Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Helder developed a passion for nature early in life. After earning a biology degree from the University of São Paulo, his fascination with the wild lured him to the wetlands of the Pantanal, a magical spot that solidified his desire to pursue guiding as a career.
Over the past 10 years, he has shared his love of the natural world with groups in exotic locales across South America, including Peru, Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. Determined to realize his childhood dream of visiting Africa, Helder ventured far from home to explore national parks and reserves throughout South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique. Throughout his extensive travels, Helder worked with and learned from experienced guides across the globe, honed critical skills, and became an expert at tracking large animals like rhinos and lions.
He further expanded his interpretive abilities and his understanding of Brazil’s incredible biodiversity as head guide at one of the country’s best ecolodges. In addition to leading diverse groups into the wildlife mecca of the Pantanal, Helder supervised a team of guides, conducted employee trainings and worked as the lodge’s environmental manager, a position that allowed him to utilize his conservation knowledge to consult on environmental certification and sustainability practices. During his time at the ecolodge, Helder even got to lead one of his childhood idols, Indiana Jones (aka Harrison Ford) on an adventure through the Pantanal.
Always thirsty for more, Helder gained intimate insight into the Pantanal’s most elusive predator while capturing, studying and monitoring wild jaguars as part of a conservation project. In 2015, Helder founded an environmental consulting company so he could dedicate time and offer support to organizations focused on sustainability, ecotourism and wildlife journeys.
His extensive knowledge of the ecology and wildlife of the Pantanal, coupled with years of guiding, make Helder the perfect fit for sharing the wonders of Brazil with Nat Hab travelers.
Praise from Natural Habitat travelers:
"Helder was an outstanding expedition leader and he did not disappoint. His knowledge of the Pantanal, including the birds and mammals, was extraordinary. He is a great addition to Natural Habitat Expeditions."
"It was a honor and a privilege to meet Helder. In our opinion he is a true asset to your company. He is bright, cheerful and has a vast knowledge which we were able to tap into. We enjoyed our experience with him."
"Helder is a phenomenal addition to the Nat Hab Expedition Leader team. In the 10 years of going on your tours, I can't recall observing a guide more tuned in to the needs of guests, as a group and as individuals. He knew when people were happy, when they were tired, etc., and flexed as needed. One night he made a pharmacy run when guests needed cold medicine and delivered the meds to their rooms. His birding and flora expertise were particularly noteworthy, too. And he proactively eliminated problems before they were evident. Helder is very sharp and self-aware, so in time his knowledge will be beyond expansive."
"Helder was fantastic. I have had great leaders on all the Nat Hab trips I have taken, but would rank Helder the best. He was incredibly knowledgable and so enthusiastic. He obviously loves what he does. We are considering Patagonia or Cuba just to do another trip with Helder."
"An amazing guide. Hugely-knowledgeable, charming, funny, attentive, thoughtful. Combined knowledge from many fields (including astronomy!). Emphasized environmental issues, cultural information. Paid close attention to our rest/toilet/food needs. We're hoping Helder will lead one of our next trips with NatHab--in fact we'll likely consider him a factor in making our decisions!"
"Helder is personable with a deep knowledge and passion for wildlife and the Pantanal. He was an outstanding leader in all respects. We came hoping to see one jaguar and we saw ten! Several of these were spotted personally by Helder without the help of radio information providing us a private viewing."