We then travelled by boat, road and an internal flight to SouthWild Pantanal Lodge deep in the Northern Pantanal on the Pixiam River for an overnight stay. The next day we continued our journey by road to the SouthWild Jaguar Flotel, situated in a more isolated river area, this is where we had our best chance of seeing jaguars.
We stayed for three nights taking two boat safaris a day and on the first afternoon we saw an amazing four different jaguars including Sergio, a huge dominant male, mating with Patricia, a much smaller female. We stayed with these incredible animals for over an hour; Sergio was totally focused on keeping close to Patricia and completing his manly duties. I am sure that he never even noticed us.
We also saw another pair of mating jaguars; Peter and Estella. Peter was much smaller in size to Sergio. These two were much more secretive when mating and tended to keep in the bushes whilst conducting their business. At one time these couples were within a 100 yards of each other. What a fantastic first safari! We arrived back at the flotel really excited and amazed at what we had just seen. Early evening meal with a nice bottle of wine, ably looked after by the resident barman who kept us fully topped up at all times.
Next morning, up and ready to leave at 6am following a quick breakfast and on the boat for our next safari where we saw the two mating pairs of jaguar again, still hard at work. I was amazed at the large size of Sergio, the male jaguar, much bigger than the African leopard and about the same size as a lioness; the jaguar is the third largest of the big cat family after the tiger and the lion.
We also saw tapir, giant river wild otters, caiman, capybara, long nosed bats and a fantastic array of spectacular birds; including toucans stealing eggs and baby birds from nests. We saw black collared hawks, ospreys and a cocoi heron eating a catfish.