Pantanal Expedition

Tour Intro

2016 tour sold out quickly. Limited number of suites on Flotel - sign up quickly.

This expedition gives you an in-depth view of the natural history and wildlife of the Pantanal, with a special emphasis on wildlife and birdlife photography.

South America is "the Bird Continent", with much higher avian diversity than any other parts of the world. It also contains much more tropical rainforest than other regions. The UK-sized Pantanal is a seasonally flooded mosaic of tropical savannas and forests in the upper part of the Paraguay River watershed. The largest freshwater wetland in the world, the Pantanal offers the finest wildlife viewing in the Americas, with more mammals, large reptiles, and large birds than any other wild land. The lodges represent the best locations in all the Pantanal to see the two top predators of the Pantanal--the Jaguar and the Giant Otter.

Jaguars in the Pantanal weigh up to 350 pounds, while the same species in the Amazon or Central America reaches only 160 pounds. Normally almost impossible to see in Belize or Amazon, in north-central Pantanal, a "Jaguar Miracle" has occurred. Since 2000, strict protection from hunting and abundant caimans, and Capybaras on the riverbanks have made Jaguars uniquely easy to see on 95% of the days, often for hours per day.

Tour Highlights

  • Intensive viewing and photography – Up Close And Personal – Jaguars, Giant Otters, Caiman, Macaws, Tapirs, Storks, and a wide variety of exotic birds and other wildlife.
  • Limited to 10 participants, to ensure the optimum photographic experience.
  • Time to absorb and photograph the wonder of it all. Early morning and late afternoon photo shoots to take advantage of the best light, watching and waiting for wildlife in just the right setting.
  • Comfortable en-suite accommodations with air conditioned cabins, close to the wildlife.
  • Expertise of photographic tour leader Kathy Adams Clark, naturalist guide Gary Clark, and local cultural wildlife guides.
  • Extend your time in Mato Grosso Do Sul photographing Red & Green Macaws and other wildlife of this diverse region on the four night/five day extension.

Tour Itinerary

July 22: USA-Cuiaba, Brazil
Black Collared Hawk

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Pantanal

Board your flight to Cuiaba, Brazil (CGB airport code). Majority of flights from the U.S. are overnight flights, and you can land at anytime to CGB, July 23. If you are NOT attending the extension, flights will be round trip Home/CGB. If you ARE attending the extension, flights will be multi city Home/CGB, CGR/Home.

July 23: Cuiaba, Brazil

You can arrive at any time today and overnight at an airport hotel (check in time 3PM or after) to rest and relax prior to departure tomorrow morning. Overnight Slaviero Slim Hotel.

July 24: Cuiaba - Pixaim River
Star Trail

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Pantanal

The tour will begin this morning from hotel lobby (time will be announced). Proceed to your Pantanal lodge, with  impromptu photographic stops along the way. The lodge offers an array of nature trails and wildlife viewing from tall platforms.

The air-conditioned lodge is on the banks of the wildlife-rich Pixaim River. Unique wildlife observation towers include one located near an active nest of habituated Jabiru Storks and a second one in a forest along the banks of the river. Tapirs may be seen during certain months. Capuchins and attractive hawks are completely habituated here. The world's tamest wild family of Giant Otters is often seen on the river. Small powered boats are also available for photography on the river. There are additional days at the end of the program to explore further afield. PANTANAL LODGE (L, D)

July 25-28: Pantanal
Jaguar

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Pantanal

Depart after breakfast for Porto Jofre, where you will travel the last 10 miles by boat to your accommodations. The next four evenings will be on your floating hotel in the Pantanal. All rooms are air-conditioned with private baths. The Flotel has two dining rooms, one air-conditioned and the other open-air and screened with large fans. Located in the center of the densest wild area for Jaguars. Cats walk within 3-5 yards of the flotels during the daytime! At night, the flotels are powered by generators so you will always have power, and you will even have high-speed WIFI internet.

