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Brazil – Wildlife of the Pantanal Photo Tour II 2023

US$7,695 person sharing

Spaces Available

14 Aug 2023 – 24 Aug 2023

Considered one of the ten “mega-diversity” countries of the world, our Brazil photography tour is an adventure to the vast Pantanal, an endless mix of backwaters, lakes, rivers, gallery forests and forested islands.

 

The Pantanal is the planet’s largest tropical wetland and is home to some of the most spectacular concentrations of wildlife in South America; the Pantanal really does epitomise the biological abundance of Brazil. Birds are abundant, and a fantastic selection of wildlife awaits the avid photographer, however one creature has an aura unlike any other in the region, and that is the mystical Jaguar. With four full days of boat excursions to search for these water-loving cats, we really have a fabulous opportunity to come to grips with these huge predators.

Why this Brazil Photo Tour is for You

Destination Allure

This is the only place on earth where one is virtually guaranteed to encounter a Jaguar.

Month of Travel

Our Brazil Photo Tour takes place in August, when rainfall is at its lowest and animals cluster around the shrinking lakes and rivers.

Number of Species

The Pantanal is saturated with a diverse array of wildlife and birds! Photographic highlights include the Giant River Otter, Hyacinth Macaw, Toco Toucan, Jabiru, Greater Rhea, Brazilian Tapir, Giant Anteater, Capybara, Seven-banded Armadillo and Yacare Caiman.

Small Group Departures

Travel to this exotic location with like-minded individuals and share your photographic bucket list together.

Guided experience

Local knowledge of the region and its wildlife is key to crafting the ultimate Brazil photography tour experience. Combined with the photographic expertise of your ORYX Photo Tour Leader, and you are in for an adventure that will further fuel your excitement for photography and the destination.

Dale Morris - ORYX Photo Tours

ORYXLEADER
Dale Morris

11 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
Classic
Wildlife
  • Destination
  • Departure
    Cuiabá
  • person sharing
    US$7,695
  • Single Supplement
    US$995
  • Photographic Highlights
    Jaguar, Hyacinth Macaw, Capybara, Jabiru, Greater Rhea, Bare-faced Curassow, Brazilian Tapir, Giant River Otter, Toco Toucan
  • Guide
1

Day 1: Cuiabá to Pousada Piuval

Today marks the start of our incredible Pantanal photography tour as we make our way out of Cuiabá to Pousada Piuval, which is one of the best places for birds and mammals in the Northern Pantanal, where we will spend the next two nights.
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Day 2: Full day at Piuval

This area is also home to one of the photographic highlights of our trip: the Hyacinth Macaw, the largest parrot in the world! The lodge here will give us the opportunity to search for some species that we might not encounter elsewhere on the tour. Most of our time will be spent driving or walking the lodge surroundings and the access road in search of species.
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Day 3: Piuval to Curicaca

Today we will make our way north to explore the forest and the savannas along the Claro River of northern Pantanal, where we  have  2  nights  as  we  continue  our  photography tour of Brazil.
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Day 4: Curicaca to Rio Claro

Today we drive to the Rio Claro area. This is a narrow river surrounded by gallery forest and, simply put, is a photographer’s paradise! Here we will explore the forests and savannas of the Rio Claro area, which is an extension of the Pixain River. This river is one of the most renowned in the northern Pantanal among both birders and photographers alike.
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Day 5: Rio Claro to Porto Jofre

After some final photography near our lodge, we continue our journey along the Transpantaneira to Port Jofre, where we board our floating “home”, a houseboat that will act as our base as we focus our attention on the mighty Jaguar.
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Days 6 to 9: Pantanal

Over the next four full days of our Brazil photography tour, we will have the amazing opportunity to search for our main photographic subject, the mighty Jaguar, with a series of early morning and late afternoon boat rides. We also have the fabulous opportunity for intimate encounters with family groups of Giant River Otters, huge Brazilian Tapirs (South America’s biggest land mammal), hundreds of capybara, Caiman and various bird species.
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Day 10: Pantanal to Cuiabá

