With roughly 60% of the rainforest that comprises the Amazonian region sitting in Brazilian territory, there is a lot of terrain to explore in what is the mightiest rainforest on earth. At Manaus, the Rio Negro and the Solimões combine to form the Amazon River, where you can start your rainforest journey by and stay in protected reserves such as Mamiraua, where the unique Uakari Floating Lodge is set and is one of several perfect launch pads for your quest to find some of the Amazon’s extensive animal and plant life. The statistics go some way to explain the botanical and zoological importance of the rainforest: one in ten of the world’s total species and one in five birds are found in the Amazon. The jungle is home to approximately 427 mammals, 378 reptiles, 428 amphibians, 1,294 birds, 3,000 fish, 40,000 plants and 2.5 million insect species. Jaguar, anaconda, caiman, capybara and many monkey species all reside here in the great forest and its tributaries.
Animals such as the elusive jaguar, caiman, giant river otters, tapir and armadillo are also found in the low-lying wetlands of the Pantanal, which is broadly separated into north, south and the Taiama Ecoreserve. What you experience here depends on when you visit, as December to March sees the majority of the Pantanal flooded, turning into an aquatic wonderland of anacondas, piranhas, giant otters and caiman. During the drier season, the landscape changes again to dry grassland, lagoons and wooded islands, and fauna congregate along the riverbanks.
It is in this DRY season between June and October that you are most likely to see the elusive jaguar.