Join Jim for one of the most unique wildlife adventures ever. There is only one place on earth where wild jaguars can be consistently and predictably seen, and that's where Jim will take you in this jungle expedition. Jaguars are at the top of the list of the big cats for stealth, beauty, power, secrecy, and intrigue. You can expect multiple encounters from a small river boat where you'll have excellent photo opportunities to shoot from low perspectives. In addition, we will see and photograph capuchin monkeys, a huge number of exotic bird species (on the last trip Jim counted 51 species of birds we photographed!), capybaras, caiman, monkeys, and more.
Jim chooses this time of year for this photo tour because there is a good chance the skies will be overcast (and it can rain as well), and this provides the best possible lighting for photographing the jaguars. During high season in mid-summer and early autumn, the sky is mostly clear, and this creates terribly harsh lighting conditions. There is nothing worse in nature photography than dappled lighting on subjects in dense vegetation. In addition, there are so many boats on the river during high season and everyone is trying to position themselves for the best pictures. That makes serious wildlife photography very competitive and very tough. You want all the odds in your favor to get the best shots, and early November is the best time to go.
The tour cost is based on double occupancy, but single rooms are available. You will have a private bath, good food, and the pictures from this trip will be among the best you've ever taken.
Day 1, Fri, Nov. 2 Arrive in Cuiaba, Brazil after a two hour non-stop flight from Sao Paulo. Your international airfare should be round trip to Cuiaba. We will meet in the airport at 1:30pm, and then we head directly to the Pantanal by vehicle. We stop for lunch, and then we reach South Wild Pantanal. The rest of this day will be an eye-opener because you will see how incredibly rich this environment is for wildlife and bird photography. At the lodge, there are feeders that attract stunning exotic birds (like the red-headed cardinal), and there is a platform from which you can shoot a jabaru stork's nest at eye level. If time permits, we will do some photography on the river as well. This area is like a wildlife smorgasbord. Overnight at the Southwild Pantanal Lodge.
Day 2 - 3, Sat. & Sun., Nov. 3 - 4. We spend two days photographing wildlife and birds from a boat as well as around the lodge. Kingfishers diving for fish, black collard hawks, many species of herons, hyacinth macaws, storks, capybara, caiman, capuchin monkeys, and other creatures are everywhere. A night walk to look for ocelots, tapirs, and other jungle creatures is something you'll want to do as well. In back of the lodge, there is a spiral staircase adjacent to a stork nest that provides incredible elevated perspectives on the storks, on stunning green and blue monk parakeets nesting in the bottom of the huge nest, and incoming flights of blue hyacinth macaws. Overnight Southwild Pantantal Lodge.
Days 4 - 8, Mon. - Fri., Nov. 5 - 9. We transfer by boat and vehicle to the area of The Pantanal where we will search for jaguars. We have powerful 115 horsepower boats, so when another boat spots a big cat we waste no time in getting there. Larger and more powerful than leopards, jaguars are breathtaking to see in the wild. They come down to the river's edge to hunt, drink, and rest, and even though the vegetation is thick we should have good luck in spotting them. In addition, there are hundreds of caiman, capybara, capuchin monkeys, and lots of birds to keep us enthralled for several days. Overnight in the Jaguar Flotilla Hotel.
Day 9, Sat., Nov. 10. We return to Cuiaba by boat and vehicle to catch our international flights home (we should arrive in Cuiaba around noon, so make sure your flight is not scheduled until 2 or 3pm or later), excited that we've seen incredible wildlife and taken pictures that other photographers will envy.
Tour cost: $7295 based on double occupancy. Includes: All lodging after leaving Cuiaba, all meals from lunch on the first day through breakfast on the last day, all ground transportation, all boat excursions, two seats for each person on every outing (one for you and one for your gear), an English-speaking guide, and photo instruction. $1000 deposit holds your place on this remarkable photo tour. Limited to 8 people.
Single supplement: $985