Today we make our way back to Cuiabá, but before we depart, we will incorporate one more photography session in the morning. After lunch we will drive back to Cuiaba where we will spend one more evening together and reminisce together as a group about our amazing time on our Brazil photo tour.
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Day 11: Cuiabá and depart

Today our photo safari sadly comes to an end and we will be transferred to the airport in time for our departing flight home.
BrazilKarthik Ramamoorthy, USA

Dale Morris was my guide on my first Brazil and ORYX Photo Tours adventure for jaguars, caiman and lots of colorful birds of Pantanal. He’s a down to earth guy, which I really liked and is also fantastic. He help us a lot with the composition, light, helped us process pictures in Photoshop, and was always cheerful and professional.

BrazilVictor Nemeth, USA

In August 2022 I joined ORYX Photo Tours's Brazil Pantanal Photo Tour. Our photo tour leader was Dale Morris, who I have taken several trips with, and he always does a top-notch job. He is constantly in the background making sure of every detail, so guests have the best time and safest trip. I enjoy his imagination. He frequently thinks of ways to take a photo, so an ordinary image becomes something really unique. This trip was great and so was the guide.

Several of the recent testimonials have detailed the trip activities so I will talk about our wildlife experience. We saw and photographed many different birds, Caiman and Capybaras but our time with the Giant Otters and Jaguars was very special. We had several encounters with a Giant Otter family. There were five members of the family led by the female matriarch. They would cruise near the riverbank hunting for food and constantly play fighting with each other. They are voracious eaters eating up to 10% of their body weight a day and with a male reaching 6ft and 70 lbs. that is a lot of fish. They are powerful swimmers, and it was amazing how fast they could swim even against the river current. We watched their antics for several hours and enjoyed getting a view of their family interactions and daily life.

When we were on the houseboat, we spent our days in a small boat searching for Jaguars. We were rewarded with seeing 14 different Jaguars watching and photographing them in several different activities. Some of the Jaguars were resting in the shade on the riverbank and one was lying on a dead tree branch that extended out over the river. This young juvenile was no more than 30 feet from our boat. We observed two young males interacting with each other showing a special bond they shared. We watched several as they patrolled their territory. We spent over a half hour observing one Jaguar as he hunted along the riverbank. He moved so quietly through thick vegetation and over dead tree branches finally pouncing into the river catching a Caiman. Jaguars bite down at the base of the Caimans skull crushing the skull paralyzing and killing the Caiman. He then carried the 60-70 lb. Caiman along the bank and with a powerful move climbed up the steep bank. Photographing the Jaguars was fantastic but getting a view into their lives was indeed very special.

This ORYX photo tour was more than I could have expected and has given me memories I will cherish forever.

BrazilAlison Rilling, USA

My first trip to the Pantanal with ORYX Photo Tours and Dale Morris was terrific. Dale and the wonderful local guide Sergio Freitas knew nearly everything I asked about the local wildlife, and if they didn't, they found out. Dale and Sergio went out of their way to find reclusive and camouflaged animals, able to do so through knowing the animals' behavior and the Pantanal itself so thoroughly. The tour was well-planned -- except for the weather, which dropped fifty degrees F one night and brought torrential rain. (We dried out in a few days.) Food was plentiful and delicious, the lodges and the boat hotel were comfortable, and the group of photographers were companionable and pleasant. I was using a new camera and shooting in manual for the first time. Every now and then, as I aimed at a potoo or a coiled anaconda, Dale would whisper, "If you use this ISO and that shutter speed, and stand exactly where I am standing now, Alison, you will get an excellent shot." And lo! he was exactly right: I'd get a sharp photo with open eyes and no stick coming out of the animal's head! I enjoyed the trip to the Pantanal very much, and would urge anyone to travel with Dale Morris.

