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Route:

Technical Characteristics:

Route Profile: Medium.  Suitable for people with a good fitness level who enjoy hiking, adventure, wildlife, nature and pristine environments.

Travel Season:

Departures February 12; April 2*; August 27; September 3; October 1; November 12 and December 3,
2022
Other dates available on request
*tour dates with an * signify the tour that takes place in a different order than itinerary listed above.  All
the same places will be visited, only in a different order due to availability in the lodges. All tours start
and end in Georgetown.

*Group rates available for this tour.  As this is a guided tour, the pricing improves with more people participating. Please ask us for details.

Accommodation:

Guests are accommodated in a mix of a heritage house hotel, rainforest and savannah lodges, and indigenous community lodges

This classic small group scheduled departure takes in many of the highlights of Guyana: start in historic Georgetown with a market and city tour. Fly across endless rainforest into the heart of the country to visit Kaieteur Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfall in the world. Continue to the one million acre Iwokrama Rainforest Reserve for jungle hikes, boat trips, the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway, and the chance to see the elusive jaguar. Stay in the Makushi village of Surama before going into the savannahs in search of giant river otters, giant anteaters and taking part in the black caiman research project at the indigenous community of Yupukari.

Itineraries

Day 1

Arrival to Georgetown

Pickup from Cheddi Jagan International Airport and transfer to Georgetown and your hotel, Cara Lodge.

Day 2

Day Trip to Kaieteur Falls

Take a scheduled flight over hundreds of miles of unbroken tropical rainforest to land at Kaieteur Falls, the world’s highest free-falling waterfall. Kaieteur which was first seen by a European on April 29, 1870 is situated in the heart of Guyana. The water of Kaieteur flows over a sandstone conglomerate tableland into a deep gorge - a drop of 247 meters or 5 times the height of Niagara Falls. There are no other falls in the world with the magnitude of the sheer drop existing at Kaieteur. Amerindian legend of the Patamona tribe has it that Kai, one of the tribe’s chiefs (after whom the falls is named), committed self-sacrifice by canoeing himself over the falls. It was believed this would encourage the Great Spirit Makonaima to save the tribe from being destroyed by the savage Caribishi.

Day 3

Georgetown – Iwokrama Reserve

Pickup and transfer to Eugene F. Correia International Airport. Board the scheduled flight for your journey over hundreds of kilometers of tropical rainforest to land at Fair View airstrip. (Check in time 7:00 a.m., departure 8:30 a.m.). Pick up from Fair View airstrip and transfer to Iwokrama Reserve. The Iwokrama Rainforest is a vast wilderness of one million acres. This protected area was established in 1996 as the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development. The Iwokrama Forest is in the heart of one of four last untouched tropical forests of the world - The Guiana Shield of North-Eastern South America. Iwokrama was established as a living laboratory for tropical forest management. Explore the lodge with an Iwokrama Ranger. Iwokrama is home to many bird species including capuchin bird, black nunbird, chestnut-rumped woodcreeper, Amazonian antshrike, brown-bellied antwren, spot-tailed antwren, Todd’s antwren, spotted puffbird, green aracari, Guianan toucanet, Guianan red cotinga, pompadour cotinga, rufous-crowned elaenia, bronzy jacamar, chestnut and waved woodpecker, gray antbird, and strong-billed woodcreeper. Three other Neotropical species in the Iwokrama forest of high interest are white winged potoo, rufous potoo, and rufous winged ground cuckoo. The forest is also home to many mammals and you may see red-rumped agouti and various species of monkey including red howler, black spider, wedge-capped and brown capuchins. After dark we’ll set out on the river, in hope of finding one or another of its four species of caiman, and listen for night birds such as spectacled owl, white-winged potoo, rufous potoo, long-tailed potoo, zigzag heron or blackish nightjar. Using our flashlights we will look for the eye shine of snakes including cox boa, tree frogs and if lucky maybe some mammals.

