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Image of The Month | January 2018

Ask any wildlife enthusiast about some of their favourite animal encounters and they will almost certainly delve into rapturous detail about their experiences with one of the world’s magnificent big cats. Currently, these apex predators are typically only found in the most pristine habitats on our globe. These gorgeous surrounds only elevating the energy of the sighting. Another trait of wildlife enthusiasts is the desire and longing to see more – a single magical sighting of a Cheetah slinking across the vast plains of the Serengeti can be the catalyst that drives the desire to keep venturing out for a taste of more of these adrenalin-raising situations.

This month, we feature the elegant Jaguar as our highlight image. This, the largest of America’s big cats and third largest in the world – after Tiger and Lion – is an impressive species indeed, being both beautifully patterned and notably and frustratingly elusive. Jaguars are found almost anywhere throughout South and Central America; however, their secretive nature and love for dense bush and forest environments make them remarkably tough to locate. Unfortunately, they also have an IUCN listing of near-threatened due to continued habitat loss and persecution throughout their range. All of these factors make the Jaguar a highly desirable species to connect with, and having the opportunity to see one in the wild remains high on many a keen nature lovers’ ultimate bucket lists.

This particular photograph was taken along the Tres Picos River near Porto Jofre in the heart of The Pantanal, after a Jaguar was found at around midday. The group watched the Jaguar for an extended period of time before observing a thrilling hunt where it went after a nearby Caiman. Rockjumper guide Glen Valentine and his group were fortunate to get some excellent images that day including this one of the Jaguar in full leap after the Caiman.

Brazil – and the Pantanal in particular – is arguably the finest location in the world to see this gorgeous species. Our Brazil – Neotropical Mammals of the Amazon & Pantanal tour is perfectly timed to ensure that we have an incredibly high chance of seeing Jaguar in the wild. Between July and October, the waters in the Pantanal recede, and it is during this time of the year that Jaguars often come to laze along the banks of the many rivers that punctuate this water wonderland. Our tour also offers incredible chances to observe a variety of other wildlife, as we explore not only the Pantanal but also the rich Amazon basin and the extraordinary spectacle of Iguazu Falls. Target species include Giant River Otter, Brazilian Tapir, Giant Anteater, Southern Tamandua, Ocelot, Crab-eating Fox, Six-banded Armadillo, Crab-eating Raccoon, Hoffman’s Two-toed and Brown-throated Sloths and a variety of primates, including various species of marmosets, spider-monkeys, capuchins and howlers; while we may even find Maned Wolf or Puma if we are fortunate.

Upcoming tour to Brazil:

Brazil Neotropical Mammals of the Amazon & Pantanal 2018
26 Sep – 7 Oct 2018 (12 days)
Tour Price: US$5650

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JR - Private Rwanda

Trip has been wonderful! Dale is second to none! Really thrilled to have him and Eric (driver)!

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LH - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

We were very lucky to have such knowledgeable guides, Shadow had the ability to place us in the right spot at the right time when other guides were still thinking about it. It was nice just to sit and observe the interactions.
Great tour, the mix of participants also worked well. Many eyes help spot things which might otherwise be missed (back seats are higher and sometimes you just catch a glimpse that the front seat people miss).

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EB - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

Great communications and customer service.
One of the best trips I’ve been on. The sightings were fantastic, Andre was great, the food phenomenal and the support staff exceptional!
Andre was an excellent guide in all regards and made sure everything went smoothly.

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I.T - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

The tour was excellent. The staff from the Safari company were also excellent.

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LH - Tailor-made South Africa & Botswana October 2018

I want to thank all of you at Rockjumper who worked to give me and my six friends the trip of a lifetime! The trip was perfectly planned; we saw a wonderful array of sights in perfect settings and lodgings all throughout the thirteen days. Logistically, everything worked like clockwork and it took all the stress out of traveling.

But without a doubt, what made the trip so incredibly special was our tour guide/leader, Rainer Summers. He not only lead us to the sights, through airports and into the bush but he managed to keep us all together, without losing anyone for more than five minutes – and I can assure you: that was not an easy task. (We really are not senile – just a bit independent).

His knowledge of what we saw and where to take us, especially in Cape Town improved our experience greatly. His knowledge of the wildlife and its social structure and behavior at Mala Mala and in Botswana increased our appreciation of what we saw exponentially. Nothing was too much trouble whether it was showing us how to use binoculars or camera or how to spot birds.

He also made sure that everyone was comfortable and at ease in all situations. He anticipated everyone’s needs and he ensured that we all had what we needed and/or wanted everywhere.

But most of all, Rainer was delightful to be with. He was fun and his wit and sense of humor made him a great companion. He is a tremendous asset to your organization. We all would like to return to Africa and Rockjumper’s tours but we will want to have no one but Rainer with us!!! We cannot envision a tour leader who could top this experience.

So, thank you for arranging the tour and a special thanks for choosing Rainer to be our guide. It was a magnificent experience and a week later, I am still wishing I was in Africa!

Sincerely,
LH

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