August 2020: Wildlife Photography in the Pantanal with Paul Joynson-Hicks
To give you a taste of what to expect, every one of the images on this page was taken by Paul during his last visit to the Pantanal a few years ago. He was captivated by what he saw and it has been his dream to return with a small group of guests who share is passion for nature and wildlife. Whether you are an experienced photographer looking to explore the next level of skill or an amateur taking your first steps, this journey is designed to allow the best possible chance to see jaguars in the wild as well as all the treasures of these extraordinary wetlands.
The journey begins in Porto Jofre, one of the Pantanal’s most famous regions for jaguar spotting. Paul visited Porto Jofre a few years ago to capture these stunning images. Staying at the simple but charming Pantanal Norte lodge, guests are a 20 minute boat journey to the best jaguar spotting around and, while we can never guarantee that you will see these elusive creatures, you are in the best location and in peak season to maximise your chances.
From there a one night stop in Campo Grande between destinations takes you to the exclusive reserve of Caiman Ecological Refuge. A four night stay here gives you the chance to meet some of the most exciting jaguar conservationists on the continent and discover their strategy and plans for the future of conservation in Brazil.
19th August 2020
Arrive in Cuiaba airport where a driver and vehicle from Pantanal Norte will be waiting to take you to lodge. The first part of the drive is along paved roads passing an array of working farms and cattle ranches. At the small mining town of Pocone, you will turn into the gateway for Northern Pantanal driving along dirt roads that are flanked by scenic wetlands and plenty of opportunity to stop and take photographs. The driving time is approximately five hours. There will be time this afternoon to rest at your lodge, Pantanal Norte and, for those who wish to, we can arrange for a guided walk to spot Pantanal wildlife
20th August 2020
This is your first full day to get out into the reserve and search for jaguars. We have arranged for a private boat to navigate you through the rivers and streams. With your local guide and Paul and the helm, you are in the best possible hands for spotting the abundance of wildlife that thrives in these pristine wetlands. Lunch can either be back at the lodge or picnicking by the river depending on how much you would like to do. In the late afternoon there will be another opportunity to explore before joining for dinner and what will likely be a lively discussion about today’s sightings.
21st August 2020
Today we have another chance to search for jaguar as well as other exciting wildlife in the region. Guests regularly spot giant otter, caiman, capybara, monkeys, marsh deer and tapir as well as magnificent birdlife. In much the same way as yesterday, the day will be flexible to ensure you all have the best possible experience of the region.
22nd August 2020
If the flight times allow for it, there may be time this morning for one last exploration of the Northern Pantanal today before driving back to the airport in term for your flight to Campo Grande. Schedules for 2020 have not been released yet and we will announce flight times as soon as we have an indication from the airline. It is more than likely that flights will not connect in time to reach Campo Grande in daylight hours and we will require a night at the Deville Hotel in town.
23rd August 2020
After breakfast our driver and vehicle will meet you at the hotel and drive you to Caiman Ecological Refuge. The driving time is about three hours. There will be time this afternoon to rest by the pool or take a walk around the property before coming together for a drive out into the reserve with our private guide.
24th August 2020
Full day in Caiman Lodge with your private guide: The lodge has specially adapted photography vehicles to capture some wonderful images as well as walking trails in the woods to spot birdlife.
25th August 2020
Today you have another chance to search for wildlife and photographic opportunities with Paul and your private local guide. Each day will be flexible and you will discuss the night before how you would like to explore the reserve depending on weather conditions and the desires of the group.
26th August 2020
Today you will spend the day with the Oncafari team to search for jaguar residing on the reserve and learn from their leading researchers how this pioneering team is changing the face of wildlife conservation in Brazil. Many of the trackers who accompany you today were trained in Africa and they use the same techniques to locate jaguar and other mammals. Those who wish to will also have the chance to accompany the research team on a night drive after dinner for the potential to see jaguars hunting after sunset.
27th August 2020
After an early breakfast you will be driven back to the airport in time for your flight to Sao Paulo. Flight times will be released in the coming months but we expect that the flight will arrive in the early afternoon. We have reserved rooms at the Marriott Airport Hotel for those taking international flights that do not connect in time (we suggest a minimum of four hour connection time to allow for any possible delays). Others may wish to continue their travels in Brazil or connect later with an evening flight. For those looking to extend their stay, our tailor-made team will be delighted to send some suggestions for some of the other wonders of this beautiful country. August is a great time to visit sites such as the Iguazu Falls, the coastal towns of Paraty and Buzios or the hills of Minas Gerais.
Paul Joynson-Hicks MBE has been photographing wildlife around the world for over twenty years and has published four wildlife and travel photography books, demonstrating the breadth of his knowledge and the diversity of his life experiences. When Paul is not travelling the globe, he lives in Africa, where he is able to immerse himself in the natural wonders of the continent and its people. He is particularly interested in wildlife and birdlife and likes nothing more than sharing his passion with others, which is why his courses, journeys and workshops are so popular. Paul was awarded his MBE for charity work in Tanzania. From racing goats to welding metal to recycling mobile phones, he has dedicated the last two decades pursuing projects which give something back to Africa. Paul’s journeys provide a fantastic opportunity to take your photography to the next level. Paul travelled to the Pantanal a few years ago and he is thrilled to be returning once more.
Paul has a wealth of knowledge to share, support and enhance field-based tuition, you will also have the chance to learn further skills with guidance back at the lodge between morning and afternoon outings. During these sessions Paul will discuss the creative processes behind recording exciting images of Brazilian wildlife, as well as providing inspiration for new ideas and photographic techniques for you to experiment with. Feedback on your images is crucially important to help you develop and hone your wildlife photography skills and own unique style; Paul will be keen to provide this at any time on a one-to-one basis. Every one of the photographs on this itinerary was taken by Paul during his last visit to the Pantanal, which should give you a taste of just what an incredible opportunity this is.
This simple but charming 28-bedroom lodge has everything guests need in order to get out each day and explore the wetlands. The lodge is fully equipped with speedboats in order to navigate the river systems in the expert hands of their guides who know these wetlands inside out. When guests are not out and about searching for jaguar, the lodge offers excellent fishing (in fact it began as a base for local fishermen to convene), bird watching, nature trails or simply relax by the pool and read a book in the heat of the day.
The Caiman Ecological Refuge is a pioneering ecotourism enterprise in the Southern Pantanal. The reserve takes great pride in the research activities it carries out alongside partnerships with leading universities and scientists from across the world. In addition to ecotourism, Caiman is involved with cattle production, as well as environmental research and conservation projects, including the Hyacinth Macaw Project, Onçafari jaguar conservation, Project and Blue-Fronted Parrot Project, all done through partnerships with leading researchers and universities. It has also created a Private Reserve of Natural Patrimony (RPPN), which spans almost 5,600 hectares and includes a pristine sample of the Pantanal’s endemic habitats. Since it opened in 1987, Caiman has blazed the trail for conservation in the Pantanal and it remains one of the very best lodges in the region for unparalleled access to pioneering research as well as all the comfort and excellent service to embellish the experience when you’re not out exploring these beautiful wetlands.
Costs Coming Soon
The itinerary includes:
Full board at Pantanal Norte and Caiman
Private guiding throughout
Private vehicle for road transfers with air conditioning
Domestic flights: Sao Paulo – Cuiaba – Campo Grande
Entrance fees and Environmental tax