You will rise early each morning for a boat excursion, seeking Jaguars, Tapirs, Giant Otters, Caiman, Macaws, and various other wildlife and birdlife. Return to the flotel for a break in the heat of the day to enjoy lunch, rest, relax or perhaps a lecture. Each afternoon you will be back on the water for afternoon light. FLOTEL – limited number of optional upgradable suites are available. (all meals). 

July 29-31: Pantanal - Pixaim River
Jaguar Suites

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Pantanal

You’ll have another full day on the river today, departing at dusk to return to Porto Jofre, where your vehicle will meet you and return you to the lodge. With two additional evenings, you will have a chance to enjoy the trails and platforms of your beautiful surroundings. PANTANAL LODGE. (all meals)

August 1: Home - or Extension
Toco Toucan

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Pantanal

After breakfast you will return to Cuiaba for flights home (not earlier than 1PM) or continue on to the amazing Mato Grosso Do Sul to photograph Macaws and other wildlife. Flights are likely to land in the U.S. or Canada on August 2. (B)

Tour Extension

August 1-4: Mato Grosso Do Sul Extension
Red & Green Macaw
Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark
Photo Location: Pantanal

Extend your time in Mato Grosso photographing Red & Green Macaws and other wildlife of this diverse region on the four day/three night extension.

Extension Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 9 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $200 if 5-8 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Extension Itinerary

August 1-3: Cuiaba - Camp Grande
Brown Capuchin Monkey

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Pantanal

Those attending the wildlife extension will take a one hour flight* to Campo Grande. You will drive one hour to Sidrolandia, where you will stop for a meal on your own. Continue driving to Bonito. There maybe time to photograph the anteaters today given the time of the flight. Check in to your accommodations.
*Participants can book a one way flight with specified airline, details to be announced, estimated flight cost under $100.

The next day depart after an early breakfast for your first photo shoot of the Sinkhole of the Macaws. Depart for lunch at the Recanto Ecologico Rio da Prata headquarters. Have another long afternoon photo shoot back at the sinkhole until just sunset.

Your third day will be an early departure to return to the sinkhole, at a very active time. The macaws will protect their nest cavities and fly around the inside of the sinkhole. Return to Bonito which you can explore the village on foot. It is a picturesque small town, with local artisans to photograph. Enjoy lunch on your own in town. Return to the hotel for a brief break, or work on our images and enjoy a photography discussion. In the afternoon drive to a mosaic of fields and forest patches to search for Giant Anteaters, which start their foraging in the late afternoon. Work your photography skills as you view the giant termite mounds and ant nests in the fields. Return to Bonito for dinner on your own. HOTEL CABANAS OR SIMILAR (B; B, L; B)

August 4: Bonito - Campo Grande - Home
Red & Green Macaw Brazil

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Pantanal

Enjoy another morning in Bonito with different light in the village. Return to Campo Grande, fly* late afternoon to connect with flights home. Flights are likely not to land in the U.S. or Canada until August 5. (B) *If attending the extension you will need to book your international airfare, multi-city, flying Home/Cuiaba (CGB); Campo Grande (CGR)/Home.

Photo Leader

Kathy Adams Clark
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Kathy Adams Clark

Kathy Adams Clark is a professional nature photographer and owner of a stock agency representing thirteen photographers. Her work has been published in a variety of national and regional publications including National Geographic Books, The New York Times, and Sierra. Kathy teaches over fifty photography workshops and classes each year. Her work may be viewed weekly in the Houston Chronicle's “Wonders of Nature” column, written by her husband, Gary.

Kathy enjoys traveling with people new to photography as well as with folks with advanced skills. She has an ability to explain complicated photographic terms in easy-to-understand language. She likes to teach those hungry for new information but also understands that photography can be a solitary task. Each person traveling with Kathy is treated as an individual, but the group always has fun.

