Ben’s news from the Flotel (Pantanal Safari):
As it was our last morning in this spectacular place we decided to start at the Black Creek area where we immediately found a large number of Giant Otters. They were extra busy in the remarkably still water with lovely reflections, giving us fabulous photographic opportunities as they went about fishing, eating, interacting with one another.
And then the welcome call came – so, a last quick photo of the otters and we were off to find a jaguar. She was just beautiful, glistening in the morning sun as she paced the river bank in search of a caiman for breakfast. We followed her and filled our cameras with magnificent shots as she walked along purposefully, checking the river all the time.
Then she disappeared into some long green grass, and we could only follow her progress as the grass swayed with her movement. Every now and then she would stick her head through the grass and look directly at us, then disappear into the grass that gave her position away as she progressed. That face peering at us intermittently through the grass, with bits of green stalks on her ears and eyebrows is an image that will remain with me forever. Just too beautiful to describe!
When the jaguar finally disappeared and we realised that she would not return, we cruised a little further up river and unbelievably, within seconds we received another call! Another jaguar!
It was Adriano! The handsome, familiar, 158kg jaguar was fast asleep on the river bank. He had chosen a particularly beautiful spot for his slumbers, with dappled light coming through the trees, thick jungle all around – and Adriano out in the open. Now and again he lifted his head to look around, gave a massive yawn, and promptly fell asleep again. It was so very special to have the privilege of spending our final hour on the river with him.
When it became quite hot (sweat was pouring off us, but we would not move for anything!) Adriano got to his feet, enjoyed a quick drink, and went off to some cool shade to continue his sleep.
We bade him farewell and returned to the Flotel, from where we returned to Porto Jofre. We visited a Hyacinth Macaw nest for some last images of the magnificent birds before setting off for the Matto Grosso Lodge.
We were just in time at the Lodge for a quick, one hour river excursion. Besides Black Hawks, Kingfishers and a multitude of different birds, one really struck me a particularly spectacular. It is a Chestnut-eared Aracari. To describe it would almost be an injustice. It has vivid colouring – yellow, blue, red, green and black. It has a large beak, being a type of toucan, and again, it is a fabulous bird!
So our final day of this safari has been as wonderful as the others. And I mean wonder full! Looking forward to our next safari here …