Caiman Ecological Refuge
Refúgio Ecológico Caiman is a cattle farm, an important centre for nature conservation projects and home to the Pantanal's two exclusive ecolodges. Located in 53,000 hectares the ranch is 36kms from the small town of Miranda in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
Caiman Lodge was established in 1985 as the first ecotourism operation in the Southern Pantanal. Since then it has aimed at creating and offering visitors a means of getting close to the the region’s nature and culture, while pursuing excellence in hospitality services and gastronomy. Its two lodges Cordilheira (5 suites) and Baiazinha (6 rooms) are 22 kms apart and run independent operations.
Full board accommodation includes gourmet dining with a traditional Pantanal BBQ, where beef is cooked over fire pits. Daily excursions in small groups are accompanied by a qualified, experienced naturalist guide and a local farmworker. A private guide is available on request for an extra fee.
Caiman operates an important Nature Conservation Programme, which is recognised domestically and internationally. This consists of maintaining a Private Reserve of Natural Patrimony (RPPN) on a 5,600 hectare area and supporting various research and species management projects carried out on the whole ranch. Important conservation projects focus on the stunning blue hyacinth macaws and Americas' biggest predator, the elusive jaguar.
The jaguar habituation project Onçafari is unique in South America and offers visitors an opportunity to track jaguars in an Africa style jeep safari. A presentation by the Onçafari scientists is included during the high season between June and September. Dedicated jaguar tracking programmes, with a duration of 1 to 3 days, should be booked in advance, for a maximum of 9 people on a shared or private basis subject to availability.
Miranda Estancia, a traditional cattle ranch founded in 1910 by English investors, was the precursor of the present Caiman Ranch. The ranch currently runs around 35,000 head of cattle on natural pasture, seeking harmonious integration of livestock with the wildlife. This operation is open to visitors, who can see it at first hand.
The permanent residents’ community, for both lodge and ranch employees and their families, houses 180 people. In addition to having access to a school, medical and dental care and the necessary infrastructure, all employees are trained in and committed to the Caiman Ecological Refuge social and environmental programme.
August 2019 - Oncafari Project at Caiman Ecological Refuge
- Jaguars sightings, since Feb 2019 (start of the season), 97,85% of the guests staying at Caiman saw one or more jaguars, and most of these times they would see the same jaguars more than once.
- Isa and Fera, the orphaned and released jaguars from the BBC Big Cats documentary have both become amazing mothers and have raised their cubs perfectly. One of Isa’s cubs is a female called Aurora and Fera has a couple of cubs. All three are now becoming independent and learning how to hunt by themselves.
- Several jaguars that have left Caiman, such as Gatuna and Gaia, are also taking care of their cubs with a lot of success.
- Building of new enclosures is underway to help with the research, rehabilitation and ultimately release of medium size mammals (like ocelots, racoons, crab-eatin-fox, etc). These are mammals that have suffered trauma and will be released using soft release method. We're also trying to raise money (crowdfunding) to achieve this new goal – here is the link: https://oncafari.ajudenos.org/en/
Caiman Ecological Refuge nominated for WTTC award.
Caiman Ecological Refuge is delighted to announce it is a finalist in the World Travel & Tourism Council ‘Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2017’. Caiman is one of three finalists in the Environment Award category which honours organisations and companies who have achieved environmental best practice through biodiversity conservation, protection of natural habitats, addressing climate change and green operations.