BrazilJon Rolf, USA

I very much enjoyed my time on the 2022 Pantanal photo tour as I had when I was on the one in 2017. Both times Dale Morris was our the guide and photo expert. As always, Dale was a gem, and he was clearly happy and enthusiastic to be leading a tour after many months of COVID lockdown. I must add that the tour was made particularly enjoyable and educational with the participation of Sergio Freitas, PhD who served a most excellent and affable Brazilian language/logistics facilitator and fauna biology expert. This year (2022) was much drier than 2017 with vastly less water along the Pantanal highway, but even so, we had plenty of wildlife photo opportunities. All the lodge accommodations were very good, and the Brazilian food was plentiful. Our first lodge was particularly comfortable and provided twice per day drives in open safari-like vehicles that provided wonderful transits of the varied environment of the lodge's vast property. On the first day at this lodge - to everyone's surprise, we came upon a jaguar resting next to the dirt track. This was the first of more than a dozen (17?) different jaguars seen on the tour. All but the first of jaguars were seen and photographed on the Rio Sao Lorenco river and several of its tributaries during the last five days of the tour. Our time on the Jacare - our boat hotel - was very pleasant in spite of the extremely atypical weather. Instead of 100F and bright sun on the river, we experienced several days of 50F with driving rain! It was certainly a macho/macha test to have rain pelting our bodies as we hunkered down in our open 4 meter uncovered boat as it sped at more than 30 mph along the river to get to our next jaguar photography opportunity. All in all, the outboard boats we rode in were very comfortable, stable and astonishingly fast. Our boat driver was highly skilled both on our sprints and in holding steady while maximizing our photographic opportunities. To sum up, my friend Alison and I very much enjoyed the 2022 Pantanal tour. It was well planned and conducted with successful innovations adapted to the weather. The other participants were very friendly, courteous, and interesting to talk to. I have not counted up the number of separate species that I photographed and videoed, but there were a lot. I did get lots of good shots and video clips of my favorites - giant otters, a loping giant anteater, jaguars, and even two pairs of long-legged seriemas in a loud, pre-dawn territorial battle.

BrazilMike Morse, USA

Dale Morris was our ORYX photo tour leader on a recent tour to the Pantanal in Brazil. This was either my 5th or 6th trip with Dale, and I have 3 more with him in the works. It is hard to imagine there could be a better guide than Dale. He is extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife, a miracle worker with his camera and advice, and he can do some great animal impressions. You will be in excellent hands should you decide to travel with ORYX and Dale. I highly recommend him regardless of your level of photographic expertise.

BrazilIan Felton & Jennifer Beuge, USA

We had an excellent Pantanal photo safari! We liked the itinerary and felt it was paced well. Dale Morris was a fantastic guide again (as we had him on our Madagascar photo tour). A big part of why we chose a Pantanal photo tour this time was because of how much we enjoyed touring with Dale. If we didn't live on other ends of the earth, I think Dale would be a great friend of mine. He's adept at photography, provides constant feedback on whatever we are shooting, and is knowledgeable about so much wildlife and ecology matters. He cares very much about the experience of the group and is always working for "the tribe" while traveling.

BrazilRobert Purcell, USA

I want to reiterate Sue’s comments about the extraordinary quality of our Pantanal photo safari.  Having Dale and Giuliano as our mentors on this trip made it just outstanding.  Accommodations were also excellent, especially the houseboat. Just to reemphasize: Dale’s photographic expertise and teaching skills were outstanding, matched by Giuliano’s naturalist’s skills and rapport with all of the personnel and staff we encountered at the various venues.  Our friends and co-tourists on the trip were equally impressed, and we are still drinking caiparinhas and savouring wonderful memories.

