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Cassiano (Zapa) Zaparoli

One of Nat Hab's most beloved guides, Zapa grew up on his grandparents’ farm in the interior of Brazil where he developed a deep love for nature and wildlife. As a teen, he loved to camp and fish in the tropical forests and rivers around his home. Zapa received a degree in Tourism Administration from the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul State, located on the edge of the Pantanal. Immediately following completion of his studies, he was hired as a naturalist guide at one of Brazil’s top ecolodges, where he further developed his knowledge of his country’s incredible nature, as well as his skills as a wildlife photographer. Since then, Zapa has worked in various biomes in Brazil including the cerrado grasslands, coastal rain forest and Pantanal – South America's largest wetlands – and also in other biomes of South America. Each year Zapa undertakes a personal photographic journey around South America, where he has captured more than 35,000 photos of the continent’s nature, culture and wildlife. These experiences have allowed him to lend his expertise in the Galapagos on our photo tours, as well as in Patagonia as a naturalist Expedition Leader.

Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:

M. Adler

"Zapa is absolutely a gem. Indispensable. His knowledge and professionalism were top notch. He was always affable, courteous, helpful, and ALWAYS put our needs and attention before his. I feel that he actually made the trip more memorable and enjoyable. His ability to function as a guide went beyond any of my expectations. Do not lose him!!! One of the best overall and most memorable trips in my life!"

C. Anjard
"Of the 14 trips I have taken, Zapa stands out as one of the best leaders I have encountered. His people skills were exceptional and he was extremely sensitive to the needs of the group. He deserves a gold star!"

R. Kewer
"Zapa ranks up with the best leaders/guides we have met. His ability to find and identify species is remarkable. His disposition is perfect. A great asset to NatHab."

R. Elsie
"Zapa was an amazing guide - he was on top of every last detail of the trip. He is great with logistics and does not get the least bit upset when things go wrong (i.e. - broken bus and no A/C) therefore we don't get upset. He is very knowledgable of the area and I don't think there was anything else he could have done to make the trip better!!!!!!!!!!! He knows everyone in the Pantanal and makes things happen. He also knows his birds and animals as well as the environment of the Pantanal. I cannot say enough positive things about him. We will look to see when he is guiding the Patagonia trip."

L. Sandusky
"Over the years we've traveled to a number of places and as scuba divers we've been with a lot of guides in a wide variety of locations. None have been better than Zapa - he's the best I've ever experienced!"

J. Sina
"I can't say enough about the way Zapa communicated his excitement about nature, along with his knowledge. His enthusiasm helped bring a higher level of enthusiasm and sense of adventure to us all."

E. Carter
"Zapa is the best tour leader I have ever experienced in all of my travels in the past. I have traveled internationally about 20 times to all continents and he ranks at the top of the list of tour leaders I have had. He is an asset to your company."

K. Klump
"I cannot praise Zapa highly enough. He proved to be an excellent naturalist with an uncanny ability to spot birds and mammals and an apparently encyclopedic knowledge of both. He was energetic and enthusiastic and he made the trip all that we hoped it would be."

L. Rainbow
"We will follow Zapa to the ends of the earth!! Need we say more?? Personable, humorous, knowledgeable, extremely capable under all circumstances-makes any trip a very special and memorable experience!!"

G. Van Dyke
"I am not certain what I can add to all the superlatives that have been said about Zapa by many, many other guests. He is everything a guide should strive to be. Knowledgeable, helpful, patient beyond words, attentive to ALL travelers' needs and desires, delightfully funny and interesting. Natural Habitat should be proud to have a young man such as Zapa working with their organization. This was my second trip with Zapa and he is the reason I will be traveling to The Pantanal with Natural Habitat in July."

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