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Hand baggage policies in Brazil

Hand baggage policies update

I have completed a couple trips to the Pantanal on this new 2019 season and thought it would be nice to post an update on the “new” hand baggage policies, posted earlier on this blog.

Contrary to what was said in the media, on none of these trips no one checked the weight or the measurements of my bags, although they were under the new limits, so I wasn’t nervous about that. I didn’t see any other people having their bags weighted either. It feels to me that they will notice much more a bag well over the size and obviously extremelly heavy, otherwise you should be fine, even if you are slightly above the weight limit.

Here’s what I was carrying as hand baggage on these flights:

Hand baggage policies in Brazil

One Lowepro Flipside 400AW II backpack with the following contents, weighting in right under the 10 kg limit:

  • One DSLR camera body and a 300mm f/2.8
  • 24-70mm lens
  • Teleconverter
  • SB-910 speedlight
  • 10×42 binocular
  • 14″ notebook
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Two Pocket Wizard remote controls
  • Miscellaneous items like spare batteries, small flashlight, memory cards, etc.

Hand baggage policies in Brazil

I was also carrying a second smaller side bag, pictured above, with a small pocket camera, chargers, backup portable hard drive, cables, two handset radios, etc. This side bag could also be used to carry, for example, a second camera body and/or another lens. This bag was weighting approximately 3 kg.

On my main bag I was carrying my clothes, personal items, a tripod, tripod ball head, other chargers, etc. My main bag weighted around 15 kg.

I hope this clarifies the situation and helps you when choosing what to bring and how. As always, contact me if you have doubts and want my opinion.

 

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Pantanal: Giant Otters paradise

The Pantanal is famous for its Jaguar sightings, and rightfully so, but another great animal is also easy to photograph there, and offer (much) better opportunities than anywhere else in its range: the Giant Otter.

Giant Otter

Giant Otter feeding on a Pike Cichlid. This one is from the Rio Negro of South Pantanal.

In the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s the Giant Otter was highly endangered due to poaching for the pelt market. It was, in fact, extinguished from most of its range. It persists in many areas of the Amazon and elsewhere, with strongholds in reserves and now, specially, in the Pantanal. Here they have grown used to people and boats, and will usually allow a very close approach.

It is aptly named, as it is the largest member of the Mustelidae family, comprising all of the otters and weasels. They reach 1.7m (5.6ft) in lenght and feed almost exclusively on fish, with the occasional crab here and there, or even baby caimans! Atypical of mustelids, the Giant Otter is a social species, and we often see them in family groups of 6 or more. It’s very fun to photograph them when they are hunting and feeding or playing in the water in front of their dens.

Giant Otter

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