Wildlife Group Tour

Brazil Group Tour - Jaguar and Maned Wolf Conservation

Departing 13th - 23rd Aug 2020

11 days

from £4,995pp
  • Visit the Cerrado and the Pantanal - two distinct eco-systems teeming with wildlife
  • Take insightful safaris with researchers from the Oncafari Maned Wolf Project
  • August in the Pantanal is the best time to see jaguars and other wildlife
  • In the Pantanal, sleep on a boat, your base to explore the region's wildlife

Travel across two vastly different ecosystems to go in search of Brazil’s most iconic big cat, the jaguar and its most endangered canid, the maned wolf. Accompanied by expert naturalist guides, gain an in-depth insight into this fascinating wilderness and have the chance to see South America's most iconic animal, the ever-elusive jaguar as well as maned wolf.

In the vast tropical savannah of the Cerrado, you will be based at the exceptional Pousada Trijuncao, home to a research project committed to protecting the maned wolf. You will go out on safari – in a vehicle, by foot and by kayak, with researchers from the project to look for maned wolves and other Cerrado wildlife. Finish the tour with four days in the world’s largest tropical wetland, taking boat safaris to search for the Pantanal’s apex predator – the jaguar.

Why join this Brazil group tour?

The Pantanal is one of the most magical landscapes in the world and your time here will be spent in the company of expert naturalists and leading conservationists who know the area and wildlife of these wetlands intimately. Both Jaguar and Maned wolf are endangered species, spend time with researchers, who are passionate about conserving them. This trip offers a wonderful chance to be involved in some pioneering conservation work and the chance to see these elusive animals in the wild.

What is the accommodation like?

In the Cerrado, you will be based at Pousada Trijunção, a quality lodge, with a focus on conservation within the region. You will then travel to the southern Pantanal, spending time on a houseboat, perfectly placed to explore the scenery and wildlife of these vast wetlands.

What wildlife might I see?

The jaguar is the third-largest feline after the tiger and the lion, and the largest in the Americas. It resembles the leopard physically but its behaviour and habitat characteristics are closer to those of the tiger. It is a sharp predator at the top of the food chain. Maned wolf is one of the most fantastic animals of the Cerrado, and one of the greatest examples of its diversity. It is an endangered species, but some individuals inhabit the limits of Fazenda Trijunção. In partnership with the Oncafari, there is a research project, dedicated to its preservation. Visit the project - and witness its greatest star, in his natural habitat.

As well as jaguars and wolves, you can typically expect to see giant anteaters, giant river otters, tapirs, capybaras and spectacled caimans as well as primates such as capuchins and howler monkeys. Birdlife in the Pantanal is plentiful and varied and includes endangered species such as hyacinth macaws as well as toucans, herons and migratory birds of prey such as ospreys.

How likely am I to see Jaguar?

Wildlife is unpredictable so it is of course never a given. However, your chances of seeing a Jaguar in the Pantanal in the dry season are extremely high. If there is ever a good chance to see a jaguar in the wild, it is here. Travelling by small boat in the Pantanal allows a less invasive form of exploring this region, and increases your chances of seeing a jaguar. 

Do I have to be fit to enjoy this tour?

Many of the wildlife excursions will be done by boat and 4x4 so suitable for all abilities. During your time in the Cerrado there will also be time to partake in alternative more strenuous activities should you wish.

Is this tour suitable for solo travellers?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.

What will the weather be like in August?

August is one of the best months to travel to Brazil for wildlife encounters, and it can be combined with numerous other activities and experiences throughout the rest of Brazil.

Can I extend my time in Brazil?

Absolutely. Brazil is a vast country with vibrant cities, fabulous beaches and iconic waterfalls. A stay in the Pantanal works particularly well with a visit to the Brazilian Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest, Iguaçu Falls or Rio de Janeiro. Please speak to one of our Brazil specialists for further information.

Departing on:
  • 13th August 2020

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights £Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour ExpertStatus 
13th Aug 2020 23rd Aug 2020 £ 4,995 £ 900 £ 1,395 Valquíria Cabral Available
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Activities as indicated
  • All transfers as detailed in the itinerary
  • Donation of USD$500 to Oncafari for the purchase of a camera trap
  • Maned wolf conservation experience with the Oncafari
  • Meals as indicated
  • Private English-speaking guide throughout

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Brasilia arrival

You will be met on arrival by a Steppes Travel representative and transferred to your hotel.