Kathy is an accomplished naturalist as well as a photographer, skilled in 35mm film and digital cameras. She is very passionate about nature, birdlife, and wildlife. Gary Clark who is an acclaimed naturalist guide in his own right will co-lead some trips each year with her.

A lifelong naturalist, Gary Clark has studied birds, mammals, and butterflies in North, Central, and South America and in East Africa.  He is an award winning professional writer whose column “Nature” appears weekly in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News.  He has authored feature articles in state and national magazines and has written six books that include photographs from his wife, Kathy.  He frequently conducts birding workshops and leads birding tours.  He is founder of the Piney Woods Wildlife Society of Texas, former president of the Houston Audubon Society, and former vice-president of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.  Gary is a full professor at Lone Star College.

Because of both Kathy & Gary's love of nature, and the work they do, Strabo Tours is proud to make a donation to the Houston Audubon Society for each trip they take part in.

This was the trip of a lifetime for me. I was challenging myself to learn all sorts of new things, photography, a new culture, and was immersed in it. It surpassed my expectations and I met so many beautiful souls along the way. Kathy was fantastic, I give her a 10++!!!

D. Whitney

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 5 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Testimonials

Kathy is always good, but she went the extra mile. She assisted me in getting the best hummingbird photo’s I have ever taken. I particularly appreciated all the time and effort Kathy spent in setting up lights and backgrounds to enable us to get wonderful hummingbird shots. Results were fantastic. Great trip!!!

J. Braud

Everywhere we went was a highlight. Every place had something special. Kathy was a 10+, she was always there to give photo suggestions, help with equipment and locating things to photograph. She is an excellent teacher!

B & R Nelson

Kathy provided lots of very helpful one-on-one attention and advice. Very knowledgeable on birds as well as photography. And very pleasant to travel with. Logistics were very smoothly handled, and your local guide was extremely knowledgeable and experienced, terrific at spotting and identifying birds and other wildlife.

D.BREWER

I am pulling together some amazing prints to show to friends this Saturday at a breakfast get-togther about our trip. I just want to comment on how your guidance from the start about what lenses to bring, your comments about camera settings the first few days in the boats, and your leadership every step of the way led to my bringing home just awesome photos. I know I took them, but you had a hand in this and I continue to learn from you. Thank you and bravo!!

HS

HS

Additional Notes

Your Tour Leaders

Kathy Adams Clark is a professional nature photographer and owner of a stock agency representing fifteen photographers. Her work has been published in a variety of national and regional publications including National Geographic Books, The New York Times, and Sierra. Kathy teaches over fifty photography workshops and classes each year. Her work is seen each week in the “Nature” column in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News, written by her husband, Gary Clark.

Gary Clark is an avid birdwatcher and naturalist who enjoys teaching people about the outdoors. Gary’s style is to study birds or wildlife in the field through prolonged observation. This gives tour participants a chance to learn about the critter’s life habits and behaviors.

Kathy enjoys traveling with people new to photography as well as with folks with advanced skills. She has an ability to explain complicated photographic terms in an easily understood language. She likes to teach those hungry for new information, but also understands that photography can be a solitary task. Each person traveling with Kathy is treated as an individual, but the group always has fun. She is skilled in all makes of digital cameras.               www.kathyadamsclark.com

Additional notes on upgrades available

*Three Suites on the Flotel are available, additional fee $525 per person (or $1050 per suite). Suite rooms are 320 square feet with floor to ceiling picture window that slides open to give you access to your own private screened porch.
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT: $995 standard flotel cabin, $1295 if suite on Flotel.
 

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

Accommodations

SAFARI COST WITH UPGRADE TO SUITE (FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS): $7,720* The above cost is based upon 5 or more paying participants traveling together, maximum of 10, per person in double occupancy. SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT: $1275 suite flotel cabin.

*Three Suites on the Flotel are available: upgraded rooms are 320 square feet with floor to ceiling picture window that slides open to give you access to your own private screened porch.

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