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Pantanal Safari

Overview

The Pantanal of South America is one of the most immense, pristine and biologically rich environments on the planet. Often referred to as the world’s largest freshwater wetland system, it extends through millions of hectares of central-western Brazil, eastern Bolivia and eastern Paraguay. With its …

Highlights

  • Ride through the world's largest freshwater wetlands
  • Watch for capybara, toucan, caiman and other wildlife
  • Meet local cowboys and learn about their culture
  • Take a boat/canoe trip or fish for piranha
  • Spend a night in traditional Brazilian hammocks

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 100 kg / 220 lbs / 15 st 10 lbs

Description

The Pantanal of South America is one of the most immense, pristine and biologically rich environments on the planet. Often referred to as the world’s largest freshwater wetland system, it extends through millions of hectares of central-western Brazil, eastern Bolivia and eastern Paraguay. With its extraordinarily concentrated and diverse flora and fauna, and a landscape spanning a variety of ecological sub-regions, the Pantanal stands as one of the world’s great natural wonders.

This area is an unparalleled wildlife sanctuary of spectacular beauty, an ecological paradise containing hundreds of species of birds, thousands of varieties of butterflies, myriads of brightly coloured flowers, and shoals of fish. Resident capuchin and Howler monkeys, capybaras, toucans, anacondas, caimans and tapirs help to create a unique mixture of sights and sounds. The endangered jaguar, and increasingly rare Hyacinthine macaws and giant river otters, all make their home in the Pantanal.

This safari expedition has been brought to you by our charismatic partner Paul Coudenys - a Brazil expert. As with any safari, this trip has been designed to offer guests the opportunity to experience the amazing wildlife and nature of this region without missing out on the comforts of a true safari holiday. Paul will act as your guide and translator throughout the stay and will be accompanied by a team of local horsemen who know every river, stream and lake in this diverse landscape. The Pantanal is a true "cowboy" region and so there will be opportunities to try out your cattle work skills as well. The Pantaneiros (Pantanal cowboy) will saddle their trusty horses for you, ready to explore the wilderness of these expensive wetlands.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Pantaneiro saddles (similar to Argentine Gaucho) and local bridles often with curb bits.

Horses

Pantaneiro horses - sturdy, surefooted and expressive horses, similar to Criollo.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Wildlife & Wetlands Safari is a trail ride

Ages

Children aged 12 and over can be accepted, provided that they are competent riders, comfortable riding a forward going horse and accompanied by an adult.

Health

This is a sporty and active safari ride requiring a reasonable level of rider fitness and experience. Please contact us if you have any concerns about your suitability to the ride.

Weight

100 kg / 220 lbs / 15 st 10 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Brazilian food is typically very simple, hearty and tasty, still including many homemade dishes. The base ingredients of most meals are rice and beans (Feijão), typically served with sauces, meat (most commonly beef or chicken), fish and seasonal vegetables or salads. Traditional dishes vary from region to region, depending on what is available locally. For example; fish and shrimp dishes are more common along the coast, whereas meat grills/BBQs (known locally as "Churrasco") are more popular in the southern states where cattle ranching is most prominent. In the Pantanal you will enjoy freshly prepared, hearty country meals which are often prepared on wood fired stoves - this can give the dishes a special depth of flavour.

During the safari, meals will be served for you in the dining room at the Fazenda. On the camping nights, you will be accompanied by a chef who will prepare your meals on-location for you. Meals in Brazil are traditionally served "family-style" with large serving platters of various dishes laid out for guests to help themselves from.

All drinks; both soft options and local speciality alcoholic drinks (Caipirinha, beer, wines and Cachaça, etc), are included in the package price.

Accommodation

This trail ride offers a mixture of accommodation provided in two traditional Fazenda homesteads as well as wilderness camp nights, within the heart of the Pantanal wetlands. You will spend the first part of the ride at Fazenda Baia das Pedras before setting off on the trail and spending two nights in purpose built bush camps. Finally, you will arrive at Fazenda Barra Mansa for the last days of the trip. Each location offers a unique environment for guests to explore and an amazing opportunity to discover.