Brasilia is one of the world's most modern cities with some of the most ambitious architecture of the last century designed by the Brazilian, Oscar Niemeyer. Under the presidency of Kubitschek in the 1950's it was constructed and made the nation's capital with the curious claim to fame of the only city centre to be arranged in the shape of an aeroplane. One of the city's main highlights is the Metropolitan Cathedral with its concrete angels suspended from the ceiling. For optimum views of the city, head to the 75th floor of the television tower.

Brasilia afternoon city tour
Take a panoramic tour of the most interesting sights that Brasilia has to offer.Visit the Dom Bosco Sanctuary (the Blue Church) and the TV Tower for exceptional, aerial views of the city. Other sites of interest include the Itamaraty Palace, Three Powers Square and the Democracy and Liberty Pantheon.

Dinner included today.

You will be staying at Brasilia Palace, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Brasilia to Savannah and onto Cerrado
In the morning, depart for Pousada Trijuncao, located in Brazil's great savannah, the Cerrado. The overland transfer today should take approximately five hours. There maybe the option to travel by charter flight - this will be looked at closer to departure when we know exactly how many people are travelling.

The Cerrado is the the most biodiverse savannah in the world, home to more than 850 species of birds, 251 mammals, 482 reptiles and amphibians and 1,200 fish as well as 13,000 plant species (about 5% of all plant species of the world). Currently, there remains less than 50% of the original Cerrado in Brazil, and it is estimated that 150 species of animals are at risk of extinction as a result of destruction or damage to this habitat. The jaguar, ocelot, armadillo, anteater, maned wolf and grey eagle are among these species.

On arrival, check into the lodge, the remainder of the day will be at your own leisure.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

You will be staying at Pousada Trijuncao, full board

Day 3

Pousada Trijuncao excursions
During the next three days, take guided excursions around the Cerrado, looking for the wildlife that calls this wild region home. To ensure you see as much of the Cerrado as possible, you'll explore by safari vehicle, on foot and also by kayak. Animals such as giant anteaters, pampas deers and greater rheas can all be seen here. Endangered maned wolf inhabit the Cerrado and in partnership with the NGO, Oncafari, Trijuncao maintains a research project dedicated to their preservation.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

You will be staying at Pousada Trijuncao, full board

Day 4

Oncafari Maned wolf project
Neither a fox nor a wolf, the maned wolf is an intriguing animal. Unlike its namesakes in other parts of the world, the maned wolf prefers to hunt alone, looking for rodents, lizards, small birds and even fruit. And it is unlikely that you'll find the maned wold howling at the moon in the middle of the night as they are happy hunting during the day or when the light is crepuscular.

A combination of habitat loss, hunting, road kills and disease have led to the maned wolf being threatened with extinction. This is where the Oncafari project steps in with a plan to use eco-tourism in conjunction with field research, to help protect the maned wolf. Thanks to Steppes' partnership with Oncafari, you will have the opportunity to meet with researchers to learn about the maned wolf conservation project in more detail. Off the back of this tour, Steppes Travel will donate $500 to the project in order to purchase a camera trap to help researchers develop a better understanding of the maned wolf's behaviour and movements.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

You will be staying at Pousada Trijuncao, full board

Day 5

Additional excursions
Today's itinerary will depend on what you have seen on your first two days in the Cerrado. If the maned wolf has been elusive then you will explore the Cerrado again by vehicle looking for signs of the maned wolf. If you have already seen the maned wolf, then you might want to explore the Cerrado on foot on a birdwatching excursion. Alternatively, take to the water by kayak looking for alligator and water birds.

This evening, enjoy a farewell barbecue and take advantage of Pousada Trijuncao's viewing tower for a spot of stargazing.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

You will be staying at Pousada Trijuncao, full board

Day 6

Savannah to Brasilia

Depart after breakfast, and transfer overland to Brasilia, a journey of around five hours.

Brasilia airport transfer

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight.