Day 4

Iwokrama Reserve

Making an early start, we’ll embark on the Essequibo and circumnavigate nearby Indian House Island, before returning to the River Lodge for breakfast. Leave the lodge by boat, birdwatching along the way, for the hike to Turtle Mountain. A well maintained trail winds through the forest before an exhilarating climb up the mountain to its summit at approximately 360 meters. The effort is more than worth it for the breathtaking views over the forest canopy and chances to see green aracari, white bellbird or a fly-by of one of five types of eagles. This trail is also a great location for seeing black spider and red howler monkeys. If you think this hike may be too strenuous you can take an alternative boat trip to Stanley Lake to search for giant river otters and black caiman. As the afternoon cools you set out on a boat trip to visit Kurupukari Falls to see the Amerindian petroglyphs (dependent on the water level).

Day 5

Iwokrama Reserve

Explore the trails around the lodge with an Iwokrama Ranger. Transfer by 4 x 4 along the trail that is one of the best places to see the elusive jaguar. No promises, but many have been lucky! Along the road, we will watch for the myriad of bird species that frequent the forest edge, including crimson and purple-necked fruit-crow, crimson topaz, green oropendula, spotted and Guianan puffbird, scarlet and red-and-green macaw, blue-cheeked and orange-winged parrot and gray-winged trumpeter. This road is the only north – south access in Guyana and links the country to Brazil. Even so traffic is only very occasional and wildlife is often seen along the road. The journey concludes at the Atta Rainforest Lodge, home of the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway. The Iwokrama Canopy Walkway is situated near the southern boundary of the Iwokrama Reserve in central Guyana. The walkway has four suspension bridges leading to three platforms,the highest of which is over 30 meters above the ground. Another area where we will want to spend some time is the clearing around the lodge, as this is one of the best places to see another of Guyana’s “must see” birds, the crimson fruitcrow. The clearing is also a reliable site for black curassow as there is a family party which has become habituated to people and regularly passes through the clearing.

Day 6

Iwokrama Reserve

Before dawn we will return to the canopy where we can birdwatch easily and from this tree top vantage you can sometimes see red howler and black spider monkeys. Apart from the Iwokrama Canopy Walkway itself you can enjoy wildlife and birdwatching walks on the trails around the area. Many bird species, stunning insects, noisy amphibians, and playful primates make the surrounding forest their home. Deer, tapir and agouti are also regular visitors to the lodge. Serious birders will want to search the undergrowth for the rarely seen rufous-winged ground-cuckoo. As darkness falls on the canopy walkway, you may see the white-winged potoo. Night walks are also possible and something interesting or new always seems to pop on to the scene along the transnational road near the lodge.

Day 7

Iwokrama Reserve - Surama

Welcome the dawn chorus from the canopy walkway and then return to the lodge for breakfast before departure. Transfer from Atta Rainforest Lodge through the rainforest to Corkwood in the Iwokrama Forest. Here there is a comparatively short trail to hopefully see the amazingly brilliant Guianan cock-of-the-rock. This trail is through interesting and pristine rainforest and the guides can explain how the plants are used for medicine and other purposes. Continue to the community of Surama. The Indigenous community of Surama is located in the heart of Guyana. The village is set in eight square kilometers of savannah which is ringed by the forest-covered Pakaraima Mountains. The villagers of Surama are mainly from the Macushi tribe. The Surama Eco Lodge is owned and operated by the entire community. The Village Council serves as the Board of Directors and through consultation, they decide how the profits from the tourism business are to be spent to benefit the entire community. On arrival in Surama you will receive a warm welcome and settle into your accommodation. A guide will escort you for a short walk on trails to observe the forest and bird life. As the afternoon cools your guide will take you on a tour of the village. Tonight, enjoy an educational walk to observe wildlife and experience the mystique of the forest after dark. Make sure to bring your flashlights to look for the eye shine of the creatures of the night.

Day 8

Surama

Rise before dawn for a walk across the savannah and then climb up Surama Mountain for incredible views across the village and savannah to the Pakaraima Mountains. This is not a technical climb but can be arduous, especially after rain, and not for everyone. Your guides will happily offer alternative activities if you prefer not to do this climb. Return to the lodge for lunch and then take a five kilometer walk across the savannah and through the rainforest to the Burro Burro River. Your guides will then paddle you on the River for opportunities to observe wildlife. Return to the lodge for sunset.

