Pantanal is located in the watershed of the Upper Paraguay River.
With approximately 250.000 square kilometers it is the largest area
of fresh water marshes in the world. The Pantanal is between Brazil
(60%), Bolivia and Paraguay. Due to its proximity to the Amazon, the
abundance and diversity of its vegetation and animal life are
Little visited by travelers the Pantanal is a wildlife paradise
where you are sure to see primates, reptiles and mammals. Only one
road crosses the Pantanal "the Transpantaneira" from East to West
and it is here where we find a small number of excellent lodges.
The Brazilian Pantanal (about
150.000 square kilometers or 2% of the Brazilian territory) was
designated as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2000. The Pantanal is
a sediment plain intensely drained by rivers, permanent and seasonal
water courses and bays, marked off by its isolated elevations. The
area is surrounded by mountain ridges and plains while the region
presents a flat landscape with a small inclination which follows a
north to south, east to west direction.
From October to April, heavy rains cause the Paraguay River and its
tributaries (such as the Sao Lourenço, Cuiaba, Taquari, Miranda,
Negro and Aquidauana) supplying the Pantanal’s waters to overflow,
flooding an area almost ten times the size of the Florida
Everglades. Every May, one can observe the start of the ‘ebbing’,
when the water level slowly begins to fall.
Nature repeats, every year, the
spectacle of the floods that ensure the renewal of the fauna and
flora of the Pantanal. The huge volume of water, which practically
covers the whole Pantanal region, is truly a fresh water ocean,
where thousands of fish live. Small fish feed larger bird and other
animal species. When the water level comes down, large numbers of
fish are trapped in the lagoons and bays, unable to go back to the
rivers. For several months, birds and carnivorous animals
(alligators, otters, etc.) have abundant food at their easy
Wetlands in general are among the earth's most productive
environments and the Pantanal is no exception. The Pantanal has high
concentrations and many species of mammals, birds, reptiles,
amphibians, and fish, as well as invertebrates and plants. Over 650
species of birds alone have been identified in this area, as well as
over 80 mammals, 50 reptiles, and 250 species of fish.
Alligators have an important role in the waters of the Pantanal.
They function as predators "regulators" of the fauna of fish. Where
there are many alligators, few piranhas are found. Another important
aquatic and semi-terrestrial predator is the anaconda. Typical
Pantanal birds include the blue macaw, and the black headed
parakeet. Among the primates, the capuchin monkey can be found
there, alongside the howler monkey. The predator on the high
riverbanks is the spotted jaguar, together with other felines and