Forest Adventure Brazil 12

On the final day of Sara’s Brazil wildlife holiday, she spots an anteater and bids a fond farewell to the country she’s called home for the last 12 days. Read her final journal entry right here on the Wildfoot travel blog.

Day 12

Shock horror: it’s another early start! We head out for a morning drive at 5.30 am before breakfast, and spot some playful coatis and a troupe of capuchin monkeys, but unfortunately, the giant anteater escapes us once again.

coati

capuchinmonkey

On returning to the lodge for a last hearty Brazilian breakfast, we spot a pair of great rufous woodpeckers scratching around in a huge pile of dung with their long bills.

It seems a shame to sit inside to eat, so I opt for a bit of alfresco dining on the veranda, determined not to miss out on any action, and I’m rewarded with dozens of hyacinth macaws and blue-fronted parrots joining us.

Without the cool river breeze, I soon notice the ever increasing temperature – it’s up to 38 degrees Celsius now – but refuse to be deterred, so suggest to Jose that we take a short hike on one of the many trails around the lodge.

However, it seems that the heat of the day is also taking its toll on the wildlife, with very little to see or hear apart from a couple of black tegu lizards seeking shelter in a fallen tree trunk.

We admit defeat and return to the lodge for a very-much-needed cold drink, and decide to enjoy our surroundings from the shade of the veranda like our fellow guests. After lunch, we head off to visit a nearby lodge called Pousada Rio Claro, in search of the black-headed parakeet for which it is famous.

The access road to the lodge is great for birding, passing alongside a small stream and through several sections of deciduous forest, where we were able to spot tiger herons, wattled jacanas, rusty-backed antwren and roseate spoonbills among many others.

As we park our car at the reception, a flock of screeching black headed parakeets pass us overhead, as if on cue. Although my mission had been accomplished, it seemed too rude to turn around without speaking to the owner and accepting their kind offer of a cold drink.

The owner seemed thrilled to have a captive audience that he could tell about the anaconda and jaguar that were seen on the grounds of the lodge only the day before by a group of Japanese tourists, but unfortunately, neither could show themselves again during my visit.

Feeling refreshed, we head back to Pousa Alegre to pack, as I leave tonight for Cuiaba, ready for the early morning flight back to the UK. Once again, dinner is delicious and only bettered by the warmth and humour of the owner.

We finally load up the car and make a start on our three-hour journey back to the city when, all of a sudden, Jose slams on the brakes and shouts the infamous word “anteater”! I cannot believe it!

Right in front of us, a giant anteater crosses the road, as though waving us a fond farewell. My trip is complete!

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I came with such high expectations in terms of wildlife, but they have been exceeded. I just cannot wait to return!

Forest Adventure Brazil 11

Wildfoot’s Sara spent time on a wildlife viewing Brazilian adventure last summer and kept a journal throughout her trip. On this blog, we’re documenting her journey day-by-day. Today, Sara spots an armadillo.

Day 11

As I open my bedroom door, I am greeted by a sea of birds. Each morning, the staff throw some rice flour down in the courtyard that attracts all sorts of birdlife, including choco chachalacs, bare faced curassows, yellow-billed and red-crested cardinals, baywings, purplish jays and even a stunning orange-backed troupial, so this place really is a birder’s paradise!

Talaha-Mar

I head back into my room and grab my camera, and although I would never describe myself as a hardcore birder, you cannot fail to be impressed by this dazzling display and it’s not long before I fill yet another memory card!

I am finally dragged away with the threat of missing breakfast as our boat driver is already waiting. A jaguar was spotted late last night on the bank not far from the lodge and the driver thinks it might still be in close proximity, so we decide to go and take a look.

We scour the banks for a couple of hours, but it’s not meant to be and none of my favourite big pussy cats are to be seen or heard today, so we call it a day and head back out onto the Transpantaneira and make our way to Pousa Alegre, which is home for our last couple of days.

Pantanal

Despite feeling more like an active cattle ranch than a tourist lodge, Pousa Alegre features on most wildlife itineraries of the Pantanal, because it has a reputation for great tapir and giant anteater sightings.

Although there is no forest or river immediately accessible from the lodge, there is still lots of bird and mammal life to see and on arrival, I am encouraged to head out to a hide on one of its small watering holes as plenty has been spotted here in the last couple of days.

Despite being incredibly warm, we settle in at the hide and bide our time. As always with wildlife, a little bit of patience goes a long way, and we start to notice a steady stream of creatures coming to the water’s edge to quench their thirst, including  agoutis, coatimund,  peccaries and deer, all unperturbed by our presence.

However, once again it is the bird life that really steals the show with some lovely sightings of a pair of chestnut-bellied guans, a little group of sunbitterns, a chestnut-eared aracari and a greater antistrike among many more.

Aracari

CardeaisBirds

At sundown, we finally make it to the lodge itself and check in, although my stay here is brief, and no sooner have we finished dinner than we get back into our open-sided safari vehicle for one last night drive.

Although in my heart I am a little bit disappointed that the giant anteater once again eludes me, this is made up threefold by good sightings of two tapirs, several crab eating foxes and unbelievably, an armadillo, which is undoubtedly the most prehistoric creature I’ve ever seen.

Tapir

I begin to realise how lucky I am when Jose, who has guided in the Pantanal for almost two decades, declares this is also the first armadillo he has ever seen, and unlike the puma earlier in the trip, it allowed me enough time to get some photos of it.

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All in all, it was a very successful night drive, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for me tomorrow!

Choose Wildfoot Travel for your time in Brazil

Not sure where to start? Well, wildlife lovers are especially well served by a choice of two enticing trips. One of those, ‘Realm of the Jaguar’, lasts just over a week and represents the perfect opportunity to view one of nature’s most elusive creatures in its natural habitat. Opt for our ‘Pantanal and Amazon’ package, meanwhile, to take in two of Brazil’s most iconic wildlife spots.

Alternatively, of course, you might be looking to do a touch more exploring, in which case, our 14-day packages will suit you perfectly. One such option will see you cover a good portion of the country, stopping at Rio De Janeiro, Iguazu Falls, Porto Jofre, Cuiaba and Manaus, followed by a two day stint at the Amazon Eco Lodge.

We also offer an option for those wanting to sneak a little more wildlife into their fortnight in Brazil. Arriving in Cuiaba, you will travel down the West of the country, stopping at Pouso Alegre, the Jaguar Flotel, Rio Claro and Iguazu Falls, before heading back up to Cuiaba.

The accommodation that we offer throughout these trips varies depending on the area that you visit. In the Pantanal, the accommodation is rather simple and rustic, but still clean and functional. Our highest-end accommodation, meanwhile, is the Jaguar Suite Flotel.

As reliable wildlife travel specialists here at Wildfoot Travel, we make sure that our guides have first-hand experience and knowledge of all the trips we offer. Portuguese is the main language spoken in Brazil, which is why it is so valuable to have one of our English speaking guides by your side.

The temperate climate in Brazil means that it’s possible to travel with us to this part of the world all year round. However, please keep in mind that we cannot control the local weather conditions at the time. The final itinerary will be determined closer to the date of your tip, but nothing on the itinerary is guaranteed.

If you feel that a Brazilian break is right for you, why not enquire to the experts in far-flung travel here at Wildfoot Travel today?