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DEFINITION

Pantanal means marshland. It encompasses an ecological paradise of around 240 000 km2 with a rich, varied fauna and flora, set on a special fluvial landscapeAlthough the Amazon is more famous, the Pantanal is a better place to see wildlife. It is flat and there are large, wide open spaces, making wildlife more visible and easier to hear.
 

Map Pantanal

GEOGRAPHY
The Pantanal is located in southwest Brazil. 75% of the Pantanal belongs to the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (MS) and 25% to the state of Mato Grosso (MT). This political division occured in October 1977. Smal parts of the Pantanal are located in neighbouring coutries of Bolivia and Paraguay. 

SIGNIFICANCE  
In 2000, UNESCO declared the Pantanal floodplain as one of the world’s most important biospheres. In 2002, it declared a part of the Pantanal as a protected biosphere reserve - the Pantanal Matogrossense National Park in the north. The south Pantanal still does not have a protected reserve and deforestation as well as exploitation of the land occurs everyday without control...affecting wildlife.  

Sunset Redriver M&M carandazal  

The seasons in the Pantanal
Mammals, birds, reptiles and fish can best be observed during the dry season, generally, between May to November, when they gather around the remaining bodies of water.

During the subsequent rainy period, between November to March, the Pantanal is once again transformed into its definition - an extensive marshland. This is when you get to see the wildlife in a different way - the animals withdraw to the "cordilheiras", higher forest galleries (1-2 m high). It is here in the cordilheiras that you can get the opportunity to observe wildlife.

M&M Jabirustork Birdsmarcello

In 1999, El Niño had an adverse impact on the climate in the Pantanal, leading to less pronounced differences between the seasons. Note that the weather may change abruptly – in the Pantanal - sudden drops of temperature from 40°C to 0°C have been recorded. In 2015-2016 we had El Niño (hot and dry) and 2016-2017 has been La Niña (more rains, cooler temperatures).

FAUNA & FLORA

In this unique natural paradise, permanently live more than 650 species of birds - more than in the whole of Europe!! The best known examples are toucans, 3 types of macaws, the Tuiuiu or Jabiru stork (the symbol of the Pantanal). From March, around 120 species migrate here to breed. You can get a chance to listen to the delightful birdsongs and observe the many splendid species in your free time and during tours. The best time to see birds is between March and October. 
  

More than 80 different mammals live here: the best known is the world's 3rd largest predator - the jaguar. The puma, the second smallest big cat lives in the Pantanal and Cerrado regions too. Depending on the seasons, you will be able to see capybaras, howler and/or Capuchin monkeys, foxes, south american coatis, racoons, peccaries, giant otters, anteaters, armadillos, tapirs and various types of deer in the Pantanal.
   

Some 50 species of reptiles share the swampland too – the best known are the cayman and anaconda. In fact, there are plenty of lizards and different kinds of frogs to amaze you! The dry season (generally between mid-June - August) is the best time to see anacondas.
    

Around 280 species of fish inhabit the rivers of Pantanal. Fishes such as: piranhas, cat fish, dourado (1m) and jau (1.50 m, upto 120 kg) can be found here. On our snorkelling expeditions we will show you skates, piraputangas, dourado and much more. 
   

A host of insects such as butterflies, moths, beetles, mosquitos, ants and termites also live here. By the way, outbreaks of malaria and dengue fever have not been recorded in the Pantanal for years, and with a good mosquito spray you should be fine to enjoy the Pantanal.
Butterfly Butterfly Butterfly 

The Pantanal is home to at least 2,000 plant species, including medicinal and otherwise useful varieties used by some of the local and native population. We would like to impart our knowledge to you about the most important medicinal plants, if desired, and present you with various teas, plant extracts and individual cures.