Imagine a region almost twice the size of England; imagine it as an African savannah, at the height of the summer, and as an infinite water lake, with no signs of human presence and very few signs of vegetable life, most of the year.
Imagine a place with 650 species of birds, 260 species of fish (such as the catfish, weighing up to 260 pounds), an unknown number of species of butterflies, and caimans, anacondas, capybaras (the largest rodent in the world), agoutis (other rodent), tapirs, peccaries, jaguars, pumas, giant anteaters, ocelots, giant otters, armadillos, several species of monkeys, including the capuchins, and dozens of other unusual species of animals.
This world is not fiction. It exists, it shelters the hugest concentration of animal life in America. It is called the Pantanal, and is located in Brazil, 1,000 miles from Sao Paulo.
By its own right, Pantanal ranks very highly in the adventure tourism business. The concentration of animal life – especially big birds: macaws, parrots, toucans, egrets, crakes, eagles, owls, oropendulas… - is unique in the world.
But… you should also understand the nature of Pantanal, and the reason why it is largely unknown…
Pantanal doesn’t have any shopping malls or air conditioning. It’s a place of mud, most of the year. It’s not necessary to face a high discomfort to visit it, but some discomfort is unavoidable.
The Pantanal is a place with too much water and mud, and plenty of mosquitoes (insect repellent – lots of it - is indispensable) where trips may be difficult, and may have to be made on horseback, or special trucks and jeeps, or by boat.
Pantanal is a place for those who love nature and are ready to make some sacrifices to see it at its best. If you are a bird and nature lover, and if you like adventure travel, you will love the Pantanal.
Avoid the rainy season (from December to March). It’s not the ideal period to travel, unless you just want to have only a very partial view of Pantanal. It’s much better to visit the Pantanal in the dry season (July to September).
Eduardo Reisinho publishes Brazil-Travel-Guide.com
( Brazil Travel Guide ), a website where you can look for more information about the Pantanal, and other themes and travel information involving Brazil.