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.

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