Jaguar

It’s amazing to think that this gorgeous big cat can be found as far south as Argentinia and as far north as New Mexico and that is despite hundreds of years of persecution by man. Infact, it was only the introduction of eco-tourism in Brazil in the early 90’s that started to show local ranch owners that there was a way to make money which did not involve killing the most powerful predator in the America’s Now boat loads of tourists in the Pantanal ‘shoot’ the big cat with their cameras and the wild population of Jaguars is on the increase.

At Wildlife Trails we avoid the rushed tours and instead focus on four to five days of private Jaguar boat safaris on rivers like the Rio Cuiaba and Rio Paraguay to get you at eye level with the action and we also skip lunches and siestas; as Jaguars are active all day long.

The jaguars last stronghold is in Brazil – it may hold around half of the estimated 170,000 wild jaguars. Most of these stunning big cats are found in the highly threatened Amazon rainforest and in the world largest seasonal wetland – the huge and incredibly diverse, Pantanal.

After tiger and lions, the jaguar is the world’s third largest big cat and it is famous for the incredible diversity of prey species that it will take in the wild. Jaguars are cunning, opportunistic hunters and can prey upon almost anything they come across. They have been documented eating nearly 100 different species, including deer, peccaries, tapirs, rabbits, turtles, sheep, cows, porcupines, horses, snakes, fish, caimans and capybaras. Jaguars’ bites are one of the strongest in the animal kingdom – they can easily bite through turtle shells and the thick skins of caimans. Jaguars can be “melanistic”, where they appear almost black. Melanistic jaguars (and leopards) are known as “black panthers”.

Ultimate Pantanal Birding Tour

When you visit Brazil on a wildlife holiday even if it involves a Jaguar Safari in the Pantanal you soon pick up on the fact that nearly all the local guides are full on birders and will take every opportunity to point out ‘special’ birds to their clients. As all birders know, if you want to maximise the variety of sightings and species you need to visit a diversity of habitats and altitudes in the company of an expert guide. This combination of higher altitude Cerrado plateau and Wetland habitat – without the need to travel too far in Brazil – is ideal for keen birders and those looking to see a diversity of landscapes and wildlife in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 6
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2500
Two Rivers Pantanal Jaguar Safari

This really is the ultimate Jaguar safari in Brazil, as we take you to two famous Brazilian rivers, each with a high density of wild jaguars. Less people visit the Paraguay river and the Taiamã Ecological Reserve where you will be taking your boat safaris. In the last few years there have been more Jaguar sightings closer to our riverside lodge on the banks of the Paraguay and we can use the latest sightings reports to plan our daily activities. We have a large spacious boat designed for 12 but only carrying 4 Wildlife Trails clients; who will enjoy a huge amount of space for their comfort and all important camera equipment. After 4 nights on the Paraguay river we drive back to Cuiaba and start our journey down the Transpantaneira road. We focus on two different habitats along this road, the drier north where you are more likely to see Tapir, Giant Anteaters and Ocelot and then the end of the road for our Jaguar boat safaris; where we are also likely to see Giant river otters, Howler monkeys, Caiman and Capybara. To have the best possible chance to see Jaguars we again have a large boat with just a few clients in and we go out as early as possible and take packed lunches. Which means that we are still viewing and photographing Jaguars, while the other groups are back at the lodge or on their houseboats having siestas.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£6155
South Pantanal Wildlife Tour with Iguacu Extension

As more and more exciting Jaguar photos ‘flooded’ the internet it was inevitable that locations like the Cuiaba river would start to attract large numbers of wildlife enthusiasts and we recognise that this is not the experience all wildlife lovers are looking for on their bespoke Brazil wildlife holiday. There are actually many other locations in the vast wetland known as the Pantanal and simply by flying into the south you can experience a very different style of wildlife safari.

Although the chances here to see Jaguars are less, the animal count can often be higher and more diverse and our clients have been lucky enough to see many giant anteaters, bush pigs, peccaries, 6 and 9-banded armadillos, capybara and caiman. Because you will have your own private naturalist, you can dictate the pace of the wildlife viewing; although we definitely recommend a few night time drives.

You will then fly south to Iguacu airport where you will be met by your friendly knowledgeable guide. We have visited this Unesco world heritage site multiple times, so know the importance of booking a hotel within the park and therefore being able to visit the falls in that ‘golden’ first 1-2 hours before the mainstream tourists arrive. We also know great places for bird watching and eating locally; so you will really maximise your 3 nights spent here before flying onto Sao Paulo or Rio.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 8
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£2390
Brazil Jaguar Safari with Four Full Days of Private Boat Safaris

There are several different types of major habitats accessed by using the Transpantaneira road and you will have quality time in two of them. In particular, the Cuiaba River (and its tributaries) where approximately 90% of the jaguar sightings take place during boat safaris. You cannot visit this area for just a couple of days and expect to see Jaguars and you can certainly not expect to see them if you do not go to the end of this famous road and spend some quality time on the water. Most other operators return to their lodges or houseboats for lunch, but we take packed lunches and stay out all day. Unlike other big cats around the world, Jaguars are sighted often in the middle of the day; either relaxing under the shade of the riverine forest, or sometimes hunting Capybara, Caimans or other prey species.

Style - Small Group
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 9
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3690
Amazon & Pantanal Jaguar Safari

For your Pantanal jaguar safari we explore different types of major habitats accessed by using the Transpantaneira road and you will have quality time in two of them. In particular, the Cuiaba River (and its tributaries) where approximately 90% of the jaguar sightings take place during boat safaris. You cannot visit this area for just a couple of days and expect to see Jaguars and you can certainly not expect to see them if you do not go to the end of this famous road and spend some quality time on the water. Most other operators return to their lodges or houseboats for lunch, but we take packed lunches and stay out all day. Unlike other big cats around the world, Jaguars are sighted often in the middle of the day; either relaxing under the shade of the riverine forest, or sometimes hunting Capybara, Caimans or other prey species.

We then fly you up from Cuiaba to Manaus and due to the timings of flight schedules between the capital city of the Amazon and Tefe, we overnight you in a charming bed and breakfast. We can organise a boat safari to the ‘meeting of the rivers’, or you can simply have a walk around the attractions of Manaus – we recommend a visit to the Opera House. You will then fly to Tefe and enjoy a spectacular small boat transfer to Uakari floating lodge; beautifully located on meandering loop of a river in the unspolit and wildlife rich Mamirauá Reserve. During your stay you will be able to explore the flooded forest in a private dugout paddle, as well as take small group boat safaris to observe pink river dolphins, spider monkeys and sloth. This is a genuine community led project with 50% of the income going back into the community and the majority of the food you eat is purchased from the local villages.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 15
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£4990