The two fazenda offer comfortable, rustic and simple sleeping options in rooms with 2-4 beds and shared bathrooms. During the two camping nights, you will sleep in hammocks at the "luxury" safari-style bush camp which includes a toilet, shower and kitchen.

Itineraries

Wildlife & Wetlands Safari Basic accommodation.

Other Activities

The fazenda in which you will be staying during this safari also offer a number of other activities besides horse riding (some of these have already been included in the programme). Those interested may like to have a go at fishing for piranha, take a boat trip out to view wildlife from the water, or enjoy a specialised guided tour to learn more about the diverse animal and birdlife of the Pantanal.

Travel

The meeting point for this ride is at Campo Grande airport on day 1 of the itinerary. Transfers are not included in the package price, but can be organised at an additional cost. We can offer two different transfer options for guests wishing to take part in this safari; a road transfer in a 4x4 vehicle or a light aircraft flight.

The 4x4 vehicles have capacity for up to 3 passengers, but multiple vehicles can be booked if required. It takes approximately 6 hours to get from Campo Grande to the first Fazenda (similar timing on return). The roads are generally of poor quality and much of the driving will be through wilderness with opportunities to spot wildlife along the way.

Cessna aircrafts are available with passenger spaces for 3 or 5 pax. The costs for this option will depend on passenger numbers, so please contact us if this is something you would be interested in doing. Transfer times will be much shorter and it is a great way to be able to see the Pantanal wetlands from the air! Please note that luggage weight is restricted on the light aircrafts (approx. 15kg per person).

In both cases, we recommend planning to take an early flight to Campo Grande on arrival day. Depending on your arrival time at the Fazenda, there may be a chance to enjoy an introductory ride on arrival afternoon. Otherwise, arriving in Campo Grande a day or two before is a very good idea and will allow you to travel on to the Pantanal more relaxed the following morning. Prices for a good standard hotel room (such as at Grand Park Hotel) can start from as little at US$70 per night. Airport to hotel transfers are not included but local companies serving the airport and city can be very inexpensive (approx. US$10-US$15 per person, depending on numbers).

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: No riding.

The meeting point for this ride is at the airport of Campo Grande where you will be greeted by your guide Paul. You will then transfer from the airport to the Pantanal. Transfer is not included but road or air transfers can be arranged for you at additional cost. Road transfers are approx. 6 hours each way or it is roughly a 1 hour flight if you would prefer this option. 

For those who have arrived a night or two early, you will need to make your way back to the airport at Campo Grande in time for the transfer. No city transfers will be organised.

Upon arrival at Fazenda Baia das Pedras, you will receive a welcome drink and be shown to your room before a presentation of the region is given with information about the Pantanal and the programme for the following days. If time allows, you will have your first ride in the afternoon. The Pantaneiro horses are strong, well trained and very agile. Local Pantaneiro saddles are very comfortable to ride in. Dinner and overnight at Fazenda Baia das Pedras.

Day 2

Riding: 6 hours

With approximately 16,000 acres and 4,000 head of cattle, Fazenda Baia das Pedras is a traditional fazenda typical of the Pantanal region. It is located in an immense area on the banks of the Castelo Vazante river, amid a lot of rich nature and wildlife. Here you can spot animals such as capibaras, howler monkeys, crocodiles, wild pigs, peccaries, coatis and tapirs, as well as a vast array of birds, including toucans, jabiru storks, hyacinth macaw, parakeets and many more.

Each day the itinerary will be split between morning and afternoon rides, with a total of around 6 hours spent in the saddle each day. As Fazenda Baia das Pedras is a working Brazilian cattle farm, you will have the opportunity to meet with local cowboys and be introduced to their culture and way of life. You may even be able to roll up your sleeves and help the cowboys round up the cattle on horseback.

