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Emas National Park
City: Chapadao de Ceu State: Goias Country: Brazil
The Emas National Park (literally meaning "Rhea National Park") is a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located between the states of Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul in the Center-West Region of Brazil. Emas National Park shows a typical cerrado ecosystem; a treeless savannah with tall termite houses and an interesting amount of wildlife: the giant anteater, the maned wolf, armadillos and the namesake greater rhea, among others. The granite plateau, ranging in altitude from 400-1,000 m (1,310-3,280 ft), is a magnificent cerrado landscape - a vista of vast changing skies above rolling open-wooded grasslands. The plains are dotted with innumerable red earth termite mounds, scored with dramatic canyons and crisscrossed by rivers and clear rushing streams, with high waterfalls and black water drop pools. The Park is part of the great dividing cerrado plateau between the Amazon and Parana River basins and is the site of the headwaters of the Araguaia, Formosa and Taquari rivers and their tributaries, which diverge across the plains making their separate ways lo the Atlantic. This is the place for hardcore nature lovers. Large mammals -troupes of monkeys, giant anteaters, tapirs, capybaras, armadillos, wild dogs, maned wolves, foxes, herds of deer, cougars and ocelots -roam freely here on a scale comparable with the savannas of East, Africa, 87 species in all. It is also a birdwatcher's paradise, with more than ,'150 sorts of bird, including Aplomado falcons, Burrowing owls, Yellow-faced parrots and Macaws. The termite mounds, which sprout surreally out, of the ground, | can be more than 2 m (6.6 ft) high. They are used as shelter by all sorts of wildlife including the larvae of the cumpinzeiro, a luminescent beetle. At night you may be fortunate enough to witness an extraordinary ephemeral display of nature when, after the rains, the landscape is transformed by the emergence of huge numbers of these insects. They light up the mounds in a fantastic display, transforming them into Christmas trees.
Climate | When to Visit
This is the best time to beat the scorching heat.
Visit during: April to October
Directions | How to Reach
By road from Brasilia 700 km (440 mi) or Goiania 500 km (312 mi) to Chapadao do Ceu.
miscellaneous | Important Information
Access is difficult so you need to be determined. There are no paved roads in the area and you require a permit to enter, obtainable from the tourist centre in Chapadao de Ceu.