Photography trip with multiple-award winning
wildlife photographer Petr Bambousek
The Pantanal is an absolutely fascinating place from a photographic point of view. That is why I return there repeatedly and I am thrilled to announce that, for the first time in 2024, I will be offering the opportunity for foreign photographers to join the expedition. While I can’t promise specific sightings in advance, the photos below will demonstrate the variety of subjects available for photography here. Physically, the trip to the Pantanal is relatively easy, with no demanding treks. Most photographic subjects are conveniently located near well-situated lodges and fazendas. During the trip, we will also spend time on boats, which will allow us to observe life around the wetland from a different perspective. An experienced local guide and I, as a person with many years of photographic experience, will be at your disposal for the entire duration of the expedition. I will be happy to share with you my field-tested camera settings, help you find an attractive angles, and in the evenings we can also discuss my photo editing procedures on the PC. In short, the journey will be full of photographic inspiration. We will be spending 14 days / 13 nights in the world’s most iconic wetland! To maintain a personal and private atmosphere, I am offering ONLY 6 SPOTS on this trip.
UPDATE January 21: SOLD OUT. Do you want to join one of the 2025 trips? Fill out the form at the bottom of the page.
PANTANAL 2024 TRIP ITINERARY
June 24th (Day 1): Arrival in Cuiabá and Transfer to the 1st Lodge.
The tour begins in Cuiaba (IATA: CGB), the capital of the state of Mato Grosso. Please plan to arrive in Cuiabá either in the morning of June 24th or, if you prefer, the previous day. After the group has assembled, we depart for a small town called Poconé. From Poconé we will start our adventure on the Transpantaeira road, where a few stops for photos will be made before we arrive at 1st lodge. Check-in and lunch. The lodge, a large ranch spanning 7,000 hectares, is located 10 km from Poconé. It’s an area located in a transition between Cerrado and Pantanal. It’s a big area to be explore and the chances to see Giant Anteaters are quite high. It’s also the only place along the Transpantaneira road where we will be able to see the White-fronted woodpecker. Night at 1st Lodge.
June 25th (Day 2): Full day at 1st Lodge
We will have a full day to explore the lodge’s property, where we can photograph various bird species and hope for a good view of the Giant Anteater. Dinner and overnight. Night at 1st Lodge.
June 26th (Day 3): Transfer to 2nd Lodge
Morning activities will be focused on finding a variety of mammal and bird species in the area. Transport with a few stops for photos before we arrive at 2nd Lodge. We will spend the afternoon on the surroundings, where will be able to photograph different types of birds such as Planalto woodcreeper, Hyacynth macaws, Lineated and Crimson woodpecker, Great rufous woodcreeper, with some lucky, during the night, we can hear and see the Black-banded owl. Also Howler monkeys can be seen around the lodge. Dinner and overnight. Night at 2nd Lodge.
June 27th (Day 4): 2nd Lodge
We have a full day to explore Lodge’s property. Morning and afternoon activities, trying to find as many different species of mammals and birds on the area. Night at 2nd Lodge.
June 28th (Day 5): Transfer to 3rd Lodge
After breakfast, we will spend the morning in the surroundings of the lodge, before moving towards the 3rd Lodge. Check-in and lunch. In the afternoon, we will do a boat trip on the river, where we increase our chances to see Agami heron and Zigzag heron, besides other shore birds. Dinner and overnight. Night at 3rd Lodge.
June 29th (Day 6): Travel to Porto Jofre
A full morning to explore 3rd Lodge’s property. Morning activity around the lodge, where on the feeder can try to observe the elusive Chestnut-bellied guan, Bare-faced curassow, Nanday parakeet, Scaly headed parrot and other birds around. We will have the opportunity to explore the river and try to photograph fishing Ringed Kingfisher, Cocoi Herons or Black-collared Hawk. After lunch at the hotel we pack up and head south in the Transpantaneira in the heat of the afternoon, making a few birding stops as we go. We’ll be familiar with the many of the species we encounter already, but we could add Capped Heron, Black-backed Water-Tyrant, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, or Fawn-breasted Wren. The drive to Porto Jofre takes a couple of hours at a birding pace, so there will be quiet stretches we can skip over in order to make the Campos do Jofre, an expansive open marsh near the end of the road, by late afternoon. Here we should see many waterbirds dotting the swampy plain, and we’ll hope for our first Maguari Storks amongst the sea of caiman, capybaras, egrets, and herons. As the day draws to a close, we drive the final few kilometres to our destination for the next four nights at the comfortable Lodge. Night at 4th Lodge
June 30th – July 2nd (Day 7 – 9)
We have three full days to dedicate to our search for the largest cat in the Americas, the powerful Jaguar. This elusive apex predator is nearly impossible to find across much of its range, but the area surrounding the Encontro das Aguas State Park, centered along the lower reaches of the Three Brothers river in the northern Pantanal has become famous over the past fifteen years as the most reliable place in the world to see Jaguars. While these solitary predators are secretive and elusive, we have excellent chances to observe and photograph them during our three full days on the Cuiabá, Piquiri and Three Brothers rivers. Each day will consist of a full morning and an afternoon river safari using comfortable motorized launches with powerful 4-stroke engines that allow us to reach all the best locations quickly and quietly. We’ll be looking for Jaguars as they rest in the shade, drink at the water’s edge, or stalk the river banks in search of their favoured prey – Capybaras and Caimans. Additionally, we expect to encounter multiple family groups of Giant Otters, and many birds including all five South American kingfishers, Black Skimmers, Yellow-billed and Large-billed Terns, Pied Lapwings, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Jabiru, Roseate Spoonbill, Black-collared Hawk, Blue-crowned Trogon, Little Cuckoo, Cinereous-breasted and Rusty-backed Spinetails, Orange-backed Troupial and much more. Night at 4th Lodge
July 3rd (Day 10): Transfer to 5th Lodge.
