The Pantanal, Brazil     (map, info, notes).

The Pantanal is a vast alluvial plain, not a swamp, though pantano means swamp in Portuguese. Winter is the dry season, the best time to visit. During the rainy season, October to March, Rio Paraguay and its many tributaries flood their banks, replenishing the soil but making systematic farming impossible; this has discouraged human settlement. It also provides a rich feeding ground for wildlife when shallow lakes, ponds and marshes teem with fish. The animals take refuge on island-like areas of higher ground, cordilheiras. During the dry season the water recedes - savanna, forest and meadows overlap.

Brazilians' interest in the Pantanal was boosted by a recent telenovela titled Pantanal whose opening segment showed a long-haired nude swimming in the waters of a clear and tranquil lake. Surrounded by swaying grasses, the woman fell into an underwater embrace with a man whose state of undress below the waist was implied but not revealed by the camera ... The other two networks promptly responded by refilming the opening segments of their new evening soaps to add some naked women ... But the nude dip was not all that made Pantanal popular. There was also the lovingly shot aerial footage of curling rivers, pristine forests, multitudes of herons taking flight with glinting wings. There was the tradition-bound ambiance of the fazendas, which structure the social life of the Pantanal, a contrast to the collapse of the order in urban Brazil. * ... ( more )

The Tranpantaneira

The only public road in the Pantanal


Cayman basking in the sun on a private road

Blue Macaws

A pair of blue macaws dives yelling hoarsely

South American Rhea

The flightless bird


Sunrise in the Pantanal


Colorful vegetation

Lone Great Egret

A Lone Great Egret in Flight


Typical tree of the Pantanal - the Indians call it Piuva

Red Headed Cardinal

Lots of them around

Perched high above

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On a huge 27000 acres Fazenda

Crested Caracara

A Crested Caracara

Pantanal tree

Lots of these around

Fellow tourist

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Quick and nimble

Flying stork

A stork soaring high

South American Coati

Tour guide Rizardo playing with a South American Coati

Rio Clarinho

A tranquil river that feeds into Rio Paraguay


Reflections on the river

Composing a shot

A few feet away from a Jacare

Private farm road

Fauna on private road leading up to the third farmhouse


Small lake teeming with Jacare

Pretty bird

Well, you guessed it. I don't know the name of this one!

Local boy

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