumpet tree I must have seen it along the Transpantaneira, I'll confirm that when I check the pictures.

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@@wilddog, @@SafariChick, I might be able to make the trip report sooner than I thought, probably during this week.

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Sweet memories!

 

Can't wait for the report. And lotsa pics, please! :P

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Lovely photos, I'm looking forward to your TR. Which company did you travel with, and how long were you there for?

 

I am just back yesterday, and will be busy sorting photos for the next week or so. Like you TR sometime in September. Whereabouts did you see the pink trumpet flower trees, we missed them in both the north and south Pantanal but saw a few on the way into the Manu Reserve.

Oh good, I was just thinking of your trip and wondering if you were back! Can't wait to see your TR also

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Obviously you had a fantastic trip. Nice to include a jaguar in your photos! Congrats.

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It was not the easiest tripsin what concerns booking, there isn´t so much information about this place but browsing the web I found what I needed and by November everything was booked and the long wait started, until middle of August.

 

After a couple of days lazing at Praia do Forte, we flew from Salvador to Brasilia and then to Cuiabá, less than 100km from the Transpantaneira, where the Pantanal and the show begins.

 

Arriving at Cuiabá around 11h I had booked our first night at the Araras Ecolodge, located at km 32 inside the Transpantaneira so that we could rest before our final goal, at Porto Jofre, and it was a good decision, the road is amazing but it´s not easy and the first stretch is the most tiring, the road is more corrugated because there is more traffic.

 

Poconé, the sleepy and hot capital of northern Pantanal, few km before the entrance of the Transpantaneira

 

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Approaching the Transpantaneira

 

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Landscape of Pantanal

 

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Jabiru Stork (Tuíuiu, as they call it in Pantanal) flying

 

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Another one in it´s nest

 

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Yacare Cayman, an omnipresent sight

 

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The beauty of Pantanal

 

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One must be careful with wildlife crossing the road

 

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Raptors are also everywhere, and very close to the road

 

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These guys seem to be smiling

 

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Somewhere in theTranspantaneira

 

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Arriving to our first stopover, the Araras Ecolodge, really charming place with lots of wilflife

 

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Capybara in the Araras ground

 

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Some parakeets, or so I think

 

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And that´s all from our first day in Pantanal, it didn´t take long for us to fall in love with the place

 

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(I´m not a birder so feel free to help me identifying the birds in the pictures).

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I loved your teaser post and am glad you are getting to the day by day. Looks like it is going to be a really great trip.

 

Did you drive yourself or have someone to take you?

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Happy days! Brings back good memories! :)

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All of it looks superb! Waiting to read more.

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Just beautiful....going on my list! And a jaguar....oh my, I'd be estatic!

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Did you drive yourself or have someone to take you?

 

I drove myself, I always prefer that and although I had some doubts because of the bridges it was the right choice, we just do what we want do do, stop when we want to stop, with a guide or on a transfer it would be different.

 

We had a guide for the river in Porto Jofre.

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Really enjoying this, thank you for sharing.

 

 

I´m not a birder so feel free to help me identifying the birds in the pictures.

 

Me or rather my "Birds of Brazil"-Book would say, that´s a Snail Kite and then a Yellow-Billed Cardinal in your opening post (aside from the obvious Hyacinth Macaw and Jabiru).

 

In your second post there´s a Black-Collared-Hawk on that fence, then some Blue-Crowned Parakeet, a Wood Stork (on the right of the tree) and a Cocoi Heron (on the left). (Not 100% sure about the Parakeet and the Heron, though.)

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It was great to wake up at Araras lodge with the sound of the birds, some of them seemed to be screaming right inside our bedroom, it was a sound that would carry on with us during all mornings of our stay in Pantanal.

 

For us the Araras lodge was just a stopover, but for some people is also a destination, for birders it´s a paradise but there´s also more wildlife, after our arrival we went for a walk with a guide from the pousada, they have 2 observation towers with lovely views, and during that walk we saw one southern tamandua (no pictures, it was dusk and he was in the middle of the bush, and another guided we talked during dinner told that a little earlier, in the same bush, he had a glimpse of a puma!

 

Anyway, before and after breakfast we made a stroll and this is what we saw:

 

One coati

 

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Blue-fronted parrot?

 

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Hyacinth macaws, they are beautiful, huge parrots

 

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They seem to be talking, don´t they?

 

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Really a cool bird

 

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Bare-faced Curassow

 

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This one I can´t identify

 

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The Araras Lodge

 

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We interrupted this southern caracara´s meal, he seems to be eating a piranha but when we approached he picked it with his bill and went somewhere else to try and eat it in peace

 

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Although we were having a great time, we had to leave around 8h, we had to face the final stretch of the Transpantaneira, 115 km and nearly 100 wooden bridges, na amazing drive that was one of the goals of our trip, not just a road leading to Porto Jofre.

 

As expected, there was lots of wildlife on the way

 

Another I don´t know the name

 

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Ringed(?) Kingfisher

 

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A Great Black Hawk feeding by the road, undisturbed by our presence

 

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Adult and juvenile tuiuiú

 

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Cocoi heron, majestic

 

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Small Pantanal deer

 

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Scarlet-headed blackbird, I think

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Yacare caymans, countless along the Transpantaneira

 

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Could this be a juvenile cocoi heron?

 

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Capped Heron, absolutely amazing

 

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It took us 4 hours and a half to arrive to Porto Jofre, in time for luch and to meet our guide for the next 2 days.

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@@pedro maia great photos and enjoying this immensely! Can you say a little more about who you traveled with? Was it a family of four, and how old are the children? Am interested since I might want to do a Pantanal trip with my husband and kids some time and most TRs I've seen were not with children. Interested to hear how it is for them. And did you book everything yourself or have an agent?

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Wonderful photos, you were certainly lucky to the see the pink trumpet trees in bloom.

 

I believe the parrot is a Turquise-fronted Amazon, the unidentified gray-brown bird is a Chaco chachalaca and the egret looks like a snowy egret - I can't be sure. The heron is a Black-crowned night heron.

 

I'm really enjoying your report, particularly as its a self-drive and looking forward to more.

 

 

 

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@@pedro maia great photos and enjoying this immensely! Can you say a little more about who you traveled with? Was it a family of four, and how old are the children? Am interested since I might want to do a Pantanal trip with my husband and kids some time and most TRs I've seen were not with children. Interested to hear how it is for them. And did you book everything yourself or have an agent?

 

It was a family tour, me, my wife, my son (15) and my daughter (13). In Porto Jofre I think I didn´t see any other kids but I don´t see any good reason for that, we didn´t have any problem, in the last night at Porto Jofre my son had a little bit of fever but for no specific reason and it could happen anywhere.

 

I was afraid of 2 things, heat and mosquitos.

 

It was hot, the first day we had 34º and the rest of the days 37º/38º, but it was bearable, the car had air conditioning, we mostly drove with the windows opened but when we wanted we could chill the car, and in the river it was not so hot and the boat had a canopy we used to have some shade during the hottest hours.

 

There were a few mosquitos but less than I expected, they weren´t really an issue, only when we stopped the boat close to the river bank they approached, they and some flies, but nothing special, not even my daughter, who is a magnet to mosquitos, had problems.

 

And I booked everything myself, no agents, but it can be worth checking the hotel prices with an agent because 2 of the places where we slep, Arararas Lodge and Hotel Porto Jofre, don´t accept credit cards and bank tranfers can be expensive, and it´s not a good idea to carry a lot of money when traveling, in particular in Brazil.

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@@Treepol, thanks for the help with the birds, some are quite dificult for an ignorant like me :) .

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