Fly Brasilia to Cuiaba

Cuiaba arrival

You will be met on arrival by a Steppes Travel representative and transferred to your hotel.

Cuiaba is the capital city in the state of Matto Grosso in the northern Pantanal. The city was founded in 1719 during the gold rush but today it is a fast growing place due to agriculture and cattle-raising.

breakfast included.

You will be staying at Hotel Deville Prime Cuiaba, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Cuiaba to Porto Jofre
Depart after breakfast and drive from Cuiaba to the Porto Jofre region, in the heart of the Pantanal. During your journey, keep an eye out for capybaras, blue macaws, giant anteaters, anacondas and hundreds of species of birds which can be seen in this region. The journey will take approximately five hours.

On arrival to Porto Jofre, transfer to the pier to embark the Mutum expedition boat, your home for the next four nights. This region is known for its high concentration of jaguars and travelling by boat will allow for a less invasive interaction with these magnificent animals.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

You will be staying at Mutum Expeditions Boat, full board

Day 8

Porto Jofre
The next three days will follow a similar pattern. Set out each day in the morning and afternoon in a boat with your guide, heading along the Pantanal's four main rivers - the Sao Lourenco, Cuiaba, Three Brothers and Piquiri. These boat safaris will provide the best opportunity to spot jaguars and giant otters along with a variety of other mammals, birds and reptiles.

The Pantanal, or wetlands of Mato Grosso, is one of nature's last frontiers, the world's largest animal reserve, and home to more than 600 different species of birds and 230 varieties of fish. It is made up of a huge lowland plain that is entirely overgrown by lush vegetation and covered with flowers that bloom during the rainy season from December to April.

The Pantanal features many rivers and crystalline lakes, as it used to be a vast inland sea. Rare species of birds and other animals seek shelter along their shores and cluster around the diminishing pools during the dry season from May to November.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

You will be staying at Mutum Expeditions Boat, full board

Day 9

Porto Jofre
The wildlife in the Pantanal is incredibly diverse. While an encounter with jaguar is the ultimate wildlife thrill, being a wetland, the birdlife in the Pantanal is extraordinary. Species such as the purple/blue hyacinth macaw, the lanky jabiru stork and the rare pygmy kingfisher are particular highlights. Other mammals of note are herds of the guinea pig-like capybara, howler and capuchin monkeys, tapirs and ocelots. The waters are also teaming with reptiles such as caimans and anacondas.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

You will be staying at Mutum Expeditions Boat, full board

Day 10

Porto Jofre

On the boat, in the evenings, there will be different topics discussed and the opportunity to share wildlife viewings and images. Other activities are also available, including night safaris and nature walks.

breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

You will be staying at Mutum Expeditions Boat, full board

Day 11

Porto Jofre to Cuiaba

Depart after breakfast to drive back to Cuiaba, a journey of around five hours. Like the journey in, the roads you travel along will range from well-maintained paved roads to dirt tracks.

On arrival into Cuiaba, transfer to the airport for your connecting flight.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Brazil

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

"James was brilliant and all the advice was spot on."

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Roxy Dukes, Travel Expert

"Roxy filled us with enthusiasm and came up with some great ideas for a trip. We liked the idea of a slightly 'off the beaten track experience' and some private bespoke activities and that's exactly what we've had. Thank you!"

"Roxy created a wonderfully interesting route which was the basis for a super trip. She also chose lovely places for us to stay and interesting activities for us to participate in, introducing us to the idea of private guided experiences which we thoroughly enjoyed."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Tour expert

Valquíria Cabral

Valquíria Cabral
Valquíria Cabral is one of the lead researchers from The Onçafari Project in the Cerrado. She was a trainee at the wild animal rehabilitation centre in Campo Grande from 2013 before going onto work as a wildlife safari ranger at Caiman Ecological Refuge for two years. She is currently part of Onçafari's team at Pousada Trijunção in the Brazilian Cerrado, responsible for monitoring and habituating the resident maned wolves.
Enquire about this Wildlife tour:

Group Size:

Min 4 / Max 12

Tour Expert:

Valquíria Cabral

Departure Date (S):

  • 13th August 2020

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