The jaguar is the largest species of cat in the Americas, third only to tiger and lion worldwide. Their preferred habitats - subtropical forests and swamps - are increasingly threatened by deforestation and human encroachment, so the Pantanal is one of the last places in Brazil where you can still see them in significant numbers.
The jaguar is a keystone species, the apex predator at the top of its food chain. The best place in Brazil to see them is at the Caiman Ecological Refuge, a 53,000 hectare ranch where you can stay at Caiman Lodge.
You can hope to see jaguar on guided walks and night drives, but for guaranteed sightings of this sometimes elusive cat, you need to visit Projecto Oncafari. This groundbreaking conservation initiative habituates jaguar, enabling you to get exceptionally close whilst still remaining within the safe confines of a vehicle. You’ll learn about the jaguar’s fascinating behaviour, and about the vital work being done to protect both the cats and the ecosystem in which they live.