Pantanal and Cerrado: The Birds & Cats Tour
A birding trip that combines the abundant and diverse avifauna of the Pantanal with rare and range-restricted Cerrado species at Chapada dos Guimarães National Park.
[Overview- Birdwatching tour to the Pantanal wetlands and Chapada dos Guimarães NP in Brazil]
“An overwhelming birding experience in the heart of South America”
The largest wetland in the World, the Pantanal is one of the last major untouched nature reserves on the face of the earth. The wildlife is amazingly abundant here, and its seasonally flooded plains attract immense quantities of birds and caimans, and is also one of the most mammal rich areas of South America. The Transpantaneira road transects the northern portion of the Pantanal and offers the visitor close encounters with Jabiru storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Southern Screamers, at least four species of ibises, several species of birds of prey, egrets, herons and many other animals that come to the ditches along the road in search of water and food, making every drive a great safari. Our journey will take us deeper in to the Pantanal to the area with the highest concentration of Jaguars in the world. During two full days our time will be devoted mostly to the boat trips on the Cuiaba river, to maximize our chances of seeing this enigmatic creature. There will be time for some birding around the hotel as well, and Pied Lapwing, Black Skimmer, Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns can be seen along the sand margins as well as several shorebird species at a migration stopover.
Key bird species include Red-legged Seriema, Agami and Zigzag herons, Chestnut-bellied Guan, Sungrebe and Sunbittern, Hyacinth Macaw, Long-tailed Ground Dove, Black-banded Owl, White-fronted and Pale-crested Woodpeckers, White-lored and Cinereous-breasted Spinetails, Mato Grosso Antbird, Planalto Slaty Antshrike, Subtropical Doradito, Helmeted Manakin, Red-billed Scythebill, Flavescent Warbler, Moustached & Fawn-breasted Wrens, Purplish Jay, Orange-backed Troupial, and many others.
Among the mammals possible on this trip are Capybara, Crab-eating Raccoon, South-American Coati, Southern Tamandua, Giant Anteater, Black Howler monkey, Black-striped Tufted Capuchin, Crab-eating Fox, Ocelot, Marsh Deer, Giant Otter, and Brazilian Tapir.
While the Pantanal lies in a low-altitude sedimentary plain, Chapada dos Guimarães National Park sits atop the Brazilian Central Plateau, on a very scenic area comprised by cerrado scrubland bordered by huge sandstone cliffs and lush gallery forest. This land is home for many of the Cerrado’s specialties, such as Greater Rhea and Red-legged Seriema, Horned Sungem, Collared Crescentchest, Rufous-winged Antshrike, White-eared Puffbird, Guira, White-rumped & White-banded Tanagers, Coal-crested Finch, Plumbeous Seedeater, Black-throated Saltator, recently described Chapada Flycatcher and some rarities such as the Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant and the Yellow-billed Blue Finch. The red sandstone cliffs are also home for Red-and-green and Blue-winged Macaws, Biscutate Swifts and some big raptors too, including Ornate and Black-and-white Hawk-Eagles, Crowned Eagle and Black-chested Buzzard Eagle.
After the Pantanal, this is the region’s leading attraction, and apart from the birds, offers superb views, monolithic rock formations, caves, and some stunning waterfalls, which are part of the many water sources for the Pantanal marshlands below.
Availability: Year round
Gateway City: Cuiabá (CGB airport)
Duration: 5 to 10 days
Group size: Max 10 people
What to expect: basic to good accommodations, easy to moderate terrain, short walks, warm climate, abundant wildlife.
Pantanal and Cerrado: The Birds & Cats Tours Highlights