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The "Ghost Cats", as National Geographic titles a recent article about the Puma, one of the most widespread of all the cats, but also one of the most difficult to actually see in the wild. As this same article says later on: "These largely nocturnal cats are so secretive that camera traps are one of the best ways to illuminate their lives".

This is about to change, though. I have scouted a place, the best local guides and a way to actually see and approach these gorgeous cats in plain daylight to get photos of a lifetime.

If this wasn't enought, this new exclusive tour happens in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, the Torres del Paine N.P. and surrounding areas in Chilean Patagonia. Our itinerary, unique among all operators, is the first one designed with the main goal of producing great photographs of wild Pumas. This is probably the first ever photo tour for this elusive species, and the actual chances of finding them during the trip are very high. Our very small group will be guided by the absolute best Puma trackers in the region while we explore the amazing scenery of Torres del Paine in search of the ultimate Andean predator.

- Only 6 photographers per tour. A small group guarantees quality and flexibility.
- The best trackers in the region, with keen eyes for spotting Pumas and deep knowledge of their habits and how to find them.

- Very high chances for great encounters.
- Every guest, trackers and me will have a personal communication radio, so we have freedom to explore the area without risking missing anything, or to split the group in two to increase our chances.
- Gorgeous hotel inside the park, minutes from the best Puma areas.
- One morning also photographing beautiful horses running in a nearby estancia.

- Non-photographers are also welcomed!


Date:
March 15 to 22nd of 2015.
Fee: US$ 6,899 per person.


To know more about this tour please visit my website at www.octaviosalles.com.br or go straight to this PDF for more details. Very limited spots, so if you want to photograph a wild Puma make sure to book early.

 

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Hi, the PDF includes details of an extension to see penguins, is that included in the cost?

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Date: March 31 to April 02 of 2015.
Fee: US$ 6,899 per person

 

Octavio, could you please clarify:

 

According to the pdf that fee is for March 23 to March 30, March 31 to April 02 should be the extension. But the pdf has the dates for 2014? So for how many nights is the fee given above?

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I'm sorry, I have posted the date for this year, for next year the correct date is March 15 to 22, according to this PDF here.

 

I will try to edit the original post and add the details for the optional penguin extension as well.

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I'm sorry, I have posted the date for this year, for next year the correct date is March 15 to 22, according to this PDF here.

 

I will try to edit the original post and add the details for the optional penguin extension as well.

 

One of us can help you edit your first post if needed. :)

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Fixed it for you :)

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When I saw @@kittykat23uk appear here, I figured she was planning a puma trip to see those "kittykats."

 

Thanks for letting us know about this option, Octavio. I saw my only pumas at Barranco Alto. The rocky setting is fantastic and a nice contrast to the rock-less Pantanal.

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Thank you very much kittykat! As for the penguins optional tour, no, it's not included on the tour price. We just added this option, I'm just trying to confirm the price for it with our operator there in Chile and will come back to you.

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Atravelynn,

 

yeah it's a completely different setting. It's even hard to imagine that the pumas in the Pantanal are actually the same species as the ones in Patagonia (though the ones down south are much larger). I go a lot to Barranco Alto too, one of my favorite places. :)

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No problem. @@Atravelynn Yes I have considered puma. In fact, here in the UK for the past few years a well known tour company have offered a tour to Torres Del Paine called "Just Pumas". They use one of the same guys as you do @@Octavio Campos Salles , Enrique. That tour is not a specialist photography tour and I'm not sure how big the group size is for that one, probably bigger than your group. I did look at it, but it seemed more than I wanted to spend really.

 

To be honest, I'd be more inclined to go back to the Pantanal and try my luck at Barranco Alto, combining with looking for Jaguars, giant anteaters and so on. :D

 

 

 

 

 

.

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RE: Barranco Alto, @@kittykat23uk, though I did see 5 pumas in 6 days, they had seen 7 between Jan 1-Sept just before I arrived there, so I would not count on pumas at BA.

 

Speaking of odds, can you tell us the % of trips you've done that see pumas, Octavio? Or the average # of pumas seen per trip?

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Atravelynn,

 

while most regular tours to Patagonia won't see a Puma, for this tour I helped create we managed to increase the chances greatly by having the best local guides, a small group slipt into 2 different areas (3 people in each - less scary to the cats), and everybody has a handheld radio, so any sighting is quickly reported. Also, there are some techniques to locate them that we have finessed with time. On my last trip there we saw a total of at least 8 different Pumas in 5 days. But I'd say the average is around a puma (or a group of pumas) per day.

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Thanks for the info Octavio. An exciting place for pumas!

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