| The Pantanal in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil is an enormous tropical wetland region where the abundance and diversity of the wildlife there is amazing. The Adventure Kids® aka Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta went on a photographic animal safari during our stay at Pousada Pequi to "discover" its incredible beauty and fell in love with the area and its flora and fauna.
Luxury Experience on Safari
We stayed at Pousada Pequi, a small and charming family-owned inn located in Aquidauana, known as the "southern gateway to the Pantanal tropical wetlands, "home of exotic wildlife and an abundance of birds, and located 112 miles/180 km from Campo Grande, and went on a photographic animal safari to discover the region.
Although we had traveled to various parts of Brazil throughout the years, this was our first time in the Pantanal, the world's largest tropical wetland, where even its very name conjured up the exotic. Located primarily in the mid-western state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the Pantanal covers an area of approximately 54,000 - 75,000 square miles (140,000- 195, 000 sq. km), and extends to the neighboring state of Mato Grosso, and to the countries of Bolivia and Paraguay. The area is home to 1000 bird species,400 fish species, 300 mammalian species, 480 reptile species, and more.
Opening gates to wildlife area
There were numerous highlights during our 2+ hours safari adventure including just being out in the vast Pantanal where blue skies turned dark grey at times with the imminent threat of showers enhancing our experience. Riding in an open truck with a covered canopy provided us with the opportunity to have unobstructed views of the animals and birds we encountered along the way, including the white Brahmin cattle that congregated alongside, and often directly in our path, requiring us to wait for them to reluctantly move along before we could proceed.
Cattle wandering the range
During the safari, we saw the famous bird symbol of the Pantanal, the tuiuiu, (jaburu) a beautiful large stork with a distinctive black head and beak, colorful red neck "collar" and white body. As the tallest flying bird in South America, it was very exciting seeing it during our safari. Another interesting stork we saw was the cabeça-seca (wood stork), identified by its white body and black tipped wings.
Another wonderful sighting was of the Greater Rhea (Rhea americana), a flightless bird related too striches and emus, while on safari, as well as the seeing one that strolled around the grounds of Pousada Pequi.
Parrots, parrots, and more parrots! We loved seeing the arara-azul-grande (Hyacinth or Blue macaw), a large parrot with gorgeous blue coloring, as well as the arara-canidé (blue and yellow macaw) a parrot with stunning turquoise, yellow, and green coloration.
Although the large birds caught our attention by their sheer size, including the urubu-de-cabeça (turkey vulture), and the colhereiro (Roseate Spoonbill), with its white and pin coloration and long spoon-shaped bill, it was the smaller birds like the cafezinho (jacana, wattled jacana) that enchanted us, as they seemingly walked on water.
Arara Azul Grande
Other interesting bird sightings were the seriema (red-legged seriema), the aracuã-do-pantanal (chaco chachalaca), and the quero-quero (southern lapwing), one of the most common birds in Brazil.
When it came to exotic animals, we loved seeing the macaco-prego (brown capuchin monkey, Cebus cay), and capivaras (capybaras, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), a relative of the guinea pig, that were adorable, and are the largest living rodents in the world.
To test our "fear factor" and provide heart-pounding excitement, we stopped along the way to watch a jacare caiman (yacare caiman or Paraguayan caiman), a member of the Alligatoridae, swim in to shore where we had the opportunity to see it up close, and also saw other jacare in wet areas during the safari.
Depending on the season (dry versus wet) animal and bird sightings may vary. Although we were on the edge of the wet season during our stay from March 17-18, 2019, we thoroughly enjoyed the safari and the many animals and birds we saw.
See You On SAFARI!!
In addition to the Photographic Safari, Posada Pequi also offers many other adventures including Ecological Tours, Animals and Birds, Alligator Tours, Bird Watching,Carriage Rides, Milking Cows, Ecological Walks, Horseback Riding, , Piranha Fishing, River Tour, and for those that are looking for more a relaxing day, there is a swimming Pool lined with invited lounge chairs and sun umbrellas.
Their restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner. Breakfast is served from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, Lunch is served from 12:00to 1:00 pm, there is an Afternoon Snack at 3:00 pm, and Dinner is served from 8:00pm to 9:00 pm.
For more information, please visit their website: http://www.pousadapequi.com.br/en/home
• Watch as the jacare (alligator) swims to shore - https://youtu.be/usFUy2EXESU
• Watch Adventure Kid - Debra C. Argen talk with the Parrots - https://youtu.be/d4xgg7nsw2E
• Watch as the safari runs into a cattle crossing - https://youtu.be/Ko1PMkiMrIg
• Watch Adventure Kid - Debra C. Argen walking along with the animals - https://youtu.be/DnFrgfu_7ug
• Watch Luxury Experience start their safari - https://youtu.be/RgVnJ-Q1EpA
Estrada Rural ATM 04
(Estrada MS 171 40 km, área rural)
Aquidauana, Mato Grosso do Sul, (MS)
WhatsApp: +55 (67) 99934-5781
Read more about our experiences in Brazil in the Pantanal and Bonito in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Gastronomy and Adventures sections.
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
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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 and Pantanal
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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