Day 3

Riding: 6 hours

After an early breakfast you will ride to the neighbouring property of Fazenda Primavera. You will be spending full days in the saddle over the next two days, riding through the beautiful landscape of Vazante Castelo, where you can observe the abundant wildlife of the Pantanal in a unique and untouched landscape. You will follow an open area surrounded by native bush adjacent to the bed of the river and see the incredible number of birds foraging here. You'll stop for a rest and lunch at Retiro Sao Luis, where you will be met by the back up vehicle with your luggage and a mobile field kitchen.

After lunch, you continue your journey through the wetlands and arrive on the property of Fazenda Primavera. Here you will find your wilderness camp in a beautiful and isolated area. The camp is comprised of a central fixed roof structure with traditional Brazilian hammocks strung up for guests to sleep in and surrounded by mosquito nets for your comfort. The camp has a kitchen and 2 bathrooms with showers. Dinner and overnight at the camp.

Day 4

Riding: 6 hours

The next morning, after breakfast, you will take a walk to the river to have a closer look at the wildlife here. You may have the opportunity to take pictures of alligators, capibara and some of the many bird species near the waters edge. In the afternoon you will be taken on a fascinating excursion on horseback. You will find yourself in the middle of the vast wilderness... just you and the great outdoors. At sunset there will be another chance to take amazing photographs and after dinner you can venture down to the river by torch light to spot the orange eyes of the crocodiles in the water. Another night in camp this evening.

Day 5

Riding: 6 hours

After breakfast at sunrise you will mount your horse and ride through the Pantanal to Fazenda Barra Mansa. From the saddle you will notice the landscape changing as you get to the area of the Rio Negro. Lunch will be served at Fazenda Barra Mansa. In the afternoon you will go on a boat expedition on the Rio Negro, stopping at beautiful white sand beaches along the shores, where you can swim in the river or go fishing for piranhas. On return, you will be served an aperitif before dinner and overnight at the fazenda.

Days 6 to 7

Riding: 6 hours

Located in a very special and secluded area, the territory of Fazenda Barra Mansa is considered to be one of the most wild and unspoilt of the Pantanal. The fazenda is situated on the banks of the Rio Negro, where it is possible to go on boat and canoe expeditions to see the natural beauty and wildlife of the region. Alligators, giant otters, capybaras, anacondas and maybe even the jaguar are animals you can see here. You will be able to discover this beautiful and wild place from the water and on horseback.

Day 8

Riding: No riding.

Time to say a sad farewell and depart the fazenda after breakfast, heading to the city of Campo Grande (transfer time dependent on mode of transport).

Accommodation

First two nights at Fazenda Baia das Pedras (shared rooms, with 2-4 beds; shared bathrooms),
3rd & 4th nights will be spent in purpose-built bush camps (hammocks undercover, with shared bathroom)
Final 3 nights are spent at Fazenda Barra Mansa (shared rooms, with 2-4 beds; shared bathrooms).

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate to experienced riders - you should be confident at all paces and over varying terrain.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

June 20, 2021 - June 27, 2021

Aug. 4, 2021 - Aug. 11, 2021

Pricing

2021
Sharing
£2760 $3910 €3210
Included 5 nights accommodation in fazenda, based on shared double/triple/quadruple rooms, 2 nights in hammocks in a luxury camp with shower, toilet and kitchen, all meals, snacks during the ride, drinks (soft & alcoholic), riding, tours and activities as stated in the programme, as well as local and bilingual guides.
Not included Flights, transfers, insurance, tips and other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Airport Transfer (Air) £565 $800 €655
Paid to Far and Ride
Cessna light aircraft (1 hour each way), return fare.
2021 - Airport Transfer (Road) £360 $515 €420
Paid to Far and Ride
4x4 vehicle (6 hours each way), return fare.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.