Maned Wolf, Emas NP by Chris Townend

Tour Dates: Saturday 19th – Friday 1st August 2025 (Campo Grande to Campo Grande)
Tour Price: £5,999pp plus flights
Estimated International Flight Price: London to Campo Grande via Sao Paulo approx. £1,300 return
Deposit: £700 per person
Conservation Donation from Wise Birding: £200 – £300
Minimum Number: 6 people
Maximum Group Size: 8 people

Target Mammals:
Maned Wolf, Pampas Cat, Puma, Ocelot, Brazilian Tapir, Southern Tamandua, Giant Anteater, Giant Otter, Neotropical River Otter, Crab-eating Fox, Hoary Fox, Pampas Deer, South American Coati, Azara’s Agouti, White-lipped Peccary, Collared Peccary and an outside chance of Giant Armadillo!

Target Birds:
A good selection of the commoner species including Greater Rhea, Red-legged Seriema, Bare-faced Currasow, Sunbittern, Black-collared Hawk, Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, Hyacinth Macaw, Toco Toucan, White Woodpecker, Streamer-tailed Tyrant, Rufous-winged Antshrike, White-eared Puffbird & the range restricted White-winged Nightjar and Blaze-winged Parakeet.

Tour Summary
This tour is a comfortable two base holiday with a clear focus on looking for mammals. We will of course see plenty of impressive birds on the tour, but much of our time will be spent trying to see as many mammals as possible, particularly the Cats and Maned Wolf. Emas National Park: is located in the heart of the Brazilian Cerrado grasslands with scattered wooded areas and never ending termite mounds. We will spend six nights at a comfortable lodge on the very edge of the national park. Our time will be spent exploring the park during the day and night, looking for the many fabulous mammals that this unique landscape has to offer. Giant Anteaters and Brazilian Tapirs should be relatively easy to find and with numerous hours in the field we have an excellent chance of seeing the weirdly lanky Maned Wolf! However, it is the Pampas Cat and Puma that will probably involve more effort, with our best chances at night whilst spotlighting. The park has a high density of both these elusive cats and late July and early August is a good time to find them, but never guaranteed. Some of the commoner birds we should see during our time in the park include the hugely impressive Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, Greater Rhea, Bare-faced Currasow, White Woodpeckers, Streamer-tailed Tyrants and many more.

Giant Anteater, Pantanal by Chris Townend

Southern Pantanal: After our first week in the Cerrado grasslands we will then re-trace our route back to Campo Grande and then venture into the very different wetland and gallery forest habitats of the Southern Pantanal. Our first lodge is located close to the Rio Aquidauana. The lodge is rustic but very comfortable with only a small number of rooms and the wildlife around the lodge is simply fantastic. The lodge garden often attracts mammals such as Crab-eating Foxes and Yellow Armadillos as well as Hyacinth Macaws and Toco Toucans. The real highlight here should be the high density of Giant Anteaters and we should have plenty of opportunities to see these amazing mammals as well as the much smaller Southern Tamandua. Ocelot will also be one of our targets though never easy to see, we have been successful on previous tours. Puma and Jaguar are also possible though rare during night drives, but always a very exciting prospect!  

Pampas Cat, Emas NP by Ana Luzia

ACCOMMODATION: 13 nights in Brazil
6 nights Emas NP, 1 night Campo Grande, 3 nights Aguape Lodge and 3 nights at Miranda River Lodge
Inclusive Meals: Breakfasts, lunches & dinners

DAY 1: Arrival Day
Today is primarily an arrival day with a long transfer to our rustic though very comfortable lodge located immediately on the edge of Emas National Park. The journey is around 400Km north from Campo Grande and should take around 6 hours. We will not make any intended wildlife watching stops en route, though we are sure to see our first Greater Rheas and Red-legged Seriemas as well as a good chance of South American Coatis and maybe even our first Giant Anteater! On arrival we will check into our rooms and head straight out spotlighting after dinner. Overnight Pousada do Gloria

DAYS 2 – 6: Emas National Park
We have five full days to enjoy the wildlife of Emas National Park which gives us plenty of time to really savour the wildlife that we find and allow plenty of time for photography too. Our daily routine will involve taking daily game drives into the park early morning and late afternoon into the night, with time to rest during the hottest part of the day. Our local guide will be with us each day and she has lived here for ten years. She knows the park very well and we have an excellent chance of finding our key target mammals thanks to her experience and knowledge of the area.

