We visited in May'17, the first stop on our Brazilian trip. We arrived from the UK long haul flight into Campo Grande via Sao Paulo, met by our driver. The road trip is some 3-4 hours in total, on reasonable roads until you get to the bumpy dirt track road which then takes you to Caimen. This is some 36 kilometers, and takes about an hour. You then drive to the Refuge reception and check in, we were staying in Bainzinha Lodge another 9 kilometres further into the wildlife area, during our journey, not too far from the lodge we came across our first jaguar sighting a wonderful male crossing the road. We got a really good sighting however as our camera equipment was in the boot of the car - no photographs!
We were the only guests apart from two British tour operators, staying a couple of nights. Our guide who we met later (Jadago?) had a couple of guide trainee's as well for the duration of our 5 night stay.
The lodge overlooks a stunning lake, with a variety of bird and animal wildlife constantly around.
The lodge is very peaceful, quite attractive with the main lounge/dining area central and the rooms leading off on either side.
Our room (No1) overlooking the lake, was adequately furnished with an en suite bathroom & a small balcony. However, it was a little on the small side and felt a little cramped for our liking. I believe all the rooms are the same size.
All of the meals are served 'en famille' in the dining area with your guides, the quality and amount of food available was of consistently high standard. Breakfast is taken at 0630 before the morning activities. Lunch is served once guests return from the activities, the afternoon is free time to do as you please. However, you cannot roam alone far from the lodge due to the wildlife around. There is a pleasant pool & deck area with loungers for chilling out.
Afternoon tea is served prior to going out again on another game drive around 3:30/4pm returning after dark about 7:30, in time for dinner.
We saw 4 jaguars in total during our stay and a good variety of other mammals, (3 species of deer,several giant anteater, peccary's, wild pig, 5 & 9 banded armadillo, some wonderful sightings of Ocelot's). Although the density of the mammals is low in comparison to Africa for instance. Plenty of Caiman & Capybaras though! The bird life though was plentiful we saw some 130 varieties in total.
We had a talk & slide show from the 'Onsafri' team, we also had a great encounter with a male & female jaguar one evening as they had tracked the collared male. The team are doing a great job with the jaguar's.
The main downside for us was the weather, unfortunatly we had a lot of rain, one day a torrential down pour and we were inundated with mosquito's throughout our trip. We had so many bites despite using protection which was a bit miserable.
The camp does have a wet weather option for getting around - a large truck which has see through blinds helping to keep dry. However the truck is slow and very noisy and not very comfortable but you can get up and move around.
We did manage to go canoeing one afternoon to see a sunset, this was one of our dry days which was lovely, and peaceful too.
I would like to thank our 3 guides for giving us a wonderful time in the Pantanal. They were extremely knowledgeable, informative and also great fun, making meal times also interesting and entertaining. The whole team at Caimen are very friendly, and seem to be passionate in what they do.
- Also Known As:
- Caiman Ecological Refuge Hotel Campo Grande