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Timing of a trip to such a vast country as Brazil can be tricky, as the longer and more diverse your trip the more chance that you will be not be able to be there at the best time for all locations to view their particular wildlife specialities. That said, I travelled in July which was an excellent time for the Pantanal and still very good for the Amazon. The only location that I visited at the 'wrong' time of year was Iguassu Falls, as there is much less rain during the winter months. However recent unseasonal heavy rains had knocked this theory on the head and I was still able to see the falls in their full splendor.

Jaguar Safari by boat in the Pantanal

For people looking to visit the Pantanal they need to consider what there main aims are for this section of the trip and plan accordingly. The main season for visiting is June to October with the water levels dropping month by month until this vast wetland is at it's driest (and dustiest!) in October before the November rains. Therefore many people plan their trip for August/September as the dropping river levels leave more exposed beaches/river banks for the Jaguars to walk along or rest up. However the roads in the northern Pantanal at this time of year are particularly dusty and dropping river levels can make boat safaris for Giant River Otters more difficult to achieve; I found July a happy medium, as long as you avoid the peak season for fishing which can cause some disruption.

If you can put up with the dusty conditions you can see some amazing sights in the dry season as huge numbers of fish left in dried up pools are predated by thousands of birds and caimans. This is a spectacular sight and one that can be witnessed at many road side pools in the north Pantanal. In addition, more wildlife tends to be seen on the nightime safaris, such as Tapir, Anteaters and possibly one of the lesser cats such as the Ocelot.

For clients arriving in June and July road travel will be more comfortable and longer stretches of the smaller rivers will still be navigatable, which will allow longer and more memorable boat safaris in locations that are known for Giant River Otters, as well as a tremendous variety of bird life. The south Pantanal can actually be pretty chilly at this time of year, especially if the winds change to come from the south making river conditions much more choppy and boat safaris very chilly.

Timing of a trip is always best discussed with one of our wildlife consultants as for various reasons including time available off work and holiday periods, clients often have to look at a compromise and we are well placed to look at the best possible solution.

 

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South Pantanal

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When to travel