Right after breakfast, we will start driving back on the Transpantaneira road, about 85 km, towards our 5th Lodge. Check-in and Lunch. In the afternoon we take a boat trip on the Pixaim river, looking for the elusive Sungrebe, the unique Sunbittern and much more. At the end of the day, we visit a hide where an early evening vigil could very well deliver close range views of the exquisite Ocelot, a shy cat that is typically almost impossible to find. Night at 5th Lodge.
July 4th (Day 11): 5th Lodge
We have a full day to bird the rich Pixaim area, with its excellent gallery forests and open, scrubby savannas flanking the lovely river. A walk on the gallery forest trails will target Helmeted Manakin, Undulated Tinamou, Flavescent Warbler, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant and more. In the drier, scrubby areas away from the river we can search for Green-backed Becard, Chotoy Spinetail and Golden-collared Macaw. We will spend an afternoon on the river, where we may be fortunate enough to track down the shy and reclusive Agami Heron. The area is also good for mammals, with real chances for Giant Otter, Marsh Deer. We will also have a second opportunity to try to photograph an ocelot from the hide. Night at 5th Lodge.
July 5th (Day 12): Travel to 6th Lodge
We will spend morning on the bank of Pixaim river and after breakfast at the hotel we pack up and head to our last Lodge. It is a typical Pantaneiro pousada, situated on a cattle ranch in one of the wildest areas along the Transpantaneira. The area is a mix of open country and dry forests, interspersed with seasonally inundated marshes and water holes. The marshes are home to the striking Scarlet-headed Blackbird, American Pygmy Kingfisher, White-bellied Seedeater and Spotted Rail, along with vast numbers of ibises, egrets, storks and herons. The dry forests hold Blue-crowned Trogon, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Scaly-headed Parrot and Crested Oropendola. Aside from the exuberant birdlife, this place is typically quite good for mammals, and our safari drives here will target Red Brocket Deer, Brazilian Tapir, South American Coati, and Marsh Deer. Night at 6th Lodge.
July 6th (Day 13): Full day in 6th Lodge
A full day to explore 6th lodge property. Morning and afternoon activities, trying to find as many different species of mammals and birds on the area. Night at 6th Lodge.
July 7th (Day 14): 6th Lodge – Cuiabá
Early morning outing in order to see more birds of the property having breakfast and lunch time at the Lodge. After the lunch we will depart to Cuiaba and there will be …
… The End of our tour. We recommend to book hotel nearby the airport with departing flight on July 8th.
TRIP DATES: June 24th to July 7th, 2024 (14 Days / 13 Nights)
GROUP SIZE: 6 persons (SOLD OUT)
PRICE PER PERSON: USD 7 650
INCLUDED: Accommodation (based on 2 people sharing), 3 meals per day, drinking water, all necessary ground transportation in air-conditioned van within Pantanal area, private boat rides just for our group, experienced local guides and boatmans, access to hides, Petr’s full day support, wildlife photography and photo editing lectures
NOT INCLUDED: Flights to/from Cuiabá and other international flights, alcoholic beverages, tips for guides, laundry services, single room surcharge (limited availability), and day trips outside the itinerary.
ARE YOU IN?
Great! Please fill this form bellow, I will contact you with payments and contract details during December 2023/January 2024. You will also receive more detailed information about optimal equipment, clothing and other necessary details to enjoy the trip 100%. Feel free to ask anything regarding to the trip.