5 Days
Physical Rating
Group Size

Pantanal Pre-Extension

12 – 16 July, 2017

Find yourself face to face with some of the most extraordinary animals in South America on this pre-extension to our 11 day Pantanal expedition. On this extension we will spend time with endangered maned wolves, large flocks of hyacinth macaws and the famed bearded capuchin monkeys. When Pete and Reneé were first contacted to return to a region they already knew to photograph these tool-using monkeys, they were skeptical. Nothing could have prepared them for what they saw. Before they had come across cages of macaws hidden in the forest for the pet trade in this area. Now the local people were working to save the macaws and had reported another unique animal behaviour – tool-use in monkeys. Prior to their discovery, the only example of primates using tools was in Africa. Now the New World has its own example of this amazing behavior! We will see bearded capuchin monkeys bring a nut to their ‘work station’, place it in the divot formed from years of smashing, select their favorite rock and go to work getting out the tasty inside of the nut. Around the camp there are tufted marmosets, armadillos, caiman, tamanduas, and many bird species including red and green as well as blue and yellow macaws. In addition to these wonders you can get to know some of our friends – once animal traffickers turned conservationists, and share in a conservation success story. This pre-extension can be booked on its own or in conjunction with the July 16-26, 2017 Pantanal trip for a 5% discount on the 11 day Pantanal expedition portion.

Two Focus Expeditions trip leaders
Lodging at all hotels during the expedition
All ground transportation
Meals & bottled water
Local guided services in English
Tips to guides and drivers
Round trip international airfare to São Paulo/Cuiaba
Entry visa for Brazil
Compulsory yellow fever inoculation
Personal expenses

Additional information

AccommodationsPer Person Sharing, Single Supplement

Letters correspond to points on the map in the map tab.


A) Day 1, July 12th: Flight to Barrieras

After flying in to São Paulo we transfer to national flights going via Belo Horizonte to Barrieras where we meet up with our transport to be driven to Wolf Camp in the Cerrado. This tropical savanna ecoregion is Brazil’s second largest habitat type after the Amazon and severely threatened. It is one of the richest savannas in the world with a great variety of species only found here. Apart from our 3 key target species (bearded capuchin, maned wolf, hyacinth macaw) we will see many mammals and birds on our drive to and around wolf camp in the Parnaiba Headwaters National Park.


B) Days 2-4, July 13th-15th: Wolf Camps & Tool-Using Monkeys

For three days we spend all available time observing the extraordinary and rare animals in the region. We begin the day early with the endangered maned wolf, the move on to watch the bearded capuchins use tools to crack open palm nuts. Later, we spend time in the hyacinth macaw blind, to observe these magnificent birds. During our full three days with these highlighted species, we will also encounter other animals such as armadillos, tamanduas, other macaw species and endemic birds and plants of the region. This pre-extension is designed mainly around the tool-using monkeys which have learned to use rocks to crack open nuts. Prior to their discovery the only primates known to use tools were African Apes however, now these New World monkeys are considered even more sophisticated.


C) Day 5, July 16th: Final Morning and Departure

After breakfast and a short time exploring the region around our camp one last time, we will head to Barrieras for our flights to Cuiaba to begin the jaguar expedition through the Pantanal for the next eleven days.

Click a letter on the map to show the sidebar and see the highlights of that location.



Pete Oxford and his wife Reneé Bish have lived in Ecuador since 1985 and 1992 respectively. They travel as a professional photographic and tour leading team specializing in wildlife and indigenous cultures. Together they have travelled extensively throughout South America and explored the Pantanal and Cerrado many times as both photographers and trip leaders. Pete was one of the first photographers to photograph wild jaguars in the Pantanal, and those photographs subsequently appeared in and on the cover of National Geographic. Pete and Renee’s photos of the tool-using monkeys were also published in National Geographic and it was the first time that tool use by primates was seen outside of the old world. Together they bring a depth of knowledge, experience and humor to each destination.

20160914_1353pete      20160919_8renee

Tatu bola or 3-banded armadillo curled up into a ball.

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