My First Pantanal Photo Tour
As I write this, I can close my eyes and feel the cool air blowing on my face as we navigate the Cuiabá River in search of jaguars. I can smell the sweetness in the air of flowers in bloom. I can hear river otters splashing as they frolic alongside the boat. I can see a kingfisher darting up from the water with its successful catch. And I can feel my heart pounding as we sit in silence meters away from a beautiful female jaguar pouncing on a caiman.
A Pantanal photo tour is unlike any other tour on earth.
As a big cat lover, I grew up with a dream of seeing a jaguar in the wild. At the time, that notion would have seemed impossible. Almost anywhere else in the world, the jaguar is very elusive. But the Pantanal provides an unparalleled opportunity to spend hours with jaguars as they operate in their natural habitat. Watching a jaguar stalk a caiman is indescribably thrilling. Sitting in the boat alongside this bulky predator, we quite literally had a front row seat to the action. The high density of jaguars in this area meant that we had multiple sightings in a single day. On our tour, we saw over 15 jaguars in our 4 days. Even having experienced it for myself, it seems beyond belief.
After two full days exploring this area, climbing the viewing towers and scoping out a myriad different bird species along the forest trails and flooded fields, we finally tracked down our bushy quarry.
Giant anteaters are pretty much blind, but as you can imagine, they have an amazing sense of smell. But the wind was in our favor, and so we decanted from our open safari vehicle and followed him for a while on foot.
The birds were easily a highlight of our photo tour. The abundance and variety of shapes, colours and sounds captured our attention and admiration every day. They are also wonderful subjects for photography giving us endless opportunities.
ORYX’s Pantanal photo expedition is a true adventure and an experience of a lifetime. Every day we got to enjoy time in boats, game viewers and on foot seeing marvellous creatures such as anteaters, tapirs, howler monkeys, coatis, macaws, and of course, the mighty jaguar. There was always something special around the corner. Only word of caution is that the Pantanal can easily be addictive. I cannot wait for the next opportunity to be there!
Join ORYX Photo Tour Leader, Charlotte Arthun, in Brazil in 2024: