The name ‘Pantanal’ originally derives from the Portuguese word pantano, which means swamp. The Pantanal wetlands have the greatest concentration of wildlife in the Americas. The Pantanal is a vast floodplain into which three large rivers pour their contents.
The Pantanal is the Earth’s largest wetland. Most of the Pantanal lies in Brazil, where it covers the southern part of the Mato Grosso, but it also stretches into neighbouring Bolivia and Paraguay.
The Pantanal’s floodplains are a nutrient-rich environment that supports a profusion of wildlife, including tapirs, peccaries, anacondas, capybaras, cayman, iguanas, ant-eaters, deer, tortoises, coatis, armadillo, otters, opossums, wolves, ocelots, puma and monkeys, as well as the rare and magnificent jaguar. Add to this an impressive 670 species of bird that can be seen in the Pantanal, and you have the greatest concentration of wildlife in the Americas.
The Pantanal’s wildlife can be experienced by visiting a good choice of dedicated wildlife lodges and eco-aware cattle ranches.