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The Wildlife of Brazil's Southern Pantanal
Photo Safari and Tour Brochure

September 9-15, 2021
Price: $4795

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An incredible area with a huge diversity of wildlife

Whether you are adding this trip on as an extension to our Jaguars and the Wildlife of the Pantanal Wildlife Photo Tour, or doing this as a stand-alone excursion, you won't be disappointed. There is such a diversity of wildlife in the Southern Pantanal that a trip solely to here would be immensely worthwhile.

Although the wildlife is diverse, several subjects truly stand out. Giant Anteaters are frequently seen and fairly easy to photograph, making this reason enough to visit this area. We've never missed on seeing and photographing Ocelot, and we'll have an opportunity to do so at our main ecotourist lodge. Species like the Crab-eating Fox and Pampas Deer are most easily seen here (or only seen here!), and the bird photography is excellent. We'll be visiting a grotto where Red and Blue Macaws roost and fly about, making for some challenging photography but some exquisite images when successful.

Nine-banded Armadillo

The trip is limited to 8 participants.

Price includes lodging with double occupancy, all meals,
and transportation throughout the southern Pantanal.

Price does not include lodging prior to official trip dates
or transportation/flights to/from Brazil or domestically

We will be offering a Jaguar trip following this tour as well.

September 16-26, 2021 Brazil's Pantanal:
Quest for the Jaguars #2
$8195 (limited single supplements)


Check out our book Jaguars and the Wildlife of the Pantanal

For an even better idea of what to expect, check out our trip reports.
2012 scouting trip or the 2014, 2016 or 2018 Trip Report or check out all of our previous trips HERE

Read any or all of our previous trip reports.



Background information
: Ever since I've been going to the Pantanal various guides raved about the Southern Pantanal and urged me to visit the area. They said the wildlife opportunities were diverse and the shooting was wonderful, and a few years ago I finally made a scouting trip to the area and I, too, was very impressed. Four years ago we did our first Extension to the area, which proved equally successful, and had we had the chance we'd have booked spaces for the very next year. I'm very excited about this location for a variety of reasons, including the fact that we'll usually be in areas where we'll have the wildlife opportunities to ourselves.



To get the absolute most out of these safaris, or any of our
offerings, consider taking one of our Complete Digital Nature
Photo Courses
, in Pennsylvania during the summer months!

Our Photo Safari

kWe'll be visiting two locations in the southern division of this vast wetland, the Pantanal, during the dry season when wildlife is concentrated in the remaining wetlands and along the permanent river courses. In contrast to our northern Pantanal trips, we have much more freedom here for either individual or for group photography, as our time is not spent on skiffs looking for jaguars. Instead, some of our shooting and exploration will be from open vehicles, where we'll either shoot together or disembark to shoot in a particular area.


Caiman doing the 'bubble dance' or 'dancing water' display, a courtship
behavior where water shoots up like a fountain from the caiman.

Our Itinerary

Day 1. September 9.

Morning flight from São Paulo to Campo Grande. We'll have lunch after arriving in Campo Grande. From there we'll drive to Jardim, the location of our first shoot, and we'll have a light dinner en route.
Overnight, Hotel Vitoria


Day 2. September 10

After breakfast we'll head to the incredible Sink Hole where we'll be photographing Red and Blue Macaws as they fly about the cliffs, both above and below us. The shooting is exciting, as the birds are often close, and the shooting is challenging, too, as you'll discover! Afterwards we'll head to Bonita Springs, have lunch and do a float trip down through the clear waters of the river. By float, I mean that you will be floating down the river, enjoying the fish and the incredible river habitat.

It's back to Jardim for dinner.

Overnight, Hotel Vitoria.


Day 3. September 11.


After another morning at the Sinkhole, we'll head toward our lodge eating lunch along the way. After arriving at Pouso Aguape, we'll do a late afternoon game drive before dinner looking for Armadillo, Giant Anteater, Crab-eating Fox, and other species.

Overnight, Pouso Aguape.


jDay 4-6. September 12-14.

We'll do game drives both AM and PM, likely photographing Jabiru Storks flying straight at us at eye-level, as well as Fox, Caimans, and whatever else we find. Pampas Deer, Yellow Armadillo, Tamandua, Giant Anteaters ... we've had all of these species here, as well as a variety of birds. This location is the only site for any recent observations of an extremely rare mammal, the Bush Dog. A good friend of mine actually photographed this animal here! After dinner we'll do night game drives, probably visiting an Ocelot location at least once.

Overnights, PA.




Day 7. September 15.

After breakfast we'll head back to Campo Grande, having lunch en route. In the PM we'll depart for our flight to Sao Paulo, where most will make their connections for flights back to home, or some will fly to Cuiaba to prepare for the Jaguar Photo Tour starting the next day.

Birds and Wildlife

As stated above, there are scores of birds and many mammals and reptiles.The mammals we've seen on the last few trips include the following:
agouti, cabybara, coatimundi, crab-eating fox, brown capuchin monkey, red brocket deer, marsh deer, Pampas deer, various bats, yellow armadillo, giant anteater, southern tamandua.

mThe birds are truly too numerous to list completely,although the Macaws, the Velociraptor-like Red-legged Seriema, numerous Hawks, Striped Owls, songbirds, Parakeets, Ovenbirds or Horneros, and many, many more.


