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Meeting jaguars in the Pantanal

Seeing jaguars in the wild has never been easy, so you might think that a jaguar safari doesn't really give you a great chance of seeing these elusive cats. Well we're delighted to let you into a little secret ... we can give you VERY high odds of spotting jaguars in the wild!

The best place to see jaguars in the wild

At the end of a dirt road in the Pantanal, a long drive from the nearest airport, the Cuiaba River is a remote spot that has attracted fishermen for years. Fishermen pay scant attention to the jaguars that come to the river banks to hunt for their favourite prey, caiman and capybara. A generation of jaguars has therefore grown used to seeing fishing boats pass them by without disturbing them, and they no longer flee the approach of boats as jaguars everywhere else in South America do.

Travelling in a small boat along the Cuiaba River with an experienced boatman and guide, you can often watch jaguars for long periods on the banks of the river. This is a unique experience; professional cameramen spend years trying to get a few minutes of footage of jaguars in the wild, but here you can sometimes watch them for hours at a time, seeing a range of natural behaviours such as hunting, playing with their cubs, even mating, as well as indulging in their favourite pastime, sleeping.

When is the best time to see jaguars in the Pantanal?

Of course nothing is guaranteed, but if you give us about 3 days, we can give you a very strong chance of spotting jaguars in Brazil’ Pantanal. The best time to spot them is between July and September, though June and October are also decent months too.

For more details

Talk to our consultant Paul Cook about this experience as he has been to see the jaguars in the Pantanal. 
Read our blog post - "BEST PLACE TO SEE JAGUARS IN THE WILD"!
Find out more about the Pantanal.

holiday itineraries

Toucan seen on Rio and wildlife of Brazil tour
Rio & the Wildlife of Brazil

Rio, the Amazon & the Pantanal - a fantastic wildlife odyssey in Brazil.

Jaguar safari in the Pantanal, Brazil
The Jaguar Safari
A wonderful opportunity to venture deep into the Pantanal with excellent chances of seeing jaguars.
RORY
Rory McCormick
PAUL
Paul Cook
CHRISTINE
Christine MacDougall

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customer memories

David & Maureen

5 different Jaguars were seen in the Pantanal, and at least 2 were seen on all but one of the 6 half day sorties out on the river, BRILLIANT! The Giant Otter were also seen on 4 separate trips out on the launches. The birding was grand and filled the time when Jaguars were immobile / resting. 

C Van Vliet & E Webb

An amazing memory which I will always have is watching a jaguar for 3 hours in the Pantanal. Our guides were able to predict her behaviour perfectly so we watched her swim across the river and hunt a family of capibara.

Jeff & Sue Webster

Witnessing a stand off between four giant otters and a jaguar just has to be one of those very special wildlife events. The screams and sheer aggression from the otters was something we were not expecting and neither was the jaguar which climbed a tree to get away. Something they rarely do.  

Tim & Sue Jones

Seeing jaguar and cub in the Pantanal. Also out guide, Rodriguez's exuberant reaction to the sighting.

Janet Buck

We were so lucky with our sightings of Jaguars drinking, swimming, walking along the beach and once we had a pregnant female for 30 minutes to ourselves. Tapirs swimming across the river in front of us, Giant River Otters catching and eating fish and both Anteaters. All exciting

Lagardo

Abundance of wildlife seen, highlight was seeing three Jaguars in one day. Great experience that went a good way to making up for the very basic accommodation.

Tony Marsh

We were fortunate to see 4 jaguar together as well as much else. So our visit more than fulfilled our expectations.

Caroline Moore

Brilliant from start to finish. I was lucky and had 11 sightings of jaguars, at one time watching a pair for about 30 minutes. There is a lot of other wildlife as well though - giant otters, caiman, capybara and many beautiful birds. A good camera and some binoculars are essential.

Carole and Jason

We had three brilliant jaguar sightings during our five day stay at the Jaguar Research Centre. The first one was a brief visual as we saw a female jaguar hunting for caimans amongst fantastic scenery. The second visual was quite lengthy and what was great was that we were the only people there. It was a male resting on a riverbank. Finally the third sighting was the best. We must have seen this female jaguar for over an hour as it rested and walked along a beach, sometimes chasing the attendant vultures that were also resting on the beach. At one point a family of giant river otters swam by to investigate; we saw a couple of hyacinth macaws fly above us, and on the other side of the river even saw a yellow anaconda. One of the best wildlife scenes we have ever seen. Pantanal was also great for seeing giant river otters. We saw them everyday and some of their activities were fascinating to see. This was also a great place to see birds especially the spectacular ones such as hyacinth macaws, toco toucans and Jabiru storks.

Jason Williams

We had three brilliant jaguar sightings during our five day stay at the Jaguar Research Centre. The first one was a brief visual as we saw a female jaguar hunting for caimans amongst fantastic scenery. The second visual was quite lengthy and what was great was that we were the only people there. It was a male resting on a riverbank. Finally the third sighting was the best. We must have seen this female jaguar for over an hour as it rested and walked along a beach, sometimes chasing the attendant vultures that were also resting on the beach. At one point a family of giant river otters swam by to investigate; we saw a couple of hyacinth macaws fly above us, and on the other side of the river even saw a yellow anaconda. One of the best wildlife scenes we have ever seen. Pantanal was also great for seeing giant river otters. We saw them everyday and some of their activities were fascinating to see. This was also a great place to see birds especially the spectacular ones such as hyacinth macaws, toco toucans and Jabiru storks.

K & D Brown

The wonderful experience we had watching the beautiful Jaguar in its natural habitat in Brazil will stay with us for a long time. We were taken along the Cuiabá River and down a tributary where the lush green of the forest along the riverbank gave way to a cool clearing shaded by huge trees where we had a very clear view of brother and sister Jaguars, languishing in the shade, keeping 'cool' as cats do. To see them at such close quarters and be lucky enough to spend a little time in the company of such regal and gorgeous creatures was the most magical experience we've ever had. (Tigers in India, Lions in Kenya, Elephants in Botswana and Hummingbirds in Costa Rica). To observe such relaxed, natural behaviour and their own curiosity in us is a little bit of time we replay in our minds often. There is nothing like it. The river banks are cool and enigmatic, we felt a little like travelling into a 'Lost World' full of exciting animals and birds and beautiful forest. We were lucky enough the next day to glimpse another Jaguar 'Wilson' a 10 year old Male. He too was quite curious about us and after coming down to the waters edge for a drink, sat in full view in perfect pose for us. WOW!! We felt very safe trusted our guide Eduardo and Mauro our driver who kept the boat at a safe and respectful distance from the animals we saw and seemed to know where the best places were to see wildlife. An experience to treasure for a lifetime.

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Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
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Telephone: 01473 890499

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