Let me tell you (Mum close your eyes for a sec so you don't know the next bit) our guide was saying "Girls, come back. You're too close. Be careful!" ... And other things we were too excited to listen to. If you use your imagination, you can see the face through the leaves. It does look totally dodgy but I know the memory of being that close to such a magnificent animal will stay in my mind forever.
I hadn't even heard of The Pantanals until we started planning this trip. It is part of the Brazilian plains and contains millions of cattle as well as an enormous assortment of wildlife. This includes (the ones I actually saw- toucans, jacare (jack-are-ay) like little crocodiles
,capybara (look like enormous guineapigs),
jaguar, armadillo (only a dead one), deer, parrots, emas (like emus), chachalarkas (like wild chickens and just as scatty), so many bird species, black howler monkeys
, giant otters (technically we only heard them), iguanas
, hawks, and of course piraņa which believe it or not, are delicious!
We missed out on anacondas and but they live there too.
What can I say about The Pantanals? Firstly, I saw a wild jaguar up close when we were doing a night boat trip with torches. It was enormous. I thought jaguars were more of a mid sized cat but they are as big as a tiger. Here is one of the very unsuccessful photos I took.