The Photo Tour begins and ends in Campo Grande, Matto Grosso Sur, Brazil. From Campo Grande we'll travel by land into the Pantanal to our various destinations.

In-country transportation with the group, all meals, and lodging (double occupancy) are included. If you miss the flight to Campo Grande with the group, our Brazilian tour company will provide the land transportation to our location in the Pantanal, however, you are responsible for that transportation cost, as well as any lodging or food costs incurred. We recommend participants who are joining us for this trip should arrive in São Paulo early in order to make the connecting flight to Campo Grande (We will give specific instructions to anyone who are joining us only for this tour).

Tips for the English-speaking Brazilian guide and guides for our private outings are included, however participants usually add a little extra as a gratuity, although this is optional.

Most meals are included, starting with breakfast on September 10 and ending with lunch on September 15.

Not Included:

International Airfare.
Domestic airfare to/from Campo Grande.
Additional fees for checked and/or Carry-on luggage.
Any additional lodging prior to or after the tour.
The following meals: lunch in route to Jardim (Sept. 9)
Dinner in Jardim (Sept. 9 & 10)
Dinner in Sao Paulo (Sept. 15)
Personal drinks throughout the tour
Any gifts or additional amenities
Gratuities for Lodge Staff, Hotel Personnel
($10/day/per is recommended for the lodges - we'll have
4 nights at the two different lodges.
We'll have two nights in the Hotel Vitoria in Jardim, so
you may wish to tip the room steward and luggage handlers.
Optional extra tip for the guides

The Photo Tour/Safari is limited to 8 participants. Please contact our office immediately if you are interested.

About Your Leaders

jMy wife Mary Ann and I strive to provide the most comfortable and thorough Photo Tour you will experience. We have been doing this together for 25 years, and I've been doing so for a few more years than that! We lead all of our photo tours and safaris, and we have been leading tours to the Pantanal for eight years.

I doubt if there is another American-based photographer, and certainly no husband/wife photo team, with the amount of experience that we have leading photo tours to the Pantanal. This fact is relevant because we know the wildlife, we know behavior, and we know what will make a great photograph. We know when to stay and wait and we can honestly state that you'll get the majority of your best photographs when you are in our skiff.

hHere is a perfect example. This Crane Hawk is a species that resembles the African Gymnogene, aka African Harrier Hawk, and hunts in exactly the same way. On our most recent trip we watched as several boats passed by, blandly noting 'a hawk' perched in a tree, nothing exciting. However, we knew this bird's behavior, which is quite interesting as it hovers at a cavity or nest hole, or hangs tight to a tree trunk, fishing for a baby bird, a lizard, or a frog hidden from view. We waited, and were treated to a wonderful view as the Hawk captured five different frogs in twenty minutes. Only one other skiff was there -- occupied by an experienced Pantanal film-maker.

Both Mary and I are naturalists and photographers, and I'd hope you've seen our credits. These included Audubon, National Geographic, National Wildlife, Ranger Rick, Natural History, Living Bird, Birder's World, Wildlife Conservation, and most nature/wildlife calendars.

In 1994 Mary Ann won two first place awards in the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, in Endangered Species and in Bird Behavior. In 1998 she had three highly commended images published in the BBC competition. She won first place in the Cemex/Nature's Best photo contest in the Humor Division for Professional Photographers. In 2003 she won first place in Mammal Behavior in the Agfa All Africa photo competition. Mary has written a number of children's books, including Leopards, Grizzly Bears, Woodpeckers, Flying Squirrels, Sunflowers, Cobras, Jupiter, Boas, Garter Snakes, Pythons, Rattlesnakes, Ducks, Chickens, Horses, and Cows, and a coffee table book, Out of the Past, Amish Tradition and Faith.

I've written several how-to wildlife photography books -- A Practical Guide to Photographing American Wildlife, The Wildlife Photographer's Field Manual, The Complete Guide to Wildlife Photography, Designing Wildlife Photographs, Photographing on Safari, A Field Guide to Photographing in East Africa, and The New Complete Guide to Wildlife Photography. In 1999 Todtri published African Wildlife, and in 1999 we produced our first instructional video, A Video Guide to Photographing on Safari with Joe and Mary Ann McDonald. I've won several times for highly commended images, 2nd place, and 1st place in both the Cemex/Nature's Best and the Agfa all Africa photo competitions. In 2003 I won 2nd place in the World in Our Hands category in the BBC competition with an image from Africa. In 2013 I won 1st place in Mammal Behavior with the jaguar image that introduces this brochure.

Mary and I were featured in the book, the World's Best Wildlife Photographer, and we have written columns in Outdoor Photographer magazine and in several web magazines. Currently we are editors for Nature Photographer magazine, contributing an article each issue. Our latest book, Digital Nature Photography, From Capture to Output, is a PDF file that covers EVERYTHING you need to know about digital nature photography, including workflow, file management, RAW conversion, and maximizing the digital image. It is available directly through our office. We have produced one book to date on the Jaguars and the Wildlife of the Pantanal, but an ebook is in the works.


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