Brazil Tracking & Bird Language Adventure
This journey is an exploration of the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland and a haven for wildlife. It is a perfect location for learning bird language, understanding how to read animal tracks, and observing creatures in their natural state. You will spend the first several days in the southern region, wandering on foot looking for animal sign and listening to what the birds are saying, as well as going on game drives to get a glimpse of animals up close and study their behavior. Following this, you will head to the northern region of the Pantantal to experience a different aspect of what this amazing ecosystem has to offer.
Brazil Tracking & Bird Language Adventure
September - October, May - June
Experience & Activity Level:
Previous tracking experience helpful but not required.
Participants should be in good physical condition.
3 star lodges
Starting at $6,190 per person ($885 single supplement)
- Southern Pantanal (near Campo Grande)
- Northern Pantanal (near Cuiaba)
Brazil is known as having the highest biological diversity on the planet, and the Pantanal in the southwest region is generally considered the premier wildlife viewing destination in all of South America. While the Amazon rainforest in the north contains the most distinct species, it is actually in the wetlands of the Pantanal where the greatest number of large animals resides. The yearly flooding of the area during the wet season has limited development and helps ensure that the animals there continue to thrive.
This includes the biggest jaguars on the planet, some of whom weigh in excess of 300 pounds, along with the mammoth tapir, giant anteater, mountain lion, maned wolf, giant river otter, bush dog, and capybara. The area is also rich with other smaller, but still riveting species such as the ocelot, jaguarundi, margays, peccaries, marsh deer, caiman, and hundreds of fascinating and beautiful bird species, including the resplendent hyacinth macaw!
This adventure will begin in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, where your English speaking expedition leader will meet you at the airport in the capital city of Campo Grande. From there, you will be transferred by van for the three-hour drive to your wildlife lodge in the southern Pantanal, where you enjoy a relaxing dinner and settle in for the next four days. Your guides will give you an ecological overview of the area and its impressive fauna, along with an outline of the schedule and planned activities for the group.
Following breakfast the next morning, you will begin your exploration of the Pantanal. You will go out and look for tracks in the dirt from the night before, and your expert guides will show you how to not only recognize the prints of various animals, but also how to interpret their behavior and where they were headed. You will also partake in group bird language exercises, which will teach you how to understand some of the important communications given by various avian species. In particular, you will learn how to know when a predator is nearby, what type of predator it might be, and whether it is hunting or just passing through.
In between our time spent looking for tracks and studying bird language, we will also go on game drives where you will have the opportunity to observe animal behavior up close. These safaris are operated in open jeeps, so that you have many great photo opportunities both during the daytime and at night, when many of the stealthy predators are more active. In addition, you will have time for other activities like horseback riding, and boat excursions on the river where you can relax and observe the incredible wildlife on display.
After concluding the first four days in the southern Pantanal, you will head back to Campo Grande and catch a short flight to Cuiaba, which is located adjacent to the northern section of the Pantanal. Your first morning there you will travel the Transpantaneira, a great opportunity for spotting wildlife as you head down the road to your lodging, where you will spend your remaining four days exploring what the northern region has to offer. You will conduct many of the same activities as before, including daily bird language exercises and going out frequently for guided hikes to look for animal sightings, tracks, and other sign.
As you did in the southern section, you will get to go out on photo safaris in open jeeps during the daytime and at night, as well as have time for other activities like horseback riding and piranha fishing. During one of the days, you will embark on an all day boat ride on the Cuiaba River in the Meeting of the Waters State Park. This trip is commonly known as the ‘Jaguar Excursion,’ and while not guaranteed, it provides an excellent opportunity to spot jaguars and other wildlife along the banks of the river.
This will be a great way to conclude your Pantanal adventure, and after leaving the wildlife lodge you will be transferred back to Cuiaba where you can catch a return flight home or head onward to other destinations in Brazil. You will leave with a sense of awe at the amazing wildlife you have witnessed in this spectacular ecosystem, as well as look forward to putting your newfound tracking and bird language skills to use when you return to your own environs.