Caiman

Brazil’s Pantanal is a region of extraordinary beauty, with vast seasonal wetlands and ancient woodlands. It is a completely unique biome, home to numerous wildlife species, including capybara, caiman, ocelot, the elusive jaguar, giant anteaters and the highest concentration of birds in South America.

Caiman has long been regarded as the pioneer of ecotourism in the Pantanal, with the highest level of accommodation and guest experience. This 53,000 hectare private reserve is also a beacon project for sustainable practise, harmoniously combining cattle ranching and cutting edge conservation – most famously through the Oncafari jaguar habituation project which last year enabled 98% of guests to spot at least one jaguar during their visit.

Caiman has recently upgraded its accommodation options with the opening of Casa Caiman, featuring 18 luxurious, boutique suites, surrounded by extensive gardens and complete with a swimming pool and gym. As well as Casa Caiman for FIT guests, the Villas Baiazinha and Cordilheira are available for private rental. Guests discover the spectacular surroundings and wildlife during guided daytime and nocturnal jeep safaris, nature walks and canoeing trips, while horse riding led by the local community of cowboys has been added to the experiences on offer. The reserve is also home to a 5,600 hectare Private Reserve of Natural Patrimony (RPPN), legally protected in perpetuity, and a permanent residents’ community for both lodge and ranch employees with their families.

The BBC featured Caiman in an exciting and ground-breaking rewilding project; “Jaguars: Brazil’s Super Cats” is narrated by Sir David Attenborough and tells the remarkable story of how two orphaned cub sisters Isa and Fera became the first jaguars in the world to be successfully reintroduced to the wild.

Senderos Soul

A visit to Caiman is to take an adventure in your own private safari park. Most people imagine the rainforest is where you’ll see Brazilian wildlife, but actually the wetlands of the Pantanal is where you need to be for up-close encounters with giant anteaters, big and little cats, armadillos, the most vibrant bird life and all manner of creatures we are very unfamiliar with in Europe. I was lucky enough to see five jaguars during a 3 night stay, including both rewilded sisters Isa and Fera. Other highlights include night safaris with the Oncafari team - you just never knew what was around each corner in the dark - could that really have been two ocelots running down the middle of the road?! I watched in awe as the ladies from the Blue Hyacinth Macaw projects winched themselves up tall trees to inspect nests, as pairs of macaw parents squawked territorially around them. Life in the wild certainly isn’t quiet! Getting to spend time with the local cowboys was also a real treat as their levels of horsemanship are astounding. And they know how to produce the most incredible barbeques….

Naomi, Senderos

Getting there

Set in 53,000 private hectares, Caiman Ecological Reserve is located 36km north of the town Miranda in the Southern Pantanal, in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

by road

BY ROAD

Drive from Campo Grande (4 hours).

by air

BY AIR

Nearest airport: Campo Grande. Small private planes can fly from there directly to the landing strip at Caiman.