Tapir

We saw our first Tapir swimming across the Cuiaba River next to Porto Jofre, as we set off on a very early morning Jaguar boat safari. Because they are mainly active through the night, it is either on a night drive or a very early morning safari that you are more likely to encounter them. We have also noted over the years a lot more Tapir sightings on the northern section of the Transpantaneira road in the drier, hot period from September to November.

The Tapir we saw that day was a Brazilian Tapir (or lowland tapir) and it is one of 4 widely recognised species of tapir known to man, 3 found in Central and South America and one in Malaysia. There nearest relatives are rhinos and horses and they are famous for their highly specialised and flexible proboscis, which allows them to manipulate branches and obtain food out of reach. Tapirs often exhibit the flehmen response, a posture in which they raise their snouts and show their teeth to detect scents.

The largest tapir are around two metres in length and most of them have a short reddish brown, to grey colour, with the notable exceptions of the Malayan tapir, which has a white, saddle-shaped marking on its back, and the mountain tapir, which has longer, woolly fur suitable for living in colder, elevated conditions.

Female tapirs reach sexual maturity from 3-5 years old and can live up to 25 years in the wild. On average they will give birth every 2 years to one calf and the gestation period is 13 months. They eat a wide range of berries, grasses and new growth leaves. They will forage for hours each day and there is evidence that the Baird’s Tapir can consume around 40kg of vegetation per day. Although some tapirs live in dryland forests, they will still access water on a regular basis to cool off, eat vegetation and sometimes to escape predators.

Sloths and Monkeys

Experts on Costa Rica rainforests and ecosystems all acknowledge that mammal viewing in this species rich country is far from easy and many of the original Costa Rica eco lodges were set up more for birding groups, than mammal enthusiasts. Therefore a tour focused on viewing sloths, monkeys and other mammals species in Costa Rica needs to be carefully planned and include longer stays at the key habitat locations for primates and other mammals. With our ‘Sloths and Monkeys’ tour we have consulted wildlife photographers, our own trips and that of our clients to bring together all the elements required for some great mammal viewing.

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3550
Quetzals, Humpbacks & Tapir

Our quest for not only a good location in Costa Rica to see Tapir, but also how to organise the day by day activities, has been a long but enjoyable one for Wildlife Trails. There are many companies who talk about ‘the chance’ to see Tapir, but 90% of the time you are going to be disappointed. We realised that the Osa Peninusula was one of the best places to see Tapir in Costa Rica, but without our clients pre-booking specific wildlife trails with expert guides, their chances would still be quite low. So, this tour not only gives you the best chance to see Tapir when visiting Costa Rica, but also includes some amazing Humpbacj, Dolphin and Quetzal action enroute. Enjoy the ride!

Style - Bespoke Wildlife
Duration (Excl. Flights) - 13
Activity Level
When to Go
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Price (Excl. flights)
£3490