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kilopascal

Pantanal in December?

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So, we would like to branch out from our usual Africa safaris and go to the Pantanal, but want to be away in December (2016). Is this a really bad idea? We often go to Tanzania in the "rainy" season and have always loved it, but I realize this is a bit different. Any advice will be greatly appreciated from those of you in the know.

 

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The rainy season really means something different in the Pantanal--at least in the north (out of Cuiaba.) There's only the one road, the transpantaneira, and it can be flooded, with bridges washed out. Some, perhaps many, of the lodges close down from Nov-March or April. I am not sure if the Porto Jofre Hotel stays open (which is the main jaguar viewing spot) but I would think it would be much more difficult to find jaguar during high waters, because they will be deeper into the forests and not coming down to the river banks (there won't be any river banks!) Other land animals will be harder to find as well, as they will seek high ground. Even birds may be more difficult as in the dry season they congregate around the waterholes.

 

There will also be a lot more mosquitos and insects, and it would be more humid, for sure.

 

That said, December is the beginning of the rainy season so of course it all depends on the rains. If it were early to mid- December it might be fine. I'd be hesitant about going late in December. I would certainly check with some tour operators to see what they say about December, some may not even go out at that time.

 

The situation and timing may be very different in the southern Pantanal (out of Campo Grande); I've not been there so can't really say. But if your goal is jaguar then its the northern section you want to be in.

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Thank you Janzin for your reply.

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Not sure about December, but Julhino from Pantanal Trackers told me that November is still a good time to see jaguars and its less crowded.

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For Campo Grande area - So many mosquitos. So, so many. The only time in my life I wanted to end a game drive early was in the Pantanal in the wet season. I worried I wouldn't have any blood left otherwise. And this is from someone who grew up in Alaska where the mosquito is considered the state bird.

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Ellen, Thank you for your reply. I will definitely reconsider this!

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