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SouthWild Jaguar Flotel


Rating: Mid-range    

SouthWild Jaguar Flotel overview

Don't come here for luxury, but do come here to stay in the heart of the world's best jaguar spotting territory!

This ten-cabin floating hotel is moored on the Cuiaba River, near the mouth of the Three Brothers in the northern Pantanal. The accommodation is fairly simple, but despite its remote location it offers 24 hour electricity, air-conditioning and hot showers.

Radio-equipped boats are sent out from the lodge each morning to search for jaguars and reporting sightings back to the lodge. This is the only lodge that offer this service, and so gives the best chance of seeing jaguars. Uniquely, the jaguars along this stretch of the river have become accustomed to seeing boats thanks to years of sports fishing in the region, and the jaguars are no longer disturbed by the presence of humans. They will sit on the banks for hours, allowing for prolonged sightings and unparalleled opportunity for photography. Guests at the flotel have seen jaguars fighting, hunting and mating. Nowhere else in the world offers such an excellent chance to see these big cats acting naturally in the wild.

Although they are the biggest attraction, a stay here is not just about the jaguars. The Cuiaba River is also the best place in the world to see giant river otters. The same factors that have allowed the jaguars to become accustomed to people have also worked with the giant otters, and large family groups can regularly be seen swimming and playing on the riverbanks. The forest that lines the riverbanks teems with birds and monkeys, and of course the river is home to countless capybara and caimans.

Stays at the flotel are arranged in small groups on set departures, led by experienced naturalist guides. The boats have been designed to allow the best sightings of jaguars and don’t have canopies which can obstruct vision.

So if you’re keen on jaguars or giant otters, this is the place to come!


Open: From May to November.

Location: The flotel (floating hotel) is located in the northern Pantanal. It is anchored near the mouth of the 3 Brothers River in the centre of the Jaguar Zone. To reach the flotel, you have to drive along the length of the Transpantaneira Highway from Cuiaba to Porto Jofre. It is a long and bumpy drive from Cuiaba to Porto Jofre, and there is plenty to see on the way, so it is best to break the journey and stay at a lodge along the Transpantaneira along the way. From Porto Jofre, you board a small boat for the journey along the river to your accommodation. The non-stop journey time by boat from Porto Jofre is about an hour, but you are bound to stop along the way, diverted by the rich wildlife of the river.

Activities: There are morning and afternoon motor boat excursions, to view not only jaguars but also giant otters, howler monkeys, caimans, capybaras and birds such as kingfishers and herons. These excursions are led by experienced naturalist guides.

Facilities: There is a dining room/lounge where meals based on local cuisine are served. There are large picture windows looking out onto the river and riverbank. The large top deck is partially shaded and has tables, chairs and hammocks. Breakfast, lunch and drinks can be enjoyed here. Electricity is supplied by a generator.

Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.

Children: Please check with us.

Health: Malaria prophylactics are recommended for the Pantanal.

Communication: There is no Wi-Fi internet access on the flotel.

Guy Marks
Paul Cook
Sinead Bailey
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A wonderful opportunity to venture deep into the Pantanal with excellent chances of seeing jaguars.

customer rating

93% from
9 reviews











client reviews

Mr. Alfred Paladini (24/06/2016)


Mrs Linda de Zilva (13/10/2015)
"Suites are big and spacious with two huge double beds (we upgraded on arrival from our original Standard Room). Food is wholesome but basic but taking into account the location it was fine and plentiful. Staff were very friendly and helpful and we felt relaxed and at home during our stay."
Mrs. Linda Kemp (20/09/2014)
"Basic but fine as most of the time is spent on trips on the little boats. Food ok but not much variety. "
Mrs. Tricia Offord (12/09/2014)
"Absolutely superb experience in the Suite. Everything was excellent, from our guide, the comfort of our room, the atmosphere (joking with all the fisherman about their daily catches etc)to the fantastic quality of the food and the service on board. Perfect in every way."
Ms. Gail Trotter (05/09/2014)
"KiKi was our guide at Southwild Flotel in the Pantanal. Born in Ecuador, he was the GM of the Lima Peru zoo for 12 years and has been with Southwild for the past 4 years. We were very fortunate to meet this man and spend 5 days with him. His knowledge of the the Pantanal inhabitants is so vast (genus, species) I don't know how he can possibly keep all this information in his head. Watching him "read" the environment every morning and afternoon was fascinating - and productive - as he would inevitably find a well hidden monkey or, of all things, a stingray. He was always ensuring we had enough water, and were comfortable, and always offered extra assistance at every opportunity. We recapped our adventures at meal times, enjoying interesting conversations and some very good laughs. KiKi was a tremendous guide and a wonderful person."

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