For the experience of a lifetime, head to South America on one of the most amazing wildlife adventures on the planet, a Jaguar safari. These magnificent and often elusive cats are simply breathtaking to see in the wild, and on the majority of Jaguar safari trips in South America you are likely to get some incredible sightings.

Where to Go For the Best Sightings

Jaguars are most at home in the Amazon rainforests, and Brazil in particular. They love to swim and spend a lot of time soaking in the water. The trees and plants of the forest provide excellent cover when hunting and act as useful camouflage for the cats. Tracking one of these elusive animals is an art, but on your Jaguar safari you will be accompanied by an expert naturalist guide who will be able to take you to the best places to ensure you get the most out of your experience.

Weighing up to 250lbs, the fully-grown Jaguar can stand up to three feet tall. Sometimes mistaken for a Leopard because of the rosette markings shared by both cats, it is distinguishable by its stockier appearance and much shorter tail. It lives on birds, fish, monkeys and deer and will even attack and kill a young crocodile for food. Strong, lithe and very resourceful it is no wonder these cats are often referred to as the King of The Rainforest. Seen as a menace by local farmers who need to protect their stock, the Jaguar faces an enemy it can't often fight – although it is hoped with increased local awareness and education surrounding the importance of the ecosystem and wildlife, this will change.

The Pantanal National Park

Take a Jaguar safari trip to the Brazilian Pantanal, which is also famous for sightings of Giant Otters. The safaris here are conducted on boats so you are able to get right into the heart of the jungle and increase the odds of getting the best glimpses of the forest's inhabitants. Making your way up river, getting deeper and deeper into the natural habitat of some of the world's most incredible flora and fauna, is a very exciting and often somewhat humbling experience.

Inhabited by other species, such as the Giant Anteater, families of Capybaras, the magnificent Hyacinth Macaw and the Caiman, these safari trips are simply brimming with wonderful photographic opportunities and memorable sightings.

At the end of a day exploring the rainforest you will be able to relax in one of the park's lodges, with comfortable accommodation, all modern conveniences, and great food over which to chat about the day's adventures.

The elusive Jaguar is the outstanding highlight of a trip to The Pantanal, and whether you spot them lazing on the river banks, in stalking mode stealthily making their way through the trees, or simply lounging in the rivers' shallower waters, you will take home some wonderful memories and many a story to add to your collection of wildlife adventures.

Source by Marissa Ellis-Snow