There are two best areas for seeing jaguars, both in Mato Grosso. The Porto Jofre region is getting the most press and jaguar tourism, and is currently the easiest place to see jaguars. One travels down the Transpantaneira, also rich in wildlife. There are numeros locally owned lodges that we use, together with local guides we have trained, and have a variety of boats to search for these great cats on the Cuiaba and other rivers.
The other destination is Cáceres, the site of the Pantanal Widlife Program "Bichos do Pantanal" sponsored by Petrobras via their program Petrobras Socio-Ambiental. From Caceres our guides can take you by boat to the Jaguar River Lodge. This is in a rich region including the Taiamã Ecological Station. We spend the days looking for jaguars, giant river otters, primates, etc. south of the reserve, spending the nights in the Jaguar River Lodge. On the last day we return to Cáceres by boat, and Cuiabá by road, to end the tour.
The Taiamã Ecological Station is part of Brazil’s federally protected areas, which include National Parks, Biological Reserves and Ecological Stations. Instituto Chico Mendes (ICMBio) is the equivalent of the National Parks Department in other countries.
Douglas Trent (Founder of Focus Tours), is an ecological scientist, and has been researching jaguars both north and south of the reserve since 2005. With the 39 jaguars he have documented in a 200km stretch of river, this is the other the richest region for jaguars. Males in the Amazon and forests of Central America need 75 sq. km each, with female using half of this. So, having at least 39 on the river edge in 200km, is astounding!
In 2008 ICMBio proposed a partnership to be able to use his research data to help increase the size of the reserve. His is finding new jaguars on each tour, thus, traveling here with Focus Tours helps preserve the species as well.
With the 39 individuals now documented, however, it is apparent that while all of these use this part of the Pantanal, they cannot possibly all be there all the time, and thus they are using other parts of the Pantanal as well. With the Pantanal Wildlife Program, he is able to continue his research with monthly researh trips using the Bichos do Pantanal research houseboat. We invite you to visit this Program, and assist in the fauna surveys.