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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 the Pantanal—South America's largest wetlands—and 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 undergird his expertise as a photography Expedition Leader on our nature adventures in the Galapagos, Brazil and Patagonia.

Upcoming Adventures with Zapa:
Jaguars & Wildlife of Brazil's Pantanal
Expedition Patagonia
Classic Galapagos Photo Adventure
Patagonia Photo Expedition


Praise from Nat Hab travelers:

M. Adler

"Zapa is absolutely a gem and is 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 made the trip more memorable and enjoyable. His ability to function as a guide went beyond any of my expectations. This was one of the best overall and most memorable trips in my life!"

D. Sorensen
"What more can we say about Zapa? He is outstanding. Nat Hab should be proud to have such a leader as him. He is personal, fun, engaging and finds a way to teach in every moment. I came on this expedition being an average photographer. He managed to show me so many things about my camera, the art of pictures and tricks to enhancing your photos. He was extremely patient. Even though he has done this hundreds of times, his love for nature made it appear as if it was his first time. He got to know each traveler and made each one feel important."

J. Hedberg

"Zapa was a wonderful guide. He explained everything, took care of everyone in the group and gave us special insights into Brazil's natural realms. We all loved him!"

K. Gordon
"Zapa was outstanding. He was so full of energy and knowledge about the area and all the animals we saw. He knew just the right places to go to see everything we had on our bucket lists. He had a great sense of humor and helped with all our camera issues."

C. Anjard
"Of the 14 trips I have taken, Zapa stands out as one of the best Expedition 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!"

L. Galton

"Zapa REALLY did go above and beyond. He's knowledgeable and patient, and successfully turned this trip into a one-of-kind expedition!"

R. Kewer
"Zapa ranks among the best guides we have met. His ability to find and identify species is remarkable. His disposition is perfect. He is a great asset to Nat Hab."

R. Elsie
"Zapa was an amazing guide—he was on top of every last detail of the trip. He is great with logistics, 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 is very knowledgeable about the area, the animals and birds. 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 Expedition Leader I have ever experienced in all of my travels in the past. I have traveled internationally about 20 times to different continents, and he ranks at the top of the list of guides 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, 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? He is personable, humorous, knowledgeable and extremely capable under all circumstances—he 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. Nat Hab 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 Nat Hab in July."
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