Wildlife of the Pantanal Photo Tour 2022 – From a Guest’s Perspective
In August 2022 I attended the ORYX Brazil – Wildlife of the Pantanal Photo Tour. Our ORYX guide was Dale Morris. I have taken several trips with Dale, 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.
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 tour was more than I could have expected and has given me memories I will cherish forever.
– Victor Nemeth