When we heard about the jaguars and all the other amazing animals in the Pantanal we just had to go there even though Brazil wasn't originally on our travel itinerary.
The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland area. Throughout the year most of the areas are flooded. But when we were there in dry season we could easily drive on the Transpantaneira - a 147 km long dirt road with 122 wooden bridges. The wooden bridges are an adventure in itself. Loose planks rattling and creaking under my considerable 4,5 tons.
Overlooking the marshland's beautiful wideness we were treated with amazing sunrises and sunsets. Doesn't one of them remind you of "The Lion King"?
We saw so many great animals we just couldn't limit ourselves to only a few pics. For that we will run "special editions" during the next days. Spoiler alert: YES, we saw jaguars!!
We are in love with Otters since we saw Seaotters in Alaska and California. We were hoping to see Giant River Otters in the Pantanal, and luckily we did. They can grow up to 2m in length and since they hunt in a pack, they are quite frightening. Even Jaguars don't dare to attack a pack of these super fast and active Otters.
Apparently Anacondas are more difficult to see in the Pantanal than Jaguars. So we can consider us very lucky that we saw 2 yellow Anacondas. One was chilling right on the Transpantaneira and even stood still for us to take some nice pictures before disapperaing in the woods. We found the other one on one of our Jaguar Safari Boattrips on the riverbank. What a fantastic animal!
Jaguars - The king of the Jungle of the Americas. Jaguars are the third largest cat in the world and have the strongest bite of all cats. They need it since their main food are Caymans (crocodiles). Each dominant male Jaguar has its own stretch of river bench where they come out for hunting. Usually Jaguars are nocturnal, but in the Pantanal they basically come out for hunting whenever they are hungry. Luckily they are used to tourists and didn't mind the many tour boats which fortunately all have electric engines to not disturb the animals too much.
And the tourist can only come from around May to August when the Transpantaneira road is open. The rest of the year they are mostly left alone.
We loved these majestic cats. So elegant!