Focus on Brazil


Brazil is a vast country with several distinctly different biomes. Discover them all with Focus Tours: Brazil

Focus on Argentina

The 8th largest country in the world, Argentina offers a wealth of experiences. From the subtropical rain forests of Iguazú Falls to the high Andes. Discover more with Focus Tours: Argentina 

Focus on Bolivia

Bolivia, nestled between Brazil, Peru, Chile and Paraguay, is the poorest and least developed country in South America, but also biologically and culturally the richest, safest and friendliest. Discover more with Focus Tours: Bolivia

Focus on Chile

Chile is the only truly temperate country in the Neotropics, and occupies more degrees of latitude than any other nation worldwide. Perhaps it is not surprising that Chile offers several extremes of the natural world. Discover more with Focus Tours: Chile

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Jaguar Tours

The northern Pantanal is the richest area in the world for spotting Jaguars in the wild and, our naturalist guides are some of the best. Together with our boatmen we can take you into the best areas for jaguars and many other creatures. Read more about Jaguar Tours.

Bird Watching Tours

Douglas Trent is a scientist, bird watcher and wildlife photographer and his be operating Bird Watcing Tours for around two decades now. The tour possibilities in South America are many. Read more about Bird Watching Tours.

Wildlife Photography Tours

Douglas Trent is a wildlife photographer and guides groups of professional, or enthusiastc amateur, photographers and film crews on focused wildlife tours. Read more about Wildlife Photography Tours 

Funding Conservation

 

A percentage of our profits has been funding in-country conservation projects since 1981. They directly benefit the local communities we visit and, when possible, are self-sustable, generating benefits long after our initial donation. Your visit will benefit you, the environment and your hosts.

EMAS NATIONAL PARK: Anteaters, Rheas and Maned Wolves in a Sea of Grass

 

Cerrado is the biome that covers the sprawling Planalto Central, the central plains of Brazil. It consists of several different habitat types. So unique is Cerrado that several of the Portuguese words for the habitat types have been adapted to English. Grasslands, or campo, cover much of the region. Campo sujo has shorter grass and sparse woody vegetation. Woodlands of short, twisted tree with waxy leaves and cork-like bark make up cerrado, not to be confused with Cerrado, the biome name. Gallery forests are moist forests that follow the watercourses. Some 90% of the plant and animal species of the Cerrado are found in the gallery forests.

Deep in the heart of the Brazilian Cerrado lies Emas National Park. The 328,317 acres of undulating grasslands, campo sujo, cerrado woodlands and gallery forests host the world's largest concentration of termite mounds. They provide a surreal setting for large concentrations of Pampas Deer, Giant Anteater and Greater Rhea, or "Ema" in Portuguese. Maned Wolf are frequently seen roaming the grasses in search of tinamou and other prey. The park holds the greatest concentration of Blue-and-Yellow Macaws outside Amazonia, and Blue-winged, Red-shouldered and Red-bellied Macaws can also be seen. The park headquarters building for scientists are visited daily by a pair of Bare-faced Currasows, White Woodpeckers, Streamer-tailed Tyrants and other showy birds.

Along with the grasslands, the park supports a vast marsh on one side and rich gallery forests on the other. The crystal clear waters of the Rio Formosa pass right by the headquarters and wander through the park. With the presence of large mammals and birds, it is little wonder that many have compared this park to the African savannas.

For those traveling in the months September and October, a special treat may await. In the thousands of termite mounds, the larvae of a beetle species waits for the first couple of rains after the long dry season. Rain triggers the flight of millions of termites, the favored meal of the beetle larvae. With the rain the larvae emerge, and with bioluminescence attract the termites, which see out light. When the termites fly close to the glowing larvae, they grab and devour the unsuspecting insects. Each mound may have a hundred or more larvae, and mounds sit side by side for miles. Those lucky enough to time their visit to the first rain will be treated to an impressive natural phenomenon.

In addition to the mammals and large birds, the park is known for other bird specialties. Look for Spotted and Lesser Northuras, Dwarf and Red-winged Tinamou, the endemic White-winged Nightjar, Cock-tailed, Streamer-tailed and Sharp-tailed Tyrants, Blue and Black-masked Finches, Red-legged Seriema, Curl-crested Jay, White-vented Violetear, Dot-eared Coquette, Collared Crescent-Chest, White-rumped, White-banded and Masked Tanagers, Coal-crested Finch, Pale-crested Woodpecker, Russet-mantled Foliage-gleaner, Large-billed and Black-capped Antwrens and others.

Our days will be spent on foot and in a vehicle. We'll walk the trails along the river, enter a rich gallery forest, and cross much of the park searching for the birds, mammals and strange and beautiful scenery that make this park so unique. Come join us on a four-day adventure filled with odd animals, strange and beautiful birds, a myriad of termite mounds and the varied vegetation of Emas National Park. This is a popular tour with those who have taken it, but it is remote and rarely visited

.