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16 nights
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Brazilian Amazon & the Pantanal

Discover the wildlife treasures of Brazil’s Amazon Basin and southern Pantanal wetlands

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Mention Brazil and the first thing that springs to most people’s minds is football, Samba and Carnival. Wildlife aficionados, however, immediately think of the Amazon and the Pantanal, South America’s two foremost wildlife wildernesses. In fact, Brazil boasts the highest natural diversity of any country on Earth and yet few have even scratched the surface of its immense natural attractions. This incredible expedition spanning the full breadth of this vast nation samples the richest sites in the iconic Amazon Basin and combines these with the incomparable wildlife treasures of the Pantanal. From the world’s largest rainforest to its largest tropical wetland, Pink River Dolphins to Giant Anteaters, and Bald Uakari Monkeys to Jaguars, this is a Neotropical wildlife extravaganza without equal.

We are delighted to be working on this tour of Brazil with our US associates, ApexExpeditions. 

Apex Expeditions specializes in biologically and culturally unique travel experiences that explore the world’s most fascinating places. Their expeditions are inspired by a passion for true exploration and a desire to better understand our ever-changing and increasingly threatened planet.

They seek the hard to find, the elusive and endangered. They tread lightly and engage locally in small groups led by expert leaders who impart their knowledge and experience with passion. Itineraries designed to bring curious, like-minded travellers together for the ultimate wildlife encounters and cultural exchanges.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • Apex Expedition Leaders

    {MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}Jonathan Rossouw is one of the world’s most experienced expedition leaders, having guided wildlife trips in over 150 countries on all seven continents. He combines a legendary energy and enthusiasm with a broad knowledge of all aspects of natural history, gained from three decades spent in the pursuit of the world’s mammals, birds, reptiles and coral reef fishes. Indeed, having seen over 8,500 species of birds, 1,000 mammals and 2,000 coral reef fishes, he will likely experience more species of vertebrate animals than anyone in history.

    A medical doctor by training, Jonathan was born and raised on South Africa’s east coast and spent his family vacations in the games reserves of Zululand. It was here that the foundation was laid for a lifelong passion for wildlife and wild places and, in 1996, a “short break” to cycle across South America from Buenos Aires to Cusco led to two years spent guiding at eco-lodges in the Amazon and doing bird surveys in the Andes. He returned to Africa to start a birding travel company, before joining Peter Harrison and Shirley Metz, to assist in expanding their global portfolio of natural history destinations. An accomplished photographer, Jonathan’s images have appeared in many books and magazines, and he has co-authored birding site guides to Uganda, Southern Africa and Madagascar.

    Diogo Lucatelli
    As a young boy, Diogo discovered a passion for the natural world and his curiosity led him to study Biology, Ecology and Natural Resources in his hometown, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. After graduating, he immersed himself in getting to know and understand the wild wetlands of the Pantanal.

    In 2012 Diogo joined the team at Caiman Ecological Refuge and by 2013 he was an integral part of the Onçafari Jaguar Project, leaning on his biology background and guiding skills, he also underwent special tracking-skills training. His love for Brazil’s environment, wildlife, people and culture are evident in the way he shares insights and experiences with guests. Tracking, birding and wildlife photography are only a few of the means through which he feeds his passion for nature.

    More information
  • Amended Booking Conditions

    Please note that amended booking conditions apply for this tour which can be downloaded here.

    More information

Brazil

Apex Expeditions, who we are working in association with for this tour, always source the best available accommodation in the region and whenever possible aim for four or five star hotel.  The hotels used for this tour are mentioned in the itinerary but please note they are subject to change. 

View accommodation details

Itinerary

Day 1 - London to Manaus, Brazil.

Fly by scheduled indirect flight.

Day 2 - Manaus.

Arrive in Manaus this afternoon and transfer to your hotel, set in sprawling tropical gardens on a bluff overlooking the Amazon River. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner and briefing.
Accommodation: Manaus, Tropical Manaus Ecoresort

Day 3 - Manaus, Tefé & Mamirauá Reserve.

After breakfast, head to the airport for a short flight to Tefé, then board a boat for a scenic trip toward Mamirauá Reserve, stopping whenever wildlife is spotted. Amazon River Dolphins, both the rose-hued Boto and grayer Tucuxi, are plentiful around Rios Tefé and Solimões. Arrive in the afternoon at Mamirauá, the world’s largest protected várzea, or flooded forest. Only four percent of the Brazilian Amazon consists of freshwater swamp forest, and much of it is found within Mamirauá’s 7,700 square miles. The region’s flooding is caused by the annual melting of the Andean ice caps. This flooding brings a large amount of nutrient-rich sediment from the Andean slopes, thus furnishing an ideal habitat for a huge variety of both aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. Dinner and overnight at the fully-sustainable Uakari Floating Lodge within the reserve.
Accommodation: Mamiraua Reserve, Three nights at Uakari Floating Lodge

Days 4 & 5 - Mamirauá Reserve.