Ocelot in the Southern Pantanal by Chris Townend

Emas National Park has an impressive list of mammals and we will try hard to see as many of them as possible. We will try in particular for Pampas Cat, also known as Colocolo. This small stocky cat, though distributed throughout much of South America, is still very localised and studies in Emas NP have shown there to be a good population. A night time encounter is most likely, so we will be on high alert during our spotlighting sessions! Pumas are also present in good numbers in Emas NP, probably due to the high numbers of Pampas Deer which are often the favoured prey for this beautiful cat. Spending six nights spotlighting, we have an excellent chance of finding Puma. The other key mammal we will spend time looking for is the Maned Wolf, this lanky canid is such a strange looking mammal and is often most active at dawn and dusk. Of course there will be plenty of commoner mammals that we are likely to encounter such as Pampas Deer, Red Brocket Deer Azara’s Agouti, White-lipped Peccary, Crab-eating Fox as well as Giant Anteater and Brazilian Tapir. Giant Armadillo is also present in Emas NP, though we would be exceptionally lucky to have a sighting! Birds that we may come across during our visit may include Greater Rhea, Red-legged Seriema, Spotted and Lesser Northuras, Red-winged Tinamou, Rufous-winged Antshrike, White-eared Puffbird, Cock-tailed and Streamer-tailed Tyrants, Curl-crested Jay, Collared Crescent-Chest, White-rumped, White-banded and Masked Tanagers, Coal-crested Finch, Aplomado Falcon and the range restricted White-winged Nightjar too. Overnight Pousada do Gloria

DAY 7: Transfer to Campo Grande
After a final early morning drive in Emas we will return for breakfast and then take the long journey back to Campo Grande. Here, we will spend the night and relax in preparation for the next part of the tour. Overnight Campo Grande

DAY 8: Transfer to Aguape Lodge
After breakfast we travel west to the town of Aquidauana where we will stop for lunch. We then head north and after leaving the town behind us we head into the more remote and exciting landscape of the Southern Pantanal. We should arrive at our lodge by late afternoon where we can relax in the gardens. Here, we are sure to find our first Hyacinth Macaws and Giant Anteaters are regularly seen close to the lodge. Some spotlighting after dinner may reveal Crab-eating Fox and Nine-banded Armadillo in the garden. Overnight Aguape Lodge

DAYS 9 & 10: Aguape Lodge and Aquidauana River
We will have two full days exploring the area around our lodge. We will take a morning boat trip on one day in search of all wildlife and take game drives also during our visit. We will check the latest news on cat sightings and although never guaranteed, Ocelot is the most likely species, but others like Jaguarundi and even Puma are possible in the area. At other times of the day we will take a number of game drives from the lodge where we will have the opportunity to visit areas for other mammals such as White-lipped Peccary, Collared Peccary, Southern Tamandua, Giant Anteater and more. We will also venture out during the night where our chances of cats may increase, particularly for species such as Puma and Ocelot. Overnight Aguape Lodge

Jaguar family in the Pantanal by Chris Townend

DAY 11: Final morning at lodge before transfer to Campo Grande
We will spend a final morning taking a game drive and targeting any mammals and other wildlife that we have not yet seen and have luck at the lodge. After lunch we will take a transfer of around 3.5 hours to our new lodge adjacent to the Miranda River. Overnight Miranda River Lodge

DAYS 12 and 13: Two full days on the Miranda River
We will spend the next two days with our local guide looking for Jaguar and Giant River Otter. Our local guide knows the river here very well and more importantly, he knows the Jaguar hotspots! We will be out very early in our private boat looking for Jaguars and any other wildlife that we may come across. Depending on our success, we may return for lunch or spend the whole day on the river. We have two full days which gives us a good amount of time to hopefully find this amazing cat. We will also try for Giant Otters which are regularly seen nearby. Overnight Miranda River Lodge

DAY 14: Airport Transfer
We will take an early morning transfer to Campo Grande to connect with a flight to Sao Paulo and back home.

Please note this is a flexible itinerary which may need to be adjusted slightly dependent on arrival / departure times, weather conditions and the most recent information from our local guides

Brazilian Tapir, Pantanal by Chris Townend

Leaders: Wise Birding Leader and local guides
Included in cost: Accommodation, all meals, all transport, all boat trips, all entrance fees, all water, plus services of the local guides and leader.
Not included in cost: International airfare, internal flights, travel insurance, alcoholic drinks and any airport/visa fees.
Single Supplement: £500
Transport: A mix of minibus, safari trucks and 4×4 vehicles on land. Small boats looking for wildlife in second half of tour
Difficulty: Easy The vast majority of birding is done in close proximity to the vehicle or from boats. Some short walks on flat trails in gallery forest / grassland.
Climate: Hot and humid though surprisingly cold at night in Emas NP
Tour Start Point: Campo Grande airport, Brazil
Tour End Point: Campo Grande airport, Brazil
Suggested Airlines: LATAM or British Airways

Hyacinth Macaws, Pantanal by Chris Townend