Amazon may have all the fame and glory, but the
Pantanal is a far better place to see wildlife.
In the Amazon, the animals hide in the dense foliage,
but in the open spaces of the Pantanal, wildlife
is visible to the most causal observer. The Pantanal
is vast wetlands in the center of South America;
it is about half the size of France – some 230.000
sq km. The region covers areas in Bolivia, Paraguay,
but the most part is in Brazil. Pantanal is a paradise
for wild life watchers and photographers, because
they may encounter a concentration of the many species.
As many as 230 species of fish, 650 of birds, 80
of mammals and 50 of reptiles have been identified.
A visit to Pantanal will be an unforgettable experience.
You can access the Pantanal from the North via the
capital of state Mato Grosso (MT), Cuiabá (Brazil),
or via the capital of state Mato Grosso do Sul (MS),
Campo Grande in the South. Two thirds of the Pantanal
is located in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, and
one third is located in Mato Grosso. For the budget
traveler it might be cheaper to go via Cuiabá and
rent a car and take the dirt road (Transpantaneira)
that goes straight into the Pantanal, in the direction
of the town Porto Jofre. Along the road the wild
life are rich, where you may observe the fauna &
flora from the car. Another option is to go via
Campo Grande, where you will have the possibility
to one more experience except the fauna & flora
of Pantanal, you may also visit the paradise of
transparent, crystal clear waters in the rivers
around the town of Bonito, MS. There are also options
of river cruisers departing from Corumba, MS in
Brazil, a border town to Bolivia.
Pantanal has its flooded season generally from the
end of December until May, and the rivers overflow
making the region a large flooded plain with shallow
waters. The fish and reptiles disperse themselves
and the other animals concentrate in the dry areas.
During this time, the means of transportation are
by horse, tractors and boats. In the season of dryness
(months from June until the beginning of December),
the water lowers and the rivers and many lagoons
start to appear on the plain, and may end up dry.
During this period one may see a great concentration
of animals (mammals, birds and reptiles) feeding
around the lagoons and the riverbanks. Worth to
note is that region has a tropical climate and the
winter time is during June through September, when
the temperature is quit hot daytime but can fall
nighttime dramatically approaching 0°C. The south
may have a couple of degrees less in average than
in the north of Pantanal.