Day 9

Surama – Annai

Enjoy dawn breaking across the rainforest. You can choose from a forest walk to look for wildlife and birds or relax around the lodge before breakfast and departure. Transfer from Surama to Rock View Lodge at Annai. Rock View Lodge is located where the savannah meets the forest-covered foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains. With its tropical gardens and flowering trees, the lodge resembles an oasis in the savannah, and attracts many species of birds, particularly nectar feeders and frugivores. Nearby patches of light forest are home to certain ant birds and flycatchers, and of course the grasslands support an avifauna of their own. You can see how cashews are roasted and see how local handicrafts are made and maybe even try your hand at them yourself. The labour-intensive method of cracking open the roasted nuts along with the self-ignition of the nuts as the acid content burns off are a spectacular sight. You can then taste the freshly roasted nuts.

Day 10

Annai – Karanambu Nature Reserve

At dawn take a hike in the foothills of the Pakaraima Mountains on the Panorama Trail where you might see cinereous mourner, finsch’s euphonia, reddish hermit, rufous-bellied antwren, green-tailed and yellow-billed jacamar. The views across the savannah and villages as the sun rises are spectacular. Return to the lodge for breakfast before departure. Travel south by road from Rock View Lodge to Ginep Landing. From Ginep Landing we take a boat trip on the Rupununi River to Karanambu Lodge. Depending on the river level, this trip offers an excellent opportunity to look for giant otters as there are several family groups which live along this stretch of the Rupununi River. Karanambu, a 36 square kilometer former cattle ranch located in the North Rupununi, was the home of the late Diane McTurk, conservationist and a world-renowned expert on giant otters. Known for its expansive wetlands and savannah, as well as its biological and cultural diversity, Karanambu encompasses savannah, marshy ponds, riparian forest, and a 48 kilometer stretch of the Rupununi River. Karanambu is located roughly in the middle of this beautiful and fascinating biological hotspot. The number of species found here is much higher than expected given its size with at least 600 species of bird, and over 200 species of mammals. The seasonally flooded savannahs and forests also draw substantial fish migrations with as many as 700 species of fish — more than anywhere on Earth. This region is rich in history and is the homeland of the Makushi and earlier peoples dating back more than 7,000 years. Several prominent explorers and naturalists have written about their experiences here, including Robert and Richard Schomburgk, Charles Waterton, Evelyn Waugh, Gerald Durrell, and David Attenborough. With both the river and the savannahs close at hand there is a wide variety of activities to be enjoyed at Karanambu. Two guided excursions are provided each day — one early in the morning and another late in the afternoon and into the evening. As well as being the coolest times to be out, these are usually the best times to see the different birds and animals. Trips may be on the river by boat, on the savannahs by 4 x 4 or along forest trails on foot to the different ponds in the area. Late in the afternoon we will travel by boat to look for wild giant river otters and as dusk falls to the ponds to see the giant Victoria amazonica waterlily, bloom at dusk. On the return trip we will spotlight for black caiman and birds and creatures of the night.

Day 11

Karanambu Nature Reserve

This morning we make an early start to an area of rolling grasslands, home to a population of giant anteaters. With luck we shall locate one of these two meter long animals excavating its breakfast from one of the termite mounds that stud the savannah. Though giant anteaters live in overlapping home ranges they are mostly solitary except during mother-offspring relationships, aggressive interactions between males, and when mating. Mother anteaters carry their offspring on their backs until weaning them. Evening river excursion or if you are interested in bird watching you can explore woodland patches or gallery forest along the river where we’ll hope to find a variety of species. A feature bird for the area is the agami heron. An evening walk along the airstrip offers seven species of nightjar and among the grasslands the double-striped thick-knees.