Two days will barely feel sufficient to explore this wildlife-rich area. There are 35 species of mammals, 360 birds, and 79 reptiles in Mamirauá, a surprisingly high number of which are endemic, unique adaptations have proven necessary to survive the harsh flood conditions. Two of Mamirauá’s greatest attractions are the crimson-visaged Bald Uakari and Black-faced Squirrel Monkeys, both of whose entire range lies within the reserve. Land mammals are relatively rare due to the flooding, but other arboreal mammals such as the Red Howler Monkey, Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth, the long-nosed Southern Coati, and Collared Anteater are quite common. Avifauna highlights include the leaf-eating Hoatzin or Stink Bird, Horned Screamer, Razor-billed Curassow, Slate-coloured Hawk, toucans, woodpeckers, jacamars, and more. This time of year, hiking is often possible on the well-tended trails that stretch across the reserve. If water levels are too high, hop into a canoe and paddle among the channels that jut into the forest. Spectacled Caimans also tend to be at their highest concentrations in September. Together with your local guide, spend time in spots with the best chance of viewing them. Other options include visiting a local village to get a sense of traditional Amazonian culture. Be sure to take in the sights and sounds of a night tour (on foot or by canoe), where you may see Tarantulas, Two-toed Sloths, Amazon Bamboo Rats, and Long-nosed Bats.

Day 6 - Mamirauá Reserve, Tefé & Manaus.

Enjoy a leisurely boat trip back to Tefé and an afternoon flight to Manaus. Dinner and overnight at the Tropical Manaus Ecoresort.
Accommodation: Manaus, Tropical Manaus Ecoresort

Day 7 - Manaus, Alta Floresta & Cristalino State Park.

Depart early for a flight that span the Amazon, from Manaus to Alta Floresta, via Porto Velho and Cuiabá. Upon arrival, a drive and a boat ride will take you into the stunning 460,000-acre Cristalino State Park. Located in the highlands of the southern Amazon River Basin, Cristalino is strategically situated to preserve a huge swathe of rainforest, acting as an effective buffer between the timber extraction and cattle ranching to the south, and the virgin areas to the north. Your home base for the next three nights is Cristalino Jungle Lodge, on a 30,000-acre private reserve connected to the park. It is known for being one of the richest places in the Amazon for observing birds, mammals, butterflies and orchids in a primary forest environment. Gather for sunset drinks with a view over the pristine Cristalino River flowing right in front of the lodge.
Accommodation: Cristalino State Park, Three nights at Cristalino Jungle Lodge

Days 8 & 9 - Cristalino State Park.

The lodge’s reserve contains a great variety of medium- to low-altitude eco-zones, allowing for great diversity (even by Amazonian standards) of wildlife. From predators like the Jaguar, Harpy Eagle and Giant Otter to herbivores like the Capybara and Agouti, all of the organisms which took thousands of years to evolve and which make Amazonia unlike any other biome in the world are still alive and doing well here. Its location near the junction of two rivers, one a “White-water” and the other a “Black-water” river, gives the reserve a combination of two different soil types which furnish a staggering variety of trees, orchids and bromeliads. 600 bird species are known to live in the region, including many endemics. Among these are the Rufous-capped Nunlet, Chestnut-throated Spinetail, Manu Antbird, Peruvian Recurvebill and Ornate Antwren, as well as many species of parrots, puffbirds, and manakins. Mammals seen most frequently are the diminutive Pantanal Marmoset, White-whiskered Spider and White-nosed Saki Monkeys, Brazilian Tapir, and the Greater Fishing Bat. Cristalino is also one of the best areas in Brazil to observe Green Anaconda, largest of all constricting snakes. Take in all the area has to offer by hiking on the reserve’s many trails, boating down the Cristalino River, and climbing the 50-meter observation tower for a stellar vantage point over the whole area.

Day 10 - Cristalino, Alta Floresta & Campo Grande.

Today is an adventure in boats, cars and airplanes. Return by boat and car to Alta Floresta for a series of flights that take you, via Cuiaba and São Paulo, to Campo Grande. Dinner and overnight at the Grand Park Hotel in Campo Grande.
Accommodation: Campo Grande, Grand Park Hotel

Day 11 - Campo Grande & Caiman Ecological Refuge.

After breakfast, set off on the four-hour drive into the southern Pantanal, the world’s largest floodplain. The 130,000-acre Caiman Ecological Refuge was once part of a large beef cattle ranch in the Pantanal, and has since been transformed into an enterprising land management model combining the traditional “Pantaneiro” cattle ranching system, conservation programs, and ecotourism. It includes a 14,000-acre protected reserve covering a great variety of habitats that harbour many of the diverse species of the Pantanal, which is home to the highest concentration of wildlife in the Americas.
Accommodation: Caiman Ecological Refuge, Four nights at Caiman Lodge

Days 12 to 14 - Caiman Ecological Refuge.

