The Pantanal, Brazil
The Pantanal is a vast wet land area on the border region of Brazil with Paraguay. The area is famous for it's wild life which is, in contrast to the Amazone rainforest, much easier to spot here. The yearly floods and the wet ground result in a lack of big trees and dense forests in the Pantanal. You can therefore observe larger areas without obstruction by having as many species and similar numbers of animals as in the Amazone area.
Back in Campo Grande I orginised to join the 'Pantanal Discouvery' tour, a 4 days tour through the Pantanal. The other adventurers on this tour were Rebecca and James from Sydney, Vince from France, Simon from Ireland and Gordon from England. And of course our local guide Louis.
So off we went along tropical rivers with Caymans on the river banks, Piranhas in the water, Anacondas in the bush and Jaguars on the trees. If we're lucky we might see all of them...
Caymans were just everywhere. Apparently they do not harm humans so we did even swim in the river, Caymans watching us. Coming from Australia where the first rule is to stay out of the water in crocodile areas it was quite an experience.
The Pantanal is exactly the picture of Brazil that I always had in mind. Vast landscapes, no civilisation, abundant birdlife, unknown noises 24 hours a day and temperatures just below 40 degrees.
Fishing for Piranhas was easy, just put a piece of meat on the hook and within seconds they're biting. It felt weird to remember that we were swimming in the same river just hours earlier. According to our guide Piranhas will not harm you as long as you are not bleeding. So forget what you've seen in the movies and trust the locals - it's worth the thrill.
Piranhas cooked on a log fire, having a clear hot night with the moon shining and hearing the birds, crickets and monkeys in the background was certainly one of the highlights of my time in Brazil.
The icon of the region is the Jabiru Storch, a huge bird nesting on trees.
The Pantanal wetland
Jabiru storchs nesting in a tree
Two red Macaws (Aras) at their tree hollow
The main road