With over 60% of the bio-diverse Amazon Rainforest residing within Brazil’s borders, it’s really a no-brainer that wildlife holidays in Brazil are becoming so popular. But it’s not just the Amazon Rainforest that tempts wildlife tourists yearly to South America’s largest country: other areas such as the Pantanal and the Atlantic Rainforest offer wildlife experiences which are just as good, even – whisper it – better than the Amazon…
The Amazon Rainforest
For wildlife holidays in Brazil, The Amazon Rainforest is the biggie, and I don’t just mean in terms of its size. In terms of wildlife in Brazil, it is for many people the place to go, and for good reason. A few statistics can prove why; 40,000 plant species, 3,000 fish, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 427 amphibians and an astonishing 2.5 million species of insects! To say this place is teeming with life would be an understatement.
If you’re looking to experience the huge array of life that exists in this part of the world, there are many ways to do so; from long treks that venture deep into the rainforest to day trips that leave daily from the jungle metropolis of Manaus. A couple of popular ways to experience the rainforest are to stay in a jungle lodge or to take a cruise down the River Amazon itself. These trips can last anything from one or two days to a week, meaning that even the casual wildlife enthusiast can fit in an Amazon rainforest adventure during their Brazil holidays.
The Amazon Rainforest is the big name when it comes to wildlife in Brazil, but as is the case with all places, if you head straight for the big-name location, you’re going to miss out on those hidden gems. One of those gems in Brazil is the Pantanal. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest wetland in the world and arguably offers better chances of seeing wildlife than in the Amazon Rainforest. The reason for this is that whereas the Amazon Rainforest is thick with vegetation, the Pantanal is much more open and therefore not only are the animals there, but you can see them!
In fact, the Pantanal also boasts a level of biodiversity to easily rival the Amazon – over 8,000 animal species – and to those in the know, it’s clear that for a really good chance of seeing a lot of wildlife, it is really the Pantanal that is the place to go for wildlife holidays in Brazil. Did I also mention that it hosts one of the largest Jaguar populations in the world, meaning you may get to see this elusive creature here?
The Atlantic Rainforest
If you’re not keen on much internal travelling, the Atlantic Rainforest offers a great chance for people to see a bit of wildlife in Brazil without going out of your way. The reason why is that it runs right up along the Bahian coastline where some of Brazil’s best beaches are. Therefore you can be catching a bit of surf on a beach in Itacare, or sipping on a caipirinha at your beach resort in Praia do Forte, knowing that the Atlantic Rainforest is right behind you, waiting to be explored. With large parts of it protected, you won’t be disappointed by what’s on offer here and can expect to see many endangered species such as Marmosets, Woolly Spider Monkeys and Lion Tamarins.
Dan Clarke works for Real Brazil Holidays – the UK specialist in organising wildlife holidays in Brazil, from the Amazon rainforest to the Pantanal.