Of course, many clients booking a Brazil wildlife tour are focused on charismatic predators, such as the legendary Jaguar. However, once you have enjoyed your Pantanal jaguar tour you might be looking for more unique Brazilian wildlife; such species as Giant River Otters, Maned Wolf, Armadillo’s and the utterly charming and bizarre Giant Anteater. So, this is for you, the person who finds Capybara cute and Anteaters even more mesmerising. We are going to show you the best places in Brazil for wildlife and Giant Anteaters and Armadillos.
Although Brazil is a vast country, we can ‘roughly’ divide the wildlife viewing season into a wet and dry period. Some visitors to the Amazon may actually want to see this unique ecosystem during the rainy season, when water levels are higher. However, for the best chance to see Giant Anteaters and Armadillo’s we need to focus on the dry season in Brazil; which runs roughly from May to October. From our own multiple jaguar safaris in Brazil, we have certainly noticed that both the Giant Anteater and Tamandua (tree climbing anteater!) are seen more often in the drier zones of Brazil’s national parks.
he very first time we saw Giant Anteaters in Brazil was in Canastra national park (Serra da Canastra National Park) in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The best way to access this region is to take a flight into the vibrant Belo Horizonte. This is a ‘lifestyle’ city; where young professionals have moved to seek out a better work/life balance. With easy access to national parks, walking and huge green spaces it ticks all the boxes for people looking to connect with nature. It is no coincidence that many of Brazils best wildlife guides have settled in or close to Belo Horizonte.
From Belo is it a good 4-5-hour drive to the peaceful town of Sao Roque, where you will enjoy clean mountain air and new species of birds. This is you access point to both the lower and upper Canastra national park. The upper Canastra is more difficult to reach by 4X4 vehicle; with around 1 hour on bumpy roads ‘delivering’ you into a mountain habitat that resembles the Scottish Highlands. Dry, brown, frost damaged grasses provide ideal habitat for Giant Anteaters and due to their poor eyesight and hearing, it is possible to get close for a photograph without causing them undue anxiety. In reality, due to their huge front digging claws they have little to fear; even from the mountain pumas which also call Canastra their home.
If you would like to organise a Brazil wildlife holiday which gives you a jaguar safari in the Pantanal and then a chance to see Giant Anteaters in Canastra, then check out our epic Wild Jaguar, Maned Wolf and Anteater safari.
Although back in 2007 we visited both the north and south Pantanal and linked up these two fantastic ecosystems by water – using the Paraguay River to connect Curumba with Porto Jofre; we were blown away by the amazing jaguar watching on the Cuiaba River and saw the chance to see Giant Anteaters at Pousa Alegre, very much as a bonus.
So, it was only subsequent visits to Pousada’s in the south Pantanal that we realised the true potential of this location for viewing both Armadillo’s (very rare in the rest of Brazil!) and Giant Anteaters. We soon realised that there were a few locations – often with scientific studies taking place – that were just incredible for Anteaters and Armadillo’s and our clients were enjoying some stunning sightings during their bespoke Brazil wildlife tour.
This convinced us that the ultimate Pantanal jaguar tour did not just visit the north but also included the south and that pushed us to design our bespoke north and south Pantanal Brazil wildlife holiday.