While many people love reptiles, we must admit that we were not fans of snakes. Whenever we went to any zoo around the world, we would always bypass the reptile exhibitions, and on the two rare occasions that (Debra) happened upon small and harmless garter snakes, her scream could be heard in the next county. The mere sight of a worm while gardening will have her throwing down her gardening gloves and tools and calling it a day.
We thought that we should provide you with a bit of a back story to appreciate the tremendous amount of effort it took for us to walk in the front door of Projeto Jibóia with our friends, Gilberto and Regina Sacilotti, fully knowing that we would intentionally be in close contact with boa constrictors. As The Adventure Kids®, we are known for our wild adventures so on March 20, 2019, we tackled this adventure with smiles on our faces, and a bit of trepidation running through our bodies.
With that said, we (Edward, Gilberto, and Regina) took seats near the front of the room, with (Debra) sitting in the very back of the room ready to make a quick escape if necessary, we were ready to learn about this fascinating creature.
As a Rotary Club exchange student to Australia, Henrique Naufal became interested in snakes. Returning to Brazil, his passion continued and in 2005, he created Projeto Jibóiato educate and make the public aware about boa constrictors and non-venomous snakes through his lectures, video presentations, and by handling them.
Henrique Naufal with "Bob" the Boa Constrictor
Henrique Naufal is a big teddy bear of a man who presented the lecture with a boa constrictor draped around his neck and body and not an eye strayed from looking at and listening to him. Hard not to do when someone is wearing a reptile that is moving and interacting with its handler.
As the audience learned about the habits of boa constrictors from his informative and humorous lecture, as well as from the video presentation, handled desiccated boa feces that resembled hard pieces of meringue, and watched Henrique's interaction with the boa, you could see the audience gradually relaxing in their seats and letting out a collective sigh of comfort.
Edward F Nesta
Having fun with Bob
Regina Sacilotti and Bob
At the end of Henrique's very interesting presentation, the audience had the opportunity to pose for photos with the boa constrictor, and of course, that was something that we wanted to experience. With our arms extended from the sides of our bodies and our hands facing palms up, Henrique gently positioned the boa constrictor along our arms.
Being fitted for his snake
Firm and smooth to the touch, it took a few seconds for us to relax as we posed with the boa constrictor for our photo op. While it was an exciting and educational adventure learning about and handling a boa constrictor, we should warn you that if we see a boa constrictor in the wild, (Debra) may still scream.
Debra C. Argen
Accessorizing with her Boa constrictor
Until our next adventure...
A Few Interesting Facts About Boa Constrictors:
The Boa constrictor (amarali) can reach an adult size of 2 meters (6.5 feet), and the Boa constrictor (constrictor) can reach 4 meters (13.1 feet), although they rarely reach this size. The Boa constrictor is second largest snake in Brazil, the largest being the sucuri (anaconda).
Primarily nocturnal, with some daytime activity, boa constrictors detect prey by perception movement and heat, and surprises them. They feed on small mammals, mainly rats, birds, and lizards, and kills prey by constricting their body and suffocating the prey. It a flexible mouth and has small serrated teeth. Considered to be avery docile animal, it is non-venomous, and it cannot eat large animals.
Projeto Jibóia is open every day from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm with presentations by Henrique Naufal.
R. Nestor Fernandes, 610, Formoso
Telephone: +55 (67) 8419 0313 / +55 (67) 3255-2328 / +55 (67) 98419-0313
Read more about our experiences in Brazil inthe Pantanal and Bonito in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Gastronomy and Adventures sections.
• Watch Henrique Naufal of Project Jibóia talk about snakes (in Portuguese) -https://youtu.be/Ifgysh-S9O0
• Watch Debra C. Argen "wearing" the Boa Constrictor - https://youtu.be/eSJdFu94tJI
Important Travel and Planning Information
How to Get There from São Paulo
Azul Airlines flies from Campinas (VCP) Airport to Bonito (BYO) airport. The flight time is 1 hour and 35 minutes. Note Azul Airlines only flies to Bonito on select days of the week. Check their schedule accordingly. Flight time 3 hours 25 minutes.
GOL Airlines and LATAM fly from Guarulhos (GRU) International Airportto Campo Grande (CGR). The flight time is roughly 1 hour 50 minutes. To get from Campo Grande, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul to Bonito, you can rent a car. Drive time is roughly 3 hours 40 minutes.
Travel and Tourism information:
We used Agência Ygarapé for expert and professional tour information and booking our adventures. The agency has been providing high-quality, attentive service for tours, packages, accommodations, and transport services and more for over 20+years, serving Bonito and the Pantanal region.
Please visit their site for more information (site is available in English, Portuguese, and Spanish): www.ygarape.com.br.
Agência Ygarapé is open daily from 7:00 am until 9:00 pm (and until 10:00 pm during high season).
Rua Coronel Pilad Rebuá, 1853, Centro
Bonito, Mato Grosso do Sul (MS)
Telephone: +55 (67)3255-1733
Cellular: +55 (67) 99213-7374
For more information on Bonito and Pantanal, please visit: http://www.visitbrasil.com/en/destinos/bonito.html, http://www.visitbrasil.com/pt/destinos/bonito.html
Important Tips for Bonito andPantanal
Bonito is focused on eco-tourism and as such they only allow a certain number of visitors to eco sites each day.Be sure to book your tours well in advance to not miss out.
For Water Sports (snorkeling), the sites request that you not use sunscreen, tanning lotions, or insect repellent to help keep the waters pristine.
Going hiking in the woods? Wear light colored clothing as dark colored clothing attracts mosquitos!
There are no ATMs, only banks: Banco do Brasil, Bradesco, Caixa Economica and Sicredi, so plan accordingly. Some small restaurants accept cash only.
Shops stay open late in Bonito usually until around 10:00 pm and most accept credit cards.
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