BrazilSue Emerson, USA

First I want to thank you for all the quick responses to our questions and for your help in getting us organized. This was one of the greatest photo tours we have taken. The wildlife was spectacular and I got better pictures than I ever have before, due to Dale’s teaching. I admit to being lazy and intimidated in the past and though I have excellent equipment, I never went beyond the programmed and automatic functions. Dale convinced me to start using other functions and to consider the subject from other angles and completely changed the way I will do things in the future. I learned a lot. Everything was well done and the house boat was especially wonderful; it was a 5-star experience with friendly people, wonderful food and skilled boat drivers. We will certainly recommend ORYX Photo Tours to all our friends.

BrazilDenise Iling, Australia

Dale is an excellent travelling companion and teacher, and we had a lot of fun on our Pantanal photo tour. Giulliano was a great host, and very patient with us all.

BrazilGM, USA

We had a wonderful time on our Pantanal photo safari with Dale and Guiliano. They were a really good match; flexible, thoughtful, understood all our interests and needs. The Pantanal and both young men exceeded our expectations. Dale was tremendously helpful and so enthusiastic. He is also just a terrifically interesting person with a wide variety of life experiences for one so young. He is a pleasure to be with. We found him to be a very good teacher, seeming to know what level of information each participant might need. I think he found the right balance of teaching and just being there and soaking it all in. He helped me be much less intimidated by my camera.  The whole experience was first rate, thank you very much!

BrazilSue Emerson & Robert Purcell, USA

Dale was tour leader on our recent ORYX photography tour to the Pantanal of Brazil. His love of nature and passion for photography were obvious and the knowledge and experience he shared with us were a huge part of making this an outstanding and unforgettable trip. His photography lessons and advice nudged us into new ways of taking and composing photos and led to the best collection of photographs we have ever taken on any trip. He was a real asset to this Pantanal photo tour and his lessons will be remembered and applied. And he also tells great stories.”

BrazilAlan & Michelle Hinde, Australia

Dale was an excellent guide. His enthusiasm is infectious and knowledge of the wildlife and environment is outstanding. He was a pleasure to be with and we all gained from his photographic expertise. We would travel with Dale on another ORYX photo tour without hesitation.

BrazilGregory Cowle, USA

The Pantanal photo safari was excellent. The wildlife sightings every day were amazing, beyond my expectations. Other arrangements such as for food and accommodation were all good quality, for a very comfortable trip. Dale was great as the photo tour leader, he made sure everyone knew how to use their equipment for every situation, and made sure we were in the right place for best photo opportunities. Giuliano was also terrific, not only for his local knowledge in finding the wildlife, but also with his understanding of best photo opportunities.

BrazilMary Chambers, Canada

We want to thank the entire ORYX Photo Tours team for providing an absolutely fabulous photo safari. We would particularly like to credit Dale and Giuliano for their care and attention in making this such a memorable holiday. We are especially pleased that they managed to convince the jaguars to show up for us on six of the nine outings on the river portion of the trip. You can rest assured that we will be recommending the ORYX Photo Tours to all of our travel and nature photography friends.

BrazilMike Richardson, Australia

The wildlife of the Pantanal photo tour, as well as my tour extensions provided fabulous wildlife spectacles and photographic opportunities!

In particular I would like to thank Dale Morris for his contribution in the Northern Pantanal. He was most constructive in terms of his helping with my photography. I had been impervious to advice in the past but Dale was truly able to guide me and it shows in my images of our time together. He made himself really available to all of us; he had designed the program so we went from highlight to highlight; he was always wryly self-effacing, considerate and courteous. I’m not sure whether the wildlife behaving so well was also a credit to Dale!

My thanks to the ORYX Photo Tours!

BrazilFiona Stoker & Clarissa Young, Australia

We had an absolutely wonderful time on Pantanal photo tour in Brazil, with great service and a truly amazing time.

Dale was great and I would like to commend him in particular as he taught Clarissa and I so much on that trip and enabled us to take some good shots despite our cameras.

We loved the accommodation and the best food was on the boat and the first stop where the accommodation was fair but situated in the best spot with excellent food!

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