Once a year, the mighty Paraguay River floods its banks, inundating an area ten times that of Botswana’s Okavango Delta. As the floodwaters recede in the dry season, this ever-changing mosaic of lagoons, shallow wetlands and higher islands of deciduous forest sets the stage for one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles. Herds of Capybaras, largest of all the world’s rodents, graze along shores lined with Yacare Caimans, amidst throngs of storks, herons and ibises. At dawn, the surrounding woodland rings to a deafening cacophony of wood creepers, Guira Cuckoos, antbirds and flycatchers, with Toco Toucan yelping from the treetops and noisy flocks of Turquoise-fronted Amazons winging overhead. Huge Hyacinth Macaws, the avian epitome of the Pantanal’s wilderness, are delightfully numerous in copses of palms, while areas of higher ground are home to the spectacular Giant Anteater, Greater Rhea and the peculiar Red-legged Seriema. Of all the denizens of this watery wilderness, none is more sought-after than the Jaguar. Using detailed local knowledge of the resident population, you’ll track the cats by vehicle and on foot, in the hopes of seeing and photographing this largest of American felids. Ranging from northern Mexico to central Argentina, Jaguars are rarely encountered anywhere else, but occur in the Pantanal in their highest density on Earth. The combination of the refuge’s open, savanna-like terrain and years of formal protection from hunting brings experiencing the Americas’ most charismatic predator into the realm of possibility.

Day 15 - Campo Grande to Sao Paulo.

Return to Campo Grande and depart on your flight to Sao Paulo. Stay overnight in airport hotel.

Day 16 - Sao Paulo to London.

Depart this afternoon on your return scheduled flight to London.

Day 17 - London.

Arrive this morning.

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
16 September 2017 to 2 October 2017
Category Price
Twin £15495
Single £16995

Tour Reference Code: LABRAZIL

Price Includes: Economy class scheduled air travel, internal flights, 13 nights accommodation as described, all meals, local beer and wine with lunch and dinner, one nights accommodation at Sao Paulo airport on breakfast only basis,  activities and excursions as described, services of two Apex Expedition leaders and local guides throughout the itinerary, gratuities, entrance fees, transfers.

Not Included: Travel insurance, visa, arrival and departure taxes.

NB. Please note that amended booking conditions apply for this tour which can be downloaded here

Brazil

Apex Expeditions, who we are working in association with for this tour, always source the best available accommodation in the region and whenever possible aim for four or five star hotel.  The hotels used for this tour are mentioned in the itinerary but please note they are subject to change. 

 

Apex Expedition Leaders

{MEDIA GALLERY DEFAULT}Jonathan Rossouw is one of the world’s most experienced expedition leaders, having guided wildlife trips in over 150 countries on all seven continents. He combines a legendary energy and enthusiasm with a broad knowledge of all aspects of natural history, gained from three decades spent in the pursuit of the world’s mammals, birds, reptiles and coral reef fishes. Indeed, having seen over 8,500 species of birds, 1,000 mammals and 2,000 coral reef fishes, he will likely experience more species of vertebrate animals than anyone in history.

A medical doctor by training, Jonathan was born and raised on South Africa’s east coast and spent his family vacations in the games reserves of Zululand. It was here that the foundation was laid for a lifelong passion for wildlife and wild places and, in 1996, a “short break” to cycle across South America from Buenos Aires to Cusco led to two years spent guiding at eco-lodges in the Amazon and doing bird surveys in the Andes. He returned to Africa to start a birding travel company, before joining Peter Harrison and Shirley Metz, to assist in expanding their global portfolio of natural history destinations. An accomplished photographer, Jonathan’s images have appeared in many books and magazines, and he has co-authored birding site guides to Uganda, Southern Africa and Madagascar.

Diogo Lucatelli
As a young boy, Diogo discovered a passion for the natural world and his curiosity led him to study Biology, Ecology and Natural Resources in his hometown, Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. After graduating, he immersed himself in getting to know and understand the wild wetlands of the Pantanal.

In 2012 Diogo joined the team at Caiman Ecological Refuge and by 2013 he was an integral part of the Onçafari Jaguar Project, leaning on his biology background and guiding skills, he also underwent special tracking-skills training. His love for Brazil’s environment, wildlife, people and culture are evident in the way he shares insights and experiences with guests. Tracking, birding and wildlife photography are only a few of the means through which he feeds his passion for nature.

Amended Booking Conditions

Please note that amended booking conditions apply for this tour which can be downloaded here.

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