Pantanal Journals

Watching for piranha - The Pantanal - Brazil's wildlife heaven

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A September 2004 trip to Pantanal by actonsteve

jacare Photo, Pantanal, Brazil More Photos
Quote: Mysterious, remote and dangerous -- a description that fits the Pantanal, the largest inland swamp in the world. It's a haven for wildlife and offers some of the most memorable experiences and activities on the continent of South America....

Watching for piranha - The Pantanal - Brazil's wildlife heaven

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Overview

lake of jacare Photo, Pantanal, Brazil
Quote:
In 1935, Colonel Fawcett arrived to explore the unmapped South American interior. He hauled on his backpack, put on his pith helmet, and set off to explore the Matto Grosso... And promptly disappeared... The fate of Colonel Fawcett is unknown. He disappeared into the Matto Grosso and was never seen again. The part of South America he explored is a trackless waste of impenetrable swamp called "The Pantanal". The Pantanal is gigantic. It covers most of south western Brazil and is the size of France. Until recently it was so untamed that no roads crossed it. Settlements clung to its outskirts and the interior was bursting with the dangerous and exotic animals. The Pantanal i...Read More

Pusada Aguapé

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Hotel | "Pusada Aguapé - Ecolodge on the edge of the swamp"

Pusada Aguapé Photo, Pantanal, Brazil
Quote:
Every once in a while, you stay at a place that defies description. A place where you have to pinch yourself to make sure you have really stayed there. So it is with Pousada Aguapé... Situated on the edge of the Pantanal, 30 miles from the nearest major road and over 160 miles from the airport at Campo Grande, this is where you get the true taste of wilderness in the Pantanal. But this is no rough-and-tumble camp in the jungle; it is an ecolodge which gives five-star service, a working cattle ranch which allows visitors to spot the diverse life of the Pantanal through eco-tourism and enjoy the life of the fazendeiros (cowboys) and their cattle ranching ways. I booked it as a tou...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 4, 2004

Pusada Aguapé
Rua Marechal Mallet, 588
Pantanal, Brazil
(5567) 9986-0351

moi and a giant anteater Photo, Pantanal, Brazil
Quote:
"It is possible, but by no means certain, that the party was massacred by Indians in the Matto Grosso. In the last few chapters, I have described in great detail an attempt by three white men, carrying their own equipment and provisions, to make a journey through the country which lay ahead of Colonel Fawcett when he crossed the Kuelene. Moreover, they were not, as we were, following the course of a river and there is evidence that one of the young men could only move slowly, and was forced to lag some way behind his companions. He would have made easy kill for the local aboriginals.." "Brazilian Adventure", 1935, Peter Fleming The above is taken from the book from...Read More
toucans Photo, Pantanal, Brazil
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Morning at the Pousada Aguape is memorable. Have you ever heard the dawn chorus in South America? Sqawking, twittering, cawing, melodic birdsong -- all occur as soon as the sun comes up. The volume is excruciating. It woke me up, and I staggered out the door to see if I could spot the perpetrators. Perched in a couple of trees opposite were a number of birds making cawing noises. As I watched, more arrived, fluttering in from the savannah and flashing off their bright yellow beaks and beady eyes -- toucans! They are exceptionally rare birds in Brazil, and about five of them were perched in the tree above me. When I reached the open-air dining area, I realised why they were here. Early ...Read More
jacare Photo, Pantanal, Brazil
Quote:
The hissing of the crocodiles was the most nerve-wracking. This was followed by a deceptive waddle as they hauled themselves out of the water and onto the land. Their eyes were fixed on the meat, and their jaws opened in response to an easy meal. They started to swagger as they approached the meat, and scarlet dusk light reflected off their ridge-like scales as more and more of them emerged from the water... And me? Well, what can I say? I was only two feet away from them… Along with the Maracana stadium and the churches of Salvador de Bahia, the highlight of this trip to Brazil has to be the jacare (crocodiles) in the Pantanal. This region of Brazil is famous for its sheer volu...Read More
giant anteater Photo, Pantanal, Brazil
Quote:
"A giant anteater! A giant anteater!" I was relaxing in my room when the cry was heard. I immediately got up, grabbed the camera, and sprinted to where the noise was coming from. Just beyond the swimming pool is the start of the horse paddocks, and within easy distance of the pousada was a taratura (giant anteater -- see photo): the one animal, apart from the jaguar, that I had set my heart on seeing in the Pantanal. It shuffled along, sniffing the ground, trying to see if the ant or termite nests were still in the place it remembered. Silvio opened the gate to the paddock, allowing us entry, and we slowly crept as close as we could (30 feet) without spooking it. It was an extra...Read More
me looking foolish Photo, Pantanal, Brazil
Quote:
Whenever I see a bucket set beside a fisherman, I just can't help but look in. This time, I was pleasantly rewarded. Swimming around a battered plastic bucket were two small fish, not more then five inches long. They were going at tremendous speed, whizzing around as if to find a way out. But it was only when I looked closer that I noticed the species of these fish. Their bulky bodies, short fins, black bellies and underhanging lower lip lined with vicious teeth. The fishermen’s catch were the scourge of South America -- piranhas. He held me back with his arm and muttered something in Portuguese. Brenda translated it as "they jump!" and promptly moved to have a look herself. We were by...Read More
giant anteater Photo, Pantanal, Brazil
Quote:
If I was going to throw all the ingredients into the pot and create the ultimate destination, what would I use? Beaches? Yes, I suppose, though they're not a prerequisite. I only spend a fraction of my time on a beach. I once spent two weeks roaming around Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic -- no beaches there the last time I looked. Scenery? Oh yes, and it has to be of the exotic sort -- jungles and mountains, just like in Thailand. A fascinating culture? Yes, please, if possible as bizarre and fascinating as India's. Wildlife? Well, nothing can really beat East Africa, but I really enjoy interesting fauna. History? Something that will give Europe a run for its money... All o...Read More