The macaw spectacle involves pairs and flocks of up to 20-30 Red-and-Green Macaws flying at eye level and below you as you stand at the edge of a 125-meter-deep (450-foot-deep), 90-meter-wide (300-foot-wide) limestone sinkhole. Serious wildlife photographers make two or three visits of three hours each to this sinkhole, as the photo ops of large macaws flying beneath you is both unique in the world and is very challenging for photographers. The macaws are absurdly tame, with mated pairs often perching for minutes on end at only 3-6 meters from you. The real challenge for photographers is to freeze the action and choose the right exposure when the birds are flying fast, as the rock wall background changes quickly from sunlit to deeply shaded, making for uniquely-striking imagery.
The second spectacle is wild Giant Anteaters observed daily from only 3-6 meters. These 50-kilo creatures are some of the strangest and most beautiful animals on the planet. Most places in Latin America where the Giant Anteater occurs, it is hard to see more often than once every few weeks or months. The Pantanal, however, boasts some locations where you can see one of these powerful, long-nosed beasts on 80% of the days, and two or more on 20% of the days. That’s all well and good, but after decades of field research, SouthWild’s special biologist guides have discovered locations within a75-minute drive of the town of Bonito where guests see 5-10 Giant Anteaters per day, and a number of them are mothers carrying a baby on her back!. The techniques that our SouthWild guides use to find and to take guests close to the anteaters are very specific and are based on many years of experience tracking these termite-mound-destroying specialists. It most definitely is not a good idea to try approaching Giant Anteaters if you do not have years of experience, as even Jaguars are terrified of the four-inch-long, razor-sharp front claws of these anteaters. When scared or threatened, a Giant Anteater sits upright and whirls its outstretched front legs with huge front claws cutting the air.