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