Our destination for the start of our search for Jaguars in the Pantanal was Porto Jofre on the Cuiaba River. But first we had to drive south on the legendary Transpantaneira Highway.

The Transpantaneria is a 147 km (91 mile) dirt road starting in Poncone in the north and ending at Porto Jofre in the south. The highway crosses 122 wooden bridges (a few have been updated to concrete) on it’s way south. All of the bridges are only wide enough for one vehicle to pass at a time.


A traffic jam on the Transpantaneira. One bridge and one car, time for some roadside birding.

Crossing a bridge on this highway was always an adventure, partly because we were unsure that we would make it to the other side before the  fragile looking wooden structure would be able to support the weight of out rental car for the full duration of our traverse and collapse into the water.


One of the 122 wooden bridges on the Transpantaneria. We made it across this one without  misadventure. The side “guard” rail on the left could use some love.


A typical bridge view from a Transpantaneira bridge. Full of foraging egrets, bathing black vultures, and sunning Yacare caiman.

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