Day 12

Karanambu Nature Reserve - Yupukari

In the event you did not see a giant anteater the previous morning, there is time to travel out to search the savannah again. Or explore the Rupununi River making a boat journey along quiet stretches of river. The Honey Pond trail is also an option. This trail goes around three different ponds or lakes covered in water lilies. There is also a capuchin bird lek along the trail. Something interesting usually presents itself. Return to the lodge for breakfast before departure. After breakfast we say our goodbyes and transfer upriver by motorized boat to the nearby Amerindian village of Yupukari and Caiman House. At the edge of Yupukari Village in the Central Rupununi is Caiman House Field Station, a combination guest-lodge and education center focused on research and conservation projects along the nearby Rupununi River. The Field Station is the hub of several participatory development projects, including the introduction of classroom libraries in all three village schools and an Internet enabled public library. Visitors may have the opportunity to meet local craftspeople, including the furniture builders at Yupukari Crafters, a nonprofit venture to create village jobs and generate income to sustain educational development. As a guest you have the unique opportunity to support and participate in an ongoing field study of the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), the largest member of the alligator family and an endangered species. You are invited to accompany the indigenous crew as they search for and capture black caiman on the river. Guests will observe the capture from a separate boat, but will be offered the opportunity to assist in data collection. Caiman are weighed, measured, sexed and tagged before being released back into the river. The research has already discovered interesting information on caimans’ nests and diet.

Day 13

Yupukari - Georgetown

Vehicle transfer from Caiman House to Lethem for our scheduled flight to Eugene F. Correia International Airport. Pickup and transfer from Eugene F. Correia International Airport to Georgetown. This afternoon enjoy a tour of the city of Georgetown with an experienced guide who will give you the history, rumour and facts on Georgetown and its citizens. We will begin our tour at the Georgetown Seawalls before continuing into the heart of the city. During your visit there are a number of interesting sights that should not be missed such as Stabroek Market - once described as a “bizarre bazaar, and St. George’s Cathedral which is one of the world’s tallest free standing wooden buildings. Other historic buildings along this promenade are the Public Library, City Hall, the Victoria Law Courts and St. Andrews Kirk. Visit the National Museum, which contains a broad selection of our animal life portrayed in taxidermy in beautiful old glass cases, and the Walter Roth Museum of Anthropology, which houses a wonderful collection of artefacts and explains Amerindian history and life style. We will visit the Botanical Gardens, home to a collection of tropical flora, and the Zoo which has become a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center that houses over one hundred different species of tropical wildlife. We will also pay a visit to a pond either in the gardens or the National Park, to feed the endangered West Indian Manatees. This evening pickup and transfer to Backyard Café for dinner. Backyard Café is located in the West Ruimveldt area where our host, guide and culinary master, Chef Delven Adams will greet you as you enter. This as the name suggests, is a backyard that Chef Delven has turned into an exclusive little hidden gem of a restaurant. It is a Guyanese fusion from all over the world. Delven makes his purchase based on clients’ suggestions and dietary requirements from the local market. If you are interested, Chef has a smoker and small fireside right outside and sometimes will prepare the fresh fish right there and you can certainly help him and learn his secrets. His garlic fish is out of this world! You can sit under the arbor and sip unique blends of juice or enjoy a cold Banks Beer, while taking in the sounds and smells of a delicious meal in the making in a secluded back yard in Georgetown. Once he is ready, we will start eating our way through the courses. We will start with an appetizer, to an entrée and end up with a dessert, which we may be hard pressed to fit in, but we will give it our best shot and remember to pace yourself as you will want to try it all.

Day 14

Departure

Pickup and transfer to Cheddi Jagan International Airport for your departing flight.

Prices

    Included:

    • Airport transfers
    • Double or twin accommodation
    • Meals as listed (13 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 dinners)
    • Limited local bar at Karanambu Lodge
    • All road and river transfers
    • Internal flights in Guyana
    • Activities as described
    • Local guides
    • Kaieteur National Park fee
    • Iwokrama Forest User Fee
    • Iwokrama Canopy Walkway fee

    Not Included:

    • Items of a personal nature
    • Alcoholic drinks except where mentioned above
    • Departure tax
    • International flights
    • Visa if required

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