Caatinga is the term for the hot, semi-arid region of North-east Brazil which is dominated by xeritic, shrubby thorn forests on thin, rocky soils. The caatinga covers over 10% of Brazil’s surface area (over 800 000 square kilometres); the eco-system is endemic to Brazil. This region is home to 178 mammal species, more than 250 reptiles and amphibians, 240 fishes, and nearly 600 species of birds.

Unfortunately, the caatinga region is also one of the country’s most heavily populated and impoverished areas. Heavy human pressures on the land for subsistence agriculture, overgrazing, wood-cutting, and forest clearing all threaten the eco-system. Larger-scale agriculture in the form of plantations for sugar cane and other crops, in addition to schemes to deviate the course of the São Francisco river, the life-giving artery of the Brazilian North-east, are also leading to the devastation of the caatinga.


Our North-east Brazil itineraries will be posted by January 2022.